iMac hard drive - physical damage

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Asma in NJ, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. Asma in NJ macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    #1
    my iMac, bought in 2008, just starting having trouble booting up.
    took it to Apple and they said it has hard drive problems

    took it to my local repair shop - they are telling me its a level 3 problem?
    and have to send to a sterile lab to transfer the data off the hard drive and it will cost me $1200 to get all my data off the hard drive.

    which includes 4 years of family photos - not backed up (I will be buying an external hard drive ASAP)

    but what should I do?

    it will boot up sometimes? can I try to transfer the data myself?
    or should I just suck up the cost since the family photos are irreplaceable?

    uggh!
    thanks for any advice
     
  2. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

    Bug-Creator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Location:
    Germany
    #2
    Well if you can still get it to boot doing a quick backup might be the way to go.

    Now there is the chance that these extra-boots will make your HD fail completly in which case you would have to resort to that expensive data-recovery.

    Is there a chance that those extra-boots will make your HD fail to a point where that data-recovery would be more expensive/less complete/impossible ? I doubt it, just don't blame me if it does :rolleyes:
     
  3. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #3
    I'd replace the drive (or get it replaced) and put the existing drive in an external enclosure and try to copy the photos from that.

    Also get a Time Capsule.

    PS it's possible to put an SSD in an iMac, you have to short out the thermal sensor but it'll make your older iMac feel better than new.
     
  4. Seamaster macrumors 65816

    Seamaster

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    #4
    You learned a lesson the hard way.

    I suspect most of us learned it that way.
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    "took it to my local repair shop - they are telling me its a level 3 problem?
    and have to send to a sterile lab to transfer the data off the hard drive and it will cost me $1200 to get all my data off the hard drive.
    which includes 4 years of family photos - not backed up (I will be buying an external hard drive ASAP)
    but what should I do?"

    Have you already swapped out the bad drive for a good one -- inside the iMac, that is?

    It would probably be a good idea to do that right away. Have the local repair shop guy just give you the old drive back. Don't toss it around, handle it with care for the moment.

    The important thing is to get the Mac up and running again, and to minimize any further wear and tear on the old, problem drive. If there is indeed hardware failing inside the old drive (we don't really know that), trying to use it further may only accelerate the failure to where you can't get it to spin at all.

    But we don't -know- that it's hardware failure. Even if it is, it may still be possible to get the drive "up and running" just long enough to get the old data off of it. But you have to be ready to do so.

    Here's something cheap that you can get right now (can you afford $25?):
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=usb+sata+dock&x=0&y=0
    (many items shown, they work the same, just pick one you like that's cheap)
    A USB/SATA dock can be VERY useful when trying to resolve a problem like you have.

    Once you have the iMac with a good drive inside again, connect the dock, then put the OLD "bare" drive into the dock and turn the dock on. You can listen to the drive to hear if it spins up. If it does, see if it mounts on the desktop.

    If it does, then try to copy whatever you can from the old (docked) drive to the new internal. If you had your photos in your home folder, I'd suggest just copying the entire home folder to the good drive. The files may not be properly sorted, but you have to get them while you can!
     
  6. Asma in NJ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    #6
    Update

    thank you for all the great feedback!

    and I have definitely learned my lesson the hard way.
    the repair shop has already swapped out the old drive
    cost is around $215, which I'm fine with.

    i'm nervous about doing what you suggested with the USB/SATA dock.
    is there some chance i'd lose all my data?
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    "i'm nervous about doing what you suggested with the USB/SATA dock.
    is there some chance i'd lose all my data?"

    Not really, unless you intentionally choose to erase it.

    The idea is to see if you can get the drive to mount (show up on the desktop), and if it does, to see if you can access enough of its contents to just copy what you need from it.

    If the drive does in fact have a "hardware problem", something that keeps it from spinning or prevents the drive heads from reading/writing properly, putting it in the dock isn't going to make a difference. The drive is broken anyway.

    But if it's a software problem - that is, you had problems booting up from the drive, drive would run but system was unresponsive, etc. - the files you need may still be there, and they may still be copy-able, giving you the chance to "grab" them and put them in a safe place.

    You can buy one of the USB/SATA docks for as little as $20. Money well worth spending. You may be VERY pleased with the results. But you won't know this until you give it a chance.
     
  8. chevalier433 macrumors 6502a

    chevalier433

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    #8
    Level 3 **** why they dont admit that the HDD is not cooling enough and do something my 2010 mid-IMac Western Black Shitgital died in one and half year and wasnt even my main boot drive.
     

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