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13" aluminum unibody, 2.0 or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

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HDD not detected, SATA port dead?

Hello everybody,

the main SATA port in my dear old warrior doesn’t detect any hard drives anymore.

In the optical drive there is the system ssd, so no problems booting.

already swapped hard-drives and tried different cables, but no chance to get any signal, (the mechanical drives start when they’re connected, but no data)

Has anybody experienced / solved the same or similar problems?

Any ideas how to continue?

Thanks in advance

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Your systems series: MacBook5,1

If you look up your exact system you'll see your systems HD SATA port is only SATA II (3.0 Gb/s).

You do need to make sure the drive you put in is able to run at this slower I/O speed. Most drives today are fixed SATA III (6.0 Gb/s)

Can you give us the make and models of your drives you are trying to install so we can aim you to be best choice.

If you are seeing a folder Icon with a blinking folder you then need to install the OS.


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You may want to try a different drive. There might be a problem on the drive and not the SATA port. You may want to replace SATA the cable as well since it seems detachable

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I’ll give you a few tips. Try those HDD’s via a portable case with USB to the machine. If they work, then open the Mac and check the motherboard for corrosion or burnt components. If you do find anything, change the components using a schematic. Then clean it all well with isopropyl alcohol. It could also be a data line that has fried and might need a jumper cable to some component on the board. I strongly recommend that you Install OSX on your DVD to SATA adapter, since an SSD is much faster, then configure it to run from there as follows:

Reboot the Mac and after the startup chime hold down the OPTION key during boot until you see the boot selection menu. Click the external volume to boot from it.

External drives typically are shown with an orange icon, with their interface printed on the icon itself. Similarly, CD’s, DVD’s, and the SSD via DVD to SATA adapter are shown with a disc icon.

If you can’t fix the issue on the board, then you will need to start using the HDD via USB or the SSD via DVD adapter with a portable case from now on. You choose and can even change it at any time.

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I hope this helps you. Let us know!

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THANKS for the details @funkaddict . that really got me further. at the moment booting is just fine because all of the system is in running on SSD via DVD to SATA.

@the12yrfixer 3 different cables didn’t help / all drives working via usb , so probably ill have to go down solder alley.

my soldering skills are just good enough to fix a headphone jack, not sure if i can perform that without any risk

do you think a intensive/investive repair like that is still worth it? i have doubts if i want to continue using that machine

ill take a look on the logic board and see if theres visible damage, keeping you posted

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julianschenk será eternamente grato(a).
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