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Question: Can't boot my MacBook Pro, Early 2011. Suspect disk failure. or Corrupt OS.

My early 2011 MacBook Pro won't boot. Get the Apple Logo and the progress bar moves to about 90% and then shifts to a white screen. Can't boot in Safe Mode. Recovery Mode says memory and mother board are OK. That seems to be intermittent, as I can't always get it to run that diagnostic. Can't get into the actual Recovery screen to run Disk Utility. Tried resetting PROM, didn't change anything. Was able to get the Internet Recovery to work a couple of times. It seems to be intermittent. Acts like I have a failed hard drive. Can't find a way to test it.


How can I be sure my disk drive is bad? Tried Verbose Mode but couldn't read the screen fast enough. Any way to stop the scrolling so that I can read the messages. Looked for a disk error message, but couldn't see it.


How can I be sure my disk is bad? I suspect it is from the above testing.


Can a corrupt OS cause these kinds of symptoms. Got tricked into loading a video player from the same people that want to download Mac Cleaner or Mac Keeper (not sure which). I didn't let it download MacKeeper or any of the other junk. This problem started after I had installed their player. I suspect some type of malware. If so, how do I restore the MacOS. I'm running Sierra. Can't get the system to boot at all.


Any suggestions?


Thanks,

veehbj

MacBook Pro, macOS Sierra (10.12.6), 8 GBytes, 750 GByte disk, Early 2011, i7 quad core

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You can connect the iMac and perhaps the MBP can start up in Target mode (holding T when starting up): if that works you can try the MBP disk as an external from the iMac. But I doubt it.

I can not see that a disk is corrupted by a bad OS. It is just very old (for a HDD) and it died.

I would go for a 250 or 500GB SSD, partition/format it on the iMac, and then install Sierra on it from the iMac. Connect it to the MBP, startup while holding the Alt/option key, select the SSD to boot from and see if it works. When all OK you switch the SSD with the HDD.

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Nov 16, 2017 9:58 AM in response to veehbJ In response to veehbJ

Dying/dead disk probably.

When you can still get into the RecoveryPartition, the disk is not completely dead. Run DiskUtility, and click the firstAid button, set it to verbose so that you see what it is doing. If after three runs the disk is still not OK you have to install a new disk.

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Nov 16, 2017 9:58 AM in response to veehbJ In response to veehbJ

Dying/dead disk probably.

When you can still get into the RecoveryPartition, the disk is not completely dead. Run DiskUtility, and click the firstAid button, set it to verbose so that you see what it is doing. If after three runs the disk is still not OK you have to install a new disk.

Nov 16, 2017 9:58 AM

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Nov 16, 2017 9:31 PM in response to Lexiepex In response to Lexiepex

Thanks Lexiepex for the fast reply,


I think my disk drive must be bad. My MacBook Pro will not boot into Safe Mode. It will not boot into Recovery Mode. It does boot into Internet Recovery mode, but doesn't go into the diagnostics. The first couple of times I booted it into Internet Recovery Mode, it ran a diagnostic on the memory and logic board and found no errors. Now it starts to boot, with the white screen and Apple Logo. The progress bar moves between 50% and sometimes 90% and then it stops and goes to an all white screen. I've tried to reset PROM, didn't do anything.


So, looks like a bad disk drive. I'm thinking about replacing it with an SSD drive, but would hate to buy one, install it and find that the logic board is bad. If I can find a USB interface to the drive, I might try running Disk Diagnostic on it form my iMac. That will prove whether or not it is bad. Just need to find the USB case.


Also, is there a way to slow down the screen scrolling when you do a verbose boot? That probably has an error message about the disk drive, but it scrolls so fast I can't read it.


Any other suggestions?


Again, Thanks for your help.


veehbj

Nov 16, 2017 9:31 PM

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Nov 17, 2017 12:04 AM in response to veehbJ In response to veehbJ

You can connect the iMac and perhaps the MBP can start up in Target mode (holding T when starting up): if that works you can try the MBP disk as an external from the iMac. But I doubt it.

I can not see that a disk is corrupted by a bad OS. It is just very old (for a HDD) and it died.

I would go for a 250 or 500GB SSD, partition/format it on the iMac, and then install Sierra on it from the iMac. Connect it to the MBP, startup while holding the Alt/option key, select the SSD to boot from and see if it works. When all OK you switch the SSD with the HDD.

Nov 17, 2017 12:04 AM

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Nov 28, 2017 1:39 PM in response to Lexiepex In response to Lexiepex

OK, I bought a new Crucial MX300 500GB SSD Drive. I initialized it, formatted and partitioned it using a USB2 to SATA converter. Then I put the newly partitioned drive in the MBP and see exactly the same thing as with the original drive.


When I had the original 2.5 inch drive out, I connected it to the iMac and ran Disk Diagnostic - First Aid on it. It failed several times after going through several minutes of tests, but did pass a couple of times. So, I'm pretty sure the disk drive is bad.


