I had a problem when I turned on my Macbook Pro, I would just get a flashing "?" when I booted up.

I decided to grab a recovery from another mac I have, I put this onto a memory stick and my laptop went into recovery mode etc.. I then went into Disk Utility only to find out that it wasn't actually recognising my hard drive..

I then tried another hard drive from another macbook and it wasn't picking up that hard drive either.

NOTE: I placed a CD a few weeks ago and it didn't like it, caused the fan to go crazy and I had to remove the CD through a command in terminal.

I tried cleaning the wire that runs from the Macbook to the hard drive and this picked up the hard drive at boot-up but then when I restarted, it went back to the same old flashing "?" mark.

Could it therefore be the wire that is running from the hard drive to the main-board? If so, would this be expensive to fix (From Apple directly) or would it be cheaper for me to purchase online and fit it myself?

1 Answer 1


Based on the fact that another known-good drive did not work, it sounds like questioning the cable is the next logical step. You could confirm what you already know by installing your hard drive in your friend's computer and booting it, thus proving the Partition Table/Master Boot Record/Apple Partition Map are in working order.

It sounds like plenty of other people are having problems with their hard drive cables too.

You can always buy an enclosure for your drive and attempt to boot from USB, ultimately proving that there is nothing else it could be. It's a tad cheaper than the replacement part.

Good luck.

  • hey, thanks for the reply. OK so the situation got even more confusing.. My friend tried to put his hard drive back into his macbook and got the same as I did.. So I put my hard drive into his macbook and it registers it fine.. If I put his hard drive in his macbook, disk utility won't even pick it up.. Any ideas? Thanks you
    – Phorce
    Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 2:38
  • That's weird. So this is the status: Your laptop your hard drive: does not work. Your laptop his hard drive: works. His laptop, your hard drive: works. His laptop his hard drive: does not work. This tells me that both hard drives and both laptops work, just not with each other. If you can confirm this fact then you eliminate the possibility that it is a hardware issue. Just checking: you both have your data backed up, right? Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 2:50
  • basically, his hard drive won't work in his, but will work in mine, however because he has an old Mac I cant even install lion on "my" hard drive (I feel bad!!) So what I've thought is, getting a new lead, and a new hard drive for my macbook and buy a enclosure and boot his from USB and copy it over to the hard drive on his macbook, think it will work? BTW, I've had 3 hard drove failures this month.. Been an expensive month for me ha!
    – Phorce
    Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 3:10
  • You've been having multiple failures of your internal hard drive for your Mac this month? That sounds like there is a systemic problem. What year was your Mac made? Was it the aluminum one with the standalone mouse pushbutton? Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 3:16

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