I need MAJOR help with my Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Justinm408, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. Justinm408 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    Location:
    Stockton, Ca
    #1
    Hi. I am new to this site, and I am not sure where to post this.

    I was using my laptop around 1pm. I turned it off took a nap.
    I woke up around 5:30pm. When I loaded it up, I noticed the dreaded white/grey screen popped up. It showed a flashing folder with a question mark on it.

    I looked on many sites and they say to run a "safe-boot" and reset your "RAM."
    I tried both of these and nothing has been fixed.
    It constantly shows the folder everytime I load it up.

    I DONT have my Start-up disk. I believe my brother has it, and he is 100miles+ away. The nearest Apple store isn't for around 30 to 40 miles away. I currently don't have a car with me to go and drive down there. My phone got turned off.

    Luckily I am using my gfs old Powerbook G4.(Yikes!)

    I need some major help. PLEASE HELP:(
     
  2. Knoodles macrumors 6502

    Knoodles

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2003
    Location:
    Gone to the Beach
    #2
    Nothing wrong with an old PowerBook. I have two that I still use daily. Back to the problem... does your gf have a firewire cable? Try booting yours in Target Disk Mode by booting while holding down the "T" key. Then connect yours to hers with the FW cable. Yours will mount on her desktop. From hers you can repair your HD using Disk Utility. We will go from there. Let us know.
     
  3. killerrobot macrumors 68020

    killerrobot

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
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    #3
    Well it either forgot where the boot drive was or you've got yourself a bad HDD.
    Try what Knoodles suggests (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1661) and hopefully that will fix it or it looks like you've got to call Apple Care.
     
  4. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #4
    Try starting up holding down the opt key and see if there are any boot volumes displayed.

    It sounds like a HD problem - could be something just corrupt, or an impending h/w failure.

    The only way to test/repair it is to boot up on a DVD - your original restore, or a later retail disc, such as SL. Then, run Disk Utility's First Aid and try to repair your startup volume. Or, if you have upgraded to Lion, you can boot up on the Recovery HD volume either by cmd-R or opt at startup. You can then run Disk Utility First Aid. Another option is booting off an image of your HD on an external - and, run Disk Utility.

    Without a bootable disc or external HD, there's not much that can be done.

    Do you have a Time Machine backup (or an image of your HD)? You'll be able to restore your system from that if you need to replace your drive. In either case, you'll still need something to startup off of.
     
  5. Justinm408 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 13, 2011
    Location:
    Stockton, Ca
    #5
    unfortunately she does not have one. She bought her's used. and only came with the laptop and a charger.

    I feel like I am completely helpless
     
  6. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
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    #6
    Worst case scenario, you shell out $70 for a Lion thumb drive (provided you have a compatible model macbook pro) but yea, most likely a bad hard drive. Hard drives go in laptops all the time.
     
  7. Justinm408 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 13, 2011
    Location:
    Stockton, Ca
    #7
    I think its the end for me.
    I have no car, phone is off, laptop is down.
    No job right now.

    So the money is an issue. Everything ran fine hours prior to that
     
  8. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    #8
    Your hard drive is failing. If you care about its contents, buy an external just large enough to back the whole thing up ($10?), and a replacement for your current ($20).

    Ima guess that if your hard drive dies, you're not in a place to pay +$1,000 for data recovery. I'm thinking this is a better option.
     
  9. Justinm408 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 13, 2011
    Location:
    Stockton, Ca
    #9
    @shackle: That is a better option. But my main priority is to get my laptop working.
    I went to a store and they was trying to charge me a lot of money to just run a diagnosis.
    I told him the problem is "its not working."

    What is the best option that could be "free" to do, to get it working.
     
  10. jcabral2 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    petaluma, ca
    #10
    location?

    where in the 408 are you?

    maybe someone close can help you out.

    you need a mac os startup disc to check the drive. or a drive utility.

    either way you need to get one to you to proceed..
     
  11. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #11
    Have your brother mail the disk. Takes 1 or 2 days if he's able to get it to post office before the last round of out going mail.

    You don't need to turn off a Mac. Just sleep it.
     
  12. StevenT42 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    #12
    Get your brother to send you whatever install discs came with your computer. One of them will be a startup disc. The other, if included, will include OS and apps should you have to reinstall.

