iMac Fusion Drive Failure?! Data Recovery Help Needed!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Ash9414, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. Ash9414 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    I have a BTO iMac 27" from late 2013. A few months ago I realised that it would always seem to crash and restart itself whenever I put it to sleep for periods longer than a few hours (I have since been told that this behaviour is inherent to a failing hard drive). And then two weeks ago, when I went to turn on the machine, I got stuck on the Apple logo boot screen. I restarted whilst holding down the Option key to manually choose the startup disk, and the Macintosh HD had disappeared. This is when I started to think my hard drive had failed.

    I tried to boot into the Recovery Partition to attempt to repair the disk with Disk Utility, but it would always fail before it got to the end. At this point, I'm not really sure what else I can do. And to make things worse, I've since found out that for some reason Time Machine hadn't been backing up my data for the past 6 months. I had previously used Boot Camp to create a Windows 10 partition that still shows up as a possible startup disk, but I didn't want to see if it actually worked in case it made things worse. Do you think I would be able to log into Windows to somehow salvage my data from Macintosh HD?

    I have booked an appointment with the Genius Bar for next weekend to send the iMac off to be repaired, but I assume they won't be able to help me save any of my data? Therefore, I need some advice on what would be the best approach to try and get as much of my data back as possible. I've bought another external HDD to use as an OS X boot drive, but once I've done that I'm not really sure what to do next. Are there any software programs you can suggest that can be used for data recovery?

    I appreciate any help and advice you can give me. Thanks.


    iMac 27" (late 2013):
    3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
    24GB RAM
    1TB Fusion Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M (4GB)
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    Sounds like TM wasn't working for you - perhaps its related to drive failure :(

    Give Carbon Copy Cloner a whirl, it may take a few tries if your drive is failing but anything you can pull off will be a plus

    Good luck
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    One more vote for CCC instead of TM...
     
  4. Ash9414 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #4
    Thanks for the quick response!

    Is this something I should install and run on the external HDD that I'm going to set up as an alternative boot drive? Although I've heard of it before, I'm not familiar with how to use CCC, so would you be able to lead me through it?

    Also, I forgot to mention... the Macintosh HD is recognised in Disk Utility after several minutes of searching. So hopefully it hasn't died completely yet! *crosses fingers*
     
  5. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #5
    Another fan of CCC.
    You would install and run it on the external boot drive and have it clone your your internal drive to a separate volume/partition on a external drive.
    CCC has a fully functional 30 day trial:
    http://bombich.com
    Here is a pdf of the CCC instruction manual (it is pretty simple to use):
    http://bombich.scdn1.secure.raxcdn.com/sites/default/files/bulk_pdf/ccc4-documentation-en.pdf
     
  6. Ash9414 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #6
    Thanks!

    So I've come across another problem... my iMac was running El Capitan before it would no longer boot, and so the external HDD has this operating system partially installed on it. I say partially as I only got as far as the setup menus, and so when I go back to boot from it again, I find that Apple is no longer authorising installs of El Capitan. Is there a way around this?
     
  7. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #7
    News to me, could you provide more information? What is the error that you are getting?

    I know that Apple no longer supports new "purchases" of El Capitan (since Sierra was released) and that OS installers downloaded before February 2016 have Apple Certificates expired and that new installers need to be downloaded.
     
  8. Ash9414 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #8
    Sorry for taking a while to get back to you. I tried booting from the external drive yesterday, and that now gets stuck on the Apple logo boot screen too.

    I guess this means I will somehow have to reformat the external HDD and try to install OS X on it again. I have an old MacBook running 10.6.8, so would Disk Utility on that do the job? I should then be able to use the Recovery Mode on my iMac to install the operating system, correct?

    Once I have OS X installed and running properly, how do I got about partitioning the external drive and what format should it be set to?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  9. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    #9
    OP:

    If I were you I would be very careful about using the iMac. If one of the drives in the fusion drive is failed you might make the situation worse by trying to use it, using it might override some of the files you are trying to save if you are not sure what you are doing.

    It might be better to let the Genious bar diagnose the problem. In the worst case the disk is too damaged for software solutions to work and you need professional help to retrieve the files.

    If that isn't possible I would recommend installing OS to the external drive while it is connected to another Mac because you don't want to make any stupid mistakes such as accidentally installing OS into iMac internal drive...

    You could try recovery software such as Data Rescue 4 or Disk Drill but make sure you first read the documentation on another Mac before using them!

    Due to the nature of the Fusion drive its possible you might not be able to get all the files back because they might be divided between the drives. I helped last year a friend in similar situation and I was able to retrieve much less information from the Fusion drive than from pure SSD/ HD.
     
  10. Ash9414 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #10
    Thanks for your reply!

    I did think about this, but I thought if I got OS X installed on an external drive, then it should be able to recognise the Fusion Drive as a single volume?

    I'm afraid that when I take it to the Genius Bar that they'll just send it off to be replaced and I won't get a chance to try and salvage my data. Not really sure what to do right now. Might try CCC as mentioned above tomorrow evening.
     
  11. PeterP001 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    #11
    Hi I have the same problem, did you managed to fix or recover your data and how?
    Thanks
     

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