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Flashing question mark on MacBook Pro due to bad SATA cable #

A flashing question mark on boot generally indicates a problem with the startup volume, but for an inordinate number of MacBook Pros, the error is caused by a bad SATA cable. This can be verified by removing the drive, connecting it to an adapter, and booting via USB or Firewire (if you get the prohibitory sign, try Safe Mode).

iFixit has a swell repair guide as well as the cable itself (shipped at warp speed).

† Of course, it is also possible that the problem may be with the logic board rather than the cable, but given the large number of complaints about the latter, it is the more likely suspect.

/mac | Jun 06, 2011

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