SR 7

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 30, 2009
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So my Macbook would turn off half way through the start up screen and I ran disk utility->first aid and I got an error 8, cannot complete failure code. I went to reinstall the OSX off the recovery screen and when I clicked on my HD to install I got the following message...

"This disk has S.M.A.R.T. errors.
This disk has a hardware problem that can't be repaired. Back up
as much of the data as possible and replace the disk."

Does this mean my HD has failed and its gone?

If so, how do I back up whatever I had left if I can't get into my desktop?

BTW. it is running on El Capitan if I recall correctly.
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68020
Aug 10, 2006
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So my Macbook would turn off half way through the start up screen and I ran disk utility->first aid and I got an error 8, cannot complete failure code. I went to reinstall the OSX off the recovery screen and when I clicked on my HD to install I got the following message...

"This disk has S.M.A.R.T. errors.
This disk has a hardware problem that can't be repaired. Back up
as much of the data as possible and replace the disk."

Does this mean my HD has failed and its gone?

If so, how do I back up whatever I had left if I can't get into my desktop?

BTW. it is running on El Capitan if I recall correctly.


My advice would be that, if you don't have any other backups, stop doing anything to the affected disk. Stop using it completely. Do not try and boot from Recovery which is on the physical disk.

In your shoes I would make a USB bootable volume containing backup tool like CCC, and booted from this, clone whatever I could onto another external disk. You may need to invoke the help of a friend to make a bootable USB volume on another Mac. If CCC stalls doing this because of errors from the failing disk, you may just have to drag and drop what you can from the failing disk to the external.

Then replace the internal disk, reinstall macOS and use Setup Assistant on first boot to migrate from the clone.

OR you could take to a reputable specialist recovery firm.
 
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SR 7

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 30, 2009
484
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What is CCC?
I had a back up of my HD but I have no idea when it was compared to when this failed.
 

Mike Boreham

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Aug 10, 2006
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What is CCC?
I had a back up of my HD but I have no idea when it was compared to when this failed.

Carbon Copy Cloner at https://bombich.com

There are others, CCC is my mainstay.

You could boot from your backup and browse it to see how recent it might be from looking at files you know you have changed recently.
 

SR 7

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 30, 2009
484
190
I can boot it on this failed computer? how do I go about it without risking damage to my back up HD?
[doublepost=1512623967][/doublepost]I have a questoin, if I have it as a back up, does that mean it is only for "booting up?" I can't connect to another computer and open the files to see what I have in there?
[doublepost=1512624068][/doublepost]For example, I connected it to another computer, opened the file and found a date, the fold is empty, there isn't anything in it evne though there is a back up date...
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68020
Aug 10, 2006
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740
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I can boot it on this failed computer? how do I go about it without risking damage to my back up HD?

[doublepost=1512623967][/doublepost]I have a questoin, if I have it as a back up, does that mean it is only for "booting up?" I can't connect to another computer and open the files to see what I have in there?

[doublepost=1512624068][/doublepost]For example, I connected it to another computer, opened the file and found a date, the fold is empty, there isn't anything in it evne though there is a back up date...

Sorry, I should have asked before...... how did you make the back up you have and how it was connected to the computer? You won't be able to boot from your backup unless it is a bootable clone made with CCC or similar, which sounds like it probably isn't. It sounds like it is a Time Machine backup.

I am willing to try and help, but I should say that because if the seriousness (I assume) of potentially losing your data and the difficulty of trying to help from a distance without the whole picture, your best option might be to take the computer and backup to a local Mac store and ask them to look at it. It might be that the whole situation could easily be resolved without doing this, but there are risks to doing things suggested by me or others who can't actually see the situation.
 
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SR 7

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 30, 2009
484
190
Sorry, I should have asked before...... how did you make the back up you have and how it was connected to the computer? You won't be able to boot from your backup unless it is a bootable clone made with CCC or similar, which sounds like it probably isn't. It sounds like it is a Time Machine backup.

