My iMac died and I'm about the throw up. **UPDATE**

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by MVallee, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. MVallee macrumors 6502a

    MVallee

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #1
    So tonight, I was checking Facebook when it seemed my iMac felt slow. I thought i had too many torrents running so I went to shut some off and my computer froze, really bad. I had to hit the power switch. When I went to turn it back on i saw a folder with a "?" question mark on it, and have not been able to boot up since.

    I found the help topics on Apples website and have done everything, inserted the install DVD's and checked Disk Utility and it just shows a drive "Media" and says its 0 bytes in size. After trying everything several times I once got it to show the size of the drive, but it said "unpartitioned". I have not been able to get it to show that again however.

    This is an Intel iMac that just came out of the 1 year warranty in August. Like a cheap idiot, I did not buy Apple care, but thats the least of my worries.

    I have 3+ years of un-backed up family photos on there that I CANNOT loose. Does it sound like my drive is fried for good? Should I bring it to Apple, or an authorized mac repair place? Can I do anything? HELP!!!

    UPDATE: On Page 3
     
  2. emt1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
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    #2
    If you have other computers in the house you could pull out the hard drive and try to use Data Rescue 2

    http://www.prosofteng.com/products/data_rescue.php

    If that fails, someone else might be able to provide other software alternatives.

    Otherwise, it's off to Seagate it goes for hardware recovery, probably costing thousands of dollars.

    External hard drives (or time capsule) + Time Machine are cheap

     
  3. 11800506 macrumors 65816

    11800506

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    #3
    If you have another Mac you could try connecting them by Firewire and booting up in Target Disk Mode by pressing T (?) on startup. I'm not sure about that key, but basically that will allow you to access your files on the other Mac as if it were an external hard drive. The drive has to not be dead for that to work though.
     
  4. MVallee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MVallee

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    #4
    I tired the Target disk mode thing and got nothing. It does not show up on my MacBook at all. I dunno about taking the hard drive out, I would have no way to connect it to my MacBook. I don't think i have the right enclosure.

    and THOUSANDS of dollars? Seriously? I was expecting hundreds.
     
  5. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #5
    "T" is the right key to press to start up in Target Disk Mode. :)
     
  6. teleromeo macrumors 65816

    teleromeo

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    #6
    you system folder is messed up. Start up holding 'c' with the original system disk. Then check if the hard drive is ok.
     
  7. maclover001 macrumors 6502a

    maclover001

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    #7
    I'm sorry to hear about your troubles :(

    Time Machine has saved my life several times. I highly recommend picking up a Time Capsule, so even if your iMac explodes, you still have your files.

    Hey, it beats $800+ in data recovery costs.
     
  8. MVallee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MVallee

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    #8
    Believe me, I'll be backing up from now on. i just really need to get my photos back. Our family is crazy with the amount of photos we take, and loosing 3 years worth is alot. Not to mention, my wedding pics are on there! Not exactly replaceable.

    I've read things about ways to recover though terminal, but thats out of my range of knowledge. Could it be something other than the hard drive? Could it be something with the ATA connection on the mother board seeing as it won't mount, show up in disk utility or connect to my MacBook via firewire?
     
  9. petermcphee macrumors 6502a

    petermcphee

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    #9
    My wife takes a ton of pictures, and she uses Flickr Pro account. It's $30 per year or something like that, and it has almost unlimited upload capacity. Great way to backup photos.
     
  10. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #10
  11. philbeeney macrumors 6502

    philbeeney

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    #11
    My PowerBook drive died last year (80GB) and I didn't back it up either. It cost me approx $1800 to recover the files from it. I replaced the PowerBook drive myself and bought a 500GB Time Capsule.
     
  12. MVallee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MVallee

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    #12
    Ya I tried fsck and I can't get it into safe mode or single user mode.

    I feel like everything I try just comes up with the folder and the ?. UGH!
     
  13. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #13
    But did you try restarting on the system restore disc?
     
  14. maclover001 macrumors 6502a

    maclover001

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    #14
    Open the iMac, and take out the hard drive, then put the drive in the freezer in a ziplock bag for about 20 minutes. This usually fixes the drive temporarily, just enough for you to get your data off it.
     
  15. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #15
    He mentioned that he started with the Install DVD and tried Disk Utilities.

    To the OP, if you have access to a PC and the hard drive is spinning, you could try SpinRite.

    Of course with SpinRite you will need to remove the HD and connect it to a PC. SpinRite works great.
     
  16. sn00pie macrumors 6502a

    sn00pie

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    #16
    This is a shot in the dark. Can't you boot off the Leopard disks and just do the upgrade install; where all your data is still intact, its just the system folder gets replaced?
     
  17. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #17
    Doh. I missed that.

    It sounds like the HD directory is hosed. This could be a job for DiskWarrior.
     
  18. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

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    #18
    My advice is to be patient and to not do things your don't *entirely* understand or feel *entirely* comfortable doing. You hard drive sounds like it is toast, but you may be able to recover, but you can also further screw it up if you don't know what you're doing. Be patient. Take deep breaths. Go slow. Read a lot.

    Good luck!
     
  19. MVallee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MVallee

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    Ontario, Canada
    #19
    I have not tried taking the drive out because I'm not entirely comfortable taking apart my iMac, and also I have no enclosure to hook it up in to recover the files.

    When i try and do the upgrade from the install disks it shows no drive to select as my target for install.

    I'm making some calls tomorrow to the Apple store and my authorized apple repair place in town. Hopefully I'll get some help.

    The freezer thing sounds intriguing.
     
  20. sn00pie macrumors 6502a

    sn00pie

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    #20
    Oh and if you bought it last August, you still have a 1-year window to extend your AppleCare upto 3-years. So you have until August before your 1-year is up.
     
  21. beatledud macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #22
    similar problem, my friend's drive died, i ripped it out of his notebook, placed it in a usb enclosure, ran diskwarrior, and it said it was too damaged to replace, and suggested looking at the preview disk and backing up what you needed. Now if it's under 10 meg, I can copy it over, usually as the same size as it was, but every file is corrupt, and if I open, say a pdf, in text edit, there is nothing there. Even when I copy it, it always gives me an error 36 "the finder cannot complete the operation because some data in "xxxxxxxx" could not be read or written. Larger files it just waits on the "estimating time to copy" prompt and I can't end the copy, have to restart Finder itself. Thoughts?
     
  22. MVallee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MVallee

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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #23
    Yes, I know. I have learned my lesson and my computer is backup up like nobody's business. This is my Mom's computer, who does not backup. She takes 99% of all the family pictures, so they all are on her computer. I should have backed it up for her I suppose, but she never asked :p

    I dropped it off at an Apple repair place in town (The Apple Store said they would replace the hard drive, but not try to get the data back). The guy in town is going to replace my hard drive and have the iMac back tomorrow. Then he's going to work on the old drive and see what he can get out of it. He's also upgrading to Leopard so I can set my mom up with Time Machine to prevent this from happening again.

    I hope he can get the files back.
     
  23. sn00pie macrumors 6502a

    sn00pie

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    #24
    Yeah, as long as the hard drive is OK, he should be able to get the data off.
     
  24. mreg376 macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #25
    Umm, he said that his one-year warranty ended in August.
     

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