MBP screen glitch/crash. Now wont load up

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Superhands, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. Superhands macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2008
    First off, apologies in advance if this problem has been covered, but i tried searching and couldnt find anyone with a problem that made their screen look like mine does. anyways...

    last night my MBP **** the bed and now wont load up. I've got the leopard install disc, and im pretty confident i should be able to restore it, but i have some really important files i need to recover that i didnt have chance to back up. Is there any way to recover these files from the hard drive before i wipe it and start again?

    i was running itunes at the time and the screen went funny (like a graphical glitch) then it froze but the music was still playing fine. so i manually restarted it and the glitch appeared again as it loaded up (the loading time was quite a bit longer than usual as well) but when my desktop appeared, everything was fine. i loaded firefox and browsed facebook for a good 5 minutes but then the problem occurred again. i restarted it again and the glitch appeared on the grey apple logo loading screen, but disappeared at the blue screen. unfortunately this is where my laptop hangs and never fully loads up.

    heres a video to show what it looks like:

    any help would be much appreciated cos ive written over 2000 words on my dissertation since my last back up.
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    If you have another Mac, you can try running the MacBook Pro in target disk mode. Otherwise, if you have a basic understanding of *nix, you can copy the files onto an external drive while booted from the restore disk by opening Terminal from Utilities -> Terminal. Why Apple doesn't include Finder in the installer is beyond me. If you need a crash course in navigating the filesystem from the command line I can help you out.
  3. Superhands thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2008
    As it happens, i do have another mac, but no firewire cable. got no access to one either :( so a crash course on using the terminal would be very helpful. ideally i want to extract my music, pictures, documents and downloads folders and a couple of folders from my desktop, but i dont have any experience with the terminal so any help wud be great! thx in advance!
  4. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    It takes a bit to explain, but is a lot simpler than the long explanation makes it seem.

    *nix systems like Mac OS X are set up with a single root, which is denoted as /. The files in / are what you'd see when opening your system hard drive partition, so Macintosh HD or whatever you named it, plus a few others that are hidden. Any other partitions and drives should appear in /Volumes. I have an external drive for Time Machine named TARDIS, so I can navigate to it at /Volumes/TARDIS.

    When you type files and folder names (more on that later), you have to use the same capitalization. /Volumes/TARDIS exists, but /volumes/tardis does not. The same goes for commands like ls and cd, which always have to be typed in lowercase.

    Filenames can have spaces, but when used in commands, spaces are special characters that will mess things up a bit. Therefore, they have to be "escaped" with the \ character. When I refer to /Volumes/Macintosh HD in a command, I'll have to use /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD, with the space preceded by a backslash.

    There are a few commands you need to concern yourself with to get around in the directory structure. The first is ls, which just displays a listing of the contents of the current directory, both files and folders. If you've used DOS under Windows, it's exactly the same as dir.

    pwd is handy. It shows where you are in the file structure.

    cd is used to change directories. You can either use cd Documents, which will move to the Documents folder inside the current folder, or cd /Applications, which will move you to the folder named Applications at the root of the drive.

    cp copies files. It takes two arguments, so you'd run cp [source] [destination]. Usually the destination will be on another folder or drive, so you'll want to use an absolute path, which just starts from the root rather than from the current folder, and is written starting with a slash. For example, to copy foo.txt to my TARDIS drive, I would run cp foo.txt /Volumes/TARDIS. It will normally refuse to copy folders, so to force it to copy an entire folder, you have to use cp -r Documents /Volumes/TARDIS. If you want to copy all files and folders in the current directory, you can just use an asterisk instead of the filename, like cp -r * /Volumes/TARDIS.

    You might want to delete stuff to free up space or what have you. rm [filename] will trash the file you indicate, or rm -r [directory] will trash an entire directory. As soon as it's run, rm will chug happily off and permanently delete whatever you tell it to, so be sure that you've typed the filename correctly. For example, to delete the Music folder inside my current folder, I'd run rm -r Music. You can use * here too, as in rm -r *, but be extra careful that there's nothing in the current directory that you want to keep.

    Finally, you may get a "permission denied" error while mucking about. This probably means that you're trying to mess with files that shouldn't be messed with. If you're positive that you want to continue, you can put sudo before your command, like sudo rm -r /Library. This works with any command. You'll be asked for your password the first time you run it.

    Bear in mind that when you're running from the install disk, the DVD will be at / and your normal hard drive will be found inside /Volumes (like /Volumes/Macintosh HD), because it's not running from that drive at the moment.

    I suggest opening up Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app) on your working Mac and playing around a bit before you try it out on your other system.
  5. macjiro macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2008
    Superhands, don't know where you are at. But here's from Apples site.


    Here's TargetDisk mode.


    The bluescreen thing just happened to me.

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