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Mike the Mac Medic
Mike the Mac Medic, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 8999
Experience:  Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
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I have a late 2008 aluminium MacBook, 1278, model 5,1,

Resolved Question:

Hi, I have a late 2008 aluminium MacBook, 1278, model 5,1, 2.0 GHz processor, 160GbHDD, 2Gb RAM, running OS10.5.8 with all the recommended updates for the last six years with no problems at all.
I wanted to copy the internal HDD over to an external Crucial MX200 SSD (Crucial claim it is 1278 compatible), then replace the internal HDD (marked 700mA) with the SSD. I put the SSD into a powered caddy before connecting to the USB socket on the Mac, as it is marked 1.7A. When I turned the Mac on, it couldn't see the SSD. I turned the laptop off, disconnected everything, then tried to start the Mac again but it would not boot up, screen just stays black & silent, although I think (?) I can just feel the HDD spinning. I tried starting from the OSX DVD, but still no good.
Wondering if this could just be a software glitch, or if it is a more serious hardware problem.
Had no trouble at all with this machine up till now, but no idea what to do next!
Any ideas gratefully received.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Mike the Mac Medic replied 2 years ago.
Does the MacBook have a removable battery on the back?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes. It is fully charged but I have also tried with the mains connection. Also, I have tried removing the battery for 30 minutes & then replacing. Still no joy.
Expert:  Mike the Mac Medic replied 2 years ago.
Unplug the external drive... 1. Shut down the computer. 2. Disconnect the power adapter from the computer, if it's connected. 3. Remove the battery. 4. Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds. 5. Release the power button. 6. Reconnect the battery and power adapter. 7. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need them in step 9. 8. Turn on the computer. 9. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears. 10. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts. 11. Release the keys. If it starts up ok: Click on the first icon in the Dock the "Finder", then click on Go at the top of the screen, you will see a drop down menu, go to Utilities. When that opens double click on the application called Disk Utility. When Disk Utility opens you will see your hard drive (usually Macintosh HD) on the left. Highlight your hard drive and click on Verify Disk on the far right. If that is OK in green type, then click on Repair Disk Permissions on the left.Note: If Verify Disk is not OK try to Repair. If Repair is successful then Repair Disk Permissions if it is not successful let me know.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No luck. As I said, the screen remains black, not grey, so it is impossible to zap the PRAM (which I have been able to do successfully in the past).
Expert:  Mike the Mac Medic replied 2 years ago.
Ok then I'm afraid it is a more serious hardware failure you will need to take it in to Apple or another service provider sorry.
Expert:  Mike the Mac Medic replied 2 years ago.
It could be the SSD draws more power than that older Mac can supply.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
That's what I suspected. Thanks anyway.
Expert:  Mike the Mac Medic replied 2 years ago.
You should use a powered external enclosure or dock if you can get that resolved. Please remember that the experts here cannot fix failed hardware. We guarantee a correct ANSWER, even if that answer determines the product needs to be physically repaired. No one likes to hear they need to spend more money to fix the problem but at least you now know what needs to be done and you can make an informed decision.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did say it was running the original HDD. The external SSD was installed in a separate powered enclosure, which I'm wondering may have caused the problem.
Expert:  Mike the Mac Medic replied 2 years ago.
I am guessing that it may have but I can't say without seeing the computer on hand.
Mike the Mac Medic and 2 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Mike the Mac Medic replied 2 years ago.
If you hear no startup chime or screen remains black after resetting the SMC then there is a hardware failure. Thanks.