Can I use another macbook/pro to repair the disk on my old macbook?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by dantenl, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. dantenl macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2011
    I purchased a black 13 inch macbook in August of 2007. I've since replaced everything in it except for the superdrive and hard disk, both of which unfortunately no longer work on it (it's nickname is the "Ship of Theseus").

    About a month ago, I was finished using it one night when it was almost out of power (~2%). I (GENTLY) dropped it maybe a few cms onto a soft clothes pile on my floor and turned in for the night.

    The next morning, I opened it up to find that it (surprise) will not boot up. It will go to the grey loading screen and the loading animation will play for about a minute or two after which it will then restart and the process will repeat. It's been a while since I've backed up with time machine (yes yes, tsk tsk) and I have many new photos which I would rather not lose of course.

    If my cd/dvd drive worked, I would of course try re-installing os x or upgrading to the new version I have with the macbook Pro I just purchased. However, it of course doesn't so this isn't an option.

    My question is as follows: Is there a way I can try to repair my macbook's disk drive by connecting it to another macbook/macbook pro (i.e. using a cable connection)? I know you can put the macbook in a mode to do this (and have done so), but any advice on how to actually go from there would be of great help. Can I connect the two with a cable and try a repair with disk utility?

    Thanks for any help,
  2. kuebby macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2007
    If you connect your MacBook to another Mac with a Firewire cable, then start booting up your MacBook while holding the "T" key it will boot up in Target Disk Mode which will allow you to access its hard drive, assuming it isn't totally dead.

    Edit: Here's the Apple Info doc on it.
  3. dantenl, Feb 9, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011

    dantenl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2011
    Yeah, I'd heard about this. I assume the disk isn't completely dead - after all the macbook turns on and I've gotten it to display loading text - which I'd share, if it were with me (it's unfortunately several hundred miles away).

    Firewire cables come with a wide variety of connectors - which one should I get? 4 Pin?
  4. oculus42 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2002
    Cable depends on which computers you are using. The MacBook uses the six-pin FireWire 400 (1394a) port, where the newer (2009 and later) MacBookPro uses the 9-pin FireWire 800 (1394b). Older MacBook Pro models had the six pin and the nine-pin ports, except the first generation, which had only the six-pin.

    The four-pin is usually only found on PC Laptops and A/V equipment.

    Note that the last two generations of MacBook do not include FireWire ports at all.
  5. dantenl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2011
  6. Jesseeee macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2011
    United States

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