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macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 21, 2013
Here's the situation.

I have an iMac 27" which I've had for about 3 years. A week ago OSX started running really slowly. Soon after that I was unable to boot into OSX. I have a Windows partition which I booted into, and was able to access the OSX partition using Macdrive. I managed to copy MOST of my files off to an external drive (yes, stupidly I don't keep backups).

I shut down the computer for the night thinking I could copy the rest the following day but when I turned the computer on I could no longer boot to Windows. Using disk target mode I can access the Boot Camp partition but not the OSX one. I've tried repairing the disk through disk utility and it tells me it can't be repaired and needs to be formatted. I used the fsck on startup previously to check the disk and received this error:

disk0s2: I/O error.
Invalid node structure

Through Disk Target mode I've also tried using Diskwarrior which won't read it, and Data Rescue, which can't seem to access that partition either.

I just have a few files that I really need to get off the hard disc - is there ANYthing I can do before I format this drive?



macrumors 68040
Dec 1, 2006
Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
Surely you don't intend to simply re-format the drive and continue to use it? :eek:

I would replace the drive with a new one, then put the original in an external enclosure and continue to attempt to recover any files possible.

Then I would discard it!


macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 21, 2013
No I had no intention to continue using it. It's faulty right? I didn't even expect it would continue to work. Just wanna get those files off there :(

Thanks for your advice!


macrumors newbie
Feb 5, 2012
Minnesota US
Can't repair hard drive......

The best program for this situation is called Disk Warrior. It runs/boots from a Disk. If there is a repairable error on the HD it will fix it. If there is a non-recoverable hardware error, then you are down to using one of the file recovery/scavenging programs such as Data Rescue. There are some free ones as well out there like Lazesoft, although I have never used it.
BEFORE I learned to back up the important stuff, I did have occasion to use Data Rescue - it is a slow process, but will get files that are retrievable. I would run Disk Warrior first. I use DW routinely on all partitions at least monthly or when things seem to slow down. It can be soft run for any drive other than your boot partition, but needs to run from Disk for the boot drive.
The advice in regards the HD is correct - recover what you can and then discard it. Don't try reformatting it and re-using it unless DW easily fixes it - in which case you should not need to do anything else and can continue normal use.
There are lots of cloud based storage backup options out there, most are cheap or even free.


macrumors 6502a
Dec 24, 2011
Usually what get busted is the magnetic needle that reads the drive. When you shut down the drive, the needles retracts so they do not scratch the discs in transportation. If the drive is faulty usually the needles won't move any more when you start up again, they may be discalibrated or any of the mechanical parts lose, who knows. That is why... when the thing is working suck your data asap on the fly.

When you send those damaged discs to repair, they just extracts the discs and inserted in a reader with the same model of needles and that is it.


macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2012
May I suggest....

Stellar Phoenix for Mac? Good program for recovery and had saved me a fair share of situations. But if you have a big quantity of little files, that can take a lot of time.....:(

TechTool Pro and Data Rescue can come handy too....And echoing other posters, discard that disc and implement a sensible backup estrategy....

Good luck...!:D

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