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No HDD access in Macbook Pro- Possible solutions?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
The problem
A friend's Macbook Pro has something broken. We're not sure what, but it stops the hard drive communicating with the rest of the Mac. Now I've narrowed it down to it either being a busted logic board or the SATA ribbon that's the problem; the hard drive and Mac are perfectly working otherwise. Currently the thing is usable only with an external dock that connects to USB.

Possible solutions?
Right now, my solution is simply to buy an external HDD enclosure, slap the drive in and plug it into USB for both power and access. Fixing the drive to the cover or bottom using Velcro or something and routing the cable through the inside to keep it tidy.
However, getting to the point of this post: I wanted to ask you guys for ideas. Do you think something else could be wrong? Any other ways you think I could mount the HDD effectively and safely?

EDIT

Thanks for all the replies! Based on the response, here's some extra details:
-I've tried a different hard drive, and while both drives certainly work, neither work connected through SATA.
This Mac is way out of warrranty, and I believe it's past RMA date. Besides, it worked fine at first.
-I've thought of getting a new ribbon, but I haven't found a local repair shop or website in the UK that carries them. Any suggestions?
-Besides, I don't really want to spend on one when I can't tell which is the actual problem. Is there any way to tell which is at fault?
-I've reseated the cables multiple times, with no effect.

-Soma

(also, apologies if this is in the wrong forum. biggrin.gif)
Edited by Somakitsune - 1/26/12 at 4:37am
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post #2 of 5
if the drive works otherwise, then its either the board or cable gone bad. to rule out possible software or other issues, try using a different drive in the mac.
u can probably buy both the board and ribbon online and do the repair yourself, if your comfortable with that (out of warranty of course)
post #3 of 5
Hmm.. You can in worst case take out the CD ROM and replace it with a hard drive or SSD.
By the way, why not RMA it?

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post #4 of 5
You can open it up and take a look, the cable may be loose. I'm not familiar with the new models, but I'd look up an Apple teardown manual for your model. Replacing the logic board is usually cost prohibitive outside of warranty unless Apple has changed their design significantly.

If you haven't damaged it and you are under Applecare, send it for repair. Make sure to clone your drive first.
    
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post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by _02 View Post

You can open it up and take a look, the cable may be loose. I'm not familiar with the new models, but I'd look up an Apple teardown manual for your model. Replacing the logic board is usually cost prohibitive outside of warranty unless Apple has changed their design significantly.

Checking the connections between the board and the drive would be a good first step if you're comfortable pulling apart and fixing small electronics.

As above: If the logic board is at fault you're probably better off getting a new machine because replacing that is fairly expensive.

The cable can be replaced for about $20.

I would try a second hard drive in the unit to see if the same issue presents.
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