Help! Need this up and running by Wednesday, Hard drive issue

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Camarofleet, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. Camarofleet macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    #1
    Lately my Macbook had been running sluggish and requiring frequent reboots. Given the symptoms I figured the hard drive was about to go. The other day as I was doing work I had to restart and the computer would not come back. It was stuck on the grey Apple screen with the "progress bar" type thing spinning. After no luck in getting it to load I removed the hard drive and hooked it up to another Mac using a USB to SATA cable.

    When hooked up to the other Mac it would not show up as a mounted drive in the computer or desktop, however would show up in disk utility. The partition/volume is grayed out and clicking the mount button in disk utility would not do anything. I verified the drive and it returned with "Invalid volume header". I repaired the drive and after claiming it was successful there was no difference. I once again verified the drive and got the same error. When the drive is hooked up to the computer it seems to spin fine. I also tried making an image of the drive and it seemed to do so just fine until I ran out of hdd space to make the image on the drive in the Mac I had it hooked up to.

    I now have a new Western Digital drive in my Macbook but I NEED some of the data off the old drive - by Wednesday. I have downloaded demos of data recovery software and they will read the drive just fine with ease, however I can not access the files without paying $99 (Data Rescue II seemed to be the best). The urgency behind this is I am in grad school and have term papers coming up, being in grad school I also do not have $99. I Dj at a bar and lost much of my music too which is how I make most of my money.

    The questions I have are:

    1) Given the nature of this do I need a recovery tool or is there any other way?

    2) Are there any free/open source recovery tools?

    3) If I can get an image onto the new hard drive, is there any way I can open up and browse within the DMG file?

    Please let me know what you think and if you have any recommendations.

    Thanks!
     
  2. surflordca macrumors 6502a

    surflordca

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #2
    What about a back up. Do you have one :confused: It's amazing how many people learn to back up when it's to late. I can't help you recommanding free software but "DiskWarrior" might help. Not free...
     
  3. ITASOR macrumors 601

    ITASOR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Oneida, NY
    #3
    I would run Disk Warrior on it (I've seen it fix your issue almost every time) and then quickly clone it to a new hard drive.

    There might be a free/open source disk recovery program, but I wouldn't mess around if you need your important files back quickly.
     
  4. Camarofleet thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    #4
    Funny story regarding backup...

    As far as the backup goes, the last time it was backed up was late 2007/early 2008. This computer has had hdd issues the whole time I have owned it. Luckily the first time or two it was taken care of by Apple.

    I purchased the new hard drive in it and an external before it crashed. When it crashed I was writing a paper, backing up EVERYTHING was on the agenda for as soon as I finished that paper. If only it could have held on for about 5 more hours I would have been in the clear. I had a funny feeling this was going to happen and purchased all the stuff for backup and reformat based on a hunch.
     
  5. surflordca macrumors 6502a

    surflordca

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #5
    Sorry that you were a little late backing up but do you know that backing up should be done daily and not every year and a half to 2 years. You start by making a full back up and daily you back up only new stuff...
     
  6. StefSSU macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #6
    Look mate, this is the exact same problem I just had with my Macbook. I hate to break it to you, but the only real way you can expect to be able to recover your files by tomorrow is by dropping the 100 and buying a dedicated program. You can try to sell it later if you're that anal about it. 100 dollars should be nothing compared to the work you've put into that computer. After a week of my hard drive having failed, I'd already bought a new one, but due to installation issues (only had the Leopard Upgrade disk, so cant install without tiger grr) I decided to bomb some 1700 euros on a new MBP. I wanted to wait another year before buying a new computer, but my work was more important. Moral = prioritize. You definitely have access to $100, and if not then something you can sell, or better a friend to lend you some.

    That said, I did eventually manage to recover my drive without any fancy software, but it took me 2 weeks of dedication, from using startup disks, to the terminal, to another mac, to windows, and even to 3 different distributions of linux. And in the end, Mac OS X came to the rescue and I luckily managed to force mount the drive. The worst thing you can do at this point is panic, the data is there, if time is a limiting factor, then pay for the software. I'd encourage you to pirate the software off a torrent or something, but you have one day and so cannot afford to have issues.
     

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