Released October 24, 2011 / 2.2, 2.4, or 2.5 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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Can't boot to SSD when installed in primary

I have a MacBook Pro 15" late 2011. I am trying to upgrade the HDD to a SSD.

What I've done:

Cloned original HDD using CCC and the SSD was attached via a USB adapter. Prior to using CCC I formatted the SSD to Mac OS Extended Journaled and set the partition to "1". After CCC completed I changed the boot drive to the SSD while the HDD was still installed internally via the startup disk utility. Everything functioned properly when booting from the SSD through USB. I swapped the HDD (internal) for the SSD; Started the MacBook and all I receive is the flashing folder with the question mark.

The firmware on the SSD is up to date and I have also made sure my Boot ROM Version and SMC Version are the most up to date via the apple website.

The SSD is a Crucial M500 series.


OS X 10.9 (13A603)


Model Name: MacBook Pro

Model Identifier: MacBokPro8,2

Processor Name: Intel Core i7

Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz

Number of Processors: 1

Total Number of Cores: 4

L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB

L3 Cache: 6MB

Memory: 16 GB

Boot ROM Version: MBp81.0047.B27

SMC Version (system): 1.69f4

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When placing the SSD internally and attaching the HDD externally via USB I still receive the blinking folder with the question mark. I have also held down the 'Option' butt upon boot up and the only boot option it will allow me to select is to bot via network.


Just to be clear here you can't even see the USB connected HD now even when you use the boot up option selection - Correct? If that is the case something else is a miss here. While your SATA cable may need replacing your USB connected HD should be accessible now. Do you have it externally powered (AC unit)? It could be the single USB port is not able to offer enough power to spin it up given HD's age. Focus on getting the HD going first so we can diagnose the SSD and the SATA cable issue.


Correct, once the HD is removed from the internal slot I can not see it. The USB adapter is the ifixit as seen here Universal Drive Adapter


I believe the fact that I canot see the HD using the external USB adapter might be because I don't have a jumper for it. I think that without a jumper it is supposed to be setup as the primary drive. Unfortunately I cannot test this as I don't have a store or jumper readily available. I have ordered a replacement cable from the newer line up and when it arrives I will update. But if you might have any more suggestions that I could try until then it would be greatly appreciated.


SATA drives don't need jumpers like older PATA drives do to configure the odering of the drive. They often do have a SATA I/O speed jumper if the system the drive is going into is slower than what the drive normally goes at {i.e. SATA III (6.0Gb/s) drive going into a SATA I (1.5Gb/s) or SATA II (3.0Gb/s) system. In this case this is not the problem.






What happens when you connect your HD via the USB connection are you able to get it to boot up via the HD? If you are can you see the SSD and the files on it?


At this point I think you'll need to redo your SSD after you have it installed working off of a CD/DVD (Apple logo'ed OS disks or recovery disk - any version will do here) or a USB thumb drive which is able to install the OS. As you can't use your system's copy of OS-X to prep the thumb drive you'll need to find a friend who has a Mac that can help you here. Once you get the thumb drive working as a bootable drive test it out on your system if it works copy over the Lion or Mountain Lion or Mavericks installer. Redo so your SSD drive that is internally in your system so its working (Redoing everything).

As to your current HD files that you want to transfer back over: You'll need to use an external HD to make a backup (TimeMachine). Hopefully the transfer to a drive that is already formatted will allow them to be copied back to your SSD.

You could try out your friends Mac to see if it can see the HD via the Universal cable connection. If you can, you might be able to connect via WiFi or a wired network (FireWire or Ethernet) the two systems and copy things across.


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Dan, could be the cable 922-9751. It may need the newer broader one. See this: Using new hard drive cable in older machines 821-1480-A


Yes, I agree it is most likely the SATA cable, if he can access the SSD from the HD in this config it points to the bad cable, as the higher I/O stress is on the HD Vs the SSD which we know makes things worse when trying to access.



Try a different cloning software. I've had this issue before.


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Rob - Mac cloning software is no longer the ideal way. Apple offers tools which makes the need for cloning apps mostly pointless when dealing with primary drives.

I've long since stopped using any easily 10 years now.




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