: Macbook not recogonizing harddrive


Colton
Feb 10th, 2008, 08:12 PM
I bought my macbook in the summer of 2006 and last summer the harddrive went on it, after buying another one I got the same result.All I can tell is on startup without the install disc in, I simply get the question mark folder. With the startup disc in I can make it to the OS install point where you select where you would like to install the OS to It only shows the startup disc and network options. Any Ideas what could be going on? I've tried everything that I could come across on a google search.

Malco
Feb 10th, 2008, 09:20 PM
Use Disk Utilities on the instal disc

monokitty
Feb 10th, 2008, 09:31 PM
New hard drives need to be first formatted before they can be used. If the hard drive doesn't show up in Disk Utility either, then either your first hard drive was never defective (read: different issue), or the new hard drive wasn't installed properly.

Colton
Feb 10th, 2008, 10:12 PM
The first harddrive doesn't show up either in the disc utility, and when booted with the original HD the flashing question mark folder shows up.

cap10subtext
Feb 10th, 2008, 11:18 PM
Not sure I understand. You are saying you've installed the new drive. You put in your OS disk and boot holding C. The in the top left menu you open Disk Utility and there is just nothing there in the left hand column but your DVD drive and the DVD?

Colton
Feb 11th, 2008, 11:43 AM
yeah I didn't explain it very clearly, i'll try it again. I thought the original harddrive was going to quit working becuase it was making werid noises. so I bought another harddrive and tried it out, the machine just acted like there was no harddrive even connected when I tried to install the OS on to it. So I put the old harddrive back into it because at least it would show up when I tried to start the machine. But after I reinstalled the old harddrive, the computer again just acted like there wasen't even a harddrive even in the slot. I think thats a bit more clear for everybody, and thank you to the people who've attempted to help me so far.

cap10subtext
Feb 11th, 2008, 12:12 PM
Okay, I think I agree with previous posts that you need to format the new hard drive, there's no way for your mac to recognize it if it's brand new.

Install your new drive, and hold the option key after you hear the startup chime. You will probably be greeted with the same flashing ? but just insert your OSX DVD or the grey startup disk that came with your mac. If it doesn't recognize the DVD as a startup disk you may have to manually restart your computer at this point with control-command-power.

This time with the disk in the drive hold the 'c' key after you hear the startup chime. It'll ask you if you want to install a new OS, cancel out of that and Go up to file DISK UTILITY. When you go into disk utility you will see your new hard drive appear by brand name in the left hand column of devices. Select it. Click the Erase tab and choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Click Erase in the bottom right.

Voila!
Then you should be able to install your fresh OS by restarting again holding down the 'c' key.

chas_m
Feb 11th, 2008, 03:21 PM
It could be that you're not seating the drive correctly. don't force anything.

krs
Feb 11th, 2008, 03:42 PM
Okay, I think I agree with previous posts that you need to format the new hard drive, there's no way for your mac to recognize it if it's brand new.

Install your new drive, and hold the option key after you hear the startup chime. You will probably be greeted with the same flashing ? but just insert your OSX DVD or the grey startup disk that came with your mac. If it doesn't recognize the DVD as a startup disk you may have to manually restart your computer at this point with control-command-power.

This time with the disk in the drive hold the 'c' key after you hear the startup chime. It'll ask you if you want to install a new OS, cancel out of that and Go up to file DISK UTILITY. When you go into disk utility you will see your new hard drive appear by brand name in the left hand column of devices. Select it. Click the Erase tab and choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Click Erase in the bottom right.

Voila!
Then you should be able to install your fresh OS by restarting again holding down the 'c' key.

From the OPs description, the problem is not the formatting but either the hard drive connection itself as chas_m eludes to or some controller/power issue interfacing to the hard drive.
Note that even the original hard drive which obviously is formatted, does not show up in disk utility.

I don't own a MacBook so I can't be more specific. Does the laptop hard drive drive just slide in?

Colton
Feb 11th, 2008, 04:38 PM
thanks for the help so far, i'm gonna try cap10's suggestion either today or thursday whenever I get the time. and yeah, the harddrive just slides into place beside the battery

cap10subtext
Feb 12th, 2008, 01:32 AM
Chas_m and krs are right that it could be an installation issue. True the swap is dead easy but the instructions I used to replace my drive failed to mention you need to transfer the metal plate from the old drive to the new (sounds obvious but I almost missed that step because I was nervous and excited about my new drive). Let us know what you find out.

Colton
Feb 12th, 2008, 09:07 AM
yeah, I knew to swap the bracket the first time I tried changing the HD, anyways, i'll let you all know how it goes, thanks so far.

eMacMan
Feb 12th, 2008, 12:52 PM
If this was a 3.5" drive I would suggest double checking to be sure it was set to Master (not slave). Unfortunately I have no idea if the smaller drives even have this option.

Colton
Feb 15th, 2008, 12:51 PM
Its 2.5" drive. So I tried the new SATA drive and the same thing happens, the drive doesn't show up in the disk utilities window, this is starting to get on my nerves personally

cap10subtext
Feb 16th, 2008, 01:08 AM
Does the hard drive sound like it's starting up when you turn on the computer or does it stay perfectly quiet?

Colton
Feb 16th, 2008, 01:27 AM
It's silent on startup, I have a sneaking suspicion that either the receiver for the HD is bad, or theres a bad connection inside.

exegesis48
Jan 22nd, 2009, 08:07 PM
I had this same problem last night on my Macbook. I installed a new 2.5" 320gb SATA drive only to discover that it was not being recognized for installation.

I checked the System Profiler within the Leopard installation DVD and it actually had the hard drive listed under the SATA tab, but when i opened disk utility, it wasn't showing up.

I ended up being able to fix it through an unothordox manner (after trying everything else i could think of). I took a USB SATA hard drive enclosure and connected the SATA drive to it and then connected it to the macbook via USB. I think did a full Leopard install on the drive while connected via USB and once the install was complete i put it in the macbook and it booted right up.

Today i had a hiccup though and the macbook was unresponsive in what appeared to be sleep mode. I hard booted the machine though and things are working once again. I'll try to keep you up to date if this is just a one off thing, or if there's actually something wrong.

Definitely wasn't as intuitive as I expected Apple Products to be.

monokitty
Jan 22nd, 2009, 08:13 PM
Definitely wasn't as intuitive as I expected Apple Products to be.

Apple products are intuitive when they're not broken. ;) You should have been able to format the hard drive and install an OS onto it while the drive was internally installed. If not, there's evidently something wrong with the MacBook or your new drive.

GlassOnion
Jan 22nd, 2009, 11:17 PM
or the two drives are bad...

CanadaRAM
Jan 22nd, 2009, 11:35 PM
Or the installation was improperly done. I have seen people dislodge a piece of plastic or rubber in the drive bay, which then prevented the SATA connector from making contact properly. I have also seen people attempt to insert the drive upside down.

chas_m
Jan 23rd, 2009, 03:38 PM
Or the installation was improperly done. I have seen people dislodge a piece of plastic or rubber in the drive bay, which then prevented the SATA connector from making contact properly. I have also seen people attempt to insert the drive upside down.

I'm sure some people are laughing when they read that, but I have seen this as well.