MacBook CD and HD damaged - need help

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by justamacuser, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. justamacuser macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2009
    Hi guys,
    First, I'm happy to be a member here. Have using Mac's for as long as I can remember and will keep doing so.:apple:

    But I would like to hear some help in what to do in my situation.

    My MacBook (white version) recently got the CD/DVD drive damaged. There was a CD stuck in there and my wife tried to place another one and it got stuck and we just can't remove it. Two days after this, when we were going to visit out local Apple store to have it fixed, our MacBook stopped booting. All we have now is a gray screen. No apple logo, no "counter", nada.
    We tried everything, from starting up pressing option to reseting the PRAM etc etc.
    All we got, WHEN we got something, was a blinking "?" mark inside a folder.

    So we suspect our HD is damaged?

    So, what should we do? Is our data lost, can we recover?
    Should we just buy another HD and install ourself? If I send it to Apple, will they be able to recover my files and send me the computer with a new HD(with my files on it)?

    Thanks very much for any help

    I also have a G5. Could I clone my G5 HD in an external HD, then use the external HD to boot my MacBook? Would this work?

    Anyone? :(
  2. thebassoonist macrumors 6502a


    Sep 25, 2007
    Davis, CA
    I'm sure that someone will be able to give better advice than me, but I think it is worth a try to see if your data can be recovered.
  3. pranavss11 macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2007
    San Jose
    I very much recommend you take it to an Apple store if possible and have them take a look at it and ask the questions there. Personally, with that "?" thing, it sounds like either your OS is corrupted or your HD is definately toast and I don't see the data coming off. Is your MacBook under warranty? Make a genius bar appointment or call Apple and they should take care of it for you. If you have some important stuff on the computer let's hope that I am wrong and that you can some how get your CD-Rom working and boot from the Installation DVD that came with it and reinstall the OS.

    Just my 2c. Good luck

    PS. If you can somehow get the DVD working, you can run the Hardware test on it.
  4. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    With the optical drive not working on your Mac, it seriously reduces what you can do to diagnose, repair or replace your hard drive yourself unfortunately. The normal diagnostic routine would start with booting your system from the #1 System Restore disk that came with it and running the repair disk routine from the Disk Utilities on the DVD, but no optical drive. Replacing the hard drive yourself also requires booting from the #1 to format and install the OS on the new drive, but no optical. Running other utilities to diagnose the HD or trying to recover the files, again no go with no optical! :(

    SO- Apple needs to first repair or replace the optical drive obviously. At that point they would normally run basic diagnostics on the hard drive, but if it needs to be replaced or reformatted and have the OS reinstalled they will not, in answer to your question, make an attempt to recover your data. They specifically note on the work orders that they are not responsible for user's data on hard drives and that it is the responsibility of the user to maintain appropriate backups. They also will not return the old hard drive to you to try other recovery on later if they determine it has failed and they replace it.

    One of the few alternatives I can see is that if you or any friends have an external DVD drive you could borrow, you could try hooking it up and using it in place of the internal for troubleshooting purposes on the hard drive prior to talking to Apple. That way you could either repair or attempt file recovery from the hard drive before handing the computer to Apple to continue repairs starting with the internal optical drive.
  5. justamacuser thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2009
    Thanks much everyone for the help, really appreciated!

    So the plan to clone my Powermac G5 HD to an external drive, and try to boot my Macbook with this external drive wouldn't work?

    Also, could anyone recommend an external CD that works with this computer? I think may be cheaper to do it myself than going to Apple, what you think? I'm out of the warranty.

    thanks again all!
  6. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I admit I missed the clone the G5 part- sorry. Depending on what version of the OS you have on the G5 that may or not work since the G5 requires an installation tailored for PowerPC processors and the MacBook needs an Intel tailored installation. If the G5 has Leopard it could work, but almost certainly not if it is Tiger.

    If you want to try that, just make sure the external drive is formatted in Disk Utility using a "GUID" partition map since Intel Macs need that to boot from a drive. G5's and other PowerPC Macs require an "APM" partition map to make it a bootable drive on them. Just use the "Help" menu in Disk Utility for info about partition maps and how to change them as part of formatting.

    Virtually any external DVD burner will work fine with either of your computers. Don't drive yourself crazy looking for one that specifically states Mac compatibility-- that designation almost always just refers to the lightweight burning software included with the drive and whether it is PC and/or Mac compatible. The hardware itself will work fine with your Mac, and will burn successfully with iTunes, the Finder, iDVD, Disk Utility etc and with third party programs like Toast, Burn etc.

    Since a hard drive is pretty easy to replace in your Macbook (which since it is out of warranty I know it is a white or black) so yes replacing the hard drive would certainly be cheaper than getting a direct Apple replacement (even if the Genius Bar replaced it with no labor charge).

    If you buy an external optical, you of course don't have to repair or replace the internal but it does limit your portability. The cost savings on replacing an internal optical is a bit more complicated that than the hard drive, as it would include your comfort level of tearing the compter down for a more involved replacement than the HD and the relatively high price of suitable internal drives. It would be a good idea to get a quote on that from Apple if you are not comfortable working inside the computer.

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