Mac OS X 10.5.3 Destroyed My Computer...Help Transfering Data

Discussion in 'macOS' started by eligus, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. eligus macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2008
    Hey Guys,

    So 10.5.3 somehow corrupted my OS. I can log-in to my account and of course physically start the computer (the power), but once I log-in none of the desktop loads, just the wallpaper. Sometimes if I press :)apple: + Spacebar) the spotlight icon in the top right corner comes on and allows me to search things but I can't open them. Finder doesn't load

    Anyways, this problem happened the day 10.5.3 came out and I took it into the Apple store. They couldn't figure out how to fix it, nor could the Apple store when I brought it in a second time for a "Quickdrop." However, they told me that they could re-install OS X and back up my Hard drive...for $125 or something.

    How can I manually go into the harddrive without loading my desktop and transfer my files to my hard drive? I know how to install OS X, but I Really need help figuring out how to manually ("back door") transfer my data.

    Thank you so much Macrumors, hope you guys can figure out a solution.
  2. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    You can boot onto the Install DVD and transfer you documents out to a USB drive with Terminal...

    Or have you tried an Archive and Install?
  3. allbrokeup macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    Maybe connect another mac to it via an Ethernet Network to copy the data. There is another way of installing OS X onto an External HD and booting from that and copying the old data to a user folder on the External HD.

    Thats about all I know,


  4. eligus thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2008
    I can't access the "ARchive and Install" part. When I insert the OS X Install Disc, I never get installation options, instead I receive an error message that says "Mac OS X CAnnot BE Installed on this computer." AHHHHH...

    How could I do it through terminal? I have no knowledge of terminal commands.
  5. Soulstorm macrumors 68000


    Feb 1, 2005
    Something is seriously wrong... That should not happen.

    Have you thought of booting from an external hard drive (an iPod for example) and then see the contents of your original hard disk?
  6. eligus thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2008
  7. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Do you have a windows or other mac machine in the house?

    If you have another mac you can always "caddy out" the harddrive. (meaning take out the harddrive and put it in a 2.5inch external harddrive enclosure, newegg sells them for like $15 - $20. These enclosures have a usb cable that lets you plug them into other computers and see the contents of the drive).

    Or, if you have a windows machine do the above except download a program called "MacDrive" so that your windows machine can see your mac harddrive.

    If you go the caddy route all you do is once the drive is in the enclosure you plug it into another computer and right there are all your files and folders. Just burn em to disk or whatever you want to do with them.
  8. eligus thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2008
    Is there no way to just simply write the files to my external hard drive without loading the Desktop?
  9. ProstheticHead macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Nope. If you can't load the desktop you can't "simply" copy files. Probably the best method is to pop out the harddrive, throw it in an external shell, and hook it up to another computer. (As mentioned above).

    Just go to and look for a harddrive enclosure.

    Something like that.

    Open your computer, remove the harddrive, pop it in that enclosure, you're good to go.

    I guess, the biggest thing will be knowing what kind of computer you're trying to open up. If you're trying to open up a G5 iMac, I feel for you. It's a tedious task.
  10. Allaria macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2008
    10.5.3 killed my computer too.

    My eMac's wouldn't start up after I loaded OS 10.5.3 as well. But I have been able to rescue all of my data.

    My computer wouldn't load the desktop. After rebooting I would get a kernel panic screen -- a gray screen with a black box that said I need to restart my computer. The message about restarting the computer is said in like 3 or 4 languages.

    So, what I did was I used the Firewire Target Disk Mode ( I borrowed a Macbook that was running 10.5 from a friend and used that as the host computer and used mine as the target computer. You use a firewire cable to connect the two computers, with the target computer off. Then you turn on Target Disk Mode by holding down the "T" when you restart your computer.

    After my eMac's hard drive was mounted on the laptop, I transferred all the data I wanted to keep off of the eMac and onto my external HD which I connected to the laptop using a USB cable.

    After completing the data transfer, you eject the target disk and shut down that computer.

    My data transfer went well, but I then encountered problems trying to re-install 10.5 on the computer. I haven't been able to re-install 10.5 yet.

    By the way, I believe that you HAVE to use another computer that is running 10.5. I initially tried the Target Disk Mode with a laptop running 10.4 and that didn't work at all. A friend told me that I needed to use a host computer that has the same or a higher version of OS than the target computer.

    I hope that you're able to move your data off.

Share This Page