Released June 2012, Model A1278. Intel processor with Turbo Boost, Up to 512 MB DDR5 Video RAM

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Hard Drive Died. Need Operating System for New SSD.

My hard drive died. I have replaced it with a SSD. How do I get the Mac operating system on the new ssd?

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You’ll need to connect to the internet so your system can run Internet recovery service which Apple offers. Here’s a good writeup: How to Re-Install OS X with Internet Recovery on a Mac.

Once you’ve getting it running the recovery service I would recommend you first run disk utility to make sure the new drive is formatted with GUID partition mapping & using a journaled file system. Then run the OS installer. I’ll warn you this may take some time depending on how fast your connection is.

Now if you encounter any issues here you likely had a bad HD SATA cable to start with as they often go bad and you may in fact still have a working HDD! I would recommend you still stay with the SSD, but you’ll want to get a case for your HD so you can continue to use it like this one: USB 3.0 SSD SATA Hard Drive Enclosure If you need to save some pennies Then this will do to get you running Startech 2.5" SATA to USB adapter but it won’t protect your drive.

Here’s the IFIXIT guide for replacing the HD SATA cable: MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2012 Hard Drive Cable Replacement and here’s the needed part: MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable

Two things here to watch out for first place some electricians tape onto the uppercase where the cable crosses over as the rough surface of the aluminum over time damages the cable. Also don’t go crazy with the bending of the cable around the corners as you can break the conductive foil of the cable wires.

MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable afbeelding

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MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable

$44,99

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Once you get the OS installed you'll want to upgrade it to the newer Sierra release. Not High Sierra at this time as Apple still has a few issues with it when used on SATA based systems.

Here's the link to get it: How to download macOS Sierra. Once you've downloaded all of the updates I would strongly recommend you setup a USB thumb drive as an OS Installer following this guide: How to create a bootable macOS Sierra installer drive

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Just to clarify, when you say I’ll need to connect to the internet and use internet recovery, I do that after replacing the hard drive, right?

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Correct! You need to have the system put back together with the new drive. I would first try using your old HD externally using the SATA to USB adapter cable to see if the HD SATA cable was the real failure here. If you haven't bought the SSD yet.

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@danj this seems to me to be the same thing as my question: This is something other than a traditional HD issue

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mayer, if I understand what you’re post is saying, the only difference for me is that this is a first time repair. I haven’t had anything replaced. Just a seemingly dead hard drive.

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You'll have to find some help from an outside source since your new Ssd won't be even recognized by the Mac without formatting. Do you have the original install drive ? If yes put in the disk or the pendrive and turn on the computer, it will start from it, choose disk utility and format the drive as Mac os/GUID partition, then install whatever you have at hand and then update from Apple with latest Os. Or, in case you have a time machine backup on an external drive you can restore your system from that.

If no, in case you have access to another mac you'll have to create a bootable usb drive after downloading the OS from Apple or search for a .dmg around the internet, not very easy but you can find it if you search hard enough.

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FYI - The newer Mac systems have internet recovery built-in, so as long as you have a good connection to the internet you can recover the original OS the system came with. Here's a bit more: About macOS Recovery and here is a listing of the first systems which supported it once their firmware has been updated: Computers that can be upgraded to use OS X Internet Recovery

Now it's not as fast as using a local copy of the OS installer but at least you can recover things on your own.

Now whenever you see a 13" Unibody MacBook Pro with drive problems just assume the HD cable is bad. Like in this case its quite likely the cable was the real issue even still after upgrading to a better performing drive the older cable may not be able to support it as its worn or just the older SATA II cable ('10 & '11 models) as such it will need to be replaced. also not the need to apply some electricians tape on the uppercase as it often is the root cause of the cable failing in addition to excessive stress were the cable folds around (crisp fold - don't do it!)

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I still appreciate this answer because it gives me more options than just a single one. Thanks!

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This sounds like what has happened to me:

This is something other than a traditional HD issue

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mdthomas zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.
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