2008 MBA Won't Boot-Options?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Azzin, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    London, England.
    #1
    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.
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    aarond12

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Location:
    Dallas, TX USA
    #2
    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!!! :eek:

    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.
     
  3. justperry, Dec 11, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012

    macrumors 603

    justperry

    #3
    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.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    MultiFinder17

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    #4
    Airs prior to late 2010 did. the SSD was an option on them.
     
  5. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #5
    Yeah, it says so in the OP's post (probably 1.8" disk):eek:
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    London, England.
    #6
    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. :)
     
  7. justperry, Dec 11, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012

    macrumors 603

    justperry

    #7
    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.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    London, England.
    #8
    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?
     
  9. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #9
    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.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    London, England.
    #10
    My MBP came with Mountain Lion on it.

    I also have ML on a USB Installer, would that be any use?
     
  11. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #11
    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.
     
  12. Azzin, Dec 11, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012

    thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    London, England.
    #12
    Ah ok, foiled!
    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.
     
  13. justperry, Dec 11, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012

    macrumors 603

    justperry

    #13

    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.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    London, England.
    #14
    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.... :confused:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    London, England.
    #15
    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?
     
  16. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #16
    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.

    ----------

    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.
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    London, England.
    #17
    Yes, checked and double checked (I can see the MBA is attaached in my router GUI).

    The pic you can see is all I get when I put the wifi password in, nothing else whatsoever.

    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. :)
     
  18. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #18
    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.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Azzin, Dec 13, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012

    thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    London, England.
    #19
    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?
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    London, England.
    #20
    Ok, I did a few unmounts & remounts and it seems to be creating the USB installer now....

    [​IMG]

    Are we close now? :eek:
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    London, England.
    #21
    Oh dear...

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

    [​IMG]

    :(
     
  22. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #22
    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.
     
  23. thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    London, England.
    #23
    Thanks, but the new HDD doesn't show up in Disk Utility, only the USB thumb is visible.

    [​IMG]

    Appreciate your help, thanks.
     
  24. justperry, Dec 13, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012

    macrumors 603

    justperry

    #24
    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:

    It might be that the ZIF connector is not connected properly, and the MBA can't see it.

    [​IMG]
     
  25. thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    London, England.
    #25
    I've just opened ip up and double checked all connections, same problem.

    Trying that now.

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

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