iMac Harddrive wont start. Trying to back up files.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Paysense, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. Paysense macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    #1
    I've owned my iMac since 2007, so it's been almost 4 complete years since I had it. I'm a film maker and photographer that sends and downloads large files online. The "Genius" at the Genius Bar in the Apple Store Lincoln road told me that is why my Hard drive gave out and no longer functions. It stays stuck on a booting up page where it loads up 25% of the bar, then resets loads up to 10% then totally shuts off. It's only $250 to replace the hard drive and I plan I doing so(Unless someone has a better idea). . . BUT I need some of the files on the computer.

    Right now I'm using my girlfriends macbook. I plugged a firewire into my iMac(with the broken hard drive) and plugged in a 1TB external HD. I turned on the iMac and held down the letter "T" to put the iMac in the external hard drive mode hoping it would show up on the macbook's desktop. It did along with my 1TB External HD. I examined the Hard Drive and all my files are there(I was relived lol). When I started transferring files I guess it was too much for the little Macbook and it froze up. I restarted the computer and now the iMac's HD won't show up on the desktop. I've tried a lot of things and nothing works.

    Does anyone have a solution??? How do I get it to show up on my desktop again??? =(
     
  2. Mactrillionaire macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    #2
    Send it to a data recovery service if the data is valuable enough to warrant service (at least $2k). I recommend dataclinic.co.uk. If it is not valuable enough to you then it should be no sweat. Next time, get into a religious habit of making backups of all of your important data. Hard disks are designed to fail, not to last. It is possible that all of your data is on there and it might still not be possible to pull it off. That's the tradeoff we pay for cheap , massive storage.
     
  3. Paysense thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    #3
    Thank you, but I would be able to recover the data if I could access my iMac's HD. I was already looking through it. I had pulled it up, but it disappeared after I restarted the computer. Now I don't see it.

    I don't have the kind of money to pay for recovery. I know that there is a simpler and cheaper way. All I need is to find out how to make the iMac's HD show on the desktop of the Macbook. I checked the Disk Utliliy and it shows it's there. . . but for some reason the iMac HD doesn't show up in the finder. I know there is some solutions I can do through terminal, but I just don't know what they are. Somebody please help.
     
  4. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #4
    Mmm, take my advice with a grain of salt as they are just suggestions and I don't really know what the proper thing to do here is... but...

    Have you thought of trying to clone the drive to an external drive with Disk Utility? Have you thought of perhaps trying to verify and repair the disk through Disk Utility?

    I'm not sure if they'll work, or if they'll help or make things worse, so they're just idea's.
     
  5. Paysense thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    #5
    Here are some pictures.

    Okay so I'm hoping that providing pictures might help me convey whats going on.

    I owned my iMac for a couple years and the Hard Drive finally gave out. It messed up and now I can't get past this boot up screen [​IMG]
    I inserted snow leopard and tried reinstalling the OSX, but it needed me to reformat the hard drive causing me to lose all the files I have on it.

    So I'm trying to back it up. I took my girlfriends (working) Macbook and hooked it up to the iMac through firewire
    [​IMG]
    Then turned my iMac on and held down the "T" button on the keyboard til this came on.
    [​IMG]
    Which means it's acting like an external hard drive. It was working fine. I had transferred over a couple files and I got cocky. I bravely started putting huge files, so I can let it sit and transfer all the data. . . but my girlfriends computer(the Macbook) couldn't handle it. It wouldn't stop the little colorful swirl. And so I restarted the Macbook.

    Upon start up the iMac's HD no longer showed up on the desktop just the external HD i was backing up the files to(Famalam).
    [​IMG]

    Does anyone know what I can do to get it to show back up?
    I typed in terminal cd/ Volumes
    then ls
    and it showed that it's there.
    [​IMG]
    It's the highlighted part in the above picture
    [​IMG]
    I renamed the iMac's HD to "Kill Harddrive" in tribute to the movie Kill Bill lol
    but anyway you see that it shows up as if it's there. . . but I can't access it.
    Solutions???
     
  6. Paysense thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    #6
    Thank you sooooo much. I'm going to try to clone the drive to an external through Disk Utility. . . but I'm not sure how to exactly do that. Can you describe how to a little more? I would really appreciate it.

    As for trying to verify and repair the disk through Disk Utility. . . I did try. Once I verified it said something about not being able to repair disk. I have to reformat it completely. Before I do that I want to get those files onto my external. Thank you again for the advice. Looking forward to hearing about the cloning process.
     
  7. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    No worries. I don't know the process exactly so perhaps another member could chime in if I'm wrong (or Google about this), but:

    (1) Open Disk Utility > (2) select the partition "Kill HardDrive" > (3) File > (4) New > (5) Disk Image From "Kill HardDrive" > (6) save to the MacBook's desktop or to an external drive if the size is too large for the MacBook.

    (7) You should be able to mount the image file to the desktop and navigate through it like you would a folder to retrieve your files. This may not work if it can't read the data from the drive and may end up being corrupt, I'm not really sure.

    You should also be able to burn that image file to an unused partition on the external drive so you could boot from it. Don't do this on a partition with data on it though else you lose the data.

    Just be careful. I don't know if the drive will be able to handle it or not, I don't want you to lose your data altogether.
     
  8. Mactrillionaire macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    #8
    The problem is: There is no way for him to be careful. I keep trying to hammer this point home, but I guess just about everyone has to learn their lesson when it comes to hard disk failure (i.e., take it seriously or you'll regret it). If you only have one copy of a disk, don't try to kill it getting your data off of it (in the event of an OBVIOUS dysfunction as the OP has noted). You have to make the tough decision to send it in for data recovery or decide that the data on it isn't worth what that will cost. Then, in the future, if you ever tried data recovery, it occurs that it is cheaper to have many hard disks and have backups of those than it is to use data recovery services even one time. The bottom line is that hard drives can and will fail at any time. No one is immune. It will be less of an ordeal when all you have to do is make sure no one will recover the data from your already dying hard disk than the superhero recovery at the last minute act. By the way, I recommend Super Duper! for doing your Mac backups.
     
  9. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    Yeah I know, but at least he knows it's risky. That was my point, anyway. I don't really know if this could screw the disk over totally or not, but I'd guess it can.
     
  10. Stan Mikulenka macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #10
    Hi Paysense,
    your better bet would be to install Mac OS on your external (FireWire) HD ➔ then you can start from that & try to copy the items you need over.
    To install the OS on the external HD = plug the FireWire HD in, insert the 'Install DVD' in your iMac, hold down 'option' on keyboard & choose to start from the 'Install DVD'.
    It should take about 30min. to install & then you can start from there.
    (After install you should be able to choose right then that you want to start from the FW HD.)
    If not just follow the previous description for staring I described & just choose the 'FW HD' to start from.
    For fixing the bad HD (IF it can be fixed) you should have utility like 'DiskWarrior' and/or 'TechTool Pro' ➔ both commercial but they can fix HDs which 'Disk Utility' can't touch...
    Hope it helps (if you need more help ask).
    The messed-up HD CAN prevent you from copying anything off it, so it's NOT just a matter of 'seeing or not' the HD on the Desktop...
     

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