So your MacBook Pro broke?

Happen to have a 2009-2011 -ish MacBook Pro? You know, the one with Core2Duo CPU, 13″ screen, DDR3 memory?

If it suddenly stops booting to the OS X and starts showing you the folder icon you might be suffering from a typical problem that plagues nearly all of them at some point – the SATA cable.

The cable can exhibit two kinds of problems;

  • the connector at the hard drive end might have bad connection; you can use tape or something to make it tighter, but this isn’t usually a long-term solution
  • the whole cable might be bad; for some reason, probably due to heat and movement induced stress, the whole cable will fail.

Solution? Open up the “unibody” and swap in a new one. If you live in Europe, you can get a new one from eBay at around 30 eur. In the US even cheaper. Just remember to get the correct cable ( 821-0814-A ), the 15″ versions of the MacBook has a different, larger cable.

Or you could take it to your local Mac shop and pay them anything between 80 to 150 eur, or as in this case – let them bill you for *nothing* and sell the user a new 2000 eur MacBook Pro. (Latter happened to the previous owner of this particular MacBook Pro…)

The cable that nearly always fails in the old MacBook Pros.

The cable that nearly always fails in the old MacBook Pros. The parts number is 821-0814-A.

And that folks, is the story of how I got my first working MacBook for around 30 euros… 😀