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Logic board fried, need data recovery help


macrumors 68040
Original poster
Hi, guys,

I'm writing from a vintage and reliable iMac, as my 13" MacBook Pro mid-2010 called it quits today.

It had some weird audio and video issues over the last week, then today it came to a crawl, each program crashed one by one, and I had to turn it off.

When I tried to reboot, it started up to the Apple logo the first few times but never got past that (and I let it try for about 20 mins or so). I believe it was that time that a grey progress bar started showing up underneath the Apple logo, which I now know means it was trying to diagnose a problem with the hard drive.

Not knowing that at the time, and seeing no progress in the progress bar, I turned the computer off again. After that point when I would try to boot I got the flashing question mark folder! Scary.

I was able to start up to my Applications DVD to run the Apple Hardware Test, and it found an error right away when it was testing the logic board, and it stopped the test.

I have a repair set up with Apple to send it in to them.

The problem is that I was not completely backed up (I have excuses, but no one wants to hear them, and they're complicated, but legitimate, actually.)

Now that I know the computer was trying to diagnose the drive, I am concerned I may have corrupted the drive when I turned it off during the progress bar start-up (although I doubt it ever would have finished).

I tried checking the drive by booting to the Install DVD in order to run Disk Utility, and after about 15 minutes I got to the screen where you can select the language, but it wouldn't let me go past that (maybe the logic board prevents the computer from working normally even booted from the DVD?).

I just got off of a ten-hour work shift (ironically training to work for Apple doing iPhone tech support but through one of their vendors, not directly), so I am too conked out to try anything more tonight.

However, my dad has the exact same MacBook Pro as me, same model, and said he would be willing to let me put my drive into his computer to see if I could get data off of it that way.

So, I guess my questions are: Based on having turned off the computer when I did and the symptoms, does it sound like a hard drive problem? And second, is there any reason it's not safe for my data (which hopefully is still there) or my dad's computer to seat the hard drive in his computer? I know for example that you couldn't put it in a newer Mac that only is capable of running Lion and has different drivers. But these are the exact same model.

I'm sorry this is so long. I've had a stressful day, and believe me this wasn't even the half of it. Thank you very much!!!!


macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2011
Baltimore, Maryland
Your Dad's identical MBP should be able to boot from the drive if there's nothing wrong with the drive. If it can't, then that's a good sign the drive is corrupted somehow. Bad hardware can lead to a corrupted drive easily.


macrumors 68040
Original poster
Thank you very much for all the good advice.

In case anyone was curious of the outcome:

I was wary about the options for drive enclosures I saw on Amazon because each one had some bad reviews about working with Macs or frying the drive somehow, and then I was going to do target disk mode, and after finding a Firewire cord, realized it didn't fit in the new FireWire 800 port! So, in the end reseating the drive seemed like the safest option.

I reseated the drive in my dad's computer, and it still wouldn't boot up. In fact, when I booted to Disk Utility using the Applications DVD with drive in his computer, the drive only showed up with the manufacturer's name and didn't show the Macintosh HD volume. However, after a quick disk repair it fixed whatever the problems were and booted up fine afterward and I was able to do create a couple of backups. I put the drive back into my computer and it still wouldn't start up, so it's been sent off to Apple.

My suspicion is that when the logic board went bad and I couldn't start up the computer, for some reason the computer was attempting to repair the drive (the grey progress bar) and when I turned it off in the middle of that process, it corrupted the drive. If that's the case, it makes me think the computer should try to verify that the logic board is working correctly before trying to repair the drive. Apple certainly had no idea about what direction to give me, so I'm glad I had a little bit of self knowledge.

In any case, I am very, very happy that Disk Utility worked—at the time it was a very happy surprise.

Again, thanks for your help.
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