MBP Hard Drive died (I think) - how to recover data ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tristan.lahey, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. tristan.lahey macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    #1
    Hey all,

    So story goes. I was downloading some torrents a few days ago and I started to get a lot of IO errors on the torrents - causing them to cancel / pause, I also started to see a huge decline in my system speed doing anything from opening a Safari window to navigating a new folder in Finder - taking anywhere from 1 - 5 minutes for any of these things to happen. So I decided to force a restart by holding my power button for 5 seconds.

    Once this was done I turned on my MBP again to be greeted by the spinning gear with a grey screen. AND it stayed there... For over 5 hours ! I went off to work in this time and came back to the same screen. I forced a shutdown again and restarted and the same thing again. Never ending spinning gear on the grey screen.

    I tried the different options to boot, Verbose/Single, I reset my PRAM and SMC controller (didn't really think these would help - but desperate measures). The thing that really confuses me though is the fact that I can still boot into my Bootcamp Windows partition - and it works flawlessly.

    I tried my Leopard DVD to attempt to boot from this to run Disk Utility to repair such and even attempt a FSCK if I could get into it. But when trying to boot from the DVD I select the DVD from holding Option when turning on the laptop - it then goes to the grey screen with the spinning gear before the screen turning black and then rebooting on from what I can see straight into the HD again - so this stopped me from being able to boot from the Leopard DVD to run anything.

    I have now removed the HD and placed it into an external enclosure to attempt to access it from my brother MB and also from my Windows Desktop. Both failing, the MB doesn't even see it in Disk Utility, and the Windows machine only reads the Bootcamp Windows partition.

    I have now bought a new 7200.3 320gb HD to replace the one in my laptop - but I really require some of the data from the old HD. Does anyone know any solution that I can try to do to get the data off of it ? Any help would greatly be appreciated.

    Thanks

    I forgot to add - my MBP is only 5 months old - the standard level of the MBP 15" Unibody.
     
  2. neilhart macrumors 6502

    neilhart

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area - Fremont
    #2
    The fact that you can/could boot into Windows/Bootcamp is encouraging. The major concern at this point is that it won't boot your DVD. What do you know about the DVD? Can you verify that it is good on another machine (meaning can you boot to it)?

    Do you have (and are you using) the two DVD set that came with the Unibody MBP?

    Neil
     
  3. tristan.lahey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    #3
    Yes I used the same DVD to install Leopard onto my new HD. This DVD is Disk 1 of the 2 that came with the MBP. I also have a stand-alone copy of Leopard which I also tried - with the same results.
     
  4. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Kop
    #4
    I had a similar experience recently. Finder acting slowly, reboot caused a black screen to appear. I could also boot into windows fine. DiskWarrior couldn't replace the directory due to disk errors.

    The harddrive would be under applecare so they will replace it for free.


    I had a recent backup but still wanted a final copy, I managed to get my data off the drive by using target disk mode. For this to work I believe the drive must be installed in the machine. Connect your mac to your brothers by a firewire cable and then start yours up and holding down T. The firewire logo will appear on the screen and hopefully your drive will appear on the desktop of your brothers mac where you can backup.

    Good luck.
     
  5. tristan.lahey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    #5
    Yeah I know Apple will replace the HD free of charge, but I cannot afford the downtime without my laptop. I also saw it a good enough excuse to say to the other half that I am now "required" to buy a new HD which can only be the 7200.3 320gb (pity the 7200.4 500gb were out of stock everywhere).

    I don't have a FW400 cable ATM as my brother only has a MB - but I will look at getting one tomorrow and giving that a go.

    Thanks
     
  6. neilhart macrumors 6502

    neilhart

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area - Fremont
    #6
    Okay I am confused. In your first post I understood that you could not boot your DVD. In you last post it appears that you have and installed OSX onto your new drive.

    Is the remaining issue that you can not read the OSX partition on the old drive?

    Neil
     
  7. tristan.lahey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    #7
    Yes I cannot boot from the DVD when the old drive is installed in the MBP. Once I remove that one and put in my new one it works fine.

    Yes my problem now is retrieving the data from my old hard drive.
     
  8. neilhart macrumors 6502

    neilhart

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area - Fremont
    #8
    You could try DiskWarrior with the drive in an external enclosure. If that does not work, you may have to decide if a "data recovery service" is appropriate. If you search the web you will find some pricey utilities that may or may not be able to read the OSX partition (I see these as a real gamble). And then there are the true data recovery labs.

    Neil
     

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