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Thread: Macbook Pro with Retina. Early 2013. Fusion Drive failure?

  1. #1
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    Default Macbook Pro with Retina. Early 2013. Fusion Drive failure?

    A customer brought his early 2013 MBP in to my shop saying it wouldn't boot up. When I started it, it shows the ? folder. So, I assumed either fs corruption or physical hard drive failure. I installed Mounain Lion on an external hard drive connected to the laptop in order to access the drive (I didn't have a screwdriver for the new pentalobe screws....) Disk Utility immediately says wipe and reinstall, blah blah. So I opened up Disk Warrior and checked S.M.A.R.T. status and no errors had been logged. I attempted to rebuild the directory with DW 4.4 and it just sticks on "...searching entire drive in a final rescue attempt...." I did notice that the partition name changed from Macintosh HD to Unknown Disk sometimes. One time it said "Customer" and immediately DW found files and made a new directory. But when I attempted to write it, it gave a write error. So I installed ddrescue and attempted to make an image onto another drive. I used the rdisk device to do it. When it finished I checked the disk with hexdump on my linux box and got nothing but zeros. So I installed testdisk. When I select /dev/disk0 with testdisk it finds the partition table immediately and the files are all listed. When i select /dev/rdisk0, it finds nothing.... I am currently making another image with ddrescue using the /dev/disk0 device instead of rdisk0. I paused the rescue and checked the image fragment with hexdump and there is data in it! This is one of the new Fusion drives that Apple is using. Does anyone have an idea what could have happened here. Oh, almost forgot. The customer said he put the laptop to sleep and when he opened the lid it was frozen. He powered it off and that's when the ? folder appeared. Any input would be greately appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    You are in uncharted territory for me. Perhaps one of the guys here with more experience in modern hardware can offer some ideas.

    BTW, welcome to the forum.

  3. #3
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    I had heard that a few early fusion style drives were failing but not a lot by any means

    I assume there is no warranty?
    Damien,

  4. #4
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    There is a warranty. The customer called Apple and they told him to backup and reinstall. The only problem is the data is not recognizable and the laptop doesn't boot the main partition or the recovery partition. My dd image did actually finish with the /dev/disk0 device and when I check the image on my linux box, the partition table appears to be correct. It's very strange to me. I don't fully understand the technical differences between the "device" and "raw device" access methods. I'm attempting to extract the partition from the disk image and see if I can find data. Then he's taking it to Apple for a "full" diagnosis. I am still curious if anybody has an idea what could have happened here.

  5. #5
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    I purchased a new iMac in December with a fusion drive and have had no problems with it. Your using command + R to boot to recovery?

    I know very little about "fixing" one as I've not had or read many problems.

  6. #6
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    So this is stupid.... I almost tried to cancel my account here and never return because I feel so stupid.... haha. It's not a Fusion Drive at all.... The customer told me that, but I should have known what it was. It's just a 512 GB SSD.... in any case I believe I have the data recovered. Thank you for your replies.

  7. #7
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    Good job, nope we don't make mistakes on this forum. Daimien will boot you out. Well we might but with my memory I can't remember what I did yesterday so I figure nope.

    I hope you got it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwm View Post
    Good job, nope we don't make mistakes on this forum. Daimien will boot you out.
    You are booted OUT for misspelling my name!
    Damien,

  9. #9
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    Default To funny

    ah, crap I even remember typing it wrong and forgot to go back and fit it. My brain needs a tuneup no if it was a hard drive I'd be swapping it out.

    Sorry

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwm View Post
    My brain needs a tuneup no if it was a hard drive I'd be swapping it out.

    Sorry
    I understand. I do that same thing so often I have a helpful info graphic that lets people cope with my brain cramp…

    Damien,

  11. #11
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    It would appear that the same thing has happened to me in the last few days.
    Brand new, as in less than a month old, Sandisk Ultra Plus 256gb SSD just stopped.
    Couldn't see it on the system info, so took it out, put it on a USB/SATA connector, not recognised there either.
    Of course, the big problem with SSDs is that there is nothing whatsoever to indicate activity, so there is no indication as to why.
    The other difficulty is that with it being under warranty there's no possibility of physically investigating it either or the warranty would be void - and I'm not about to chuck a £140 drive in the trash.
    So, it's gone back to my supplier who will, in their own sweet time, send me a replacement.
    In the meantime, I've lost some data due to things being incredibly busy and complicated here recently, so I've restored the last backup to a partition on my 1TB drive and will then clone that to the new SSD when it arrives - finally setting CCC to due daily incremental backups from the SSD to the HD.
    Why wasn't I quite as assiduous with my backups as I tell my clients to be? Because I really didn't expect a brand new SSD to simply die!
    Lesson learned.
    The opposite of what you automatically assume to be the truth is the answer you're looking for!

  12. #12
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    The dark under side of SSD speed goodness; they work, and then they don't. No clicks, no noise, usually with no warning.

    Ironic that SSDs increase our need for HDs......for layers of backup protection.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  13. #13
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    Well, it's not that ironic... other than that I am always warning my clients about relying on hard drives!
    Having said that, it's no different than any other drive, just that it was just so instantaneous... a bit like driving at night and not seeing the elephant standing in the middle of the road until a nanosecond before impact!
    The opposite of what you automatically assume to be the truth is the answer you're looking for!

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