Could My Imac Hard Drive Be Erased

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by daverage, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. daverage macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    #1
    Yesterday, while running Itunes and Safari, my Imac (purchased in Sept 2006), froze and I was forced to do manually shut it down. Upon restarting, I was greeted with the blinking question mark folder, and I then proceeded to start up again while holding the Option key.

    After holding the Option key, the Windows and OS X Drives did not appear as they normally would. I then inserted the OS X software disk to reinstall, and when I arrived at the step to select a destination volume, the window was completely empty.

    At this point it looks like my Imac can not access my hard drive, or it has some how been erased. I also posted this question on the Apple forums yesterday and tried the following remedies below to no avail:

    X = Boot to OS X on systems with dual boot

    Command+V = Starts your system in Verbose mode. (lists what is loading during startup, as opposed to the spinning icon with grey screen)

    Command+S = Single user mode (used for troubleshooting in most cases)

    Holding Shift Key upon start up

    FSCK mode

    Command+Option+P+R Zaps Parameter RAM (Note: Make sure to push this key combination directly after the startup chime, and hold the keys until you hear the startup chime again.)

    No matter what I try I always receive the blinking question folder (unless I hold Option key, then I get a blank blue screen). At this point it looks like taking it to Apple and paying them to service it is my only option, anyone else have any last second tips or ideas?

    Thanks!

    Note - I have resetted the VRAM as well with no luck.
     
  2. theyellowdart macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Mitten State
    #2
    when you boot off of the OS X Install CD. Go tools -> Disk Utility, does your drive show up there?
     
  3. daverage thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    #3

    Unfortuneatly no. When I go to Disk Utility, I have the option between the OS X CD and a question mark. Additionally, if I try to reinstall OS X, no drives appear in the window when I get to the select a destination drive portion.
     
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #4
    That looks more like a hardware problem if the hard disk isn't detectable.
     
  5. misterredman macrumors 6502a

    misterredman

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    #5
    Really seems like an harddrive failure to me. It could be a failure of the controller on the motherboard so you may want to try the drive on another machine but the most probable cause is a dead HD.
     
  6. daverage thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    #6

    Crap. What do you think the chances of The Apple Store are to retrieve the data on the drive? Due to laziness, this drive has not yet been backed up.
     
  7. misterredman macrumors 6502a

    misterredman

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    #7
    Not sure about the Apple Store but there are companies out there that can surely recover the data on the drive, but it won't be cheap. Just try a google search or ask at the Apple Store, they may know someone who can do that.
     
  8. Apple Ink macrumors 68000

    Apple Ink

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    #8
    110% HDD failure! If its under 1 year, Apple will replace it! Or else, www.newegg.com is good place to start!
     
  9. daverage thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    #9
    Unfortuneatly its just under two years, and no longer covered. I'm fairly certain its the hard drive. Has anyone had success with Apple recovering the data on a hard drive? I have an appoitment with them tomorrow and strongly feel theres no way I'll ever see this data again. 2 years of musical compostions down the drain (I had been meaning to back it up...).
     
  10. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #10
    Always have a backup.

    Apple doesn't do data recovery either.
     
  11. theyellowdart macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Mitten State
    #11
    It really sounds almost more like a HD controller failure than a HD failure (thought it still easily could be the HD).

    what you may want to do is remove the HD from the system, and then place it into another mac and see if it boots, or if you have a PC laying around, put it into there and install an HFS driver in windows and see if you can get any last bits of data.
     
  12. misterredman macrumors 6502a

    misterredman

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    #12
    May I ask you what you base your assumption on?

    This may be a good idea. Just be sure not to write anything on the drive as this will make the recovery even harder if not impossible.

    If you really need to get the data back and are ready to pay the price look for a specialized company, once you determined it's a drive failure.

    At the Apple store they should be able to tell you if it's the drive or the controller.
     
  13. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #13
    Just to reiterate -- Apple will not recover or preserve your data. If its the hard drive there's little point taking it to Apple, they will only replace it with an overpriced undersized replacement.

    I would buy an external SATA / USB or SATA / FW enclosure ($18 - $50) plus the third party SATA hard drive of your choice - Seagate, Samsung, Western Digital, Hitachi, $75 - $180 depending on the size you're after. Then take it to an independent Apple technician to install the new drive if you aren't confident disassembling the machine yourself. Install the old drive into the SATA case.

    If it is the logic board (controller), then it will be apparent when you try to initialize the new hard drive. But chances are it's the drive

    Once the new drive is in, see if the machine will recognize the old drive in the SATA case. If not, you need to decide if it is worth $1000 - $3000 to send it away to a specialist data recovery company.
     
  14. theyellowdart macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Mitten State
    #14
    Personal experience more than anything. When i've seen these type of issues, computer won't boot with a ?, Disk Utility doesn't show it properly, it usually is the controller going bad. Now, if certain, vital, areas of the HD take a poopoo you can see the exact same symptoms, however your typical dead HD will still do something... be it start to boot and crash, or at the least show up in Disk Utility.


    Strongly agree, if you see the data, just take it and move it... don't try to do anything else with the drive otherwise bad things may happen :D.

    Also, as Eidorian always have a backup. Whenever the thought "I should back this up sometime" crosses your mind.. the time to backup is then.
     
  15. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #15
    If your HDD is bad then you will need a data recovery service; it can cost from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars to recover depending on how much work needs to be done.

    If it's the controller that's bad, then you can just get an external enclosure and get your data out like that.

    Whatever the result; start doing back ups. Being lazy is not an excuse.
     
  16. daverage thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    #16
    Thats weird, they did on my buddy's Imac hard drive last year. He said they recovered everything but a few music files.

    I have an appoitment w/ them this evening so we'll see what happens.
     
  17. daverage thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    #17
    Oh...believe me...I will....I've learned the hard way :mad:
     
  18. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #18
    That was an exception. Their service policies are quite clear that they take no responsibility for your data.
     

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