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Problems with Samsung 850 EVO SSD


A few months ago I replaced the old HD with a new Samsung 850 EVO SSD 500 GB

But yesterday my system wouldn't start! I tried AHT and the result was 4hdd/11/400000004 sata (0,0)

So I put the old HD back in and the MacBook was OK, and it started. I tried to see if the SSD was broken. But I can use it with no problem externally.

Is it possible that the SATA cable is broken or too old for the SSD?

Thank You, Sorry for my english

Update (08/31/2015)

Version Boot ROM: MBP91.00D3.B0B

Version SMC (sistema): 2.2f44

I tried to upload but it says that I need 10.8.5 or 10.9.5 but i've 10.10.4.

Is it possible to test the SATA cable?

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mmm ... So the T/N is out of date :-) go figure! In any case you have the newest EFI so that kills that as the issue (we don't care about the SMC in this case which is were yours is newer than the T/N). I've posted a request for Apple to update the T/N so it correctly reflects what people have.

But with the hdd it works

With the ssd doesnt work

I too have this problem. Any solution?

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First I would double check your systems firmware. Follow this Apple T/N: About EFI and SMC firmware updates for Intel-based Mac computers.

I would also replace the SATA cable as well as they do tend to fail.

Update (08/31/2015)

Well as far as why it works with the HD and not the SSD gets into the drives SATA speed.

The original HD's Apple used in this system was SATA II (3.0 Gb/s), the SSD you put in is a SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) drive.

Think of it this way a Jeep can handle a dirt road without any problems but a Porsche would struggle over the unevenness of the dirt road.

In your case the data feeding down the cable from your SSD is at a higher rate than your cable can handle (road). So you need to replace it to smooth out the road.

So basically, the original cables specs were for SATA II not SATA III drives (or its slightly damaged). The replacement part is now spec'ed at SATA III.

Update (09/01/2015)

Here is the IFIXIT guide to replace the hard drives SATA cable: MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2012 Hard Drive Cable Replacement and here is the part you need: MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable. Please use this newer cable as some people are still trying to sell the older version.

MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable 이미지


MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable


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I should point out you should add some electrical tape where the cable bends over the top of the drive as I suspect it also might have been damaged there as well.

In re-reading my answer, I did gloss over the fact that the systems SATA port is SATA III (6.0 Gb/s).

At the time Apple sold the system the cost of the older SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) was cheaper and more available so they went with it instead of what the system could support which could have been a SATA III drive. As they only tested the system with a SATA II drive they failed to realize the SATA cable was not able to run at SATA III which is why the first systems need the newer cable.

Lastly, as the cable is so close to the bottom lid a good bump can damage it where it folds over the drive careers metal frame.

works perfectly

This was the right solution for me. Bought a Samsung 850 evo SSD to replace the HD on my mid 2012 MacBook pro. Was able to boot externally from the SSD without issues after cloning, but when attempting to boot the SSD internally I would have issues with kernel panics, hung/incomplete booting, etc. I was able to get the SSD to boot internally once, but some programs (i.e. Chrome, Spotify) would not open and on restart I was met with yet another kernel panic message, followed by the blinking question mark folder icon.

I was stumped until I stumbled across Dan's explanation of the SATA cable speeds being liked to a Jeep vs. Porsche, which seemed to give a great way of understanding why my existing SATA cable could work perfectly with the old HD but lead to terrible instability with the SSD installed.

I bought the part referenced in the 09/2015 update, followed the linked guide, installed the new SATA cable in ~15 min, and am writing this review with my new SSD installed and working perfectly :) Thanks!

@Molly Brown - Happy it all worked out for you! ;-}

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Hi! I'm a Computer Engineer, Nice to answer all doubts and questions about Mac's, put an SSD to MacBook Pro isn't as easy as it looks, the problem described above could be a Software problem or just simply a SMC reset or NVRAM restart.

I have been reading all of the answer, and unfortunately, i have to correct a very big concept mistake of the answer posted on (08/31/2015) .

"the cables specs were for SATA II not SATA III drives" ==> That is not true, it's complete false.

FIRST: In Serial - ATA interfaces there aren't different type of cables according of the bus speed. The bus can be SATA I (up to 1.5Gb/s) , SATA II (up to 3 Gb/s) or as far, SATA III (6 Gb/s). This speed it depends of the chipset of the computer, in this case, we are talking about MacBook Pro Mid 2012 with have Intel 7 series chipset, which full support SATA III.

