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I have a MacBook Pro 8,2 (15 inch, early 2011) running Yosemite (with encryption enabled). I have a strange problem that seems to relate to my boot drive (Samsung 840 Pro SSD).

The system runs great but when I try to reboot normally, it never boots. It simply waits several seconds and then comes up with the flashing question mark folder icon. If I hold down the option key to get the EFI password prompt and then the listing of attached drives, I can select the correct drive (there normally is only the one internal drive) and it seems to boot successfully 100% of the time.

I've seen on here that many people have trouble with the SATA cable on this model. Is it possible for my SATA cable to be bad, but have no discernible problems with normal operation or booting from the boot menu? If not, what else could cause this problem? Is there a recommended utility to check the cable?

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There is no software utility to check if a cable is defective.

your symptoms are odd and could point to an issue with NVRAM that booting into the boot selector allows you to force EFI to pick a boot device manually. I would zap the PRAM (boot holding COMMAND, OPTION, P, R) and let it bong three times.

Failing that try resetting the SMC (power off the Mac, Remove the battery, I tap the power button a couple of times but Apple says you don't have to, reinsert the battery and power on) and see if that does it.

Failing those two things I would make a Genius appointment at your Friendly Neighborhood Apple Store and see what they say.

They will diagnose it even if you are out of warranty and tell you how much it will cost to fix.

  • OK, I'll give these things a try tomorrow. With respect to the genius bar, they always give me trouble because I have a 3rd party drive. Any strategies to get them to work with me and acknowledge that this is unlikely to be related to the drive itself? (note that I am out of warranty) – Eric Marsh Jun 10 '15 at 21:50
  • I always hang on to the old drive/RAM if possible so I can put it back in when I take it in to Apple. So if it is possible image the current drive to the old one and swap it in before your trip to Apple... – Steve Chambers Jun 11 '15 at 0:52
  • Resetting the PRAM seems to have fixed the problem. Thanks! – Eric Marsh Jun 11 '15 at 21:45

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