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Old Dec 11, 2012, 08:47 AM   #1
Azzin
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Question 2008 MBA Won't Boot-Options?

Hi folks,

A friends 2008 MBA won't boot.

If we boot into Disk Utility and run Verify Disk and then Repair Disk, she gets errors so it appears the drive is is some way faulty.

She doesn't have any backups of anything and there are pictures on there of her dad who died recently, so she obviously really wants to preserve what's on the drive.

What are the options here for getting the data off?

Could we just replace the drive (a feat in itself I suspect) and then slave it up to copy the data back across (I think it's a 1.8" SATA drive)?

She doesn't have any install disks or anything, she just turned up at my doorstep this morning, crying and asking for help.

All suggestions welcome and appreciated.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 09:53 AM   #2
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She doesn't have any backups of anything and there are pictures on there of her dad who died recently, so she obviously really wants to preserve what's on the drive.
Why do people never have backups? Time Machine makes it so easy.............

Get an external SATA-to-USB case. Put the hard drive in the case and attempt to access the data from another computer. Try to recover the most important files first. The drive may not last long.

If you cannot access the data, try freezing the drive. (Not kidding.) Put it in the freezer for a bit until the drive is cold but not frosty. Carefully dry off any condensation and use cold gel packs on the drive (not ice!) to keep it cold. Try to recover the files.

If you still can't access the data, you will have to go to a professional data recovery service. This is VERY EXPENSIVE!!!

Another possibility: Try a data recovery application on the memory cards from the camera. You might be able to recover some/all photos that way.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:00 AM   #3
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OP

If you have an external you should install OS X on it, then boot from the external and see if the internal drive is mounted on the desktop or in Finders Sidebar.
If this is the case recover the Home folder first, but I would do those pictures first, they are in
/Users/User Name/Pictures.

After this try to repair the disk, both volume and HD, if this does not work you could try repairing it with a program called DiskWarrior, this is your best option.

If nothing works report back here.

Last edited by justperry; Dec 11, 2012 at 10:09 AM.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by justperry View Post
A Macbook Air does not have an HDD so freezing won't do a thing.


--------------

OP.

If you have an external you should install OS X on it, then boot from the external and see if the internal drive is mounted on the desktop or in Finders Sidebar.
If this is the case recover the Home folder first, but I would do those pictures first, they are in
/Users/User Name/Pictures.

After this try to repair the disk, both volume and HD, if this does not work you could try repairing it with a program called DiskWarrior, this is your best option.

If nothing works report back here.
Airs prior to late 2010 did. the SSD was an option on them.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:16 AM   #5
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Airs prior to late 2010 did. the SSD was an option on them.
Yeah, it says so in the OP's post (probably 1.8" disk)
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:29 AM   #6
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Thanks folks, it is indeed an 80 gig, 1.8" HDD.

I agree re backups and Time Machine, but this morning wasn't the best time to mention it.

Anyway, I have an external SATA Dock, so hopefully I can connect that once it's removed to my MBP and copy her data over?

@justperry-how do I install OS X an an external (I presume you mean an external USB HDD)?

I have a 2012 MBP running Mountain Lion and a spare 1TB USB HDD if that helps anything along?

Thanks folks.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azzin View Post
Thanks folks, it is indeed an 80 gig, 1.8" HDD.

I agree re backups and Time Machine, but this morning wasn't the best time to mention it.

Anyway, I have an external SATA Dock, so hopefully I can connect that once it's removed to my MBP and copy her data over?

@justperry-how do I install OS X an an external (I presume you mean an external USB HDD)?

I have a 2012 MBP running Mountain Lion and a spare 1TB USB HDD if that helps anything along?

Thanks folks.
It depends, is it an early or late MBA, if it is an early 2008 it can not run 10.8 but if it is the later one it can boot 10.8
Also, which model do you have, can it boot in recovery, is it running 10.7 or 10.8?
Edit: it must be a early 2008 model since it has an 80 GB disk.

So, first check her MBA model, then if yours has the recovery you could boot into recovery and Install the OS on the external USB HDD, be careful to be sure it is the external and not your internal HDD.
Edit: If yours is on 10.7 also you can go ahead even if it is the 2008 MBA
Recovery = Command-R on start up
or
Hold Option key on startup.

Note: the partition on the external has to be GUID, if it is Apple partition Map it won't boot.

Edit: Since it is an early 2008 model yours need to run 10.7 to do the recovery way, if it is running 10.8 this won't work and you need her Original Install disks.

Last edited by justperry; Dec 11, 2012 at 10:55 AM.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 11:15 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by justperry View Post
It depends, is it an early or late MBA, if it is an early 2008 it can not run 10.8 but if it is the later one it can boot 10.8
Also, which model do you have, can it boot in recovery, is it running 10.7 or 10.8?
Edit: it must be a early 2008 model since it has an 80 GB disk.
Yes, it's an A1237 if that helps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justperry View Post
So, first check her MBA model, then if yours has the recovery you could boot into recovery and Install the OS on the external USB HDD, be careful to be sure it is the external and not your internal HDD.
Edit: If yours is on 10.7 also you can go ahead even if it is the 2008 MBA

Recovery = Command-R on start up
or
Hold Option key on startup.

