anyone to save my files on macbook that won't boot

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by airtas, Jun 26, 2016.

  1. airtas macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    #1
    Not sure what happened but my MBP pro won't boot up.
    I know I am going to have to install the OS again but if I pulled the hard drive out and loaded it into an enclosure would I be able to potential grab files through USB on another mac?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 26, 2016 ---
    Image from Disk Utility

    20160626_005222_resized2.jpg
     
  2. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    #2
    Disk Utility shows that you only kept a 97 GB partition for the Mac OS and it is completely full. If that is the case, that is why you can't boot.

    Will it boot into the Windows partition? Can you access the Mac side while booted from Windows and delete some files?

    Otherwise, if you have a second Mac, use Thunderbolt Target Disk Mode to access your MBP from another Mac and delete some files: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH19021?locale=en_US
     
  3. jerryk macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #3
    Yes that works
     
  4. shoehornhands macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2014
    #4
    I don't think the Windows partition will see the OS X partition initially. You should be able to use something like hfsexplorer to view the OS X partition from Windows though (probably the simplest solution):

    http://www.catacombae.org/hfsexplorer/

    You could also boot from a Linux live USB (or install OS X to an external drive), and access the OS X partition from there.

    If you stick your MBP drive in an external enclosure, you should also be able to view your OS X files from another OS X installation, but depending on which MBP model you have, there might not be an enclosure for it (I think the retina MBP uses a proprietary connector).

    You may also have to change permissions to access certain files.
     
  5. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #5
    Yes, but if the boot failure relates to a drive hardware problem then it may be sane to minimise use of the drive; be prepared to attempt the copy in one, short, focused session.
     
  6. airtas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    #6
    Not sure how it filled up that quickly with no warning. Does that make sense that disk utility won't let me mount the drive?

    Waiting for the firewire cable to come in the mail so I can give Target Disk mode a shot.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 26, 2016 ---
    Target Disk mode is in essence the same thing, right? If that doesn't work neither would usb, right?
    --- Post Merged, Jun 26, 2016 ---
    Meaning used Targeted Disk mode quick and once?
     
  7. airtas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    #7
    If I boot using an external Hard drive will I be able to see the internal Hard Drive as a storage source to grab files?

    Or is the targeted disk a higher percentage chance?
     
  8. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #8
    Target disk mode requires both Macs to boot. How far into the drive boot (as opposed to firmware), I'm not sure but you may need to cross your fingers.
     
  9. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    #9
    Target Disk Mode does not require the target Mac to boot from its hard drive.
     
  10. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #10
    Cool, its all in firmware then...
     
  11. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #12
    The essence, if there's suspicion of a failing drive, is quick and once.

    If you have a second Mac, if the MacBook Pro can be started in target disk mode and if you have a suitable cable, then you can boot OS X at the second Mac.

    Or (from your opening post) "hard drive out and loaded it into an enclosure"; do you already have a spare enclosure? And/or a spare drive?
     
  12. Brandon0448 macrumors 6502

    Brandon0448

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    #13
    Your drive being full is not the reason it will not boot, don't listen to these other guys they don't know what they are talking about. Having a full drive is certainly not good for your system and will cause it to slow to a crawl but it will in no way affect the boot process.

    I suspect the drive is simply failing from normal wear and tear. Simply take the drive out and put it in a external enclosure like you stated or use the target disk mode like others have suggested. They are in essence doing the same exact thing, mounting the hard drive as an external drive to another computer.

    I imagine putting it an external exclosure would give you the best chance of success because then you are directly accessing it with the other computer. I am not that familiar with target disk mode but considering it is communicating through the I/O bus I assume it would require a portion of the kernel to be running on your machine with the bad drive (which may not be able to boot considering the drive is failing). You can try to get it in target disk mode and if it doesn't work then remove the drive and put it in an external enclosure, that will for sure work.

    When you start transferring your files off the bad hard drive there is a good chance that it might fail during the copying. If it does don't lose faith and just simply keep trying until you get all the files you need. You should be able to get most if not all of your data intact.

    When hard drives start failing they usually don't just die completely. They will start giving bit errors and when that error is detected it will cause the process to fail. Usually the boot files are the first to fail considering they are one of the most used portions of the drive. One time it took me about 10 attempts to make a clone of a failing hard drive (I needed the entire file system intact, not just a few files). It should be significantly easier to get just the files you need (documents, pictures, music, etc.)

    Good luck!
     
  13. airtas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    #14

    Thank you!

    So I installed OSX on a flash drive, booted with that drive and used Diskwarrior to save my files.

    I purchased a new hard drive and tried 100 different times to format the drive using disk utility.

    It would not work. Would get input/output error and can't allocate memory error.

    For fun I put the old drive back in (which accord to all reports the health was fine). And that wouldn't format either.

    Upon research, could be the SATA cable. Won't know until I swap the cable.

    If it is the cable how was disk warrior able to communicate with the drive?
     
  14. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #15
    Failing SATA cable on mine caused the drive to go into Read Only mode, so formats, creating folders etc wouldn't work but reading was fine as a number of retries eventually worked - and as it was the cable the retries were random across the data so it didn't just flag bad sectors etc.

    Mine also wasn't a boot drive but an internal data drive so the system worked fine to help diagnose...

    I installed DriveDX, the UDMA CRC Error Count was increasing as an indicator of the cable failure, the count stopped at 3234 when I swapped out the cable and hasn't changed since (2yrs roughly).
     
  15. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #16
  16. Brandon0448 macrumors 6502

    Brandon0448

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    #17
    Good idea! I didn't even think about booting into a USB drive and using that to copy the files you need.

    Unfortunately I do not have any first hand experience with failing SATA cables but it sounds like some other users have a little more experience with them. As they have suggested it is possible that when the OS detected the failing cable it could have reverted to a safe mode where it becomes read only to limit the throughput so the drive can still operate. I just sincerely hope it is the cable that is failing and not the logic board. Logic board replacements are $$$ on these machines.
     
  17. airtas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    #18
    Replaced the cable and was able to format the drive. Not sure if the drive was bad or just the cable or both but even with the new cable I couldn't boot but I could reformat. We are good now. Weird situation. Can I use timemachine to back up to a USB and then use that USB to restore on a new hard drive?
     
  18. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #19
    Yes.
     

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