Is my harddrive toast??? Plz help

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by therocket, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. therocket macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2010
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    Sorry for the long post, but I want to be as thorough as I can so I can get a solution.

    Ok, here is the rundown:
    -I own a 2010 15" i5 MBP
    -I was watching a movie on it until the movie froze, then finder froze and I could not open Task Manager
    -Then nothing responded except mouse movement and my smart corners(spaces, desktop, ect), so I waited about 10 mins and my computer was still in the same state so I held down the power button till the computer shut off.  Then I pressed the power button to restart my computer.
    It showed the grey screen with apple logo for a few mins, then showed a circle with a diagonal line through it and no apple logo. It also got really warm so the fans kicked in.  
    It did the same thing after numerous troubleshooting and restart attempts.  
    -not sure if this is relevant, but about two weeks ago I got 4 or 5 kernel panics in the span of two days.  But none since then.  (no I didn't save the reports nor did I send them to apple)

    Here is what I have tries to do:
    -reset PRAM and NVRAM
    -hardware test with apple cd that came with my MBP. (test came out with no problems)
    -first aid (verify and repair disk) with diskutility on the other cd that came with my computer
    -restart in safe mode, but same thing happened with the circle and diagonal line

    So at this point, I wanted to try the archive reinstalling of Mac OS X but when I tried, there were no drives to select......  So back to disk utility I go

    Unfortunately, I don't have a backup of all my files, so I connected my 2TB external to my computer so that I can save a dmg of my internal hd.  There is enough space on my external to make 2 copies of my hd.  However, when I try to make a new image in disk utility, it fails and reads "unable to create [name].dmg.  (input/output error)". This error comes up when I select "Macintosh HD" as well as "500.11 GB ST9003.....".

    Also to note, in DU the "Macintosh HD" text is in grey implying that it is not mounted.  When trying to mount it, it say that it can not be mounted, run first aid...  I guess this explains why there is no drive to select for the OS X install.

    Wow, that is long but I thought that I should be as thorough as I can to avoid some questions like "did you try this?", or "what happened when...?". But maybe I did miss something so please let me know what else I should try.

    Is there any way that I can recover the contents on my hard drive without sending in to apple. I don't live close to an apple store so my MBP would likely need to be shipped to one.   I have all my passwords saved and important info on there, not to mension that term ends in 2 weeks and I really really don't want to restart my papers from scratch again!!!

    I do have apple care but like I said, some of the info on my harddrive is needed now.  

    Thanks for reading, and I look forward to some responses.  
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008

    AppleCare does not include data recovery. Apple would simply replace the HD with a new one, meaning that all your data would be lost.

    Try installing OS X to the external HD and then boot from it. Maybe you can access the internal HD then, although it sounds unlikely since it won't even mount. This is a classical example of why you should always backup your data. You even had an external HD so not having one isn't an excuse for you.
  3. therocket, Mar 19, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2011

    therocket thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2010
    Haha, yep...
    Thanks for the reply.

    I'll go and get a new hard drive and try installing OS X on it.

    And btw, I actually do have most of my stuff backed up on there, it is mostly just my passwords, bookmarks, and recent documents that I want from the recovery(plus some files/apps that I may have overlooked when periodically backing up). I guess I might use the new external and set up time machine after I get this fixed. The reason I didn't have time machine set up was because I was using my hardrive for multiple computers before I got my own Mac, and I didn't want to restore it to partition it for time machine...
    In hindsight, yeah: Should coulda woulda. But I didn't...

    I know that it is my own fault for not backing my stuff up on a more regular basis, you don't need to remind me ;) lol

    And thank goodness for googledocs... Most(or at least some) of my stuff is saved on there. I sure dodged that bullet. Now I am bummed that I can't watch anymore NCAA march madness cause I got no tv :(

    Just another quick question, is it normal for hard drives to just fail randomly??? I mean, I was watching a movie with my laptop on my desk, it wasn't moving around or anything... Weird I guess...
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    It's pretty normal. Hard drives come and go. Especially if it dies young, it may not warn you beforehand. Old drives usually start showing some signs (random freezes etc) before they crap out totally.

    I thought you had nothing backed up, thus my reply. Good that most of your data is safe though.
  5. therocket thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2010
    Hmmh, thanks.

    And to all others that read this, take hellhammer's advice and backup your data. I'll probably end up buying an external for my parents macs that they recently purchased and help them set up time machine. Then there won't be any hindsight if something happens.

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