macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 26, 2012
Hi all

I have a MacBook Air, 13-inch and think it is the 2011 version. The MBA boots, asks for password, then the screen goes blank. I've rebooted several times and also tried safe mode, recovery mode, etc - nothing.

I took it to the Genius Bar today and the Genius said the intermittent shut down issue could be caused by the logic board. They wouldn't repair as it's way out of warranty. A few quotes from 3rd party repair companies are around $800 - might as well get a new laptop!

If I can't fix the laptop and get it to boot, how do I recover the data? Could I unplug the HD and put it into some type of USB casing so I can access the data from another Mac?

I am mostly trying to recover photos and documents. I'm also not sure if everything is synced to iCloud. Is it possible to check what files are backed up in iCloud?

Thanks in advance
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Reactions: jpn


Feb 9, 2003
im sorry dont know the answers to yr questions myself.
but i am very interested in what solutions there might be, as my wife's MacBook Air is the same model as yours.
and feel that i need to learn about this in advance...


macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 26, 2012
There are enclosures to put in the SSD and connect via USB to a computer.

Just make sure what year u have as Apple changed the layout with the 2012 model.

Thank you - very helpful. Once I connect the HD to another computer using that USB enclosure, is it possible to actually extract files from it?

Documents is relatively simple I'm assuming as these are just docs within the Finder file structure

Photos is tricky as the photos are in the iPhoto app database. Not many photos though - less than 2000 - but really want to retrieve them. Is this possible?


macrumors 68000
Nov 2, 2010
Yes you can select the photo library by

How to switch between libraries in Photos for Mac
Make sure Photos is not open (quit it if it is).

  1. Hold down the option key on your keyboard.
  2. Double-click on Photos.
  3. Click on the name of the libraryyou want to open.

How to move your Photos library to an external hard drive
Like iPhoto, your Photos for Mac library can run off an external hard drive. Make sure you've quit Photos for Mac, and the rest is easy!

  1. Launch a Finder window on your Mac.
  2. Click your Mac hard drive in the menu on left of the window (should be Macintosh HD).
  3. Click Users.
  4. Click your user name.
  5. Click Pictures.
  6. Click Photos Library and drag it to your external hard drive in the menu on the left.

    Google is your friend;)
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