I am willing to try and help, but I should say that because if the seriousness (I assume) of potentially losing your data and the difficulty of trying to help from a distance without the whole picture, your best option might be to take the computer and backup to a local Mac store and ask them to look at it. It might be that the whole situation could easily be resolved without doing this, but there are risks to doing things suggested by me or others who can't actually see the situation.

It was a time machine back up.
If u can’t boot from a TM back up then what is it for? You do a restore or something after installing a clean OSX?
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68020
Aug 10, 2006
2,387
740
UK
It was a time machine back up.
If u can’t boot from a TM back up then what is it for? You do a restore or something after installing a clean OSX?

Yes you can restore either individual files or the whole drive, either the most recent or from an earlier time. If the Time Machine disk has been connected all the time and correctly setup you should have a current backup.

But there is no point in trying to restore it to a misbehaving drive with SMART errors.
 

SR 7

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 30, 2009
484
190
Yes you can restore either individual files or the whole drive, either the most recent or from an earlier time. If the Time Machine disk has been connected all the time and correctly setup you should have a current backup.

But there is no point in trying to restore it to a misbehaving drive with SMART errors.

If I can access the TM back up i can check to see when it was last modified.

How can I check a file to trasnfer when I connect my TM HD to the computer? I open TM and hit "browse other backup discs" and TM opens up several "finder windows" with dates but I can't scroll the dates, it is greyed out which means I can't use that option.
[doublepost=1512674351][/doublepost]Also, does it seem like I need a new HD considering it says hardware failure? or can it be just reformatted and back to fresh install?
 

SR 7

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 30, 2009
484
190
how can I back up my failed hard drive if I can't log in into start up so I can get an app like super duper to clone my old hard drive?
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68020
Aug 10, 2006
2,387
740
UK
Yes, you have SMART errors and a misbehaving computer so you almost certainly have a failing disk!

No, you cannot just reformat it and fresh install!

That was why my very first sentence of my first reply said stop using it completely. I went on to explain how you could make a bootable external drive on another computer and start up your Mac from that and try and copy your data off the failing drive onto another external.

Because I sense all this is well outside your comfort zone, and because of the real possibility of losing your data, and because of the difficulty of helping remotely, I suggested in post #6 that you would be better taking the Mac and your backup drive to a Mac repair shop.
 
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SR 7

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 30, 2009
484
190
Yes, you have SMART errors and a misbehaving computer so you almost certainly have a failing disk!

No, you cannot just reformat it and fresh install!

That was why my very first sentence of my first reply said stop using it completely. I went on to explain how you could make a bootable external drive on another computer and start up your Mac from that and try and copy your data off the failing drive onto another external.

Because I sense all this is well outside your comfort zone, and because of the real possibility of losing your data, and because of the difficulty of helping remotely, I suggested in post #6 that you would be better taking the Mac and your backup drive to a Mac repair shop.

It isn't outside of my comfort zone..I ask questions to get all the facts down before I research the rest. I used to build computers for years. I ask because in the last few years things have changed so maybe there is something out there that I am not aware of since I haven't done this for the last couple years.

I did create a bootable external drive via USB but for some reason when I choose that drive to boot from during start up I get a "O with a slash going through it" on the screen then it shuts off.
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68020
Aug 10, 2006
2,387
740
UK
It isn't outside of my comfort zone..I ask questions to get all the facts down before I research the rest. I used to build computers for years. I ask because in the last few years things have changed so maybe there is something out there that I am not aware of since I haven't done this for the last couple years.

Maybe I should have said it is outside my comfort zone to undertake giving you step by step instructions with so little info and unable to see what it happening! It is against my better judgement, but if you post specific questions and use google to help yourself, I will try and answer where I am reasonably clear what is happening, and what you are asking. I still believe you would be have a higher probability of success with a local repair shop.

You need access to a second computer of similar vintage to yours to create the bootable external.

I did create a bootable external drive via USB but for some reason when I choose that drive to boot from during start up I get a "O with a slash going through it" on the screen then it shuts off.

