Yesterday I installed a new MacBook Pro 15" Core 2 Duo Models A1226 Right Fan. Within an hour I had removed and replaced the right fan, as well as taking advantage of the opportunity to clean the left fan while I was in there. Unfortunately, upon screwing everything back together and booting-up, I got the empty folder with a question mark inside it, rather than the apple start-up screen. I went back in, ensured that everything which had been detached/unplugged had been reattached and screwed it all together a second time. This time the computer booted-up normally, and the fan worked perfectly. Unfortunately, my daughter had a school project which required that we make a home movie and put it onto a DVD or jump-drive. We shot the movie and then went to process it with our brand new iLife 'll suite (first use, other than iPhoto). From here, everything went downhill - in a bad way.
We imported the movie into iPhoto. From there we expected to be able to dump it into/export it into iMovie. No such luck. iMovie couldn't see it. Finally, we opened the iPhoto folder in which the movie was situated and dragged/dropped it into iMovie. From there we couldn't export it to iDVD. We then simply launched iDVD and imported the original movie file, created a quicky iMagic DVD from it and then went to burn it.
The internal, original DVD drive has not worked reliably for years, however, for whatever reason, the computer would not recognize the Super WriteMaster DVD USB drive. Finally, in desperation, I attempted to use the internal DVD drive, which, much to my surprise, recognized and began processing/burning the iDVD project. Strangely, with some "3 minutes" left in the burning process, iDVD, indicating that the burn was "complete", ejected the DVD, although it continued "processing"???? We then took the DVD and attempted to view it on a DVD player, which indicated the DVD was not readable. Meanwhile, iDVD went on "proccessing" the DVD, which was not in the laptop, for another 30+ minutes before I finally cancelled the process (although not before reinserting the DVD to see if it would actually complete the process).
Thereafter, the reinserted DVD would not come up in the Finder, nor would any DVD's inserted into the USB drive. Moreover, the computer wouldn't eject the DVD internally until I finally rebooted while holding the trackpad button (rebooting alone would not eject the DVD). Furthermore, yesterday, in desperation, I thought to simply dump the movie onto a jump-drive. I plugged one in, which immediately came up. I could browse through its contents in the finder, and created a new folder for the movie. Then, when I attempted to copy the movie into the folder, a progress bar came up, showed that everything was copied and as soon as the copying was complete, the jump-drive was ejected from the Finder and a message came up indicating that the drive had been improperly ejected. Since then the laptop does not see the jump drive when plugged-in.
Thinking that the problem may be related to the USB ports, I plugged-in an iPhone and an iPod. Both of these items were set-up to sync with iTunes over WiFi, but were not doing so. Once connected, iPhoto automatically launched and was able to import new photos and then delete the originals off of the respective devices. Then I launched iTunes, which synced with the devices and made it possible for me to first import the movie into iTunes, and then sync it out to the iPod. Strangely, after ejecting the devices, they then synced (along with my wife's iPhone, which had not been connected to the laptop), via WiFi?!?!?!
Clearly, the USB ports are active and capable of functioning. Why the jump-drive was viewable/usable up until I attempted to copy something to it I do not understand (particularly whereas the Finder allowed me to make an empty folder on the drive without any issues). This is a classic Murphy's-law situation where I have taken one step forward (with two good working fans), and three steps backward - having lost my DVD drives/jump-drives.
If anyone has any ideas on what may have caused these peculiar problems and how to fix them, your feedback will be greatly appreciated!