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MBP won't recognize new HDD

495 Views 15 Replies Latest reply: May 31, 2012 3:30 AM by OGELTHORPE RSS
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stickball Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
May 25, 2012 6:08 AM

Hi Everyone -


I'm having a problem with my MBP and am stumped; I hope someone has a solution.  Here's the backstory (please bear with me; this may be a bit long in order to give you all the details).


My keyboard croaked, and the 160gb hard drive was filling up, so I thought I would replace both and add more RAM while I had the beast opened up.  So I did all that, successfully (I think).  Prior to taking out the HD, I backed it up using Time Machine.  The MBP was running Leopard.  I have the original 10.4.8 disc, after which I updated to 10.5.8. 


After swapping out the keyboard, drive and adding RAM, I fired the system up and it worked!  So I inserted the Install disc, went to Disc Utilities and formatted and partitioned the 750gb new drive.  When I asked the system to install the OS, it chuckled at me and did nothing.  The new partitions are on the desktop, but the Install disc doesn't recognize them.  I plugged my external drive in (the one that has the Time Machine backup...), restarted the MBP, and it booted from the Western Digital external drive.  So my question is... how can I get the system to recognize the new drive and install the OS on it?


Please help...!!

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,400 points)
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    May 25, 2012 6:53 AM (in response to stickball)

    Assuming that the partitioned disk is formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled)  and you insert the install disk, it should restart the MBP and after the agreement panel, you should see a window that asks you to select a destination. That would be one of the two partitions you have made.  Do you get that far?


    Have you tried both the Tiger install disk and the Leopard disk?



  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,400 points)
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    May 25, 2012 7:40 AM (in response to stickball)

    I find it very odd the you see the partitioned HHDs on the desk top but not on the install disks.


    Regardless, let me suggest this.  Put your old 160 GB disk into the MBP and make certain that it is operating as before. If it does, put the new HDD in an enclosure and follow these instructions:




    1. Make certain that you have backed up all of your important data.


    2. You will need a HDD enclosure.  One with a USB connection will do.  A 9 pin Firewire is better.


    3. Install your new drive in the enclosure and connect it to your MBP.


    4. Open DISK UTILITY>ERASE.  From the left hand column drag the new drive into the 'Name' field.  Make sure that the format is 'Mac OS Extended (Journaled)'.  Click on the 'Erase' button.


    5. Click on the 'Restore' button (on top).  Drag the old drive into the 'Source' field and the new drive into the 'Destination'  field.  Click on the 'Restore' button on the bottom right hand corner.


      Depending upon the amount of data you are transferring, this may take a couple hours or more.  A Firewire will speed up the transfer.  This will result in both drives having identical information on them.


    6. After the data transfer has completed, you may swap the drives.  Start the MBP and you have finished the installation.  The initial boot may take a bit longer than you are accustomed to, but that is normal.


    7. When you are satisfied that the new hard drive if functioning properly, you can erase the old drive and use it for any needs that you may have.


    Prior to the swap, you should be able to boot from the new (external) HDD by a OPTION key startup if you want to.  This approach eliminates having to deal with any of the installation disks.



  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,400 points)
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    May 25, 2012 10:40 AM (in response to stickball)

    It may be best to start from the beginning:  Look at this and is this how you prepared you new HHD?


    Extended Hard Drive Preparation


    1. Boot from your OS X Installer Disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the  Installer menu (Utilities menu for Tiger, Leopard or Snow Leopard.)


    2.  After DU loads select your hard drive (this is the entry with the  mfgr.'s ID and size) from the left side list. Note the SMART status of  the drive in DU's status area. If it does not say "Verified" then the  drive is failing or has failed and will need replacing. SMART info will not be reported on external drives. Otherwise, click on the Partition tab in the DU main window.


    3.  Under the Volume Scheme heading set the number of partitions from the  drop down menu to one. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended  (Journaled.) Click on the Optionsbutton, set the partition scheme to GUID (for Intel Macs) or APM (for PPC Macs) then click on the OK button. Click on the Partition button and wait until the process has completed.


    4. Select the volume you just created (this is the sub-entry under the drive entry) from the left side list. Click on the Erase tab in the DU main window.


    5. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Options button, check the button for Zero Data and click on OK to return to the Erase window.


    6. Click on the Erase button. The format process can take up to several hours depending upon the drive size.


    Once formatting is completed you can quit DU and install OS X.


    If not, I suggest you do so.  MAKE CERTAIN THAT YOUR DATA IS BACKED UP!
    In answer to your question regarding a faulty disc, it is possible but do you not have a Tiger as well as a Leopard disk?  It is not likely that both would be defective.  Clean them off carefully before you use them. 
    You brought up CCC.  That can also work essentially the same as my suggested method.
    Installation of the OS can take about 45 minutes or more.  Data transfer is dependent upon volume and the transfer speed of the method used (USB or Firewire).
    Try not to get frustrated.
  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,400 points)
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    May 25, 2012 1:30 PM (in response to stickball)

    It has been my experience that the times that the MBP reports, especially in the beginning are very, very suspect.  They are always overstated by a large margin so do not pay much heed to them.  Usually in about 30-40 minutes, more realistic times appear.



  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,400 points)
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    May 26, 2012 4:22 AM (in response to stickball)

    I suspect that you have a pre-unibody MBP and having one myself I know the difficulty in replacing a HDD so you have my sympathies.


    An enclosure will be needed for the old internal drive anyway, unless you want to toss it, so it is not to be viewed as an unnecessary expense.


    I would urge you to install the old HDD and proceed from square one.  Prepare the new HDD as already outlined.   You may use Disk Utility or Carbon Copy Cloner.  Both should achieve the same objective.


    I am suspicious of your new HDD because  of the fact that you say it appears as a 5.5 TB drive.  It may be the reason why you are struggling.  If that turns out to be the case you would have to take it out any way and replace it.  If not, then I think your chances of a successful installation are good by using the proper sequence.



  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,400 points)
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    May 26, 2012 7:22 AM (in response to stickball)

    New HDDs being defective is rare but not unheard of.


    If you can find an enclosure with Firewire connections as well as USB, consider getting it.  Firewire offers twice the data transfer speeds of USB.


    Good luck.



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