    Run Disk Utility. If it won't recognize your hard drive, your hard drive is probably toast. If it does recognize your hard drive, you will hopefully be able to run repair on it.

    If your hard drive is toast, it is easy to replace. And you can re-install from your install discs.

    If you can get to an Apple Store, they will diagnose for free. Just get a genius bar appointment before you go.
     
  13. Justinm408 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 13, 2011
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    Stockton, Ca
    #13
    I am hoping he can send me it.
    Him, myself, and his wife all bought Macbooks around the same time, so there should be one around. Hopefully.

    Is their normally a sign that would show, when my hard drive is failing?

    It was working perfectly hours prior to that.

    If I take it to an Apple Store, they diagnose it for free.
    Then if their is a problem, I am assuming it will cost more.
     
  14. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #14
    If you get Disk Utility running, it will show the drive's SMART status as "verified" if all is well.
     
  15. Justinm408 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Stockton, Ca
    #15
    One of the main problems is that I don't know how to perform these "secret" or more difficult options.
    I know a little more than basic knowledge of Macs.

    I looked all around online, and found mostly the same things.
    I have an idea of what wrong. Most likely the HD is burned out or something in that area.

    I tried running a safe boot, and reseting the RAM. Didn't work at all.

    I was talking to my brother(knows a great amount about computers and electronics, worked at apple for a few years).
    I am gonna quote what he said, "You need to dl osx lion and burn it. But you need a dual layer disk and dual layer burner. The "startup disk" you ask for won't work on your Mac. They are specific to each computer. If it's your logic board that's messed up, then reinstalling the os will only cause the issue to spring up again."


    With this in mind. He is saying it will re-occur. So what would be the point for a temporary fix?

    And, if I try opening up the unibody(I believe that is the correct term), and unplug the HD and replug it in, could that help?
    If so, anyone have a link or a way of doing this successfully?
    (how to properly open a laptop's underbody)
     
  16. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #16
    Lion will fit on a single layer disc (3.7GB iirc).

    If the hard drive is indeed failing, then reinstalling any version of OS-X could be temporary.

    To open a UB MBP, you can refer to the User Manual, downloadable from apple.com/support, and/or get instructions from iFixit.com. It's actually a fairly easy job, just make sure to have a high quality tool and take your time.

    If you get Disk Utility running, and the drive shows up in the device list (its SMART status will be in info at the bottom of the window), then I doubt reseating the connector will help. I.E., the device is already communicating with the logic board.
     
  17. Justinm408 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 13, 2011
    Location:
    Stockton, Ca
    #17
    I will try that. I figure, since it does load up and turn on, it seems okay.

    But almost like it doesn't respond to a harddrive being there.
    Could it be possible, if it dropped and got knocked loose?
     
  18. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #18
    Your hard drive is probably failing or has failed like what has been mentioned six billion times previously. You can use any startup disc from any Mac to open Disk Utility. As long as the startup disc is from the same model of Mac, you can also reinstall the OS from it.

    Get a disc, there's nothing else to do. No reason to ask anymore questions, either. The hard drive is the issue, not the motherboard.
     
  19. Justinm408 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    Location:
    Stockton, Ca
    #19
    I appreciate your help and Smart a** remarks.

    I am just making sure, I try out every other possibility before I narrow it down to the Hard drive failing.
    I know it is mentioned on almost every other post, but what is the harm in trying out different things.
    A very slim chance it could be something else, and knowing my luck it is something rare that could happen.

    I appreciate all the help, except for the last guys comment.
    So thanks again, and no thanks for that last comment.
     
  20. gr8tfly, Sep 14, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011

    gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #20
    The drive's connector is butted up against other structures, so there's almost no room for it to move. You will need to fully remove the drive to reseat the connector.

    If, somehow it is the connector, you won't know until you try and reseat it. It sounds like working inside a laptop isn't something you usually do. With that in mind, I would suggest only removing the drive if you're going to replace it. That would limit how much you're manipulating the cabling, which can be delicate.

    Btw: dropping a MBP can definitely result in killing a HD. When comparing a drop, with a cable coming loose (doubtful it can), I would give the chances of the latter happening at about zero.
     
  21. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #21
    Not secret. Read the guides.
    Always backup. Use Time Machine.
    If under warranty, contact Apple.

    If you can't figure out the basics (read the guides), then you should not open up the laptop.
     

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