I, after some adventure (as described here), have successfully booted OS X installation from a brand new SSD by Samsung (EVO 850). I am running OS X 10.11.6 (Trim is not enabled). My Mac is mid-2009 MacBook pro.

When installing, I have restored a Time Machine state. Now, whenever I try to access large files on the disk, they fail to be copied with an error message -36: saying that the source file "cannot be read or written". I am able to successfully copy files from the backup disk or from the internet to the SSD, but once there, they cannot be copied further (they can be moved, but this is just a bookkeeping operation, no data is read then). So it seems the problem occurs when the OS tries to actually read something besides FS entries.

The error persists both in Finder and Terminal.

The SSD is brand new. It has an uptime of 7 hrs and 41 power cycles. It comes clean with Disk Utility - no problems detected, but I guess this tool does not perform disk read/write integrity test, just checks FS entries. Am I right?

So what options do I have here?

  • AFAIK Samsung provides test utilities for their disks. (often for Windows only however). Do you have the possibility to test the drive with it, e. g. booting from a USB?
    – n1000
    Feb 11, 2017 at 11:51
  • 1
    A common problem with MBPs is the Sata cable leading to all sorts of issues. You may want to research that if the disk turns out to be ok.
    – n1000
    Feb 11, 2017 at 11:54
  • I am installing a linux on an old laptop with that disk. However I till take a while (this is installation over internet with internet access provided by a cellular network...)
    – user68358
    Feb 11, 2017 at 12:17

1 Answer 1


Judging from the symptoms, I would test the following:

  1. Check macOS. For instance, boot from the Recovery partition or create a second partition with a virgin system and try to copy the files causing issues.

  2. Check the SSD.

    1. Check SMART info of the SSD.

    2. Best remove the SSD and place it either in an external (USB) enclosure or into a different machine. Then test your drive from there. You can also boot from an external drive by pressing alt during boot.

    3. Also try to get hold of a Windows PC or boot from Bootcamp and use the Samsung your SSD with the Samsung Magician. However, keep in mind your SATA cable may be the culprit (see next step).

  3. Check SATA cable: The SATA cables of the unibody MacBook Pros are known to cause all kinds of issues. In case your SSD proves to be ok, consider replacing the cable.

  • I think this is something along these lines. It will take me several days to buy the necessary parts/get access to other machine. But I have just installed linux on that SSD. It did not give ma a single error once. I have copied several tens of GB (and used binary comparison of file contents, computed md5sum of copies). It seems SSD in a ancient Linux laptop (Dell Latitude E6400) works well. And the machine became cool to use again :) So point 2 is done. I still want to make this SSD work in the Mac, so I will try to borrow HDD SATA cable, before buying one (the go aroung $50 right?)
    – user68358
    Feb 11, 2017 at 17:46
  • I will buy enclosure as you have suggested and give it a try.
    – user68358
    Feb 11, 2017 at 17:47
  • @Lacek I really hope you can solve the issue. It is still a great machine after all.
    – n1000
    Feb 11, 2017 at 19:44
  • I just had an issue with my Samsung 850 EVO. I thought this was a hard drive failure, so I sent it to Samsung (they have a 5 year warranty on this type of SSD). They said nothing was wrong, so I now assume from the similar stories I've heard that the SATA cable is the issue. Apparently, the sleep LED on the right of the laptop is attached to the SATA cable. If it doesn't turn on when your MacBook sleeps, the SATA cable might be the issue.
    – Rajiv
    Feb 11, 2017 at 19:58
  • Do you know if various cables available on e.q Amazon and ebay seriously differ from each other? Somehow I do no believe there are tens of manufacturers of these products (more likely they all come from one of two sources). Is there a "best" way to get replacement cables?
    – user68358
    Feb 14, 2017 at 13:01

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