MacBook White No System Disc and Optical Drive Not Working

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by JonnyAlpha, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. JonnyAlpha macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #1
    OK here's the problem, my 5 year old macbook White froze so I switched it off by holding down the power key. Now when I switch it on all I get is a flashing folder icon with a question Mark. A search on google reveals that this means that the boot up can't find the system disc so I tried the first solution offered of booting whilst holding down the option key. All this left me with is a blank grey screen with a black mouse pointer but no system disc to choose from.

    The next solution is to boot with the original OSX discs which I have, trouble is the optical drive on this old bad boy is knackered, when you insert a disc it does it's normal loading noise but spits the disc out.

    Any ideas how to solve this, could I copy the disc contents to an external HDD or is there a way of making a USB Stick Boot Disc or any other solution.

    Thanks
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    Have you access to another Mac or Windows PC with Firewire?
    Have you got an external USB optical disk drive (ODD)?
     
  3. JonnyAlpha thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #3
    I have another Mac with FireWire but no FireWire cable and I also have a spare USB HDD.

    Found an article on installing mac OSX to a USB Mem Stick but my Mem Stick is only 1GB so I thought I'd try installing it to the Ext USB Drive but when I run the install OSX icon I don't get the option to choose a destination only get an option to restart my Mac to begin the install.
     
  4. dakhein macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Location:
    NorCal, USA
    #4
    I don't know whether it supports booting from USB external drive but if it does, are you sure you it's a bootable drive with the original system disc (Disk Utility Restore tab source - installer system disc, destination Macintosh HD)?

    Or perhaps use target disc mode and use your working Mac's Disk Utility to repair the drive.
     
  5. shockerbook macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    #5
    Mac froze, boot up with question mark and HDD dosen't appear? sounds to my like your hard disk might be busted (same happened to me when mine went out). Put your ear against the computer (near the disc drive without a cd in) while its booting and listen if you hear a repetitive clicking sound that just might be it.
     
  6. JonnyAlpha thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #6
    Sorry you've lost me, do you mean using the USB HDD as a bootable drive with system disc installed? I have found a couple of links on how to do this but I am having trouble fooling how to make a disc image of the Mac OSX Install Discs. Once I can make an image of the OSX CD/DVD? I need to copy that image across to the USB HDD using disc utility.

    How do I make an image of both the install discs together? Or do I need two partitions on the USB HDD and put the second CD/DVD in the second partition.
     
  7. dakhein macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Location:
    NorCal, USA
    #7
    Launch Disk Utility, click the Restore tab. Drag the external hard drive partition to the Destination slot, then drag the Mac OS X Install Disc to the Source slot. Click Restore and confirm the Erase of the external and it will "burn" the bootable replica of your install DVD to the external drive. I believe the second disc is optional. You can use the same process to wipe the external of Disc 1 and put Disc 2 later.
     

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  8. JonnyAlpha thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #8
    Thanks Darkhein, I have successfully created an image of the OS X Tiger 10.4 on my USB HDD and when booting the Mac pressing the Option key the USB HDD appears. When I selected it the Mac boots up but into the Install Mac OS X window. Asking me whether to install the additional applications or to quit. Do I carry on with the installation or will this wipe the contents of my Mac?
     
  9. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Location:
    The Philippines...
    #9
    That will wipe the contents of your mac if your macbook's HDD is still useable.
     
  10. JonnyAlpha thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #10
    As mentioned in the earlier post i managed to boot the Mac install disc from a connected ext USB HDD however got a bit confused when it was asking me to do an install. I did not realize that after selecting the language option before selecting to install or quit you can access the menus which includes disc utility.

    However; when I selected disc utility the Macs Hard Drive is not listed?? Maybe its toasted, although I can hear it working??

    I have just downloaded a Macbook 13 manual so i'll have a go at removing the HDD and trying to connect it to a spare PC to see if I can access it that way?
     
  11. JonnyAlpha thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #11
    OK;

    After attempting all of the above it looked like the HDD was toasted, when I switch on the Mac I can hear the HDD going brr brrbrrbrrbrr several times and then stop as if its trying to read the HDD but failing.

    The USB HDD that I was using is luckily a SATA enclosure so as a last ditched attempt I have installed the Macbook SATA HDD into the enclosure to confirm whether or not the HDD is toasted.

    When I first powered up the USB HDD attached to my Macbook Pro I could hear the drive attempting to be read and received a message along the lines of Device Unreadable. I loaded disc utility, the drive is visible but an attempt to Repair Failed.

    I have now downloaded Test Disc by CGSECURITY which I have used successfully in the past to attempt to recover the drive if at all possible however I m having trouble finding a guide on recovering a Mac filesystem?

    My Macbook 13 White is about 5 years old running OS X 10.4 what file system would be in use and can anyone assist with some pointers on how to recover it using Test Disc by CGSECURITY?

    Thanks
     

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