Hard Drive is failing, What do I do?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by starcrossed, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. starcrossed macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Location:
    San Antonio,TX
    #1
    My iMac G4 has now started acting up big time, and it seems like the Hard Drive will need to be replaced since in Disk Utility the SMART status states failing. I've managed to boot into it for just a few minutes to quickly back up my files before I got the beachball, which I successfully did, but before I take my iMac to get fixed, is there any way to wipe the disk clean before I do so. I write a lot scripts, and jot down ideas in the computer, and I the thought that someone might get access to them worries me a bit. I tried doing a clean install of MacOS X but it won't even recognize the hard drive to install it on. Also, if I do infact still have my computer covered through AppleCare, would Apple take care of the cost to have it replace for free, or will I have to pay for it, or still have to pay a deductible or such? Any advice would greatly be appreciated.
     
  2. slughead macrumors 68030

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #2
    That's impossible! Apple would never use hard drives that fail after 2 years! You need to go to a re-education camp.

    Sarcasm aside, you can't erase the disk if the disk won't stay mounted long enough to erase. And even if you did, you're best off zeroing the disk (which you CERTAINLY can't do).

    You'll have to work it out with your local Apple store, but if you're sending it back to Apple, your ONLY alternative is to replace the drive yourself.
     
  3. Macmaniac macrumors 68040

    Macmaniac

    #3
    I would advise fixing it through AppleCare, if you put a new drive in yourself then you will void your warranty, you may need it if something else goes wrong. Try to zero the data that is the best thing you can do.
     
  4. starcrossed thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Location:
    San Antonio,TX
    #4
    Next question, is it even possible for them to look into the contents of the hard drive without your account password and such, and two does anyone know if since CompUsa is an authorized apple repair center, if I could just take it there and it will be covered under AppleCare, since I don't have an AppleStore in my town.
     
  5. starcrossed thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Location:
    San Antonio,TX
    #5
    Yeah, there is no way I want to open up the iMac and replace the drive myself, if it was a PowerMac maybe, but the iMac G4 would be a pain. I tried boot from the install CD and running disk utility but unfortantly, it won't allow me to erase the disk and zero the data.
     
  6. slughead macrumors 68030

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #6
    I don't know about the compUSA thing, but if you're not using filevault, permissions mean nothing if someone physically has your hard drive.

    For those who don't know about this:
    1. mount the HD on another Mac (and boot off the normal HD)
    2. get info on the drive and click "ignore permissions on this volume"
     
  7. starcrossed thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Location:
    San Antonio,TX
    #7
    So simply when the hard drive is failing and the computer is acting like that, there is no other way around fixing it, other than just having the hard drive replaced, correct? I just want to make sure when I hand over the computer to get fixed, I don't look like an idiot cause I didn't do something first, or so on, and that its absolutly necessary for a Apple tech to take a look at.
     
  8. slughead macrumors 68030

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #8
    Well, there are data recovery and hard drive fixing places. However, Apple doesn't offer these services so you'd still have to void Applecare to do it.

    And by the way, 99% of the time the cost for repair is much higher than the cost of the same drive new.

    [edit: and by the way, I wouldn't worry about them discovering all your porn and warez.. er uhm script source code and personal files .. They probably have strict policies about that. They might, however, try to boot the device off the hard drive, so disable it if you can.]
     
  9. starcrossed thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Location:
    San Antonio,TX
    #9
    Well, if they have to replace it, it is certaintly fine for me since I've already backed up my valuable data. My iMac has only been able to successfully boot into the OS, only after hours of being shut down, so I guess I try again later tonight to see if I can get in for a mere few minutes to quickly trash what I can. One last thought, is it possible to delete stuff from the iMac using it in FW Disk Mode through my Powerbook. The iMac is able to start up in FW mode, becuase I see the FW symbol on the screen, but I don't have a 6pin to 6pin cable to test it out. I was just wondering so if it should work, they i'll run out and buy one, if not then I won't.
     
  10. slughead macrumors 68030

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #10
    Firewire target disk mode DOES boot the computer, in addition to the fact that the data is not very accessible. It'd probably freeze the computer you hooked it up to when the iMac crashes. At that point you can probably simply unplug the cable and your powerbook will unfreeze.
     
  11. starcrossed thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Location:
    San Antonio,TX
    #11
    Well thanks again everyone for your valuable replies. This is one of the main reasons, besides rumors and news, that I frequently enjoy visiting this site. I guess i've give Apple a call and see whether I have to send them the iMac or if there is a place in my city like CompUSA, that they would let me have it fixed at. Take care.
     

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