Dead Hard Drive!

61SG

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 16, 2010
9
0
This past Sunday my black MacBook (running Mountain Lion) got hung up while I was searching the web. I had to shut the laptop down by holding the power button, and when I restarted I got a white screen of death. I went through all the suggestions on the Apple support page but nothing worked so I dropped into the local Apple store and, as the nice girl at the Genius Bar could not get the drive to mount, I was told that the drive is more than likely dead. She suggested that I get an enclosure and see if it would mount if it was not being used as a boot drive; I just tried this and, sadly, it did not work.

Does anyone have any secret tips to get a troublesome drive to mount? The drive itself is quite small (180 gigs, I believe) and, really, all I need are a few important items. If I could get it to mount at all, even for less than an hour, I'd be able to copy what I need. I got a few quotes from some data recovery companies and they range from $500 to $1300 or so, which is TOTALLY out of budget for me. I haven't backed up in a while, and the the thought of not getting my important files back is making me sick. I know, I'm an idiot.

Any tips would be very much appreciated.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,004
5,959
"Does anyone have any secret tips to get a troublesome drive to mount? The drive itself is quite small (180 gigs, I believe) and, really, all I need are a few important items. If I could get it to mount at all, even for less than an hour, I'd be able to copy what I need. I got a few quotes from some data recovery companies and they range from $500 to $1300 or so, which is TOTALLY out of budget for me."

You didn't say whether the bad drive is still in the black Macbook or not.

Did you replace it with a working drive yet?

Or....?
 

61SG

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 16, 2010
9
0
Hello. I took the drive out of the Macbook and put it in an enclosure, and I have not replaced the it with a new drive yet. I did, however, get a new 750 gig Western Digital drive over the weekend and I plan to install it soon. I didn't install the new drive because I was hoping I could get this dead-drive issue settled first.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,004
5,959
"I did, however, get a new 750 gig Western Digital drive over the weekend and I plan to install it soon. I didn't install the new drive because I was hoping I could get this dead-drive issue settled first."

It helps to have a "known good", bootable system that you can use as your "base of operations".

My suggestions:
- First, put the NEW drive into the Macbook and get a bootable system onto it. Create a new account for yourself if necessary. I suggest you use your "old" username and password.

- Once you have a working, bootable MacBook, then hook up the OLD drive (in the external enclosure) and see what you get from it.

- Hopefully, you'll get the drive to mount on the desktop. The drive may no longer be bootable (not without problems or glitches), but it STILL may be "mountable".

- If the drive does in fact mount up, the first thing to do is get what you need from it. I'm not sure if "Migration Assistant" will work, give that a try first if you can.

- If MA -doesn't- work for you, you might consider using CarbonCopyCloner to copy selected portions of the OLD drive over to the NEW drive.

- You want to use CCC version 3.4.6 if it runs on your system. I believe you can still find this version for download here:
http://www.bombich.com/download.html

- You can set up CCC so that it only clones certain folders (and not the entire drive). Consider doing this, because there may be corrupt files in your old system folder that keep you from a good boot.
 

61SG

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 16, 2010
9
0
Thanks very much, Fishrrman.

I've actually been using my dad's MacBook Pro as a "known good", bootable system. Unfortunately, I can't get the original drive, which I have in a enclosure, to mount to my dad's MBP as an external drive. I tried again yesterday using Migration Assistant but still did not have any luck.
 

krawfo

macrumors regular
May 4, 2011
152
8
I've been working with my son's MBP with the same problem. I'd second the idea of trying out the "freezer trick" linked above. It didn't work for him but what do you have to lose. Also try tapping the drive while it's running in the external enclosure. That might free a stuck cylinder.
Good luck.
 

AppleFanatic10

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2010
2,565
135
Hawthorne, CA
This past Sunday my black MacBook (running Mountain Lion) got hung up while I was searching the web. I had to shut the laptop down by holding the power button, and when I restarted I got a white screen of death. I went through all the suggestions on the Apple support page but nothing worked so I dropped into the local Apple store and, as the nice girl at the Genius Bar could not get the drive to mount, I was told that the drive is more than likely dead. She suggested that I get an enclosure and see if it would mount if it was not being used as a boot drive; I just tried this and, sadly, it did not work.

Does anyone have any secret tips to get a troublesome drive to mount? The drive itself is quite small (180 gigs, I believe) and, really, all I need are a few important items. If I could get it to mount at all, even for less than an hour, I'd be able to copy what I need. I got a few quotes from some data recovery companies and they range from $500 to $1300 or so, which is TOTALLY out of budget for me. I haven't backed up in a while, and the the thought of not getting my important files back is making me sick. I know, I'm an idiot.

Any tips would be very much appreciated.
One question: How in the world did you get your Black MacBook to run Mountain Lion... Isn't it supposed to stop supporting OS X at Snow Leopard or Lion?
 

61SG

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 16, 2010
9
0
I've been working with my son's MBP with the same problem. I'd second the idea of trying out the "freezer trick" linked above. It didn't work for him but what do you have to lose. Also try tapping the drive while it's running in the external enclosure. That might free a stuck cylinder.
Good luck.
Thanks, krawfo. I tried giving the drive a tap, as per your your suggestion, but it did not work. I'll try it again another time.

I'm a little leery about the freezer trick. Has anyone had this work?

----------

One question: How in the world did you get your Black MacBook to run Mountain Lion... Isn't it supposed to stop supporting OS X at Snow Leopard or Lion?
Thanks for pointing this out, AF10--that was a typo. I'm using Snow Leopard on my black MacBook.