Resolved Hard Drive Dying or OS issue?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by just1nd20, May 9, 2011.

  1. just1nd20, May 9, 2011
    Last edited: May 9, 2011

    just1nd20 macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2010
    I've had a few problems over the last 6 months where my macbook pro hangs on restart or I get a pinwheel when trying to open/run applications. The first time, I repaired the disk and disk permissions, and it worked fine for a few months. Another time it happened I had an "invalid sibling link" problem and googled some fsck commands in single-user mode to fix it - kind of worked. Ended up having to reinstall OS X not long after. Now I can barely open iTunes without it taking over a minute while a window says "checking itunes library" (my library if one an external drive), if I try to open any other applications I'll get the pinwheel and the computer becomes unresponsive. I've had to hold the power button down to restart if a few times. Once it was hanging on the grey apple screen and had to hold power button again. I'm backing up my home folder just in case. Anyone have input on why it's happening or what to do?

    Thank you.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
  3. shevans macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2007
    Herts, UK
    Similar to the issues I experienced last August, it was the hard drive.

    I bout a cheap USB external drive from my local supermarket and used SuperDuper to make a copy. When booted from the USB drive the machine worked 100% so up and running quite quickly while I shopped around for a new drive.
  4. just1nd20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2010
    @simsaladimbamba Yes I did. I made sure to erase and install since it was recommended in some guide I read, though I don't recall where it was. I used Carbon Copy Clone and Migration Assistant to recover my home folder.

    edit: I should add I haven't done that this time around. I should have explained I reinstalled the OS maybe 2 months ago
  5. Doug Young macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2010
    As shevans did, Clone your hard drive to an external drive and then boot from it.
    If problems vanish it's hardware, if they persist then it is software

    regardless of the outcome, what's your backup strategy for WHEN your hard drive does fail
  6. just1nd20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2010
    I have a feeling this is my problem too. I'll have to grab a cheap HDD for now. Hoping to move to SSD sometime soon. I wasn't aware you could boot from an external USB drive. I think I've only read about using FireWire, which, now that I think about it, is probablu because it's faster that USB. Either way, the portable external I am using my clone for is a few years old, so I'd rather not risk the wear and tear on that drive as my sole backup/boot drive.
  7. just1nd20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2010
    I only have a little 160GB portable for my backup. I have a 2TB drive that has all my media on it, but i'd rather not partition that since it's nearly out of space. So I'll update my Clone and try to grab another drive this week. When it comes to backups, in general, I more or less don't have anything else in place. I've been very limited financially for a few months while out of work. But I know I should have had more on-site backup, not to mention off-site backup. If it weren't for this old portable, I'd SOL.

    I'm going to have to research how to boot from the external, never tried it before.
  8. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Hold down the "Option" key while you reboot and you get a menu showing the bootable drives.

    I also want to add my experience of over 30 years of personal computers -- I've had many disk drives die, but I've only had to reinstall an OS once in the past 12 years, and that was after a bad application install took everything down. (OSes I used earlier, primarily Microsoft's, seemed to corrupt the drives on their own on occasion.) These days problems that seem to be the OS inevitably turn out to be failing disk sectors that corrupt the code. So if you get the urge to reinstall the OS to fix some problem, you had better replace the drive first!
  9. just1nd20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2010
    @Talmy I appreciate your input and thank you for your guidance.

    Thanks everyone for responding. Very helpful. I'll work on a temporary hardware fix this week and look for a more permanent fix in the coming weeks. I'm going to mark this as resolved for anyone with a similar problem in the future.

    Take care.
  10. just1nd20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2010
    Just wanted to thank everyone again. Im pretty sure my HDD bit it yesterday afternoon/ Blue Screen on startup no matter what I try to do. Luckily made another clone that I can use as a boot drive for the time being. If it weren't for someone mentioning that I would have been using a clone I made almost 4 months ago.

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