Replacing Hard Drive, Freezing on Recovery-- Early 2011 Macbook Pro


RickM

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Hey all, I'm going to start from the beginning:

Last weekend I was watching a video on my Macbook Pro (Early 2011, 15 inch, 8 GB of RAM, can't quite remember what OS but I think it was High Sierra) and it suddenly went black and that was that - I haven't been able to get it to boot since. I tried recovery mode, safe boot, emptying NVRAM, it would just boot to a blank screen.

I went to the Apple store to get it diagnosed, the lady ran several tests. She said she could tell by the "lines" she saw on the screen (I don't quite see what she's talking about) that the logic board was starting to go, however when we ran the diagnostics everything on the screen came back clear and good, including the graphic card. Also worth noting that I'm aware this particular model/year had faulty boards that would often go bad -- my original was replaced, along with basically every other internal component, back in 2013, so these aren't the original parts.

Despite the diagnostics saying all that was good, the machine still wouldn't boot for us, so she said it was probably my hard drive. After looking up online the simplicity of replacing the drive with an SSD, and the relatively cheap cost of that, I decided to give it a shot.

For reference, I bought the following drive:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0781Z7Y3S/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

And followed these replacement guides:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIgA03GOiUw
https://www.cnet.com/how-to/upgrade-your-macbook-install-ssd-hard-drive/

I put the drive in just as indicated, no problem. Booted the computer up into Internet recovery (Cmd+R) and got the spinning globe. It spun around, did it's download bar, and then the familiar Apple logo shows up screen. It will stay there temporarily with a little status circle spinning beneath, and then the logo will disappear, the screen will go solid white, and within about a minute I can hear the fans start firing up on full speed inside.

I left it sit there for a good 30 minutes before finally shutting it back down. I've tried this several times to no success. I even took the drive back out, formatted it, and placed it back inside, to no avail. When I boot up without doing a recovery mode or anything like that, it ends up on a screen with a folder icon that has a question mark inside of it, I assume because it can't find anything to boot into.

So, any advice on what might be going wrong or anything else I can try? Obviously worst case scenario is that another piece of the computer really is dead, but I thought I'd ask and see if there's something I'm missing or might be able to try to help the computer out/get this new drive working.

Thanks for any help!
 
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Cory Cooper

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Hello and welcome.

Sounds like the diagnosis was correct. Command-R starts in standard Recovery Mode. Try Command-Option-R to startup in Internet Recovery mode.

Also, do you have any other Macs that you could use to make a OS X/macOS installer flash drive with?

C
 
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RickM

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I tried the Cmd+Opt+R as well due to a suggestion I got on another forum I posted on. It does exactly the same thing as above - even just doing the Cmd+R was sending me into internet recovery mode.

I could make an installer using my work computer, but at this point I'm thinking the diagnosis was incorrect. After posting this thread I went and actually hooked up my old hard drive to my work computer and it spins fine. I was able to remove all my files from it instead of resorting to downloading my cloud backup.
 

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