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enter image description hereI have a MacBook Pro 8,1 (Early 2011) / 8GB (2x4GB RAM) /256 SSD and was running El Captain. One morning I couldn't boot it up.

After doing the Apple Hardware Test which showed faulty RAM I put back my old 4GB (2x2GB) RAM sticks, retested and had no errors. I had all my data on an external drive so I did a complete restore back to Lion 10.7.5. After installing the system, the Spinning wheel of death appears very frequently, but I put that down the indexing which had a remaining time of 5 days. After rebooting the system once, I couldn't boot it again.

I have done the hardware test multiple times since then and everything checks out fine. I have installed Lion twice since then also, but if I do a restart it never boots further than the grey Apple logo and spinning wheel like the very first time. I have tried all start-up options. Safe-mode never boots. At the moment I am trying the "Choose Startup Disk" option and choose the partition but I only see the wheel of death.

After doing a verbose boot, the system did infact reboot after approximately 3 hours. However, even just entering my login password brings back the spinning wheel of death which runs for a couple of minutes so that the mac is effectively useless and then "kernel panic".

How can I diagnose what is going on here? Processor, Permissions? Other problems?

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    Several questions here...do you have 16GB of RAM or 8GB? Your old sticks, do you have 2GB or 4GB? Your use of the 2x/4x is incorrect. Next, if you detect a RAM error, what prompted you to reinstall macOS? If you couldn't boot up, as you say in the second sentence, how did you run Disk Utility as you say in your third? – Allan Feb 14 '18 at 11:22
  • (UPDATE: Verbose mode triggers a kernel panic "panic cpu 0 caller 0xfff...et c) – Robert Buckley Feb 14 '18 at 11:38
  • Sorry...I updated the question to include the answers – Robert Buckley Feb 14 '18 at 13:16
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    You did that backward. AHT is your first procedure; reinstall is what you do out of desperation. This is like checking for a heart attack after you've done the heart transplant because you felt a pain in your chest which turned out to be indigestion. That said, how are you installing Lion? Do you have a USB installer? If not, can you get access to a Mac to make one? – Allan Feb 14 '18 at 14:03
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    Download the upgrade to El Capitan or High Sierra, make a bootable USB installer and install that. – Allan Feb 14 '18 at 15:33
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Solution to my problem was to buy a new internal Sata cable. I could have spared myself a whole lot of trouble if I had done that at the start.

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