Major Startup Disk Issue - please help :)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by mike1123, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. mike1123 macrumors 6502

    mike1123

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #1
    So today I was simply browsing the internet when I got the lovely rainbow pinwheel. Usually this goes away after a couple seconds, but it stayed put to the point that I had to restart my computer (I have an Intel iMac btw). When I restarted I got the lovely flashing folder with the question mark. Upon further research, it appears OS X cannot find the startup files.

    I put in the 10.5 upgrade DVD my iMac came with and ran disk utility. To my great displeasure, I find that my hard drive isn't even listed! The only thing listed is the DVD drive and the disc. I waited 15 minutes to see if it was still checking my HDD or something, but to no avail. I tried CMD + OPT +R +P (reset PRAM etc...) and that didn't work either. I unplugged keyboard, mouse, etc... nothing. Computer is only 7 months old. Oh, and when the computer first starts from the disc it says that OS X version 10.4 or later cannot be found so I can't upgrade to 10.5... Basically my Hard Drive is invisible for some reason.

    Assistance is GREATLY appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    #2
    If Disk Utility doesn't see it, it is gone... :(
     
  3. mike1123 thread starter macrumors 6502

    mike1123

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #3
    Seriously? Ugh. Would something like Diskwarrior work? I must have gotten a bad drive if it failed after only 7 months.

    Oh, and btw, in System Profiler when booting from the 10.5 DVD, the only thing listed in Serial ATA is Intel ICH8-M AHCI. Shouldn't the HDD be listed here?

    EDIT: Okay, I just tried Diskwarrior, and the drive isn't listed there either. Great. I really want to know what happened.
     
  4. froggytreafrogg macrumors regular

    froggytreafrogg

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Location:
    Louisiana
    #4

    No degree in computer technology but i'll bet my bottom dollar that you hard disk went out. funny thing is i'm a vintage mac collector and i have a Mac LC III that "can't find" the hard drive. turns out i'm buying a hard drive. Need any more help, just reply.
     
  5. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    #5
    Hard drives have motors, bearings, and tiny electromagnetic heads that float one ten-thousandths of an inch above rapidly spinning metal plates. Their life span is measured in hundreds of thousands of hours, theoretically many years. But the only guarantee is that they will fail at the exact moment that you need it most. :eek:
     
  6. mike1123 thread starter macrumors 6502

    mike1123

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #6
    Okay, so let's say my hard drive is dead :( I guess I'll take this to the Apple Store (still under 1 year warranty) and get it replaced, right? Here's the thing, though. If I theoretically had data (like passwords, files, etc...) that I'd rather other people not get their hands on, do I have any way of wiping it if it can't be detected? Obviously, if I could do so without voiding the warranty, I'd take it out myself, but that's not the case. How does the Apple Store handle cases like these?

    Also, stupid side question, how does one haul an unpacked 24" iMac to the Apple Store? :eek:

    Thanks so much for all of the replies. Luckily I backed up really important stuff like my music and Garageband projects, but not everything...
     
  7. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    #7
    I wouldn't worry about what the Apple store is going to do, here's why: If you simply had to get the data off of that drive you would send it to a data drive recovery company. It would cost somewhere north of $2500 for them to swap controller cards, remove and replace the read/write head, pull the platters and mount them in a known good drive. All in a nitrogen clean box.
    It takes hours, days even. And then you would get back a non-structured pile of files, no folders, no organization, everything named file0001, file0002, file0003, etc. The reality is that your drive will be tossed in a dumpster with the left over fries and RedBull from the Genius Bar crew!
     
  8. mike1123 thread starter macrumors 6502

    mike1123

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #8
    Really? From what I've read on other sites, they confiscate the old drive and send it back to Apple, stating that it is now their property in a warranty exchange. I wish I could at least wipe it somehow. :(
     
  9. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    #9
    Well, it won't hurt to ask. I know a worker at one of the Apple stores and he says they log the name, rank and serial number, then just toss them out. I tend to believe it, what would Cupertino do with a bunch of dead drives? Again, if it isn't showing up, it is going to take a whole lotta effort to get anything off of it.
     
  10. mike1123 thread starter macrumors 6502

    mike1123

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #10
    Okay, thanks. I guess I'll take it in thursday. I just carry it, huh? That'll be fun. I'll ask them about it.
     
  11. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    #11
    Well, good luck, it truly sucks to have a hard drive die, and off the scale sucks on a new machine.
     
  12. Siron macrumors 6502

    Siron

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #12
    :D:D:D
     
  13. mike1123 thread starter macrumors 6502

    mike1123

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #13
    So just to update you all, I took it in and explained the problem and what I tried; they didn't even try to troubleshoot :rolleyes:. They repaired it in 3 days, and I now have a new hard drive. Yay. Anyway, they said my old hard drive will get sent back to the OEM and "scrambled". Not wiped, but scrambled (demagnetized). Sweet, I thought. I knew I didn't have much choice so I said what the heck. But I paid a total of $0.00.
     
  14. nadav123 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    #14
    When i got my imac the sales man said that they would come and take it...
     

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