Best way to recover from a system crash?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by niggiebro, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. niggiebro macrumors member


    Aug 4, 2003
    City of Angels
    I have a friend who's mac has corrupted files and no longer boots. What is the best way to recover any data or backup the drive and run a install?

    Or is it possible to save his current install? :confused:

    I'm not sure if you could just recover using his installation disk. :eek:

    Thanks in Advance! :D
  2. croshtique macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2005
    Cambridge, UK
    Easiest way to retrieve files from the dodgy mac is to hook up another mac to it via FireWire and use Target Disk Mode. Link them together, and hold down 'T' when booting the dodgy mac and its hard drive will appear on t'other. Once all files are safely copied do a clean install and that should sort it :)
  3. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    First, what symptoms are there. Doesn't it boot at all, do you get the gray screen with the blinking question mark, do you get to the blue screen ( :eek: ), or maybe all the way to the Finder? Is he able to boot into single user mode (holding down cmd-S during boot)?

    The problem might be one (ore more) corrupted preference files, and deleting some of those may solve the problem, but we need a bit more information of symptoms and which system the machine is (supposed to be) running...

    If it still doesn't want to boot, you might see if the machine is able to boot from an installation disk (insert disk and hold down C on boot) he has the option of am Archive and Install, which should give him a brand new system without messing (too much) with his files, settings etc. The previous (corrupt) system will be saved to a designated folder, where he can recover things that the new system didn't install...

    Edit: Backing up first, using the Firewire Target mode "tricks" that croshtique described might be wise no matter what, as it's always a good idea to have backup before system (or any large) installs... ;)
  4. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Right, we don't really know enough about this problem to give much advice, but a good start in any event is to reboot in single user mode and run fsck.
  5. niggiebro thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 4, 2003
    City of Angels

    Great info!!!

    FYI All, it's Panther on a iMac G3 450 MHz, 256 MB, 20 GB HDD.

    He was trying to install Panther on a pre install OS 9. The system booted all the way to Finder when he received a message telling that there is not enough disk space, so he started deleting and not really knowing what to delete..... After rebooting he only gets to the gray screen with the blue circle going round and round and that's it.
  6. Izzzy macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2010

    My housemate had the great idea to delete some file systems to free some space on her hard drive. Of course, her mac crashed immediatly after after a spinning-ball-of-death thing.
    Her mac wont start, and is stuck on the grey apple with bliking question mark.
    She bought her Mac in Sept 2009 so i think she got the latest Os? version. Because with my installation disk (Leopard) i only get the "complete re-installation" option.
    I don't have a double firewire 400 on the hand, the ones at the mac store (only digital store around) cost 20€. But they told me i wouldnt be able to get to her files from my mac to save the m on a hard drive.

    With a complete system crash. What's the best way to save the files before a re-install?
    Firewire will still work? or best is to go to a mac store where they can connect it to a "mother computer" and restore the files?

Share This Page