SECOND: Even deferents types of bus and also, speeds, the CABLE IT'S THE SAME, there are not difference between SATA gen, there used to be deferents cables in P-ATA interfaces (Parallel interface). But now, in SATA there isn't!!!

THIRD: The best SSD you can put in your Mac is the original branded Apple SSD, which only can be purchased when you buy your laptop Order To Build... Out of there, you have to buy the most similar component, and sorry, but the only brand of SSD which approach to OEM apple's SSD is Crucial (as far) because of the NAND controller it's fully compatible, Samsung uses a own controller with it could be in some case ,not fully compatible and may cause errors and problems like this.

So please, if the SATA cable works, you DON'T HAVE TO CHANGE!

Thank you very much and i hope this post helps those of you read it!

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@Diego - Lets see if I can correct some misconceptions here.

First (your points 1 & 2) you are correct the desktop systems SATA cables had to meet a spec that allowed use across all SATA I/O speeds. The issue here is a bit different here as Apple (as well as other laptop makers) make their own cable to suit their needs (space limitations). Here Apple had a few designs and the older version of their custom cable would not support SATA III performance and even the newer cable is fragile! So you can damage it if you're not careful.

As to the other issue you raise in your first point: Yes! The systems chipset defines the systems SATA ports speed. But you missed the issue of compatibility! The drive also has a SATA speed and the two need to be interoperable. The EIA/SATA standards group designed SATA to allow people to use older SATA I drives in newer SATA II or III systems so their data could be migrated to a newer system. What they didn't expect at the time they created the standard was the cost of drives to get so low so quickly.

cont: So today its not a matter of migrating to a newer system, more often it's upgrading an older system with a new drive! This is were the ability of a given drive can be an issue. a Fixed SATA II or SATA III drive will not work reliably in a SATA I system. Likewise, a Fixed SATA III drive will not work reliably in a SATA II system.

But, before you jump on me here there are drives which have either a jumper (older SATA II & III drives) to put the drive in SATA I mode. Or, today have auto SATA speed sense technology so the drive matches up with the systems SATA port. Here we need to review the spec sheet to see if the systems SATA port speed is listed. As an example heres a drive which is fixed: Seagate HD spec sheet now compare the line: Interface to this drive which has SATA port auto sense: Seagate SSHD spec sheet.

cont: So the SSHD drive will play in any system unlike the HD which will only work in a SATA III system only.

Your point #2: Has no bearing here as what a laptop uses for cabling is very different than a desktop system.

As to point #3: You should do some research! 2.5" SATA based SSD's which is what we are talking about here not Apples custom M.2 type blade SSD. So keeping the focus on 2.5" SSD's Samsung 850 EVO is one of the faster drives. But you should also look as other factors in the drive besides speed. Yes, Crucial makes a nice drive, but their warranty is not as good as Samsung's.

To put this all into perspective, I'm a EE as well and when I was younger I was very involved in the IEEE, EIA & TIA standards groups (computer networking). Today I'm semi retired fixing systems. Some of my clients deal with large number of laptop systems for their field staff. One customer has over 600 MacBook Pro systems most today have Seagate SSHD drives and we are migrating many to Samsung SSD's.

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diago so that means tha im using macbook pro 2012 i5 ... does ur statement mean that u cant run the 850 evo because of my intel speed ? or what i need to do with that bcause my friend manage to install 850 pro on his 2012 model i7 .... and which means i dont have to change my sata cable because of when putting hdd its boot normally?

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@lola - Please read my comments to Diego. I would have responded to his concerns sooner if I had seen it.

There is nothing wrong using the Samsung SSD in your system. I'm sure you have a bad cable here, I've often replaced them.

Just to help you over your concerns. Here's your SSD's spec sheet: Samsung 850 EVO SSD spec sheet. The Samsung 850 Pro version is no different: Samsung 850 PRO SSD spec sheet. Both offer SATA port auto sense.

Yes, you can put a Samsung's SSD,i will work fine without problems, now i will reply @danj

the cable have their own code right? which model unibody i should replace to? or i just can purchase the same model that inside my macbook pro ?

I switched out the SATA cable and it's work like a charm! Problem solved!

