I have a MacBook pro, 2009, 13 inch, Original Snow leopard OS.

Recently, I was experiencing that my MacBook some times froze or restarted automatically! I didn't care, and one day it did not start!

When booting, it does not proceed the first gray page, and circle keeps rotating, until after few minutes the circle changes to a NO Entry sign.

I used Opt key while starting the MacBook and booted into Bootcamp. It works fine, I have been using Bootcamp windows for 2-3 weeks now, and just twice I got the Blue Death Screen, out of sudden! I got the opportunity to back up all my files.

I used Opt-Cmd-P-R combination and reset the NVRAM. Also I pressed the D key while starting and made a Apple Hardware Test. The result was recognition of the following problem: 4HDD/11/40000004:SATA(0,0)

  1. Can some one please let me know what my problem is? If my hard disk is busted, how comes it works (almost) problem-less in bootcamp? Can the problem somehow be solved? For example if it is a bad sector on my hard disk, by isolating that area or so?

  2. I tried to boot from MacBook DVDs and try to clean install the OS again, but when I restart and press and hold C key, (while the OSX DVD which came by my laptop is inserted), nothing happens! I hear the noise that it tries to read the DVD, and that's it...it just goes on for ages and nothing happens (stuck to gray initial boot page). How can I have a clean installation of my OSX?

  3. Does my computer (Snow Leopard, MacBook Pro mid 2009), have a recovery hidden partition? How can I access that?

Your helpful comments are highly appreciated.


  • have you managed to resolve your issue? I have a similar problem, If you could update on your progress please, that would be very helpful
    – user35160
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 8:18

3 Answers 3



A common problem with the 13" early generation of the macbook pro. More than likely this is simply a hard drive CABLE which is a 14$ replacement at an apple store. Quick easy repair, and can usually be done while you wait. 9 out of 10 repairs for this issue were remedied by replacing the cable, and in turn we were able to save all of the data as the HD was not replaced. Best of luck.

  • So, based on the recommendation of you guys, I am thinking of heading to the shop. Since I am going to order online, can you guide me to know if the problem is from cable or from the hard disk? Given the conditions that I CAN boot into my NTFS (bootcamp windows) and it runs ok, and it only fails to recognise HFS partition, we can say that the CABLE is fine and the HDD is faulty, am I right? Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 0:35
  • Not necessarily Cable can make the hard drive act all wonkie from time to time. I'd replace both just to be sure. Commented Dec 6, 2012 at 14:28
  • Just an update to the question: I bought a new HDD and problem was solved. I formatted the old hard and use it as external hard. (not faulty since then). Only after about 1 year, the exact same problem occurred again. This time I changed the cable, and now the problem is gone. Am not sure, if the first time it was also the cable problem, or both cable and Hard had problems?! Anyway, I would suggest people to give priority in inspecting and changing the HDD cable, is things go south. Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 16:47

I'm sorry to tell you that your hard drive is dead (or at least is on the way out), and will need to be replaced. If you're not too confident, you can call Apple Care who should be able to recommend a local shop who can sell you a replacement hard drive and install it for you.

Alternatively, it's quite easy to replace the hard drive yourself. If you google it you'll see there's loads of articles and videos on how to do it (here's a good one to get you started). Apple even has instructions on how to change the hard drive in the macbook pro manual, which is definitely worth a read before you crack it open.

  • Dear @InfluenceJamie, What can be wrong with the hard disk? Can't it be repaired? I mean, I have been using the same hard disk on bootcamp windows on the same system for 3 weeks, and didn't experience anything serious (except two sudden windows Blue death screens)! I also could mange to back up ~60 GB of data from all my partitions (I have HFS, FAT32 and NTFS on my hard disk) and had no problem. So what is wrong with this hard disk?! Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 13:49
  • @cybergeek654: Your hard drive is failing intermittently; then the OS gets an error reading or writing to the drive, it'll generally try again, and (usually) get past the error. But as errors become more and more frequent, you'll see more and more problems the OS can't get past, and hence more and more crashes, damaged files, etc. The files on the disk might be repairable, but the repairing the disk itself is almost certainly impractical or impossible. Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 16:10
  • See my answer below. Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 16:20

I just replaced the hard drive in my MacBook Pro 13" 2009 and same problem again.

New out of box hard drive. Formatted and cloned. Booted first time great. Second time can't edit anything or trash or open some program's.

Could be a cable problem. As there should not be anything wrong with the new hard drive.

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