Released June 2009 / 2.66, 2.8, or 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo Processor

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Why is my hard drive not being recognized?

It won't boot. The hard drive is not recognized in Disk Utility or in a fresh install. I took out the hdd and plugged it in another computer and it is fine. The optical drive works fine, so I doubt it's the logic board. I think it's just the SATA power/data cable. I heard that it could potentially be fixed by putting some tape in between the drive and the cable to force the connections closer together. I will try that tonight and report back. If it's not the cable then I believe it's the logic board. I'm not interested in spending $600 on a new board, but I would be willing to remove the optical drive and use the adapter that allows for a second HDD to be installed there. So I guess I'm asking if anyone has any other ideas, but also I want to make sure that if I replaced the optical drive with my HDD that I could use that as my only drive. Everything previously says that it is meant to be used for expanded storage, but I want to confirm that it can be the boot drive as well. Thanks!

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The tape didn't do anything for me. Didn't show up in Drive Utility, or during fresh install.


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What is the SATA spec of your HD's you are trying to use in this system? If you don't know can you give us the make and model of the drives.

Can you boot up with the the recovery CD/DVD disk or a USB thumb drive? If you can see you can check the firmware level your system has. Refer to this Apple TN: EFI and SMC firmware updates for Intel-based Macs. If your firmware is older try upgrading it and try installing the HD again.


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I don't have it in front of me, but I'm just trying to use the HDD that originally came with the machine. This is what it's listed as under my order confirmation from August of 2009: Hard Drive 065-8667 500GB Serial ATA Drive@5400rpm.

Yes I can boot from the recovery DVD. However I think you are still under the impression that I am trying to install a new hard drive when all I'm saying is my old one suddenly stopped working.

I have an external enclosure arriving today that I believe I will be able to put the hard drive in and boot from. I also ordered the replacement SATA cable from here, so hopefully that will be a more permanent fix. I really think it's just the cable.

I guess I'm confused here. What was the reason you took your HD out of your system in the first place if it was working? Can you explain what your goal was from the start or did you have a problem (please explain).

OK, if the drive is the original drive for the system and it's working externally. I would guess the SATA cable is having problems.

Just so you know this forum is supported by volunteers. If you have a part issue with IFIXIT you'll need to speak directly with them.

Sorry Dan, I must not have written clearly. I took the drive out because it was not working. I assumed it was the drive that was malfunctioning, however after plugging it into a desktop and it working perfectly, I realized that it was not the hard drive. At this point I'm fairly certain it is the original factory SATA cable that is the culprit, however it may be the logic board. I have ordered a new SATA cable from ifixit that I'm getting next week that I hope will fix the issue. I also have an enclosure coming today that I think I'll be able to put the drive in and boot from until the new cable shows up. I do not have any issue with ifixit, sorry for the confusion.



if you can i would try a different hdd , with the failure rate of hdds now days idont place much faith in them


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I did, that was not recognized either. Both the original hdd and the replacement work just fine in another computer.

I just ordered an enclosure off Amazon that will come tomorrow that will hopefully get me back temporarily while I try and figure out a more permanent solution.


Just replace the HDD ribbon, you can buy one on amazon for like $40 its easy.


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Sam, you do need to read all of the thread here before answering. The cable was not the problem. Again this is a known issue with the SATA port speed mismatch. Also note the answer was accepted back in July. So its long since been fixed. Again focus on the newer open questions.



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