Probably because the OS on the USB external was not compatible with the MacBook. What model/year is the macbook? What OS is on the USB external? What OS is on the internal? (you thought EC earlier). The other possibility is that a few (WD mostly) external drives don't like booting Macs. Another is how you created it....what did you do.

Just to avoid doubt, I am not talking about a bootable USB installer, but a bootable USB external drive with full OS on and on which you can install CCC or SuperDuper to run the computer
 

SR 7

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 30, 2009
484
190
Maybe I should have said it is outside my comfort zone to undertake giving you step by step instructions with so little info and unable to see what it happening! It is against my better judgement, but if you post specific questions and use google to help yourself, I will try and answer where I am reasonably clear what is happening, and what you are asking. I still believe you would be have a higher probability of success with a local repair shop.

You need access to a second computer of similar vintage to yours to create the bootable external.



Probably because the OS on the USB external was not compatible with the MacBook. What model/year is the macbook? What OS is on the USB external? What OS is on the internal? (you thought EC earlier). The other possibility is that a few (WD mostly) external drives don't like booting Macs. Another is how you created it....what did you do.

Just to avoid doubt, I am not talking about a bootable USB installer, but a bootable USB external drive with full OS on and on which you can install CCC or SuperDuper to run the computer

Thanks for the clarification on the second part! I thought you meant a usb thumb drive so I installed Sierra onto it because I wasn’t able to download El Capitan.

The old MacBook is a late 08’ with El Capitan on it.

I installed Sierra onto a usb thumb drive as instructed per Apple website.

Seems as tho it didn’t create a bootable drive. Is there a link u use with a different approach then the one I used from Apple? Thanks!
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68020
Aug 10, 2006
2,387
740
UK
Thanks for the clarification on the second part! I thought you meant a usb thumb drive so I installed Sierra onto it because I wasn’t able to download El Capitan.

The old MacBook is a late 08’ with El Capitan on it.

I installed Sierra onto a usb thumb drive as instructed per Apple website.

Seems as tho it didn’t create a bootable drive. Is there a link u use with a different approach then the one I used from Apple? Thanks!

As I suggested, your MacBook is too old to run Sierra (from this link) which is why you got the no entry sign.

Try downloading El Capitan as per this Apple site.

You can install macOS onto a USB thumb drive, as you already did using Sierra. Probably needs to be 32Gb to be comfortable and will be very slow. An external HDD or SSD would be faster.
 

SR 7

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 30, 2009
484
190
As I suggested, your MacBook is too old to run Sierra (from this link) which is why you got the no entry sign.

Try downloading El Capitan as per this Apple site.

You can install macOS onto a USB thumb drive, as you already did using Sierra. Probably needs to be 32Gb to be comfortable and will be very slow. An external HDD or SSD would be faster.

I tried using that already but it didn’t allow me to because it said I have a newer OS running.
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68020
Aug 10, 2006
2,387
740
UK
Newer OS running on what?

Erase the thumb drive before trying to install on it.

I am afraid that we are getting into level of detail where remote help is very difficult without seeing the situation.
[doublepost=1512721743][/doublepost]After a bit of lateral thinking about your situation here are some other options to consider:

1. You have a nine year old obsolete failing MacBook.....take out the hard drive. Buy a new (or more recent S/H) one and migrate what will go off the old hard drive. Don't spend any money on the old Mac.

2. Connect your old Mac in "target disk mode" (google this) to another Mac as a way of trying to get the data off the failing hard drive.
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68020
Aug 10, 2006
2,387
740
UK
Another lateral thought:

If you have use of another Mac, this approach avoids need to create a bootable external El Capitan drive:

Take failing HD out of old Mac and put in cheap enclosure.

Connect it to second Mac

Connect another external HD to second Mac.

Copy your data manually or with CCC from failing drive to other external if possible.

You could also connect your TM back up drive to second Mac, and see what is available to restore.

If useful you could restore from the TM onto the second external and then put the second external into the old Mac.

If you are to make a clone from the failing drive to the second external you could put that back in the MacBook instead of the TM restore.

There may some snag but in principle should work.
 
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