iMac question mark folder on boot and data recovery

Discussion in 'iMac' started by askipper, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. askipper macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    #1
    First , scuse typing asrushing this on iPhone!

    Got ?folder on boot on late 2007 21"iMac today. Have tried usual stuff including resettng pram and booting from cd. 1st time I booted from install cd it wouldn't even mountthe HD. Turned off and left for a few hours to cool down. Next time ibooted from cd HD mounted and I ran disk utilty repair bit it said there were no problems. Tried to boot from HD no luck.

    So, guessing HD is fried:-(

    so, before I take it to the apple store to get it replaced (doubt under warranty) or do it myself I want to see if I can recover the mportant data. While I am sure it's all backed up on cradhplan I have 80gb of photos and I'd rather ecover from USB to ext HD instead of over Internet from cradhplan.

    So, I'm thnking... When my TM blew up last year I took the HD out and took it to work and slapped it in a drive bay of my mac pro, recovered the data, put it back in the TM before shipping it back to apple for a replacement (that then went on eBay since I got cradhplan)

    so; question 1: can I take the HD out of the iMac and have a go installing it in my mac pro? Will an iMac HD fit in the mac pro case/bay?

    Question 2: all my photos are also on the apple tv. Can I copy them from the apple tv to another mac if my backup had failed and doesn't restore or I can't recover from iMac HD? I know I had cradhplan set to backup iphoto library but I upgraded to aperture 3 recently and am worried that I have nit set crashplan up to backup the aperture library

    any help/advice would be truly appreciated
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    1. iMacs use 3.5" drives so yes, it will work with the Mac Pro.

    2. See this thread. You can either open the TV and take out the drive or you can "patchstick" it so you can copy files from it.

    Check out my guide as well, maybe your HD can be fixed. Don't erase it though, because otherwise you're not able to recover the data with Mac Pro
     
  3. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #3
    You can also use Target Disk Mode and connect your iMac to your Mac Pro if that is not too much hassle, as it should be easier than taking apart the iMac.
     
  4. askipper thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    #4
    Thanks guys. I have tried most of the things in the guide but not a couple of them so thanks for that. Will try target mode first (never knew it existed). Sounds easier than taking HD out and putting it n the mac pro. FireWire is quicker than USB 2 as well yes?

    For some reason when I imported my iphoto library into aperture 3 it grew from 30gb to 80gb so that will take a while with usb2 so hopefully quicker with FireWire before the HD in the iMac totally blows!
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    Yup FireWire is faster. USB2 tops out at ~45MB/s while FW800 tops out at ~80MB/s
     
  6. askipper thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    #6
    OK, thanks for all your help. I tried it all to no avail so took it back to Apples Store to the "genius bar"

    Anyway, the nice man there booted it up from an external drive and ran disk utility and it was fine of course.

    He said that as he could do that he couldn't replace the HD under warranty (it seems I bought applecare - yey! when I purchased) and he would have to wipe the whole drive and re-install the OS - if there was a problem booting up then he would replace the HD.

    The problem with this is that the HD problem only shows itself once it's warmed up a bit - he couldn't leave it "doing anything" that would cause this so I took it home with the instruction to try target mode with my Mac Pro to rescue data.

    Well, that kept freezing after about 10 mins of transfer so I couldn't rescue anything.

    Luckily I use an online backup service so 2 days later I have downloaded all 8 gb of iphoto library. I couldn't download the itunes stuff since that's lke 40gb for some reason. And thenAperture library is the same for some reason.

    Anyway, got all my photos (bar a few from March) from the last iphoto online back up so that's good......so.....

    I was told to erase the HD once I'd rescued what I wanted so I booted up withe OS disk and chose Disk Utility ad then highlighted the HD (had to leave overnight to cool down otherwise doesn't even show in there) and chose Erase (as per instructions from Apple store).

    I chose the Zero option in Security so it erased the data.

    I then intended to install the OS from scratch - if the problem still persists then I know it's an HD problem and they can put me a new one in.

    However, I thought, don't know why, that I'd use the Verify Disk option - it's still running though - like 2 hours later - is that normal for a small 320GB HD that has nothing on it?

    Anyway - gave up so cancelled out of that and then remembered from somewhere that I should just partition the whole drive so did that and it erased the volume and created a new one.

    So, now installing the OS again - fingers crossed. Apple Store said it was definitely a system files corruption/problem though and not a hardware problem - not convinced at all myself! I told them that all forums and web entries pointed to a HD failure and was told that these things tended to focus on the worst case scenario LOL - maybe because they normally are!!

    THanks anyway - will update with results for others searching
     
  7. askipper thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    #7
    OK, installation of OSX said About 30 minutes - it's still saying 30 minutes and has not moved in around 30 minutes - doesn't sound good does it!
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #8
    The HD is VERY likely dead. Go to the  Store again and demand them to replace it now. They can try installing OS X but I'm sure they will face the same as you did.

    Geniuses rely on Disk Utility waaayyyyyy too much. It's not bomb secure and doesn't always show a problem
     
  9. askipper thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    #9
    Yeah, it's got to be. Still saying 30 mins. I can still choose from menu (Mac OS X Installer) but I think that's from the disk anyway. It's not installing though. As soon as it heats up it freezes. Just so glad I took out an online back up service. My TM died the other month so I replaced it with an online system and just bought a new 2TB HD for movie storage etc. Think I will get another one of those too and back up that for safe measure now!

    Time to call Apple Store again - it's just such a long way - 2.5 hour round trip - to see them
     

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