Macbook won't boot - how to recover data?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by qd2008, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. qd2008 macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2008
    My Macbook (loaded with English OS) coun't get started while I am traveling in China. I got a folder and a question mark. I didn't have the reload disk with me. Therefore, I brought it to Apple maintenance center in China. When I got the Macbook back. I got a Chinese OS plus my old Hard Drive. I am trying to recover files from the old hard drive. But I had trouble and don't know how.

    I did find an adapter to plug in my old HD to the Chinese OS powered Macbook via USB connection, the old HD did not show up on the desktop. Can anyone help me to find a way to recover the data on the old HD?

    The hard disk is Hitachi HD, the green LED can light up.
    Thank you very much for helping.
  2. tsice19 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2008
    Take it to your local Apple store.
  3. misterredman macrumors 6502a


    Oct 3, 2007
    If you can open Disk Utility check if your old drive show up there.
  4. iToaster macrumors 68000


    May 3, 2007
    In front of my MacBook Pro
    If you want your Mac to be back in your native language go to System Preferences and the go to the international section (the flag) and then drag English to the top of the list.

    As for your data, you hard drive could have simply died, which makes it very hard to actually get anything off it because it doesn't physically work anymore.
  5. sabregreen macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2008
    If you hook it up via a USB adapter and it doesnt show up, check in /Volumes. See if anything is listed there besides Macintosh HD or whatever your hard drive is called in the laptop. Also, when you plug in the drive to the adapter, does the hard drive spin up?
  6. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    If they replaced your HDD it's likely it's dead, so you can't recover it without a professional recovery service.
  7. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    Well, there's apple-service-dead and then there's really-actually-pooed-the-bed-dead. Prosoft's data recovery II can often read a hard drive that other utilities can't.
  8. qd2008 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2008
    I tried, since it is still under warranty, so they gave me a new drive. I have to pay deposit to get the old drive back.
    They told me they can not fix it.
  9. qd2008 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2008
    May I ask where can I find disk utility?
  10. qd2008 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2008
    The service center seemed to handle several computer brands.
  11. qd2008 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2008
    Before I sent the HD to Apple, I can still hear the HD spin.
    Now with the external connection via USB. I can not hear the HD spin anymore.

    I like to try the data recovery option. Not I found Prosoft data rescue, not data recovery. Are they the same?
  12. misterredman macrumors 6502a


    Oct 3, 2007
    The fact that it doesn't spin when in an enclosure may be due to the lack of power too. Is the enclosure powered through the USB or does it have a dedicated power supply?

    Of course the drive may just be completely dead.
    I am not sure you will be able to recover anything if it doesn't spin up at all.
  13. qd2008 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2008
    The enclosure was powered through the USB. It does not have a dedicated power supply.
  14. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    Macs have notoriously low power to their USB ports - you almost always need an external power source when plugging drives into a Mac's USB.

    Yes, your link is to the correct software - my fingers just weren't talking to my brain :p
  15. qd2008 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2008
    I will try the external power and buy the software to try.
    I really appreciate your information. May need your help later. Thank you very much!
  16. qd2008 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2008
    When I went to Amazon site to purchse the Prosoft data rescue,
    they pop up an message said that people bought this software alwo bought
    "Alsoft DiskWarrior 4.0: Mac Univeral Binary WDD105".

    Do I need to purchase this also?
  17. avingochea macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2008
    Right next door to hell Yuma, Arizona
    No, not to use the data rescue software. It was just telling you on a 'for your information' basis.
  18. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    The former attempts data recovery and the latter diagnoses and repairs discs.
  19. sabregreen macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2008
    did you look in /Volumes like I said? Disc utility is in /Applications/Utilities/.
  20. sumitjaitly macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2011
    Macbook air wont boot

    I faced the same issue where my macbook air's os died and was stuck at the grey screen.

    I tried all the possible solutions nothing worked.

    Finally....I made the mac book boot from an OSX cd from a remote mac.
    This way i was able to run cp command to copy my data on a usb.

    This is what I will recommend.
  21. seveej macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2009
    Helsinki, Finland
    I'm going to be quite frank: It seems like you do not really know your way around that machine/OS very well.

    Assuming that the old hard drive does not show up on your desktop when you plug it in, and it is not merely a question of power, I'd recommend to hand it over to some pros. Depending on how valuable your data (on that old disk) is to you (and not knowing your location) I won't try any specific recommendations.

    How valuable is your data? If your prepared to pay 1-2 k$ then just send the disk to a professional data recovery service. if you're prepared to pay a few hundred, take it to the nearest geekshop and ask for their help. Otherwise: forget it.
    And take a pen and paper and write 100 times: "From now on, I will always back up my data"

    That said (and for the benefit of all other readers), hard drive failures come in many forms

    Mechanical failure (such as spindle motor or read-head failure usually give quite distinct and audible warnings) always necessitates an expert data recovery service, as the physical platters need to be either read directly or put into a working drive module (both necessitate cleanrooms and expert hardware).

    Controller failure, that something has screwed the integrated electronics of the drive (those small logic boards in the drive assembly) does not automatically necessitate a expert data recovery service, because if you can find a working identical drive you may be able to replace the broken controller with a functional controller (I've done this with a 13/14 success rate), but you really need a working spare and a steady hand. Unless you understand what this means: get an expert.

    Logic failure, means basically that some data has been corrupted in such a way that your operating system is unable to understand what to do with the drive. These types of errors can also be the result of a physical error (back in the days we talked about bad sectors). In any case, in cases such as this, the drive does work (you can hear/feel it spinning up) and a specialist software may be able to recover files (some or all) or even repair the drive back into working order. Again: if you do not understand the guides: leave it to the pros.

    Troubleshooting 101:
    - if you hear the drive start up, but your machine wont read it/show it we're looking at some form of logic failure
    - if the disk is dead (silent) and has died without any warning (noise, such as grating or whining) you are probably looking at a controller failure.

    (N.B! Noises such as repeated clicking or repeated spin-up-spin-down may be related to either controller failure or mechanical failure.)


  22. AET macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2013
    No Volumn

    I have no volumn.
    I am miserable.
    I am traveling and in a hotel.
    I tried all the recommendations above, except for the matchstick.
    Why isn't this working? :confused::confused::confused:

    Running on 10.6.8
  23. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2009

    You can power a 2.5" drive fine off the USB port of any Macbook from 2006 to the present.

    Burn a linux livecd, boot into it. Use ddrescue to make a copy of your ****ed drive to a good drive. You can use external USB enclosures to do this that cost $3 on eBay.

    Then use disk utility or diskwarrior on the ddrescue'd volume.

    Use fdisk -l in linux to give you the names of the drives, so you know which is which. I recommend plugging in the blank drive you will copy data into second, so that you can differentiate it in the list.

    Something like,

    ddrescue -f -n -a 512000 /dev/olddrive /dev/newdrive logfile.log


    ddrescue -f -d -r 3 /dev/olddrive /dev/newdrive logfile.log

    then use disk utility disk repair or diskwarrior on the new drive.

    Good luck. ddrescue/livecd is free, diskwarrior costs money.
  24. Reginaba, Apr 9, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2014

    Reginaba macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2014
    You should be aware that there are a handful of consumer data-recovery programs, and they differ from each other. This means that sometimes one will recover data when another one won't.

    By all means proceed with the kroll software, but if it fails, then turn to Data Rescue III or Disk Warrior or any of the others. I've used both DR III and DW and both work well -- and in each case, one succeeded when the other didn't.

    If you don't want to buy an external enclosure for the drive you're going to try recovering, then pick up a universal SATA-USB adaptor. There are many on the market and they are inexpensive.

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