Hard drive trouble after update, broken keyboard

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cordycepsd, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. cordycepsd macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2012

    My macbook (15" unibody late 2009) is in poor shape physically but was working just fine until I repaired permissions and the performed an update (snow leopard), and now all that happens when I try to boot is that grey screen with the spinning wheel icon. I know it's just the hard drive because I tried another hard drive in my macbook and everything worked just fine. I doubt it's a mechanical problem with the hard drive since this happened after an update and I don't hear any weird noises.

    However, my biggest problem is that my keyboard is broken (only the caps lock button works, which is useless) so I can't press any combinations of keys during startup to get it to do various things. I have a bluetooth keyboard, but it doesn't connect at this point in start-up so it's useless as well.

    I have another macbook (13" with lion) and I can get a firewire cable to put my old drive into target disk mode, but I'm afraid that would be useless if I can't press T while booting up.

    I tried putting the old drive in the new computer with the installation disk that came with it but it turns out you can't do that (incompatible CPU error or something).

    Does anyone have any ideas for how I can get my data off of my old drive or how I can repair the disk or return it to its "last known good configuration"? I've looked at dozens of similar posts but none of the threads I've seen anywhere involve the specific problem I have now. I'm totally out of ideas that don't involve taking my computer somewhere to be fixed.
  2. prisstratton macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2011
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    Well, here is what I would do. Others will have their own opinions (no doubt).

    1. Buy one of these:


    2. Pull the drive from the defective Mac and plug it into your good one, using the above hardware.

    3. Retrieve whatever data you need.

    4. Buy a new HDD and USB keyboard, reinstall Mac OS X on your old Mac and use it as a stationary system.

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