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Thread: MacBook Pro Won't Boot - HD failure?

  1. #1

    Member Since
    Apr 14, 2013
    MacBook Pro Won't Boot - HD failure?
    Have a MacBook Pro with Leopard. Today, computer froze. Rebooted. Initially got grey screen with apple logo and eventual circle with line through it. Did several restarts. At one point, would not POST (no initial audio tone). So, I cleared PRAM with CMD+OPT+P+R. Now will POST.

    Have since tried several things:

    Attempted to reach startup manager (turned on with option held continuously). No results, just grey screen.

    Started in single user mode. Ran fsck -fy. Got result - "Failed to issue COM RESET successfully after 3 attempts. Failing..."

    Subsequently, booted Leopard install disc by restarting and holding "C". Ran disk utility. Disk utility only found DVD drive. I don't see hard drive at all.

    Since initial attempt, I've tried starting in single user mode again. However, now cannot get this to work. Just get flashing folder / question mark.

    Tried booting "Applications Install DVD" by holding "C". Couldn't get this to boot.

    Battery appears to be functioning OK. Pressing of button on left side (front) gives 7 solid LED and one blinking LED.

    At various times have seen:

    1.) Apple logo followed by circle with line through it.

    2.) Flashing folder with question mark.

    I'm much more adept at diagnosing Windows based computers. However, from the diagnostics I've performed and my little knowledge of MAC's - looks like a hard drive failure to me. Can anyone confirm this? Are there other possible options at this point? Any more diagnostic testing I can do?

    If this is a hard drive failure, I assume the hard drive is easily replaced? I've never replaced a hard drive on a laptop (and have never worked on MAC's at all). However, there are directions for replacing the hard drive in the user manual. As such, it shouldn't be too complicated. Agree?

    Thanks in advance for all the help. Chad

  2. #2

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    G'day and welcome to the forums. Shame you got here with problems.

    Sure sounds like a dead hard drive if not found by the Leopard DVD. go to and look up your precise MBP model.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Apr 14, 2013
    Went to ifixit. Looks like it is a 13" Unibody - Mid 2009. Ordered a new hard drive.

    Put new hard drive in with ease. However, after installation of new hard drive, booted with OS install DVD. Neither disc utility or OS installation program can find the new hard drive.

    Given above, I'm assuming there is a problem with either the hard drive cable or logic board? Any other advice?

    Thanks again for the help.

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Keller, Texas
    Whenever replacing a hard drive on a machine that's a few years old, it's good practice to also replace the SATA cable. They get brittle from the heat and fail. Buy the cable from ifixit or from Mac Repair - Mac Parts and Service for Apple Macbook, iPhone, iPad.

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