Freeze, then unformatted disk. Out of the blue.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by houserhythm, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. houserhythm macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    #1
    So I was just chillin, watching a youtube video and out of the blue my whole system freezes. After I reboot I get the flashing question mark. Even the recovery partition is gone.
    I start online eecovery and disk urility says my disk is unformatted.
    *
    Haven't installed any new software, connected any new hardware or changed any settings in at least a month.
    *
    So my question is: is rhere any way to restote the partition table? Cause I doubt all the data actually got deleted.
    And also why the hell would something like this happen? I thought Windows PCs were supposed to be the wonky ones, but in 15 years of using all kinds of different Win machines this never happened to me, I never lost data. Then this happens on my 1st Mac :(

    Using a MBA mid 2012 running 10.8.4
     
  2. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #2
    I've never heard of that happening before, have/were you running bootcamp, ReFit, or any other partition management software?

    Sounds like the drive could have failed, a trip to an Apple store could confirm. Were you not running a backup?
     
  3. houserhythm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    #3
    No bootcamp or any other software that would mess with partitions.
    I'm a pretty average user, just browsing, watching the occasional movie, listening to some music and playing a bit of Diablo 3. So I didn't have any unusual piece of software installed.

    Luckily the 120GB SSD is really small so I use an external drive to keep all my data, but still I'd like not to have to go through the hassle of installing everything and getting all my settings just right.
    Also I'd like to understand what actually happened there. Even though I'm an average home user, I work as an IT specialist in server support, dealing with some pretty complex ssetups/issues, so you don't have to dumb it down for me. The thing is just I'm quite new to Macs and also I don't have the means to mount this disk on a different machine and try to fiddle with it.

    EDIT: a trip to the Apple store would have been my 1st choice, if only the nearest one wasn't 700 miles and 3 countries over :)
     
  4. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #4
    Well it's very unusual, could be an iffy SSD. I'd make a Genius appointment and ask Apple, they can run diagnostics on it at the store.

    Also consider a Time Machine backup, easy and can use your external drive.
     
  5. houserhythm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    #5
    As I said the Apple Store isn't an option since the closest one is so far away.
    If noone here can come up with anything I'll just have to reinstall and in case it happens again send it back to my retailer for warranty (which would suck cause this is my only PC at home and it would take them at least 2 weeks to return/replace it)
     
  6. ItHurtsWhenIP macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2013
    Location:
    'Merica!
    #6
    Seriously? He says the nearest apple store is 700 miles away and 3 COUNTRIES OVER..and you still tell him to set a Genius appointment?

    I know my post doesn't help him, but seriously?

    Good luck houserhythm. It sounds like an SSD failure of some nasty sort to me..can you mail it in to Apple or get it to them somehow to check it out? Any other way besides taking it to a store? It might help if you say what country you're actually in..did you get it directly from Apple or from a local shop?
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #7
    It really does sound like the drive is dead. From your description you have not modified hardware or installed any software that would cause a spontaneous failure like this. You just had the bad luck of getting a defective drive. :(

    I know you said there are no Apple Stores nearby, but you might check here for an authorized Apple repair center (not a store) near you.
     
  8. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #8
    It's most likely going to be a failing drive. You may be able to reinstall and get it running again for a while. I had a corsair SSD do the same thing. Then it quickly went completely offline.

    So far my experience with SSD drives are that they are no more reliable than hard disk drives. I've two out five fail on me since I started using them two or three years ago.

    As for restoring the partition table. The only way I know of to restore a missing partition table is extremely complex by doing a hex edit of the partition table. I've only done it once and that was for data recovery only. That only got it to the point where I could run Nucleus Kernel. As restoring a partition table does not restore files. All restoring a partition table does is tell the computer what is the beginning and end points of each partition.

    Doing this also entailed intense research on my part. No forum reply could come close to the level of detail you need to do this.

    Here's some more info about the partition table.
    http://blog.creativeitp.com/posts-a...ot-record-mbr-with-a-hex-editor-hex-workshop/
     
  9. applefan022 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Location:
    Little Rock, AR
    #9
    My computer froze then went to reboot, and then got a flashing question mark. Took it to the apple store today and my SSD has failed. Out of warranty by like 49 days. Say it was gonna cost $490 to replace it.. MBA mid-2012 11" 128gb. I'm sure its the Toshiba SSD with the Sandforce controller. seems to be like a well spread problem lately.
     
  10. tey112 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    #10
    My 2012 MBA 13" with a 128GB SSD just did something similar.

    I was surfing the web and got a warning that the keychain was missing. I checked and it was empty so I restored from Time Machine. It went missing again about 2 minutes later. So I checked Console....

    In console I found some disk I/O errors, so I started up Disk Utility and ran "Verify Disk". It found something along the lines of "Sector should be 512, found 0. Restart in Recovery mode to repair."

    I restarted, and in Recovery Mode Disk Utility it only shows "33kb Sandforce" now. SSD dead at 1year 68days. It goes without saying that I can't boot up anymore. Attempting to will show a loading bar, then it powers off. For anyone trying to find a pattern, I was running Filevault and the latest 10.8.4 image. Disk usage was probably around 60-80GB on average with no huge or frequent writes.
     
  11. applefan022 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Location:
    Little Rock, AR
    #11
    Yeah it freaking sucks! Mine did it last night took it to apple store today, they wouldn't do a thing about it... This problem seems to be more widespread than they think. What is your plan to replace it OWC SSD?



     
  12. tey112 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    #12
    I'm going through a warranty claim with the CC that I used to buy the mba, so hopefully that'll take care of everything monetary-wise. It would make sense that the OWC replacement would work, but the genius bar guys said it might also be something with the Logic Board, which you can't really replace on your own.

    Watch this be the beginning of a whole batch of SSD failures starting to crop up :(.
     
  13. Mighty Anderson macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    #13
    I do not think sandforce is at fault, becuase their controllers are used by other OEMs as well & I havent heard any compliants apart from this mid 2012 MBA issue. It surely must be some sort of compatibility code which is not worked on by Toshiba!!
     
  14. frank840925 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    #14
    Weird, this happen to me too. I was using my MBP 2010 with a 256 GB SSD, on 9/3 midnight it suddenly freezed when using Chrome. Then my laptop can't even read my disk.(It appeared a question mark)
    I took it to apple store and after two days of testing, they said it's probably due to the motherboard, coz they changed the flat cable and another hard disk but the problem is still the same.
    Same problem happened at the same time around the world, I smell something fishy.
     
  15. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    #15
    it is sandforce at fault. I had an OWC drive (two of them actually), and one had this exact thing happen after one weeks use, the other had it happen after 3 weeks use. Then I got my money back and said I will never again buy an SSD with a sandforce controller. Both were in the same computer which was a 2010 macbook pro. Apple is going to have a huge problem on their hands as this happens to everyone who owns a toshiba ssd macbook air eventually I would not be surprised if it ends up being part of a huge replacement program at some point. The sad part is if you buy a replacement from OWC you end up with the same crappy sandforce controller
     
  16. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    #16
    see another post on the first page regarding the question mark of death. this problem is going to blow up really soon as more and more of these out of warranty macs start having SSDs go bad due to sandforce
     
  17. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68000

    PBG4 Dude

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #17
    Been reading threads about the 2012 MBA 11" SSDs dying like this since June. It's the only reason I bought AppleCare for mine (was 2 days past 1 year but Apple let me purchase it).
     
  18. henryonapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    #18
    same problem here, my 2012 MBA is about 2 months outside the warranty period. before my computer stopped working it was crashing repeatedly when I was doing simple tasks.
     

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