i think i messedup...big time.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 19, 2009
so the other day my macbook just died. i tried a thousand things to fix it. and in the end just went out and got a new macbook pro. my old macbook was about 3.5 years old.

well my mother uses a macbook about 2.5 years old for work. it has ALL of her work info on it.

me being the idiot i am thought that if i took the hard drive out of my old laptop, and put it into her lap top i would be able to retrieve all my old files.

i clicked her laptop on with my old HD in it and the screen went white while i heard the BUMBUMMMMMMM sound. but, no apple icon showed up to tell me it was loading. a little annoyed and not wanting to mess anything up, i decided this was a bad idea, and put her hard drive back into her computer, screwed the panel back on, and turned her Macbook back on with her hard drive in it.

well it turned on, but the LED white light does not turn on at all.
the screen turns white, and i see the apple icon with the gray spinning wheel below it telling me the computer is booting up.

its been an hour, and the computer is still booting up......

did i just entirely break my mothers computer???

Please, any ideas on what i did, or what i can do to fix it would be great.

her computer worked FINE before i played with it.

whats wrong? what can i do?


macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2009
Paris, France
I would :

1. Keep your mother's hard drive in a safe place and not touch it anymore.
2. Get an other hard drive and try to fix your mother's computer with it.
3. When everything is fixed, put the previous hard drive in place

And after this, backup backup backup everything for the future. At this time I don't think you have lost your mother's data. But you have maybe screwed her mac...

Good luck mate


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 19, 2009
im not going to call apple.
all they do is want me to buy a ton of new parts when i didnt break any parts.

i actually didnt do anything wrong....im not sure why it suddenly wouldnt load.


macrumors 6502
Jan 29, 2002
Can you boot the computer with the OS X installation CD?

Search apple's support forums for startup issues, and run through all of the diagnostics before trying anything else. There is a lot of information there about diagnosing these issues.

If you have another working mac, you could boot up in target disk mode to see if you can retrieve the files.


macrumors newbie
Feb 14, 2009
boot the computer with the OS X installation CD

and run through all of the diagnostics before trying anything else. There is a lot of information there about diagnosing these issues.
Best advice in the thread.


macrumors 601
Feb 24, 2009
Toronto, Ontario
If you see the Apple and spinning wheel, doesn't look like a hardware problem but more software. The HDD should still be able to read from as a secondary HDD. If it is, you can backup data that way and then reinstall the OS.


Sep 25, 2009
2 reasons:

op was being smug to someone suggesting him giving apple a call, don't try and reverse this thing on me


how can you open up a computer, take out a hd, replace it with another, not getting it booted, taking out the hd again replacing it with the old one, again not getting the device to boot up, all the while obviously not really knowing what the f you're doing in the first place, then claim you 'did nothing wrong'?

whatever man

good luck to the op anyway


macrumors 6502a
Nov 4, 2007
aww man, I'm sorry you're having problems. I always use an enclosure precisely because I'm afraid about messing something up. Run the diagnostics and try to boot from the cd as some people have pointed out, and please return to this thread to lest us know where things are going.


macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2008
Hold down the power button to turn off the computer. Then reboot while holding down the option key. This will bring up your boot options. Select the correct drive, and hopefully it will boot properly.

Sometimes when you swap drives, the startup disk gets messed up, and you need to tell the computer where to boot from.

Hope this works for you.


macrumors 65816
Sep 14, 2009
I wish people would be more helpful around here... So here goes my MR Hiatus.

Try one of these...

1. Hold down option after you hit the power button once the screen turns gray. Then you can choose to boot up via the hard drive.

2. Put in the original OSX disk that came with the computer, Do number one, then select the CD instead of the Drive. Next you need to use the Disk Utility to verify and repair permissions. Now reboot and see if it works now.

If you need me to take screen shots on the process, let me know.

3. Try resetting the PRAM
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