Mac laptops forum: MacBook Pro 4,1 SSD Failure? Replacement Required?

by: dalinian61 October 28, 2012 2:28 AM PDT

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MacBook Pro 4,1 SSD Failure? Replacement Required?

by dalinian61 - 10/28/12 2:28 AM

I have an October 2008 vintage MacBook Pro 17-inch*, which had been running fine from its factory-fitted customised-to-order 128GB SSD. But now it fails to boot up: when switched on, it eventually leaves a flashing question mark inside a folder icon in the middle of the screen.

* Model ID: MacBookPro 4,1 - Order No: MB766LL/A - Mfg. Part No: A1261 - full spec at EveryMac:
>> http://everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook_pro/specs/macbook-pro-core-2-duo-2.5-17-early-2008-penryn-specs.html

I can boot up from an OS X 10.6 installation DVD-ROM, but...
+ when I run Disk Utility, the only drive that appears in the left hand column is the optical Superdrive (MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-875) and the "Mac OS X Install DVD" it contains - the 128GB Macintosh SSD is significant by its absence;
+ similarly, System Profiler shows, under Hardware > ATA, both the optical Superdrive (MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-875) and the "Mac OS X Install DVD" it contains; but under Hardware > Serial-ATA, it shows only the bus controller chipset (Intel ICH8-M AHCI) - the 128GB SSD does not appear at all;
+ if I try to run the OS X installer, the box below "Select the disk where you want to install Mac OS X" is blank - the Macintosh SSD is absent;
+ if I try to "Choose Startup Disk", only the install DVD and Network Startup appear - the local Macintosh SSD is missing.

This error state appeared overnight, with the computer sitting still and closed on a table, so no physical trauma could be to blame. I haven't got the appropriate Apple Hardware Test software to run, but I gather it would only indicate a drive's presence/absence, and all of the above already illustrates the 128GB Macintosh SSD's absence.

Given this evidence, I'd like to ask for some help in answering these three questions:
1. Would I be right to assume that the factory-fitted customised-to-order 128GB SSD has just failed completely?
2. Would it be worth my while to take the MacBook Pro to an Apple Store for diagnosis?
3. Or should I just order a replacement SSD (such as an OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSD >> http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/internal_storage/Mercury_Extreme_SSD_Sandforce/Solid_State_Pro/ ) and get by local computer repair shop to fit it?

Thanks in advance for your attention and assistance.

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