A friend of mine came to me with her Macbook Pro 8,3 (17 inch, 2011). The hard drive had failed, and booting into the recovery disk didn't show a working hard drive.

I went out and bought her a samsung EVO 480 (because why not do an upgrade while I'm at it?), and plugged it in.

Still not recognised by Disk Utility on the install disk.

I went back and reformatted the disk as HFS+ with my windows machine, using MacDrive. Put it back in the laptop, and it's still not turning up in the list.

I have confirmed that the SSD has the latest firmware on it using Samsung's magician software, and I'm now focusing on the SATA cable.

Though I'm not sure what my options are for diagnosis and replacement of parts now, as I haven't ever had to deal with a broken cable! Any ideas, anyone?

2 Answers 2


The answer in this particular instance was that the SATA cable had come loose. Unscrewing the metal grate housing and re-pressing the connector to the mobo fixed it, and the HFS+ formatted Samsung 840 EVO SSD worked in the macbook pro.

The original hard drive still works, but will now be put in the optical bay instead of the superdrive.

  • 3
    Then can you mark your answer as correct and close the thread?
    – Tunes
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 22:00

Its not a broken cable. If you look carefully at the packaging and features for that drive, you will notice that Samsung tells you it is only supported on Windows. They prepared the drive for Windows, and MacDrive did not fix the partition table that Samsung set up.

But don't worry... all you need is one of these. You might be able to find one at your local OfficeMax for twice as much. Any external enclosure or dock will do I believe.

Pull the SSD, connect using a cable like that, or put in an external enclosure, boot the mac from your Snow Leopard installer, under Utlitiles menu choose Disk Utility, and you will be able to see it, and correctly partition it replacing the MBR with GUID, quit Disk Utility, and you can then complete your System installation.

After the installation is complete and you have rebooted and walked through the Setup Assistant and logged in, shutdown, and only then install the drive internally.

Snow Leopard includes TRIM support for Apple installed SSD's in Snow Leopard 10.6.8, but no one else's SSD's. After you get the System installed, and the SSD installed, update the OS (I recommend you download the 10.6.8 Combo Update rather than using software update — its much faster to download and install the combo than the individual updates), you're going to want to enable TRIM. There are instructions on how to do it manually, but using TRIM Enabler has the exact same effect. There is some more tuning you can do to optimize Snow Leopard for SSD.

Also, do your friend a solid (since you screwed up a little ;). Create for her a Snow Leopard installer for recovery if neccesary, except don't use a crummy unreliable elcheepo USB thumb, use an indestructable SD card. The linked instructions are for a USB thumb, but the instructions for doing this with an SD Card are identical, except that you'll be using an SD Card instead of a USB Thumb. Then purchase this kit for her, and once you indeed have a recovery/installer SD Card made, remove the optical drive and install it in this, and get her a 750GB Momentus (*I wouldn't recommend the 1TB notebook drives... and newegg is out of stock of these 750GB drives, which is a strong indicator that something is up! And wow that's a nice price!). And since you volunteered and you've really jammed her up with this not getting the right SSD thing... may as well max out her RAM. You're really going to feel good about yourself, I can promise you that.

  • Or just return the Samsung disk and buy a Mac supported disk.
    – Rob
    Commented May 17, 2014 at 9:58
  • @Rob I suppose you're independently wealthy? That must be so completely awesome... I have much envy. Most of us are not, and do not enjoy being fleeced by vendors that sell identical hardware to Mac users as they do to Windows users after marking up the product. If they would simply sell the product unpartitioned, this wouldn't happen, but then they wouldn't be able to fleece Mac users, would they?
    – chillin
    Commented May 17, 2014 at 10:11
  • I wish I had more cash to spend TBH. No, I've got a Crucial Blade SSD which works perfectly. The easiest and cheapest way is to return your Samsung and buy a supported disk.
    – Rob
    Commented May 17, 2014 at 10:13
  • @Rob Oh, how I wish that were true. Anything that is sold as Mac supported that is identical to hardware that is Windows supported will be more expensive than the identical Windows product. Further, returning an item that has been opened and used is often more difficult and time consuming than driving down to OfficeMax and picking up a $10 USB/SATA adapter. But I kind of agree somewhat… don't buy Samnsung! I'm partial to SanDisk myself. No one else is, but I am.
    – chillin
    Commented May 17, 2014 at 10:16
  • Hi all, The solution was actually that the SATA cable connecting the original hard drive had come loose. The Samsung SSD works perfectly when formatted correctly now, and I have an old hard drive which I can put in place of the optical drive instead. FYI, the Samsung EVO 840 with the newest firmware does indeed work in a macbook pro. Commented May 18, 2014 at 23:32

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