Note: the partition on the external has to be GUID, if it is Apple partition Map it won't boot.

Edit: Since it is an early 2008 model yours need to run 10.7 to do the recovery way, if it is running 10.8 this won't work and you need her Original Install disks.
I'm running Mountain Lion 10.8.2 and she doesn't have any original disks.

Thank you again for this help.

[Edit] - Am I right in saying that it now looks like the only way forward is to put a new drive in the machine, put OS X on it and then hopefully just slave the old drive and copy the data back?

If so, how would I know what version of OS X should be on it and how would I get it on there?
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 11:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azzin View Post
Yes, it's an A1237 if that helps?



I'm running Mountain Lion 10.8.2 and she doesn't have any original disks.

Thank you again for this help.

[Edit] - Am I right in saying that it now looks like the only way forward is to put a new drive in the machine, put OS X on it and then hopefully just slave the old drive and copy the data back?

If so, how would I know what version of OS X should be on it and how would I get it on there?
It is a shame the MBA does not have firewire.

Which OS X version did your MBP come with, if it came with 10.7 you probably can download a free copy from the App store, can you check this?

Otherwise it is going to be hard.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 12:54 PM   #10
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It is a shame the MBA does not have firewire.

Which OS X version did your MBP come with, if it came with 10.7 you probably can download a free copy from the App store, can you check this?

Otherwise it is going to be hard.
My MBP came with Mountain Lion on it.

I also have ML on a USB Installer, would that be any use?
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 09:53 PM   #11
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My MBP came with Mountain Lion on it.

I also have ML on a USB Installer, would that be any use?
No, this won't work, the MBA can't officially run on 10.8.

The only legal way out here I think is to get a official disk from Apple, they are $19.99, probably around the same in Pounds in the UK.

But, now I think of it, what happens if you hold the Option key on the MBA(or hold the Command-R keys), she might have a recovery partition on the disk and if this is the case you can install a clean install on the 1 TB external disk and then boot from it, then recover the files from her HD, or try to repair first with Disk Utility and if this does not work with Diskwarrior.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 02:20 AM   #12
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No, this won't work, the MBA can't officially run on 10.8.

The only legal way out here I think is to get a official disk from Apple, they are $19.99, probably around the same in Pounds in the UK.
Ah ok, foiled!
Quote:
Originally Posted by justperry View Post
But, now I think of it, what happens if you hold the Option key on the MBA(or hold the Command-R keys), she might have a recovery partition on the disk and if this is the case you can install a clean install on the 1 TB external disk and then boot from it, then recover the files from her HD, or try to repair first with Disk Utility and if this does not work with Diskwarrior.
I can get into Disk Utility if that's what you mean?

I tried running the Verify and Repair Disk options, but it ended saying it couldn't do it and I should back up the data and (I think) replace the drive.

Thanks again.

Last edited by Azzin; Dec 12, 2012 at 02:27 AM.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 02:27 AM   #13
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I can get into Disk Utility if that's what you mean?

I tried running the Verify and Repair Disk options, but it ended saying it couldn't do it and I should back up the data and (I think) replace the drive.

Thanks again.

Hold the Option key when you start up, do you get a screen with choices like recovery, internet recovery, repair?
If so you select internet recovery, connect the external and install an OS on it.

Yours is an early MBA and can not run 10.8, the late 2008 CAN.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 10:40 AM   #14
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Ok, I've replaced the drive and ordered a little caddy to put the old drive into, to hopefully get the pictures off.

Now, when I boot holding the options key, I get an initial grey screen and a wifi selection menu.

I select my wifi and enter the password, then all I get is a grey screen showing my wifi name in a dropdown box-that's all....

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Old Dec 13, 2012, 11:00 AM   #15
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Fortunately, my neighbour has a Lion 10.7.2 disk-can I use this (with an USB DVD Drive) to install Lion?

Or, could I use that disk to make a USB installer?
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 11:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azzin View Post
Ok, I've replaced the drive and ordered a little caddy to put the old drive into, to hopefully get the pictures off.

Now, when I boot holding the options key, I get an initial grey screen and a wifi selection menu.

I select my wifi and enter the password, then all I get is a grey screen showing my wifi name in a dropdown box-that's all....

Image
First be sure you have the right password, but I think you did.

There should be a screen coming up with a globe and a progress bar.
But, it could be that the drive isn't formatted yet and the downloaded file can't be saved on the disk, don't know for sure though if this is the problem.
Make sure the internet on your Modem is connected.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azzin View Post
Fortunately, my neighbour has a Lion 10.7.2 disk-can I use this (with an USB DVD Drive) to install Lion?

