Need a little help with a failing SMART status

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Drag'nGT, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. Drag'nGT macrumors 68000


    Sep 20, 2008
    My friend's 1st gen Air is not booting. I thought it was just the issues with 10.7.3. I booted to the recovery partition in Lion and missed the red hdd sitting there. I verified permissions and restarted... nothing. I went back and repaired the drive... nothing. Then I noticed the hdd was red. I clicked it and the SMART status says failing.

    My understanding is that you can't fix that and that it's a nice way of the hdd letting you know it's about to die.

    I would plug it in and put it in target disk mode... but there's no firewire/thunderbolt port on the Air. :rolleyes: So what can I do to clone this drive over to another before it goes out completely?
    Where would I get a zif or pata connection for this kind of drive even if I could select it as the source for the clone when I connect it to my drive.
    Where could I suggest she get a replacement drive for the 1st gen air?

    I'll let her decide if fixing this is worth it or not but her data needs to be gotten off safely. And yes, I've preached "backup, backup, backup" but to no avail! :mad: :rolleyes:

    THANK YOU for all the help.
  2. AlecEdworthy macrumors 6502


    May 1, 2007
    Leicestershire, UK
    If you can boot into the recovery partition then you should be able to connect an external hard drive (of equal or greater size compared to the internal drive) via USB and then image the internal drive onto that. If you connect it up and then open Disk Utility then you should see both the internal drive and the external drive in the side bar. Select the main partition (probably called "Macintosh HD") on the internal drive and then choose the "Restore" tab from the options where you see First Aid, Erase, RAID and Restore. Now drag the external drive (or a partition of it if you have partitioned it into multiple partitions) from the side bar into the Destination box and it should be possible to click on Restore at the bottom of Disk Utility and have it copy the internal drive to the external drive. You may need to erase the external drive, and maybe even change the partition scheme to "GUID Partition Table", using the Partition tab (select the external drive, not the first partition on it to reveal the Partition tab) before you can perform the restore operation.

    Another option would be to perform a temporary installation of Lion (or Snow Leopard I'd guess) onto an external USB drive (either a largish flash drive or a hard drive), boot the MBA from that and then use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the internal drive onto an external drive.

    However all of this is dependent on being able to read the internal drive. If the internal drive is damaged enough that it will not boot then you may be out of luck.

  3. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    as far as a replacement, RunCore SSDs used to get really good write-ups on the MB Air forum.

    Note that there are different versions for the Rev A (truly first Gen) and the Rev B/C Airs.

    These are SSDs, so they are still a bit pricey, but at least it's an option...

    Here's a link to their online store - this is the product for the Rev A - poke around a bit and you'll find the Rev B/C versions if you need them.
  4. Drag'nGT thread starter macrumors 68000


    Sep 20, 2008
    Thanks. I tried the first part the day after I posted the thread and got an error that I wasn't able to 'restore' the failing drive to my external.

    I never thought about booting to a launchable USB and cloning over... probably because there's only one USB to work with.

    I ordered a PATA ZIF external kit off Amazon to remove the failing drive and plug it into another computer and run some software. I think this will work and solve my (her) problems.

    Yeah, when I had mine I saw a lot of threads on those. She's decided to get a MBP instead. This Air is beat to hell. She doesn't take care of it and it shows.

    I'm trying to get her to get an SSD but she won't listen to me. Which is fine. I already said I wasn't gonna help after this because I refuse to fix anything I warn and show someone how to prevent it. Her BF had a hdd fail on him a year ago and I told them both then to BACKUP and respect their components. In one ear and out the other. :rolleyes:

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