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Mid 2009 Model A1278 / 2.26 or 2.53 GHz Core 2 Duo processor EMC 2326

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Internal drives not recognized - NOT the hard drive cable

Hi - I'm having this problem. I have an A1278 mid-2009 MacBook Pro, 13", 2.26 GHz. It's definitely not the drive (have tried 2 that I know function and 1 that was brand new). I replaced the hard drive cable twice (first was just the cable, seconds was the cable with the bracket so I know the cable is connected; it's the side cable and it had adhesive). I also reset the PRAM and SMC The llaptop does boot if I use the drives I mention before externally. As soon as I connect them internally, I get a flashing question mark folder. It doesn't boot in single user, verbose, or safe mode. When booting from the install disc or repair mode, the only drive recognized is the optical drive.

I added tape where indicated in the answers/comments (on the data side of the connector). It's not occluding the connection or any pins. I still get a flashing question mark folder. What's my next step?

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Can you give us the make and models of the different drives you've tried here.

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The first was the original 160GB Toshiba drive that came with the laptop. The second was a Western Digital Black, 500GB. These were both functioning, formatted as Mac OS Journaled Extended, the latest running El Capitan. The third is a brand new Western Digital Blue, 500GB, that hand been formatted (no OS X, obviously).

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Can you give us the model numbers for the drives so I can check them out.

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My mistake, it's a Hitachi (Toshiba's in a different laptop): HTS545016B9SA02

WD Scorpio Black: WD5000BPKT

WD BLUE: WDBMYH500ANC-NRSN

The Hitachi came with the laptop (bought new in 2009) and both WDs are compatible with OS X Lion+.

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Sorry got pulled away. Sadly I have a real job too ;-}

So all of these drives are SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) and you system is a SATA II system as well so you do have the correct drives for the system, so thats not the problem here.

With the one of your drives connected via the USB port reference this Apple T/N to see if your systems firmware is up to date: About EFI and SMC firmware updates for Intel-based Mac computers it should be at this level or newer.

If that doesn't fix things that puts us back to the cable <sorry> I'm wondering if the logic board connector is damaged somehow or if the logic board got wet. Did you sit the system down on a wet surface or spill something awhile back? What I'm thinking here is the drives power service is messed up

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It's definitely not water damage (I wouldn't even be bothering if it was a possibility) so at least that's ruled out. I'll check the firmware and let you know what happens. IF it's the drive's connector to the logic board, I'm assuming swapping out the logic board would rectify it, yes? Thanks so much for all the time and help, so far!

P.S. I, sadly, put in my 40+ hours a week as well - I just happened to start my yearly vacation yesterday. ;)

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What's a vacation? Is that summertime when business drops off and I have to clean and organize?

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Going somewhere fun I hope!

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Now Mayer... Being semi-retired is a vacation ;-}

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Firmware checked and is current. I tried (so hard and in so many ways, including using a bootable flash drive) to run AHT. It would load or start from it. I guess it must be the connector. :(

Thank you for your help Dan, I truly appreciate it (and, as it says at the end of the page, I am eternally grateful :). ).

Now, go get yourself some vacation time!

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Amy zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.
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