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I have an old MacBook Pro (2010) whose hard drive was long dead. I recently had to replace the hard drive in my 2012 MacBook Pro; it wasn't dead yet, but had a bad block. I use the laptop for work, so I bought a new one. Anyway, I decided to try and install the old, bad block drive in the old MacBook 2010.

I got the folder/flashing question mark, so tried option key at startup. That gives me the Recovery partition, which I can select. However, once I do so, I'm back to the folder/question mark. Wondering if because the drive in question had OS X Mavericks on it, it's not playing nice with the 2010 MacBook Pro's architecture/motherboard/etc?

Anybody have any ideas as to what I can do here? Would like to give the laptop to my daughter if I can get it working.

  • Can you tell us a bit more about what was wrong with the hard drive? A single bad block shouldn't be a huge issue, unless it had critical data in it I guess. – Alistair McMillan Aug 10 '14 at 0:22
  • Thanks for answering Alistair! The drive wasn't dead, but a scan at the Apple store said it failed several tests. They told me it would still work but was likely on the road to failing. because I use the laptop for work I felt it'd be better to be safe than sorry. So I replaced the drive with a larger, faster drive. So since I had it sitting around, I thought why not try and install it in my older MacBook? That's what's not working now... I can see that drive at startup mgr, along with a recovery partition. But when I select either, I get the folder/question mark. – Joe Natoli Aug 11 '14 at 14:06
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The differing architecture shouldn't be a problem. If you installed Mavericks on a 2012 MacBook that drive should boot okay on a 2010 MacBook. If you are unable to boot into OS X and unable to boot into the Recovery then it suggests both are corrupted in some way.

Internet Recovery might be an option, but unfortunately for Internet Recovery to work on a 2010 MacBook it would have needed to have this early 2012 EFI Firmware ROM update installed. If your MacBook isn't offering that option then I assume that means it didn't receive this update.

Two options are, to create a USB installer for Mavericks and try reinstalling Mavericks on that same hard drive, or to buy another hard drive and install Mavericks using those instructions. I'd lean towards the latter, as if the drive failed a Hardware Test that isn't a good sign. Modern hard drive are designed to cope with a certain amount of bad blocks. If the drive has enough bad blocks that it failed a Hardware Test I just wouldn't trust it.

BTW There is also this free tool to simplify the process of creating a USB installer for Mavericks called DiskMaker X.

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