MBA frozen on grey screen, how to back-up disk?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by userled, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. userled macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2013
    Hello -
    My MBA won't start, it is stuck on the grey screen with the loading symbol spinning non-stop

    I tried to go to recovery HD and repair the disk, but that was not possible.

    I'd like to create a new image to save to an external hard drive so I can wipe my computer clean, and restore again - but I tried this and the Disk Utility Progress told me that I am unable to create the .dmg file (File too large)

    My external hard drive is 500GB and empty, the MBA drive is only 120GB - does anyone have any experience on how I can transfer my files off safely?

    I am not a technical expert, but can follow any instructions people may have - this is how I've gotten to where I am now.

    Thank you to any genius(es) out there who can save my disk contents!
  2. RemarkabLee macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2007
    Make sure the external drive is formatted Mac OS X (HFS+). A lot of drives are pre-formatted for PC (FAT32 or NTFS). Once formatted for the Mac, try to create a new image again (uncompressed).

    In future, once you system is fully recovered, have a backup policy! Time Machine is made for non-geniuses!
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Can you boot into recovery mode and install OSX on your external drive?

    If it were me, I'd look to creating a boot drive either on a thumb drive, or an external disk, then boot off that. From there you can back up your internal drive (hopefully).

    Its much harder to do this after the fact then before hand and as noted having a backup strategy for these kind of moments is important.

    Good luck

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