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SSD not recognised by MacBook anymore. Able to boot externally though

Hi! I have a Mid 2012 Macbook pro and for the past 4 years It´s been running fantastically with a Crucial MX100 500GB SSD. Running high sierra 10.13

Last night though, The laptop failed to boot, showing me the dreaded folder with the question mark. I tried internet recovery, single user long on etc etc without any luck.

I then booted from an USB HDD (original internal drive + enclosure), and was able to see that the disk was recognised but it said that it needed to be fixed. Unable to use diskwarrior as SSD is formatted as AFSP.

Swapped the internal SSD with the External HDD, and was able to boot from the SSD while inside the USB enclosure. Similarly, I'm also able to boot from the HDD while inside the macbook. Ive tried running disk first aid and theres no problem. have also tried changing startup disk to no avail.

What could be the issue?

TL;DR: I have issues booting my mabook pro with a SSD.

SSD inside macbook pro: No boot

SSD inside external enclosure & USB: Yes boot

Old HDD inside macbook pro: Yes boot

Old HDD inside external enclosure & USB: Yes boot

Thanks so much in advance!

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It is the issue with the internal SATA HDD flex cable connector. This Macbook Pro A1278 2012 models have this common problem. You need to buy a replacement part and change it.

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Thanks for your prompt reply jobnathan. Do you think it may be the cable, given that I am able to boot internally using my old HDD?

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Yup, faulty cable will either fail to work completely or work intermittent or will work but data transfer will be very slow. Had seen many of this issues with the Macbook Pro 13-inch 2012 models and all issues resolved after chnging with new cable.

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Yes your HD SATA cable has failed. You'll need to replace it I also recommend you place some electricians tape on the uppercase where the cable rests as the rough aluminum surface tends to wear the cable.

As to why your HDD is able to work and your SSD not, gets into the ability of the SSD you leverage more of the bandwidth of the SATA connection than the HDD.

Think of it this way... A Porsche is able to beat a Volkswagen at the red light as the engine is more powerful, as long as it has good traction. The Volkswagen might beat the Porsche as its a lighter car in the snow!

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Jonathan - Most of the time the abrasion of the cable or the over bending of it is the root cause of this issue. While I've seen a few knockoff cables which had bad connectors, they tend not to work across either drive if they are bad. A few years ago we did have a string of bad cables that flooded the market thankfully they appear to be gone.

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Thanks for the solution and the very helpful explanations!

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