How do I figure out if my macbook HDD is dead?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Radiomancer, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. Radiomancer macrumors newbie

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    Oct 17, 2007
    #1
    So I booted up my 3 year old macbook today and found myself facing a perpetually gray screen. Occasionally, an icon of a question mark superimposed on a folder would flash. After some digging around, I found out that this is most probably an indication of a dead HDD. But I wanted to make sure....(if its not related to the HDD, then I might have to spend a LOT more on repairs).

    The CD/DVD drive works, and I'm able to launch both the installation disks that came with my macbook and a copy of Ubuntu 10.04...but it takes around 5 minutes + for the disks to actually boot...is this normal?

    Also, I'm currently running Snow Leopard but I can't find my SL disk...I've been using my Tiger disks (from 3 years ago) to run disk utility. When I try to verify or repair my mac partition, I get the following messages:

    "Error: The underlying task reported failure on exit."

    I'm not even sure if Tiger can repair an SL disk, so I don't know much I can trust these results. How can I be sure my HDD is dead? Should I try reformatting it first?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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  3. Radiomancer thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Awesome! So nothing's wrong with my DVD drive...now I just need to find out if I can reformat my HDD, or if I have to replace it...
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #4
    Yeah, try to erase it with Disk Utility. If it can't, then buy a new HD, costs like 50$ and installing is easy
     
  5. Radiomancer thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Beautiful! Where can I buy a mac compatible HDD?
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #6
    Any 2.5" SATA HD with maximum height of 9.5mm is compatible. Pick one of these for example
     
  7. Radiomancer thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 17, 2007
    #7
    Oh wow. This is much better than my old 250 HDD. Are you sure they'll be compatible with older macbooks, like mine?

    I might as well upgrade the ram while I'm at it..do you know what sort of ram would be compatible?

    EDIT: Also, are there size limitations for the sort of HDDs macbooks support? Like, could I install some of the 500 gig drives I see? (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136314)
     
  8. revbarabbas macrumors regular

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    Apr 27, 2009
    #8
    Macbooks can take any capacity harddrive that will fit in the enclosure. As far as RAM goes make sure you buy RAM for your model of computer from either crucial.com or otherworldcomputing.com as macs take a specific timing of RAM.
     
  9. Radiomancer thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 17, 2007
    #9
    How do I figure out the timing of my ram? I guess I need to dig back and figure out my exact macbook model...
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #10
    You can install up to 750GB (make sure it's the new double platter version with height of 9.5mm). All smaller than 750GB are 9.5mm so they'll work fine

    What MacBook do you have? I assume it's Core 2 Duo so you can install up to 4GB, so buy e.g. this or if you want to save few $, buy this
     
  11. Radiomancer thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    I do have a core 2 duo. Man, I'm really psyched to pimp out my aging macbook!
     
  12. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #12
    It'll feel like a new one with more RAM and better HD ;) All that for 150$!
     
  13. Radiomancer thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 17, 2007
    #13
    Well it's going to take a week or two to get my Snow Leopard disk, to see if my HDD works at all. In the meanwhile, I was wondering if it'd be okay if I could install Ubuntu on my current HDD (not sure if it will work but if it does at least I'll have a temporary OS...). I only want to make sure that I don't somehow lock myself from ever using OS X again on my macbook when I erase my (disfunctional) OS X partition (I don't know how that would even happen, but I want to play it safe).
     
  14. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a

    Ace134blue

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    Sep 17, 2009
    #14
    Good choice. Yeah op, installing a new hd is very easy and it will give you faster booting and faster application launches.
     
  15. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a

    Ace134blue

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    Sep 17, 2009
    #15
    Regardless if you install ubuntu, osx disk utility will always be able to format it and repartition it.
     
  16. Radiomancer thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 17, 2007
    #16
    Beautiful. I'll try to install ubuntu, and if that doesn't work at least I'll know for sure that my HDD is dead.
     

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