Help: Won't boot past white screen, failing drive? Recovery software?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by riguitargod, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. riguitargod macrumors newbie

    riguitargod

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #1
    When I woke up this morning, I went on my macbook (which had been running overnight) and everything was running sluggish. I'd switch between programs and it would hang there for a couple seconds. So after closing all the software and it still doing that, I decided to restart. It wouldn't shut down, and eventually I had to force a hard shut down.

    When I turn it back on now, it won't go past the white screen. Nothing I've done will make it go anywhere. Holding down option only makes a cursor appear. I tried a tip I read about holding the power button down until the light flashes, and that hasn't helped either.


    I've plugged the drive into my XP machine, and it doesn't show up in explorer, but does show up in disk utility. I installed the program TransMac that is supposed to let you access Mac formatted drives, and while the drive shows up in there, when I try to get to it, it says Error reading Mac Disk.

    So basically, I'm pretty sure the drive is failing. Now I need to know what I should use for recovery software. I've never had to recover a mac drive (I've been a mac convert for less than a year), and any file recovery software I have is for NTFS drives. So what software can I run on windows to recover a Mac formated drive?


    -Justin... wishing he hadn't put off setting up time machine...
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #2
    Try booting to your computer's restore disks. What does Disk Utility show? Is that what you were talking about?
     
  3. riguitargod thread starter macrumors newbie

    riguitargod

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #3
    I'm having a hard time getting it to boot to the cd...

    I'm having a hard time getting it to do anything except show me that white screen... I've booted holding C to try and get the cd, D to see the hardware diagnostics... Only when I hold option does a cursor appear, but there's nothing for me to select... I'm not really sure why I can't get it to boot the disk...

    Am I doing something wrong? Just to be sure, i've got my install disk 1 in there. Should I have a different recovery disk somewhere, or is that what I need?


    I swear I'm not computer illiterate... I was a PC technician for several years... Just new to the Mac scene, and haven't had to do any real troubleshooting yet...
     
  4. riguitargod thread starter macrumors newbie

    riguitargod

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #4
    And FWIW, I didn't have the startup sound, although I'm pretty sure it was muted before I shut it down, so that might have been why.

    I've reset the PRAM, and the startup sound is back, but I still can't get into anything.
     
  5. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #5
    In that case, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the data on your hard drive is probably fine. The bad news is that there's something else hardware-related going on there. Take it to the Mac technicians. ;)
     
  6. alchemistmuffin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    #6
    I'm afraid it's something with the hardware.

    The Best option: take it to the Apple Store, and talk with the Genius. They might have to open up your MacBook.

    Worst case sernerio: Your MacBook needs to be replaced, but I think they will open it up and see what's wrong.
     
  7. riguitargod thread starter macrumors newbie

    riguitargod

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #7
    So even though I couldn't access the drive using TransMac on my PC, you think that the drive is fine? I've never used TransMac before, so I don't know if it's a reliable program or not...

    Next question. It's still under warranty since I bought it in June. Am I going to have to pay anything to deal with this at the Apple store? I'll head out that way tomorrow to have them check it out.

    Thanks
    -Justin
     
  8. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #8
    Since other drives behave in the same way, there's clearly a problem other than with the drive. It's unlikely that both the drive and something else would fail at once, so that's why I suspect that the drive is probably okay. No promises, but I wouldn't panic just yet.

    You shouldn't have to, no.
     
  9. riguitargod thread starter macrumors newbie

    riguitargod

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #9
    Okay thanks... I'm off to the Apple store.. wish me luck!
     
  10. riguitargod thread starter macrumors newbie

    riguitargod

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #10
    Well they say it's the hard drive. They tried mounting it externally to another computer, and it wouldn't work.

    So they gave me a business card for a local company who does software recovery, and a company in Cal who does physical recovery. Anyone have any recommendations on past experience?

    Thanks
    -Justin
     
  11. riguitargod thread starter macrumors newbie

    riguitargod

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #11
    So I've put a different hard drive in the MacBook, and I now have it up and running. Now it's time to attack data recovery.

    I ran verify in disk utility, and it failed, saying "invalid b-tree node size."
     
  12. riguitargod thread starter macrumors newbie

    riguitargod

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #12
    So I've had disk warrior running, and it took about 4 and a half days, but it looks like it's found most or all of my files.

    Now the problem I have, is that the hard drive in my macbook is too small to recover everything, and for some reason, it's not detecting any other external I plug into it while this is plugged in. Has anyone seen an error like that? Any suggestions?

    I haven't dealt with any network filetransfer between a mac and pc yet. How easy would it be to connect to shared folders on a pc?

    Thanks
     

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