Need help, desperately! Hard Drive Failure!!

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by AHalper, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. AHalper macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2005
    Ok, here is an explanation, bottom is my dilemma...

    Last night while broswing the internet (clicking on to mac rumors at the time, actually), my iBook (14"/933 MKz/640MB/40GB) froze. Mouse moved, but couldnt quit, force quit, or access any applications. Held the power button and forced a restart.

    Instead of a comforting Apple spinning wheel on the grey startup screen, I got a folder with a flashing question mark. Looked it up on my dad's laptop on the apple support site, and popped in my tiger install disk to run a disk utility. The only disk it recognized was my Combo Drive and the Install DVD inside.

    I brought it into my office this morning and had my resident mac expert have a look. He started it up in target mode connected to his PBG4 and nothing. I hoped it was a loose connection or bad power connection. He opened up and pulled out my HDD, and put it in an external firewire enclosure and hooked it up to his PB. Nothing. HDD didnt spin or show up on his computer. It was completely dead.

    My iBook is out of warranty. (but purchased 1/28/2004) Only 1 year 7 mos. old.

    ********the jist of this whole thread is right here!!!**********

    I bought a new HDD to install. My current HDD is completely dead, not fully backed up, and in the freezer (old myth that that could resurrect it).

    Is there any way I can resurrect my dead 40GB HDD to back up the files on it?

    I dont need to use it long term, and quite frankly, don't want to after this. My new HDD is going in on Friday, regardless. I can re-install almost everything, but some important files have not been backed up.


    Thanks in advance to everybody,
    Alex Halper
  2. spinne1 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2005
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    Here is some general OS X data recovery info:

    If your hard drive is as dead as it seems, with catastrophic hardware failure, then the only way I know to get your data back is to send your hard disk off to one of the data rescue companies that charge big bucks to manually save whatever data they can. Is it THAT important of data? If so, here are a few examples of companies that do this (in addition to the company listed on the page in the above link):

    Good luck!

    [PS Because your disk will not mount or spin, I HIGHLY doubt that Data Rescue X can do anything for you]
  3. Jovian9 macrumors 68000


    Feb 19, 2003
    Planet Zebes
    This just happened to me Monday on my iMac G5. Luckily while installing Tiger onto a Firewire Drive it asked me if I wanted to transfer data from another Mac or partition to the new Tiger install....and somehow it saw my startup froze up during the install, but after a restart and reinstall it pulled 90% of what was on my start up partition (but nothing off of my media, audio). I was lucky, because at no other time has my hard drive been recognized since it died...and I've done lots of restarts with the Tiger and iMac disks while on the phone with Apple and on my own hoping to get all the info. Apple is sending me a new hard drive to replace myself.
  4. briangig macrumors regular

    May 16, 2005
    the freezer trick does work, depending on the problem with the drive..has to do with expanding and contracting metals.
  5. macgruff macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2005
    I can vouch for Data Rescue X listed in one of the links above, it saved my bacon recovering files off a harddrive that woudn't mount (but would spin - with the addition of strange noises, the drive failed some time after I managed to recover my data). You can download a trial version which wont recover anything but will give you an idea as to whether the program can help in your situation.
  6. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    Just out of morbid curiousity, what kind of hard drive was it? Fujitsu or Hitachi or? I had bad luck with a Fujitsu laptop drive in an early Titanium that Apple replaced. On the other hand, though it won't help you retireive your data, Hitachi does have an independent warranty, as I understand it, of three years. Date of manufacture should be on the drive if it is indeed an Hitachi IBM travelstar.

    As an aside, I complained to Apple today that I am stuck with this Fujitsu for three years on the new iBook. Can't believe Apple is still shipping 4200rpm drives.
  7. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    Don't forget to also buy another drive, an external one, to back everything up so you have a quick way to recover next time. Also, a nice big spindle of blank CDs or DVDs to burn copies (plural) of your really important files.
  8. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    What you need to do is go into a small room, shut the door, and take the drive apart very slowly and carefully, being careful not to stir any dust. Then take the platters out of the drive and put them into another one ;-)
  9. Xapplimatic macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2001
    Uh, you forgot to mention it needs to be done in a clean room or under a clean hood with positive air flow. One dust or smoke particle could wedge under a read-write head and scratch the heck out of the platter... There are simple low-cost designs for riggin up your own clean-room hood at home using standard HEPA and ionic filters and stainless metal cabinets if you look around enough online. But I'm not so sure that the platters swap thing will work like some might think it would since the drives electronics are programmed to remember the format last applied to the platters they came with and alignment might not be the same not to mention density.. then again, I think you were joking... at least, I hope so.
  10. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Complexity Award goes to...


    Congrats for giving the hardest to do operation on a computer, ever!

Share This Page