Failed hard drive / no back-up / no install disk - help?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by saaborac, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. saaborac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    #1
    Hey people.
    I have to admit that I am a bit of a noob at Macs. I've been researching a lot, and I can't find the answer to my exact problem. And I don't have warranty, plus I didn't buy it in an Apple store.

    Here's the deal - I bought a Macbook Pro, late 2008 model, a month ago (my very first Mac), and I got it without the install disks. The only thing I got was the computer and charger.
    One day I turned it on and the flashing question mark came up and google quickly told me that it's because it can't find/something's wrong with the software.
    I've tried various methods to get it to work without the install disk, but none have solved anything.
    I am quite sure that I accidently downloaded a virus, can this totally fry my hard drive so I need to get a new one? Or should I invest in the install disks and try that first? - And where can I get them? I don't have much info on this Mac, so I don't think I'd be able to contact Apple and get them to send me new ones.
    If I replace the hard drive, I assume they come empty. How do I install the software on the new hard drive - how and where can I get it? I don't have a back-up.

    And one other thing - the internal mic doesn't work. I've tried all the settings on the computer, tried with external mics. Nothing works. What can be the problem here? Will I need to get it fixed by a professional?

    I hope that some generous soul out there will help me.
     
  2. aeboi macrumors 65816

    aeboi

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #2
  3. saaborac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    #3
    I didn't think I could use that CD to reboot my computer, especially since the install disks are sold for like 70-80 dollars on eBay. Makes no sense..

    And will it work on my failing hard drive?
     
  4. aeboi macrumors 65816

    aeboi

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #4
    you can perform a clean install with a $30 SL disk

    and if the hard drive is failing then what's the point? get a new hard drive
    if the HD isn't "failing" then there shouldn't be a problem

    plenty of guides
    http://www.brighthub.com/computing/mac-platform/articles/48174.aspx
     
  5. saaborac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    #5

    Weeell, that's the thing, I don't really know if it has failed or not. I don't know how I would know.
    Can I use the SL disk to reboot if the flashing question mark is showing when I turn it on? Or will I need a new hard drive first, then install the SL?
     
  6. aeboi macrumors 65816

    aeboi

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #6
    you can go ahead and try, either way, you'll need an OS X disk

    refer to this
    http://support.apple.com/kb/ts1440
     
  7. palane macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #7
    Keep Hope Alive

    Your drive isn't necessarily dead and it's probably not a virus either. Some critical files may have been corrupted and so you can't boot from the drive. Since you mentioned not having a back-up, I assume that you need to rescue your data.

    Something like this situation arose in our household recently. I'd upgraded the hard drive on my wife MB to 500GB. Duped the old drive to an external before doing this. The most recent back-up was a few months old. I was able to start the computer from an install disk, copy the information to an external, wipe the drive and restore the information. It took a bit of effort to get the internal drive to mount, but everything proceeded smoothly thereafter.

    You definitely have to buy an install disk. Either 10.5 or 10.6. You really should buy an external hard drive. At $100 for 1 TB or more, there's really no excuse. I'd recommend picking up some software for duplication. Carbon Copy Cloner and Super Duper are popular.

    Option 1. Buy an install disk and an external hard drive. Boot the computer and install OS X on it. Then boot the computer from the external drive and see if the original internal drive shows up. COPY EVERYTHING. Reformat the internal drive, reinstall OS X, and copy back the data files.

    Option 2. Find a friend with a Mac. Connect your computer to your friend's Mac and turn on your computer in target mode. If the drive is spinning up just fine, it should appear as an external drive on your friend's computer. COPY EVERYTHING. Then reformat your hard drive using the install disk mentioned elsewhere in this thread.

    Can't help you with the mic, but a fresh install will help if it was a software problem. Good luck.

    BB

     

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