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  1. #1
    Unable to restore Macbook Pro

    Member Since
    Nov 04, 2018
    Location
    Seattle,WA
    Posts
    5
    Unable to restore Macbook Pro
    Hi All.

    First off apologies if this is the wrong area to post this question (its my first post and im not sure if this is a hardware or software issue but im leaning towards hardware maybe).

    I have a MacBook Pro (A1278 i believe) and the Hard Drive died. I replaced it with the same make/model (Seagate 320gb) that i had laying around (tested and good drive).

    Unfortunately, I'm having issues doing a restore. I tried the internet recovery and it starts, the globe appears and i connect to my WiFi (or ethernet, done both) and all looks good. It then reboots and the Apple logo appears but it gets stuck at different points along the progress bar (have tried multiple times). Never actually gets into the recovery utility where you can select Disk Utility or Install/Reinstall MacOS.

    So i created a USB installer using the previously downloaded app on my Macbook Air (i created both an El Capitan and a High Sierra USB). This also seemed to be going ok. After holding the Option key and seeing the USB installer, i tried installing from both USB installers. They both get stuck at various points along the progress bar. Doesn't seem to be the same point each time. Sometimes its about half way, sometimes it gets almost to the end.

    I have even left it over night in case it was doing something odd.

    It never gets to the point where it shows the Reinstall/Install MacOS or Disk Utility options.

    Any ideas?

    I've tried resetting the SMC and PRAM. No luck.

    I've tried a different Hard Drive and even an SSD.

    Any help would be great.

    Thanks

    BritGuy

  2. #2
    Unable to restore Macbook Pro
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, US
    Posts
    5,149
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS Mojave, iPhone 8+ iOS 12, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iOS 12, Pencil 1
    Only Mac models made after Mid/Late 2011, have Internet Recovery options. If it was made before that, then IR is out of the question.

    When starting up from the USB drive, go into Disk Utility, and format/erase the drive as GUID partition scheme, with Mac OS Extended formatting.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  3. #3
    Unable to restore Macbook Pro
    lclev's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 24, 2013
    Location
    Ohio (USA)
    Posts
    3,874
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 13" MBPro, 2013 13" MBAir, 2010 MacPro, iPhone X
    So this is a 2009 13" MB Pro? If that is true then the newest version of OS X it can handle is El Capitan. It sounds like you have covered all the bases.

    If you are positive the drive is good another issue could be the hard drive cable - and I am reaching here as you indicate the install starts and hangs. But it is the only thing I can think of. There is a tutorial that show it on ifixit.com . Hopefully I got the model correct but I am not sold on the idea the cable is it but they are know to go bad.

    No chance it is overheating due to old thermal paste? I have had that issue and replacing the thermal paste fixed the lockups and shutdowns.

    Hopefully some of the others will jump in with some ideas.

    Lisa
    Recommend using Onyx to clean your Mac.
    If you have been helped, please add to their reputation by clicking on the icon in the lower left hand corner of the post.

  4. #4
    Unable to restore Macbook Pro

    Member Since
    Nov 04, 2018
    Location
    Seattle,WA
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    Only Mac models made after Mid/Late 2011, have Internet Recovery options. If it was made before that, then IR is out of the question.

    When starting up from the USB drive, go into Disk Utility, and format/erase the drive as GUID partition scheme, with Mac OS Extended formatting.
    Unfortunately it never gets to the stage where it brings up Disk Utility.

    The new hard drive is obviously blank, it boots from the USB installer (i now have a USB installer for Mavericks through Mojave and nothing works (didnt try Mojave as it is not supported)) but gets stuck on the loading bar under the Apple logo.

    I'm really stumped on this.

  5. #5
    Unable to restore Macbook Pro

    Member Since
    Nov 04, 2018
    Location
    Seattle,WA
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by lclev View Post
    So this is a 2009 13" MB Pro? If that is true then the newest version of OS X it can handle is El Capitan. It sounds like you have covered all the bases.

    If you are positive the drive is good another issue could be the hard drive cable - and I am reaching here as you indicate the install starts and hangs. But it is the only thing I can think of. There is a tutorial that show it on ifixit.com . Hopefully I got the model correct but I am not sold on the idea the cable is it but they are know to go bad.

    No chance it is overheating due to old thermal paste? I have had that issue and replacing the thermal paste fixed the lockups and shutdowns.

    Hopefully some of the others will jump in with some ideas.

    Lisa
    I believe it was a Mid-2010 model (MacBook Pro7,1).

    I'm positive the drive isnt the issue as i have tried 3 Hard Drives (all known good) and an SSD (again known good drive).

