MBP does not boot - a convoluted scenario

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ottotheman, May 11, 2010.

  1. ottotheman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    I have looked around all the web but I cant seem to find a solution. Since my phone ruined my whole loooong first post, now I'd be describing everything again with even more frustration :) Any help in rescuing my data is appreciated.

    I have a unibody mbp with 500gb hdd which has 3 partitions: 180gb mac, 20gb fat32 documents and ~240gb ntfs bootcamp with 64bit win7 in it.

    My mac froze today so I had to power it off and afterwards it didn't boot again. It used to be in a better shape but my futile attempts to fix it made everything lot worse. So here is the current situation:

    If left untouched, mbp tries to boot on win, but fails and gets stuck on a black blank screen.

    If I press option key, after waiting a while I am only presented with option to boot on mac. When I do so, I either get a blank gray screen, or an indefinite loading time ( waited at least for an hour and a half before giving up) or a do not disturb sign (kernel error?). previously I have seen a folder and a question mark but lately that doesn't show up.

    Single user mode, safe mode or verbose modes do not work. Or the current booting situation makes their shortcuts unusable.

    I can put the mac os dvd and hold c to launch the mac os installer. over there I can run the disk utility. disk utility shows both documents and bootcamp mounted and apparently without problem (even though attempts to verify documents finds an error, attempting to fix goes on indefinitely, restarting the disk util makes the documents look all good again). Mac partition however is unmounted. Verification gives some errors and repairing claims that repair is successful, however nothing changes i.e. can't mount the volume, can't get info on how much space is left, is still unbootable.

    I have opened up the terminal and through it tried the following commands:
    df -hl (which only shows bootcamp from my 3 partitions as volume and shows couple more things)
    sudo fsck_hfs -l /dev/disk0s2 (got the disk ID from disk util, this command does not run as sudo is not recognized. removing sudo the command runs and stops giving the error "the volume machintosh hd could not be verified completely" I tried adding parameters -fy which yielded the very same error)

    If I try to go through the installation, my mac volume does not show up.

    When I boot from win7 dvd, I can't see any of my partitions (i think it is a driver problem though).

    So at this point I feel like there can be three options: using some commands through the terminal, somehow partitioning my bootcamp and creating a partition in which I can install macos, and lastly booting from windows. I think the windows option is the best one, if possible, so that I can access at least my documents (my most important data), my data on bootcamp and maybe the data on mac partition.

    I am sadly not in a position to buy an external hdd right now. Studying abroad in Europe, life is already much more expensive than in the US.

    I am open to any suggestion. Thank you all for your help.
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Your hard drive is most likely dying. I would buy an internal hard drive and start fresh. You could try any of these:
    ...but really that's just buying you what's likely going to be a short amount of time before your other partitions start failing as well.
     
  3. ottotheman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    #3
    I have an external 500gb hdd, but it is formatted in NTFS and quite full at the moment. The data I need to rescue from the internal hdd is about 100gb however at this point I can only get images of my partitions, which are 500gb themselves and there is no way I can get them on the external. There isn't even any way to write on NTFS on the mac installer, even though I had the fix installed in my mac os that allows me to do so. So only if I can get an access to my hdd for let's say 2 hours, I wouldn't mind my internal hdd getting sucked into the blackholes they create at CERN afterwards. I have my all lives information on this and stupid me placed so much trust on the "unfailing" macs so I didn't even bother backing them up.

    thanks for the heads up. first thing I'm gonna do after getting out of this situation is to get a copy of my data on my external and later another copy to my desktop at home when I finally return there :)
     
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  5. ottotheman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    #5
    OMG HOW DID YOU KNOW?!!?




    naah, just kidding :) I'm in Dresden, Germany. Why, are you in Geneva?
     
  6. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #6
    Oh, you had mentioned CERN so I just guessed. Had you been in Geneva I could have recommended a reasonably-priced electronics store where you could get a replacement internal drive, but alas.
     
  7. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Communard de Londres
    #7
    I'd suggest shifting the data on your external drive then format and install OSX on that, boot from that drive and see what you can recover from your internal drive with the aid of recovery software if necessary.
     
  8. ottotheman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    #8

    thanks for the reply peterkro. I am trying to do that right now. I borrowed my friends laptop, trying to free up enough space on my external. After freeing up space I will create a mac partition on the external and get the image of the mac partition of the internal over there; erase the mac partition on the internal, and reinstall. However this is a painfully long process which involves deleting good amount of movies and programs :( so while doing so, I am hoping for somebody to come up with a way to fix the situation.
     
  9. ottotheman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    #9
    Update: Now the disk util says invalid key length and cannot repair this disk to my mac partition. Does this mean it is beyond the point of saving?
     
  10. msevild macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Location:
    Schaumburg
    #10
    If the drive is not greyed out in disk utility when booted to the install DVD I would recommend the use of the ditto command in terminal which is an available utility from the install DVD. This will allow you to copy directories from a source location to a destination and if an input/output error with a file is found it will ideally skip over it and write the bad file in the output of the terminal window. This will ideally be a fast process but could take hours or days so be warned.
     

Share This Page