I had quite a scare today when my new MacBook Pro wouldn’t boot. It would turn on, the screen would go white, and after about 20 seconds it flashed a question mark in a box on the screen. I thought it might have been related to a very minor drink spill incident (which resulted in my purchase of an iCurve stand) but it worked after the spill so I was a bit perplexed. I was not looking forward to going to the Apple store and parting with the laptop and getting charged a bundle so I opted for a little DIY troubleshooting.
I didn’t have the Apple install DVD with me (they were at the office) so I dropped in an XP install CD (I’m running the latest firmware which can boot those), booted that, and it told me it couldn’t find a hard drive. Then I went looking on how to disassemble the MacBook so I could pull the hard drive and test it. Thank god for ifixit.com’s complete MacBook Pro disassembly instructions, I followed those to remove the 20 or so necessary screws and open it up to get to the hard drive. I didn’t have the requisite T6 Torx screwdriver required by 2 of the screws but I managed to get by with a small allen wrench which fit well enough.
With the MacBook totally open I was able to remove the hard drive. My plan was to test it in my PC laptop to see if the BIOS would recognize it but before doing that I just reinstalled the hard drive to make sure no connectors were loose. Low and behold just disconnecting and reconnecting it did the trick.
I followed the instructions in reverse order to reassemble it and after about 45 minutes I’m back working on it now. Phew!