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i have this problem too, i have 821-1492-01 cable, and i used ssd since 2 years ago, and was ok, but 3 days ago i cant boot, and came folder with question mark. and i think that my ssd broke, and i bought new ssd, i put in , and still came folder with question mark, and i put my hdd back in and OK, can someone tell me the Problem ? should i buy new cable ? i use Macbook Pro 15 mid 2012.

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Yep, you have a bad cable! This is a common issue as the rough surface of the uppercase wears the cable. I strongly recommend you place some electrical tape down under the cable. As you have a 15" model follow the instructions here: MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Hard Drive/IR Sensor Cable Replacement And this is the part you want: MacBook Pro 15" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable - Apple P/N 923-0084

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Dan is incorrect, as the laptop's chipset is only SATA II, the drive uses its backwards compatibility to use the SATA II protocol. SATA III is never used by the cable, chipset or drive. It IS possible that the cable has failed, but it has nothing to do with SATA III or the cable not being up to SATA III spec.

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Sorry mjones - This is a SATA III system, Apple used a SATA II drive. As to the cable, laptops are not like desktop's! They use custom cables which the hardware maker designs. In this case Apples cable was not up to the task at running full out SATA III which is one of two reasons it needed to be replaced. The second issue is this cable has had some reliablity issues due to wear.

If this was a desktop then the SATA cable which is a standard part wouldn't be different between a SATA II or SATA III system. So in that case you would be correct!

The last point about data rates between SATA II & SATA III and the given system is a bit tricky here. A SATA III system can support any SATA drive (I,II, or III) which is how the standard was written.

Now to confuse you!

- A fixed SATA III drive will not play nice in either a SATA I or SATA II system! As it can't shift down to the slower data rates the system is expecting.

Now the bump!

- As it turns out the HD makers saw this as a problem and created a special type of drive that had the ability to sense the systems data rate and match it! These auto sense drives list two or three SATA specs in the Interface line in their spec sheet. As an example review these two spec sheets:

Seagate 2.5" SSHD

Seagate 2.5" HD

Note the interface line, in the 2nd its Fixed and the 1st its Auto Sense

Please be sure of your facts!

I've pointed to hard data to support what I stated. I also sat on the standards group meetings when a lot of this was decided so I know first hand the reasoning.

Don't confuse desktops & laptops they are very different beasts! A desktop SATA cable won't fit or work in a laptop so don't bring that into this.

Lastly, here is this systems specs: MacBook Pro 13" 2.9 GHz i7" (Mid-2012) did you read the systems SATA spec? Its SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) not SATA II (3.0 Gb's). Apple used a SATA II drive in the early systems.

And besides, people have reported back the solution was the correct answer. Not just here alone, but many other posts with the same or similar problem.

I too am eternally grateful to Dan. I have a MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) that suffered a hard-drive crash several months ago. I purchased and installed the Samsung 850 Evo SSD, but the folks at the Apple store were unable to load OS Sierra or OS Capitan. We finally got OS Yosemite to load but, within days, stuff started going wrong (couldn't open files, couldn't save downloads, couldn't find the printer) and I eventually lost my desktop! The OS just disintegrated before my eyes - never seen anything like it. I read about the hard drive cable issue on this post so I purchased and installed the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable recommended by Dan - figuring I had nothing else to lose. What do you know? OS High Sierra loaded in a flash and it has been smooth sailing ever since. The Geniuses at the Apple Store were unaware of this problem, so I told them to be on the lookout for many more of these cases.

After researching information here, this week I installed a new hard drive cable on my MacBookPro 13'‘ mid 2012 (9,2, 2.9 GHz, Intel Core i7.) It is running very smoothly, and I am extremely grateful for the help. I spent a lot of time trouble shooting this beast until I ran across the hard drive cable suggestion. (I used electrical tape on it as recommended.)

This machine has been on the shelf for about a year, and now it is running Catalina, with only a limited menu of apps for the time being.

By way of background, the hard drive developed a rattle and failed in 2019, and I had a Samsung SSD (EVO 860 500 GB) installed. After that, the startup and operation were painfully slow, but the technician said they had done everything they could think of and could do no more. The battery had failed, also, and the new one would not hold a charge. A new charger did not help, either. I am operating it without a battery at this time.

I'm a rookie but having fun learning. Thanks.

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