So, why won't my new SSD drive boot? I followed the directions to hold the Command and R keys down with the first chime and then hold them until the apple logo appears. The apple logo never appeared. After a long wait with a white screen the spinning globe appeared and asked for the WiFi info. So it is booting into remote boot using Internet. The progress bar moved across the screen. I saw the Apple Logo, the screen blanked out for a second and then went white. The fans started to run very fast. I can feel feat at the bottom of the computer in the center and back of the computer. Does this sound like a problem with my logic board? Is there a PROM chip that needs to be updated? Or something else that can explain why it won't boot?


So, there must be something else wrong. I was going to do a Time Machine restore after I could get Disk Utility to run. But it won't run.


Any suggestions, anyone?? I'm at a loss as to what to try next. Help.


Thanks,


veehbj

Nov 28, 2017 1:39 PM

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Nov 28, 2017 3:11 PM in response to veehbJ In response to veehbJ

You've likely got a failing HDD - do you notice if it's warm when it buggers out ? I had one that turned out to be the mother board... Your using a 2011, and mac generally if used heavily daily will go out 5-7 years... if it's not a HDD issue, then it's something else... One thing I would try, is to get in the cold if it's fairly warm, and try to make a fresh backup and plan on having the system looked at by a Tech - some of them won't charge to look, others do.

Nov 28, 2017 3:11 PM

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Nov 28, 2017 3:26 PM in response to Mac_slide In response to Mac_slide

Just wrote a long reply and it didn't get posted.


This is a new SSD drive that is replacing the defective hard drive It was initialized, formatted and partitioned in my iMac.


It isn't seeing the local recovery program. Where does that reside? Is it put on the SSD drive when it is formatted and partitioned? My instructions said to boot it with a Control R and then have Disk Utility install the backup from the Time Machine disk. Can't get Disk Utility to run on the new drive when it is in the MBP.


What am I doing wrong?


Thanks,

veehbj

Nov 28, 2017 3:26 PM

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Nov 28, 2017 5:49 PM in response to veehbJ In response to veehbJ

OH,

Your easiest no frills way is to make an appointment with the apple store and have them do it, tell them your HDD died and this is your new drive, please install latest OS.


You can also read some links and GOOGLE how to do it.

About macOS Recovery - Apple Support

https://www.macworld.com/article/3236181/macs/how-to-upgrade-a-drive-with-high-s ierra-and-apfs.html


I would suggest that you use cables to ethernet port to do it to make sure there's no hiccups. I did it once via wifi and there was a GLITCH because of the internet & wifi causing some portion of my lower level system files to get corrupted - THAT was an ALL DAY DEAL from morning to evening.

Nov 28, 2017 5:49 PM

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Nov 28, 2017 6:42 PM in response to veehbJ In response to veehbJ

RE: SATA Cables:


Brue computing posted an interesting Video on Youtube. The proposition was that the SATA cable problems in certain MacBooks was caused by abrasion against the machined inside of the aluminum case. Their solution? RED TAPE!

User uploaded file

(The drive has been removed for photographic clarity)


One strip applied to the case, and one strip applied to the underside of the cable.

You should use RED tape because it is associated with higher speeds, and will therefore keep the high speed bits from spilling out of the cable and accumulating inside the case.


OGELTHORPE insists that I have a fiduciary responsibility to tell you that--^


Many Users prefer to simply replace the cable than get involved with all this "red tape".

Nov 28, 2017 6:42 PM

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Nov 29, 2017 1:34 AM in response to veehbJ In response to veehbJ

Why did you not follow my advice??:

I would go for a 250 or 500GB SSD, partition/format it on the iMac, and then install Sierra on it from the iMac. Connect it to the MBP, startup while holding the Alt/option key, select the SSD to boot from and see if it works. When all OK you switch the SSD with the HDD.

I said on the mac not in the mac. Test it after install of Sierra while outside.

Nov 29, 2017 1:34 AM

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Nov 29, 2017 6:04 AM in response to Lexiepex In response to Lexiepex

Lexiepex,

Yes, guilty as charged. I didn’t fully follow your advice completely. I didn’t install the OS from my iMac. I was trying to hurry and hoped it would work in the MBP. I can’t try again for a couple of days. I’ll follow the steps you outlined and that will probably work. I’ll let you know when I can try it.

Thank you

Veehbj

Nov 29, 2017 6:04 AM

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Nov 29, 2017 3:48 PM in response to Lexiepex In response to Lexiepex

Lexiepex


You and I are old enough to KNOW that the Mac can Install, Boot, and and Run from an External. But to a lot of MacBook Pro users, that may be a brand new concept.


Maybe Users would be more likely to follow your good advice if you emphasized the Mac's ability to use an External as a Boot Drive.


I also like to add that it cuts the possible sources of problems in half, which can make debugging MUCH easier.

Nov 29, 2017 3:48 PM

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Question: Can't boot my MacBook Pro, Early 2011. Suspect disk failure. or Corrupt OS.