Or, could I use that disk to make a USB installer?
Yes, this could be an easier way, if you made the installer make sure the drive inside is formatted first in Disk Utility after booting from the USB stick, make sure it is GUID.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 11:18 AM   #17
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First be sure you have the right password, but I think you did.
Yes, checked and double checked (I can see the MBA is attaached in my router GUI).

Quote:
Originally Posted by justperry View Post
There should be a screen coming up with a globe and a progress bar.
But, it could be that the drive isn't formatted yet and the downloaded file can't be saved on the disk, don't know for sure though if this is the problem.
Make sure the internet on your Modem is connected.
The pic you can see is all I get when I put the wifi password in, nothing else whatsoever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justperry View Post
Yes, this could be an easier way, if you made the installer make sure the drive inside is formatted first in Disk Utility after booting from the USB stick, make sure it is GUID.
He's actually got a *.DMG file of Lion 10.7.2, so I'm just reading up how to make a bootable USB drive from this (I've got an 8 gig stick ready!).

Thank you.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 11:32 AM   #18
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He's actually got a *.DMG file of Lion 10.7.2, so I'm just reading up how to make a bootable USB drive from this (I've got an 8 gig stick ready!).

Thank you.
Hopefully that's a Full Install Disk Image and not a copy from a grey disk.

Choose restore in Disk Utility, then click on image, choose the image and in the second box add the USB as target.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 11:40 AM   #19
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Hopefully that's a Full Install Disk Image and not a copy from a grey disk.

Choose restore in Disk Utility, then click on image, choose the image and in the second box add the USB as target.
Doing that now. but I get " Unable to scan MAC OS X Install ESD (Resource Busy).

[Edit] - Actually, it's a Lion 10.7.3 *.DMG file and this is our only option now, as we don't have an external USB DVD drive.

I've burnt that DMG file to a blank DVD using my MBP, is there way I can map to that to do the install?

Last edited by Azzin; Dec 13, 2012 at 11:48 AM.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 11:58 AM   #20
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Ok, I did a few unmounts & remounts and it seems to be creating the USB installer now....



Are we close now?
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 12:14 PM   #21
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Oh dear...

I got it booted off of the USB thumb drive, only to get this:



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Old Dec 13, 2012, 12:27 PM   #22
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Oh dear...

I got it booted off of the USB thumb drive, only to get this:

Image

You need to partition the internal disk first in Disk Utility, that's the reason, hopefully it is not the HDD connected wrong.
I think you need to go back and select Disk Utility and format the internal disk first, it is not formatted yet.

It is GMT +7 here, need to hit the sack.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 12:33 PM   #23
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You need to partition the internal disk first in Disk Utility, that's the reason, hopefully it is not the HDD connected wrong.
I think you need to go back and select Disk Utility and format the internal disk first, it is not formatted yet.

It is GMT +7 here, need to hit the sack.
Thanks, but the new HDD doesn't show up in Disk Utility, only the USB thumb is visible.



Appreciate your help, thanks.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 09:25 PM   #24
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Thanks, but the new HDD doesn't show up in Disk Utility, only the USB thumb is visible.

Image

Appreciate your help, thanks.
Or you did not connect the HD good enough, or the HD is and was not the problem and something else is wrong, could be the cable(hopefully, or Logic board problems.(Expensive).

Try again to connect the HD, and try again to install.
Now that you have the USB stick you could try to start Apple Hardware Test, hold D when you start up.

If then HD was not the problem, her Photo's are still on the old HD

iFixit, change HD on MBA 2008

They say this here:

Quote:
The two different versions of MacBook Air have different hard drive connectors. Failure to perform the action appropriate to your machine will damage your hard drive! Be very careful when disconnecting the hard drive cable. The ZIF connectors are fragile.
It might be that the ZIF connector is not connected properly, and the MBA can't see it.


Last edited by justperry; Dec 14, 2012 at 05:08 AM. Reason: Quote { instead of [
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 04:59 AM   #25
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Or you did not connect the HD good enough, or the HD is and was not the problem and something else is wrong, could be the cable(hopefully, or Logic board problems.(Expensive).

Try again to connect the HD, and try again to install.
I've just opened ip up and double checked all connections, same problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justperry View Post
that you have the USB stick you could try to start Apple Hardware Test, hold D when you start up.
Trying that now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justperry View Post
then HD was not the problem, her Photo's are still on the old HD

iFixit, change HD on MBA 2008

They say this here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by justperry View Post
The two different versions of MacBook Air have different hard drive connectors. Failure to perform the action appropriate to your machine will damage your hard drive! Be very careful when disconnecting the hard drive cable. The ZIF connectors are fragile.
It might be that the ZIF connector is not connected properly, and the MBA can't see it.

Image
I think it must be a board issue, as Disk Utility just can't see the disk.
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