    I just replaced the paste after your suggestion (heck why not) and that didnt help.

    I'm beginning to think your suggestion about the cable may be correct. I'm going to grab a new one and try that next.

    If anyone has any others ideas im open to suggestions.
    Last edited by BritGuy; 11-04-2018 at 11:03 PM. Reason: Added link

  6. #6
    Unable to restore Macbook Pro
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, US
    Posts
    5,149
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS Mojave, iPhone 8+ iOS 12, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iOS 12, Pencil 1
    Quote Originally Posted by BritGuy View Post
    I believe it was a Mid-2010 model (MacBook Pro7,1).

    I'm positive the drive isnt the issue as i have tried 3 Hard Drives (all known good) and an SSD (again known good drive).

    I just replaced the paste after your suggestion (heck why not) and that didnt help.

    I'm beginning to think your suggestion about the cable may be correct. I'm going to grab a new one and try that next.

    If anyone has any others ideas im open to suggestions.
    You didn't give enough specs to properly identify the model accurately, as A1278 was the only info you provided, see here, https://everymac.com/ultimate-mac-lo...keywords=A1278. If it is a 2010 model, it will run either El Capitan or High Sierra. How did you create the bootable USB installer? Did you use Apple's procedure, https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  7. #7
    Unable to restore Macbook Pro

    Member Since
    Nov 04, 2018
    Location
    Seattle,WA
    Posts
    5
    I used the official command line process to create the USB on my Macbook Air. I thought it may be a bad USB stick so i tried on 2 others (no success. same issue).

    I added the link to the info for the Macbook Pro that i have (it supports High Sierra according to EveryMac). Im beginning to wonder whether my Macbook Air is doing something odd to the USB installer creation.

  8. #8
    Unable to restore Macbook Pro
    iggibar's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 20, 2009
    Location
    Cleveland
    Posts
    4,111
    Your Mac's Specs
    6.1 Mac Pro, 5.1 Mac Pro, 15" MBP, 13" MBP, 17" PB, PM G5, Apple Watch 42mm
    There's a lot of unknown variables to work with.
    How do you know the original HDD is dead? Have you tried reading the data externally?
    What was the previous formatting of the "other" drives you tested?
    How do you know the USB install disk works? USB sticks might work to read data for a single moment, but might fail for consistent data transfers- this causes timeouts during installation.

    There are only so many issues that can cause this problem. When you give your Macbook the command of booting into recovery, it boots from a protected partition of your HDD. This partition is HIGHLY protected by a healthy OS. Usually, hanging during the booting sequence of recovery is caused by data corruption, external disk timeouts, or an incompatible recovery for a new OS. Installation of a new OSX also has the potential to hang when the a new install tries to overwrite the protected data from a recovery. Unless you go to completely wipe a drive, only a new recovery can overwrite an old recovery.

    However, you stated that all drives failed both recovery and an OS install from a USB device. That's unusual, and usually point to hardware troubles related to SATA transmission issues.
    You can try to narrow this issue by removing the HDD from the Macbook, and plugging in the USB OSX install while the computer is off. Turn the Macbook on and immediately hold down Command+R. Keep Command+R held until loading completed and a gray screen shows. You will be giving your Macbook the command to enter recovery, but will not be able to find it via the normal SATA port, and should skip to the recovery/installation of the USB disk. It might take a few extra moments for this. Tell us what you see.


    Command+R is a general combination for installing the latest OSX available/compatible on your system.
    Option+Command+R is the command for installing the original OSX that came with your Macbook. Try this if Command+R doesn't work.

    Try Option+Command+R while the original HDD is in the Macbook. Report what happens.

    Curious to see what the outcome is!
    Call me IGGI
    ďIf you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.Ē Marcus Aurelius

  9. #9
    Unable to restore Macbook Pro
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, US
    Posts
    5,149
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS Mojave, iPhone 8+ iOS 12, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iOS 12, Pencil 1
    No, the MBA isn’t doing anything to the installer.

    Do you have an enclosure, you can put the new drive into, then try to install the OS, while in the enclosure? Even if it’s a USB enclosure, it will take longer, but if it does install, that should confirm the SATA cable is bad.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  10. #10
    Unable to restore Macbook Pro

    Member Since
    Nov 04, 2018
    Location
    Seattle,WA
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    No, the MBA isnít doing anything to the installer.

    Do you have an enclosure, you can put the new drive into, then try to install the OS, while in the enclosure? Even if itís a USB enclosure, it will take longer, but if it does install, that should confirm the SATA cable is bad.
    Good idea. Will need to find my enclosure.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

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