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Replacing the drive is just throwing parts at the problem and hoping the part works.

Not trying to beat this question to death, just trying to learn what I can from the machine and solicit insight from folks how know more than I do to help me decide what is the most reasonable thing to do. But I agree with Peter's statement above.

fwiw, in DiskUtility I ran FirstAid on the disk and it didn't return any errors. I don't know what first aid checks for for, I just know that it didn't find anything. There was not a functioning OS on the disk when I ran it.

I am currently reinstalling the timecapsule backup from 4 years ago so it will at least have a functioning os on it if I decide there is nothing else for me to do but take it to the genius bar.

Thanks again
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