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Model A1286. Released February 2011 / 2.0, 2.2, or 2.3 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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Cannot access the new SSD on startup

I recently added an SSD to my macbook pro and the old hard drive is in a case, with cable, attached externally. I attenpted to follow the procedure recommneded for transferring the OS to the new SSD from the old hard drive (procedure linked at the end of the SSD replacement) and held the keys during startup (without the external old hard drive attached), but all that came up on startup was a gray screen with a padlock symbol with a text bar beneath it, like it is asking for a password? This is not in the procedure. I added my password, no joy. I added all of my old passwords one by one, still the lock is there. So I booted up with the old hard drive (in the case) attached with a cable and the machine boots fine, but a notice comes up that the "disk I installed is not recognized" would I like to , "format", "ignore" or "eject". I assume that the internal (new) SSD is not formatted or recognized and everything is running off of the old hard drive (attached externally), so I am just "ignore"ing this for now, but now I have a new SSD that isn't getting used and the problems (slow slow slow running and startup) are still there because I am using the old hard drive, in a case, attache by a cable, to boot up and to run the OS.

How can I get the OS into the new SSD? Any help is greatly appreciated!

Update (06/13/2022)

I am adding the note at the end of the repair procedure, here. I followed "How to use the Internet Recovery" procedure and that is when I goit the lock and passowrd symbols, instead of the menu screens mentioned in the procedure steps.

This drive does not have an operating system (OS) installed. The iFixit guide, How to use Internet Recovery to install macOS, can help you install a fresh copy of macOS to a blank or corrupted SSD installed in your Apple device.

Thank you for any help!

Update (06/13/2022)

Here is the link to the repair Internet recovery procedure:

How to use Internet Recovery to install macOS to a new SSD

I am using High Sierra 10.13.6

Thank you again!

Update (06/13/2022)

@arbaman @danj Well! I had some family emergencies, and have been working with the old hard drive in the case, attached via USB cable for emails and such...Now I am at a place where I can dedicate some effort here. Thank you for your patience.

I got in touch with the MacStore I bought the computer from (so that I could get the reciept, then prove to Apple that the computer was mine and get the firmware password from Apple per the process that Apple outlines in its website) but, Apple does not keep passwords on computers this old but the store manager told me that Google is his frined and suggested that I look for fixes on-line, since the Apple support would not send me a non-Mac solution. COOL! The manager mentioned that one soltion he was looking at (while talking to me on the phone) said that removing on of the RAM sticks would allow a startup. I found this:


so will try it and get back to you.

Thank you

Отвечено! Посмотреть ответ У меня та же проблема

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what was the macOS version your older drive had and what macOS are you trying to install on the new SSD?


The old drive has OS 10.13.06 I was using it right up until I got the repair kit (for SSD upgrade), so it was "current" or at least was not OS Lion or one of the old old ones. I have not thought about which OS to install. I thought I would be able to copy the old disk OS to the new disk? If there is a better way, I am all ears!

Thank you!!!


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Internet recovery is offering you the older macOS release which has issues with the newer macOS's This gets into the file system structure from the older HFS+ vs APFS, macOS 10.13 is the edge case! when the file system flipped between the two. A HDD which was upgraded year to year would still be HFS+ unless you altered the file system within Disk Utility. A SSD drive would be magically upgraded to APFS.

Now you need to work around what Internet recovery does as its not going to properly prep the drive (as you encountered)

But! Before we get into the OS aspects we need to deal with one more hardware fix! This series (all 2011 13/15" systems) where sold with SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) HDD's and the HD SATA cable was only qualified for SATA II throughput. Later systems got a SATA III (6.0 gb/s) HDD but it still wasn't pushing the throughput of the HD cable that hard. Todays SSD's on the other hand are like a firehose! and the older cables just can't support the throughput causing serious errors which causes the system to chew on its self overheating in the process!

To add more to this Apple has some problems with the cables! Your Hard Drive Cable Is A Ticking Time Bomb and the roughness of the uppercase didn't help matters as the machining was not that good. So you need to upgrade the cable and apply a single strip of electricians tape as described to help protect the cable from chaffing on the aluminum. Here's the needed cable MacBook Pro 15" Unibody (Mid 2009-Late 2011) Hard Drive Cable grab a new one before its too late as once they are gone thats it! And here's the guide MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Early 2011 Hard Drive/IR Sensor Cable Replacement

But before you put it in... we have one more issue! Many people kill the new cable in putting it in! There are fine foil wires within the cable and creasing the cable damages them! We want a smooth radius bend where the cable needs to bend around a corner. I use an old BIC pen ink straw as my forming brake (no ink inside) as the diameter of the straw is the limit of the curve we want, nothing tighter!

OK back to the OS once you've replaced the cable!

Here we need to make a bootable OS installer thumb drive, find a 32GB drive which you can use (make sure nothing is on it) Using Disk Utility we want to format it for GUID and a Journaled File System (now called Mac OS Extended). Then we want to download from here How to get old versions of macOS the macOS you want to use (and is supported on your system. Technically macOS Mojave 10.14.x) Then following this guide How to create a bootable installer for macOS

Now with your bootable OS installer you should be able to boot-up your system and using the Disk Utility within it format your internally mounted SSD and install the OS.

Once it is setup you can then migrate your old HDD's stuff over to your new drive using a SATA to USB adapter or HD case to hold your drive (USB, FireWire or Thunderbolt). This is what I use USB 3.0 (5Gbps) Adapter Cable for 2.5" SATA Drives to USB-A

MacBook Pro 15" Unibody (Mid 2009-Late 2011) Hard Drive Cable Изображение


MacBook Pro 15" Unibody (Mid 2009-Late 2011) Hard Drive Cable


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Dan, That is exactly what I needed to hear. I am comfortable with replacing the cable with your hints and (I am sure are there) the comments in the noted repair for the cable. Thank you. I would rather fix this now than loose everything later. I will get the cable and a thumb drive and follow the instructions.


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If I understood right and a padlock appears on a gray screen, it means you have locked your logic board to your old hard drive to protect it with Firmware security. See the steps in following comments please. Then you can follow all the steps @danj provided.

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@arbaman - I missed the Lock Icon! My Bad!

Here's the details on the Padlock Icon If your Mac doesn't start up all the way Just plug in the firmware password to continue.


@arbaman and @danj - The FileVault is already disabled. The "turn ON FileVault" box is grayed out. At the bottom of the Security and Privacy window it says "FileVaul is turned off for the disk "MacOS".


@landstream01 - The Padlock Icon is the firmware password screen, not FileVault - No worries!


@danj Thank you. Looks like I have to find my reciept and go to the Mac Store to get them to unlock that. I have used 6 passwords that I have changed over the life of this computer and have kept them all on a scrap of paper in my wallet. None of them has unlocked the gray screen lock icon, though the System Preferences lock icon (in the lower left corner of the System Perferenecs window) does unlock with the latest password. I am confounded.


@landstream01 - This gets a bit confusing! The padlock password we where talking about was what you are greeted to (give this a read Set a firmware password on your Mac it is not your user account or Apple ID password! It does sound like you did find the firmware password (or one is not set) if you got to system preferences! That lock in system preferences is for changing of the settings and that is your user account password. Your Apple ID should only be used in the Apple Stores to buy apps o content and email if you use Apples.

Yep! Three different passwords which unlock different things.


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