Macbook Pro hates my Sandisk Extreme SSD

Macbook Pro hates my Sandisk Extreme SSD

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survivalist

Original Poster:

1,125 posts

143 months

Sunday 29th July 2012
quotequote all
Apologies in advance for the long post, any help gratefully received.

A few weeks ago I got my hands on a 240GB Sandisk Extreme SSD, with a view to using it to replace the hard drive in an older Macbook Pro (one of the first Unibody ones, late 2010 I think). Having rebuilt a number of Windows machines in the past I assumed it would be easy.

Luckily I also use a Macbook Air I use for work, so I used that to format the SSD with the Mac OSX Extended File System. I then installed the SSD in the Macbookpro, with the plan to install Snow Leopard from DVD, then upgrade to Lion/Mountain Lion using the App Store. It seemed no matter what buttons I pressed (Power + C, Power + Option) it refused to boot into the install screen to install the OS.

Next step was to build a USB boot drive, but the problem persisted.

Finally decided to to a disk clone of the existing install on the macbook pro (Lion), then swap out the drives.

While this works, performance is terrible - at least 10 times slower than the original HDD, with the spinning wheel appearing all the time. I tried re-indexing spotlight but even that did't make any noticeable difference.

I then tried using the recovery USB drive thing from the apple website. This didn't work at all, just giving me a flashing folder image with a question mark in it.

I then tried the same thing (USB recovery assistant) and Mountain Lion installed just fine via the web. However, it recovered/transferred all the existing files and settings - not what I wanted as it ended up a real mess.

Finally, having read up about this new recovery partition OSX likes to have on the disk, I used the Macbook Air Mountain Lion install as the basis of a clone (using Carbon Copy Cloner). This worked a little better than cloning it from the old, messy install - but was still very slow for an SSD and seems unstable. However, this isn't unreasonable as it's a clone of an installed OS based on different hardware.

Finally, I decided to use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone just the recovery partition of the Macbook Air and then install Mountain Lion using the web. This worked perfectly for the HDD, but again refused to do it with the SSD (Folder + Question Mark again).

I think I'm reluctantly coming to the conclusion that this particular mac doesn't like this particular SSD. On the one hand at least I have a clean install now, on the other hand I don't have the speed I was looking for. Also, with nothing else really to put the SSD in, all I have is the basis of a fast USB3 external drive.

Thought I'd post here in case anyone else is having these issues and has found a resolution, or if there's something I've missed.

Thanks
S


RoadRailer

597 posts

181 months

Monday 30th July 2012
quotequote all
Every time I replace a HDD with SSD in a macbookpro I always reset the PRAM too.

Hold down command+option+P+R then press the power button release after the the second bong.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379

HTH

PJ S

10,842 posts

180 months

Monday 30th July 2012
quotequote all
Maybe your SSD is banjaxed?
Not aware of SanDisk drives being particularly troublesome or needing to be faffed with in order to work.
If you still have a Windows machine, see if it can use/format the SSD via USB drive setup without any issues.
If so, then weird one that needs further researching. If not, then pretty much validates the drive as being only fit for use as a doorstop.

BlueMR2

7,765 posts

155 months

Monday 30th July 2012
quotequote all
Search google for how to enable trim on mac os, that may help, ssd's go at a crawl if they are not maintained it would seem.

PJ S

10,842 posts

180 months

Monday 30th July 2012
quotequote all
OS X looks after trim automagically, so doubtful that's the issue.

survivalist

Original Poster:

1,125 posts

143 months

Monday 30th July 2012
quotequote all
Thanks for all the responses.

I should have said that I have tried the SSD in a USB3 enclosure and it seems to work well with both Windows and Mac (formatted with EXFAT) - seems to work well, faster than a normal HDD with USB3.

I will try the PRAM thing, although I will need to re-install the SSD in the Macbook first. Just seems strange to me that the only way it will boot of SSD is when the SSD is a clone of a HDD.

If it's possible to enable TRIM in OSX I will, but google throws up loads of different ways of doing it, including some scary command line stuff. Has anyone here enabled it in OSX.

Guess my final option is to try a different brand of SSD and see if that works better. Got this one free, so was hoping it would work. Oh well...