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. Help with installing an SSD into a Mac ? Answered

Hello,

From a no knowledge base I have taken out the dead hard drive on my friend's early 2009 iMac, using youtube as a guide, and replaced it with an SSD.

I used a crucial MX300 and it is totally compatible.

I have El Capitan on a flash drive

When I started up the mac it showed a question mark.

When I started it up with the flash drive in, and held option, it does not show the new hard drive in disk utility., just the flash drive.

I read around and it seems that the new SSD should be formatted before installation.

Lots of people seem to have this problem; I read a small answer where someone said that you could connect another mac to get into the iMac's disc utility and somehow format the new SSD;  they did not go into detail but it seemed to suggest that the letter T was used on start up.

 Or is the only way to this to remove the SSD and use an adaptor and connect it to a mac to format it? 

Any advice or links will be gratefully received.

thank you

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Vyger

Best Answer 2 years ago

The reason I mentioned the drive maybe not being the problem is that it is unusual for a drive to fail from software being installed on it. Now it can scramble the data and make it unreadable but that is not a drive failure and can sometimes be fixed by erasing the drive with a program that overwrites everything. By the way this is typical of what virus's do, damage the FAT or MBR so that it becomes unreadable. But a normal drive failure is to start having lots of errors first. They can die instantly. but usually there are warning signs first and the SMART will sometimes give you advanced warning of looming failure. And yes it is unusual for cables to go bad but I have seen it. Kinked or pinched or stressed they can come apart.

By the way, I have not worked on Apple systems but have done a lot with everything else. I don't have a lot of confidence with customer support. Often their goal is to resolve your problem with as little effort as possible. I know Dell's solution is often to just have people restore to the factory settings which erases ALL their data. But Dell doesn't care about your information, they get the computer back running the way it was when it was purchased and that is what they feel is OK.

There are free disk utilities that might be able to help. There is one called the ultimate boot cd.

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

This is a compilation of all kinds of free utilities including a lot of things for hard drives. It might be able to give you insight into the problem. Some if the stuff on it is a older, but then that is what you want for working on an older machine.

I did a Google search for utilities for MAC and found a few but most of them are for purchase.

A very good program is Acronis disk director and they do have a MAC version.

I fell in love with Acronis when it did things that Microsoft said could not be done. Like resize partitions on a Windows server, and have used it ever since. You might be able to find a free older version

Another place you can look is

http://download.cnet.com/s/utilities/mac/

cnet has lots of stuff and it often works. That link is for MAC utilities.

So there might be something there you can use. It might be able to access the drive. There is a possibility that you won't have to remove it again. I often don't put things back together until they work right. Yep, cables hanging out and drives laying next to the machine. But experience has taught me that the last thing you do is put it back together.

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FriendOfHumanityVyger

Answer 2 years ago

Dear Vyger,

Thank you for all of your help; I will explore these options.

FOH

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Vyger

2 years ago

By the way, there are some other possibilities. The drive controler in the computer might have gone bad. The BIOS might have become corrupted and need to be flashed, if it is possible, The BIOS might need to be flashed to the latest version. You could have a bad cable. Did you test the old drive to see if it is really bad? Because if the drive is not bad then its the computer.

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FriendOfHumanityVyger

Answer 2 years ago

Hello, Vyger,

Thanks for the replies.

For the moment, I have to assume that it was the hard drive.

The trouble started when she installed El Capitan and the thing never recovered . .. she rang Apple support, described the problem and they said that it was a dead hard drive.

I didn't test the old drive because we just took what Apple said at face value and did not even know that cables can go bad.

I did try booting the original disc up again from an El Capitan flash drive but it would not entertain the notion.

When you talk about using a clone, I assume that you mean taking the sad out and putting it in an enclosure and hooking it up to an existing system.

We will probably have to do that but is there anyway to format the disc in situ, even though it does not show up. . . i'm clasping at straws because we don't fancy taking it apart again.

thanks

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Vyger

2 years ago

You could try cloning an existing system onto the drive and then once it is in place customize it for yourself. I don't know how hard it is to change the identity and such on a Mac, which you would have to do but making a clone would at least give you a place to start.

Many of the SSD companies have cloning software to download on their web sites for free. Cloning is often what people want a new drive for.