10.6 needs disk repair - upgrade to 10.8?

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by caljlo, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. caljlo, Aug 12, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013

    caljlo macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2007
    Hi all,

    Please, forgive me if this is a stupid question, but I ran a search and couldn't find an answer to my exact situation. I have a Macbook Pro running 10.6.8 from mid-2011. I've got a ton of photos and music on it, and although I try to back up the important stuff I've never used any automatic back-up solutions (time machine, etc). I'm about to start a new semester and I've been getting error messages about lack of space for the last month or so but just haven't had time to deal with it. I've gone thru and tried to delete some stuff to free up room, and currently have 24GB out of 319GB available. As my last external hard drive is giving me errors too, I'm planning to go buy a 3TB and set up some kind of solution for the future.

    I've tried to verify/repair my hard drive and it tells me I need to reboot from my start-up disk. This is a problem because I no longer have that disc (it's most likely in a storage unit in another state). Right now, my biggest concern is that when I try to open iphoto, the spinner just loads forever and it never actually boots up. I know I need to do something, I'm just not sure what/in what order. I would just download OSX 10.8 and upgrade, but the first step in all the instructions is to make sure your hard drive has no issues, so I'm wary of doing that...

    So, short question: can I upgrade to OSX 10.8 from the Apple store? How do I properly back-up my photos and music before doing so? Will upgrading solve my disk issues?

    Thank you in advance!!

    Attached Files:

  2. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    May 13, 2013
    Upgrading will only make your issues worse. Theres a moderate to good chance that your hard drive is starting to fail, which results in these types of errors in Disk Utility. Installing an operating system is a pretty good stress test on a hard drive since it's a really long read/write operation. With that in mind if your hard drive is indeed failing then the upgrade to Mountain Lion (or any OS) would likely push it over the edge.

    If I were in your shoes I would...
    1. Purchase the new external hard drive
    2. partition it into two volumes (one large for backup and a 20~GB for a system)
    3. install an operating system onto the external volume
    4. Boot to the external drive and attempt to backup your internal disk

    The idea behind this is that you want to create as little stress as possible for the internal disk. By installing an OS (Snow Leopard, Mountain Lion, etc) onto your external you can boot to that and use your internal disk as secondary, only accessing files as needed while backing up. Once everything is backed up to the external you could then focus on troubleshooting your internal disk/system and repair as necessary.

    Speaking of backing up... You could use a tool like Carbon Copy Cloner but with the errors you're seeing I would personally hop into terminal and use the following command to copy your user folder over to the external. This forces everything to copy but skips over any corrupted bits that would otherwise cause the process to time out.

    cp -Rfv source/files /destination
  3. caljlo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2007
    Thanks for the quick reply! I'm heading out to buy an external now. Sorry for all the questions, but can you give me a little more info on how to install an operating system (and which one/where do i get it?) onto the external drive? I have no idea what I'm doing, but I've been successful with learning this kind of stuff when necessary in the past.

  4. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    May 13, 2013
    Ideally if you could locate your system discs (the gray ones that came with your Mac) you could install it using those. Alternately I suppose you could download Mountain Lion and install it onto the external hard drive.

    Either way the installation will be run of the mill with the only exception being the "choose installation destination" screen, where you will choose the external hard drive instead of your internal drive.
  5. SeenJeen macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2009
    Do you still have the grey discs that came with your Mac?
  6. caljlo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2007
    Hi guys. No, unfortunately I have no idea where the start up discs that came with the laptop are. I'll have to buy something to install onto my new hardrive. I bought a 3 tb, will partition now. Should I just purchase mountain lion from the apple store and then install onto that?

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