24" Imac hard drive accessiblity problem

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Trident46, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. Trident46 macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2010

    I have a 24" Imac, Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.8 Ghz, 4gb ram running OS X 10.5.

    The other day I powered it down, unplugged it, and slide my desk out - not moving the Imac off the desk - and then moved the desk back. When I powered on - stuck at a gray screen. Then rebooted to find a blinking question mark.

    Booted off the startup disk to try and run disk repair. When I opened disk utility it only - most of the time, not all the time - shows my Dos partition, sometimes.....sometimes it doesn't show anything other than my DVD drive.

    I installed 10.5 on an external drive connect via firewire. I can boot off the external drive with no problems. When I do System Profiler sees my internal Serial-ATA - but I can't access it.

    Is there anyway I can access this drive? Through Terminal? I don't think I can make it bootable again - without erasing it, and I want to try and grab some data off it.

    Any ideas would be great!
  2. tomacintosh macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2005
    Sounds like your drive is fudgered :(

    You could try booting with a TechTool Pro disc, but if the Hard drive is not even getting picked up then there's little any program can do.

    You could try resetting the SMC to see if that does anything. (can't see it doing much though)


    If you take the drive out the machine maybe you could try it in a external enclosure, or in a different machine. That'd be my first port of call.
  3. Trident46 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2010
    Thanks Tom....

    I thought if might be "fudgered" ;)

    I was hoping, since the system profiler sees it, that there might be a way of getting into the drive after booting from the external.....

    I'm an ex PC guy so I was thinking along the lines of making the internal drive a "slave" and just accessing the data.

    UGH! ;)
  4. fluffyx macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2007
    Given the timing and the symptoms, it's very likely that this is a true mechanical failure. If the data on there is important, I'd consider professional data recovery.
  5. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    SATA drives have no "slave" setting.

    Its not hard to get into a 24" iMac, 2 seconds to slip the glass off, and another 5 to remove all the screws (you dont have to remove the whole screen, just prop it up)

    The external enclosure is a good idea, but I think the drive is dead as well, bummer.

    Hopefully you have a good backup =)
  6. Trident46 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2010
    New info.....

    Thank you all for your input!

    So - I took the bootable disk out of my external enclosure and installed it in the IMAC (it's the same exact drive by the way) and the IMAC works fine.

    I took the "failed" drive from the Imac and put it in the enclosure. I then connected to a Dell XPS 700 running Vista - and I was able to access the NTFS partition - the boot camp partition - and all the files on it.

    I then connected it to the Imac - with the same result. I can only access the NTFS partition.

    This seems to me that the hard drive is okay - it seems to be a problem with the MAC partition.

    I tried a program called HFSExplorer - to access the MAC partition on the drive from my Vista machine. The app saw the mac partition and, when it tried to "map it", it would lock up my whole system.

    Any further thoughts?


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