MacBook Pro mid- 2009 will NOT startup with SSD
UPDATED, DETAILED QUESTION
I have done everything a tech, of 22 years, can do on this one. I am in need of new thoughts, and ideas. I hope you can help. I try to help keep e-waste to a minimum, and assist low-income Mac users afford an older MacBook Pro, that is still worthy of use with modifications developed to the OS by smarter people than me. I also assist our underpaid and overworked teachers to afford a totally refurbished MacBook Pro, at my cost for parts. I'm not in this for profit, and I rarely post for help on here. I am more likely to add ideas to help others.
That said, here is my frustrating issue. Thanks, in advance for your help. Any suggestions encouraged. Sometimes, it's the simple things we miss, like changing the selection for the startup drive in system preferences (which I have done).
My current situation, after doing everything that should enable any system drive with efi, to successfully start this MacBook pro. Another fact, that I may have not mentioned. It starts fine with any rotational drive, with efi signature, completing the exact same build procedures, used with an SSD build. This is what is leading me to believe that it must be one of these issues. But, I need assistance on firmware, and advice of all types, please.
Which of these do you believe is causing a MacBook Pro, mid-2009, C2D at 2.53ghz, 4g ram, 240g ssd from booting from any SSD device, and showing the “prohibitive" circle with slash icon. NO APPROVED EFI version found supporting this system year/cinfiguration. (Not flashing folder, which indicates no usable system at all, or device found)
- Damaged or missing firmware that supports booting from an SSD device.
- Intermittent communications with the bootable ssd device. I.E., a bad/damaged/shorted drive cable, This would also explain the Slash-0/Apple Logo flashing. It establishes communications for a split second, then drops off, and repeats without booting. 3rd new cable being tried, today. I also lined the bottom of the chassis with insulated electrical tape to shield the cable. I have read on these forums, and others, that this can be problematic with improperly shielded drive cables. I wanted to eliminate this as a factor. Unlikely, due to rotational drive working perfectly
- Bad or damaged SATA system board connector. Unlikely, or the rotational drive would not be seen, or enabled. A Logic Board connector, in my experience, is either working or has failed. I've never experienced intermittent drive connector errors from a logic board. I have used a cotton swab and 91% IP to thoroughly clean the connector to eliminate any issues from a faulty connector, or debris blocking a contact. The connector is in perfect condition, and the cable “snaps" onto the connector without any obstruction or unnecessary force.
- Unsupported Sata III drive. I've tried 3 different drives, all of these brands (Kingston, Crucial, Adata) have all worked, in the past, with 2009 models, including this C2D 1286, without issue. The current, installed, Crucial 240g SSD is built properly and will start properly if used with a USB to Sata drive cable, and using the boot menu (option key at startup) to select the drive as the efi (boot) device. It runs at USB 2 speed, however. But, does operate normally, and boots normally.
- Back to firmware. If I hold down the shift key during boot, to attempt a safe boot procedure, the SSD works and boots. But, not in safe mode, with the red “Safe Mode Enabled" indication in the menu bar. Safe mode bypasses the SIP check, and software version detection. Why is this method working? Bad, incorrect, or damaged firmware version? That would be my diagnostic answer, after hours and days of trial and error.
Now, the biggest question for the brilliance of the gathered experience of this site. WHERE DOES ONE FIND THIS FIRMWARE? It may be 2 files. One would be firmware to erase and update/rewrite the SMC. One would be firmware updated to erase and rebuild EFI, to allow SSD to be used in the EFI list of approved device signatures.
If someone knows where these files are located and the proper version for this year/model (without bricking the logic board), and how to properly install, I believe this would be invaluable to users who come across this same issue going forward.
I have done all of the lengthy dignostician-related tasks. Now, I am out of ideas and sincerely hope you see the error in my description that I must be missing?
It must have happened, in the past, to someone - somewhere.
This post should now contain every detail of troubleshooting. I would appreciate any help and guidance.
Well, I'm still struggling. I've never seen something so stubborn and frustrating.
I still have the same issue. I went with a PNY drive, this time, because the specs said backward compatibility with Sata II.
Same issue. I checked the cable, removed the tape on the case to prevent shorting. I checked for pinches or sharp creases, and it's all good. It's so sporadic, and unpredictable. Is it still the SSD? Is it the logic board connector? If so, why do rotational work? 12 years of rebuilding, this one has to be the most frustrating.
I guess I will try an Evo, and then search Ebay for a replacement logic board. I have just run out of reasons, aside from the full Monty - the logic board.
Is there any software to totally clear the SMC and EFI so it starts fresh with an install from the OS build? Maybe, there is corruption at that level? I'm reaching now. I also thought of connecting it via a caddy in the DVD slot, and use that Sata connection?
I'm ready to try anything. Thanks.
This is the drive I have always used, Kingston. 240. No issues, ever. Backward compatibility.