**Need help** saving data from what I suspect is a failing/failed HD on my mbp

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Gahlaktus, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. Gahlaktus, Jan 19, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011

    Gahlaktus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    #1
    --Edit: I was able to solve the problem. Just read on to find out how.--

    I have a 17" MBP unibody that I've had for almost 2 years, That seemingly crapped itself when I turned it on this morning, though it was working fine the night before.

    I have Leopard installed as my OS and windows 7 installed in a different
    partition.

    *CLIFFS:
    -On MBP
    -Can't logon to OSX (stuck at logo)
    -Can logon Win7 partition (though sluggish)
    -booted with CD tried to archive install but mac partition unavailable
    -used disk utitilty
    -failed repair disk
    -need to save 20 gigs files
    -you read my post
    -give solution
    -I save files



    *Situation:
    When I turned it on this morning it immediately froze on the white screen. No tone and no logo. After a few attempts of turning it on and off with no luck then I decided to hold the option key to try to log onto my win7 partition... It remained on the white screen so I decided to walk away for a few minutes hoping it would somehow fix itself.

    When I came back It had on the the the win7 logon screen. AHAh! progress.
    I logged on. Then tried to look for my OSX partition/drive, which from what I can remember usually access and transfer files from between partitions but It was nowhere to be found. so I logged off.
    -I did notice that it was particularly sluggish maneuvering about windows.

    I turned it on again and again this time it went past the white screen and got the apple logo and the apple wheel but froze there.

    At this point looked up a few solutions online from people with similar problems.

    I tried booting with OS disk like suggested. I tried to do an ARCHIVE INSTALL but when it came to choose the partition where to install, the right partition was nowhere to be found. However my bootcamp(win7) partition was there.

    I tried using DISK UTILITY

    On the left it does show that a greyed out partition called "disk01". I'm pretty sure this is the partition I want.
    I tried to repair disk which failed. I tried to verify disk and the message,
    "Invalid sibling link
    The volume Macintosh HD needs to be repaired"

    *Partition info

    Name: disk0s1
    type: volume

    Disk identifier: disk0s1
    Mount point: not mounted
    file system: Mac OS extended (journaled)
    connection bus: serial ATA 2
    device tree: /PCI0@0/SATA@b/PRT0@0/PMP@0:1
    writable: yes
    capacity: 231.9 GB
    owners enabled: no
    can turn owners off: yes
    can be formatted: yes
    bootable: yes
    supports journaling: yes
    journaled: no
    disk number: 0
    Partition number: 1


    So from what I gather the partition has somehow been unmounted but when i try to mount it it fails and tells me to repair disk which fails also.

    **What can I do?:confused:

    From reading a few cases I read online It seems my HD is about to fail. If it fails, I can just replace it. But what I need to do is save hundreds of hours of work on that HD if it does. Is there anyway I can access or save the data from the disk utitily. All I really need is to extract about 20 gigs of important data from it. If I can somehow transfer all the data the partition to an external HD that would work too.


    BTW I'm post this from my XP pc
     
  2. Teòma macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    #2
    You could install os x on an external HD and boot off of that. If your internal HD is failing then eventually it will mount. Though it may take a while.

    I believe you could also take it to Apple if you're still on warranty and they will clone the drive for you.

    A third option you could try is Spin right. You burn it to a dvd, and then start it up. That may be able to save it in time for you to save your data. You can find it here.

    And for option 4, you can try removing the HD and popping it into the freezer for a few hours. I've done this countless times and works fairly well. Although I wouldn't recommend this if your MBP doesn't allow you to easily access the hard drive.

    I wish you the best of luck in saving your data!
     
  3. Gahlaktus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    #3
    Thnx teoma!

    I'm gonna try #1 tomorrow. I'll have to buy an 8 gig thumb drive. I'd have to reformat my current HDs to do it but I don't want to deal with that right now.

    pretty sure my warranty is over and I don't feel like paying $300 to renew it, though it definitely would be my last resort to get professional help if i can't solve this on my own.

    spinrite looks interesting but it look like a windows only software. Will it work from my win7 partition? will i be able to acess files from my "unmounted" osx partion.

    As of #4, I don't think the HD is that readily detacheable on my version of the MBP. Though I am curious as to what is the reasoning/logic behind the putting it in the freezer. I know it's one of the magical solutions for many things I've heard, batteries, electronics, etc.
     
  4. mmcxiiad macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    #5
    if you have a second mac, you can boot the one with the problem into target disk mode (hold down t when you start up until you see the firewire logo on the screen). Then plug a firewire cable from that mac into the second one.

    This is a really cool ability, it basically turns your mac into an external hard drive. Now you should then be able to browse the drive as if it was just a regular attatched drive. You can also boot from a second computer's drive.

    Target Disk Mode is one of those really geeky but very cool extra's that only Apple includes.
     
  5. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 68040

    PinkyMacGodess

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest America.
    #6
    Prosoft's Data Rescue 3 would be a good place to start. I had an external Seagate drive die and Data Rescue 3 was able to identify the problem and would be able to recover 100% of the files if I had decided to purchase the software to do it. I passed for now because most of the data on the drive is old archive program install packages and assorted videos...

    I was amazed and very pleased that the software was able to work as well as it did... You can download a 'trial version' that will do a full scan and allow the recovery of a single 10M file. Of course your mileage may vary, but it might allow for the saving what's on the drive.

    (I don't work for or benefit from Prosoft)
     
  6. Gahlaktus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    #7
    hmm interesting..

    I don't have a second Mac handy however.

    Wouldn't "target drive" be similar to me holding down the alt when I turn on my mbp to choose between OSX and bootcamp partitions. If so the problem is, that partition doesn't appear as an option anymore, just bootcamp (windows).
     
  7. Gahlaktus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    #8
    I've been able to salvage external HDs before using many different but similar programs as the one you mentioned. The problem is that the "problem" is with the internal one in the only mac computer I own. Makes it a bit more difficult than with an external one.
     
  8. Gahlaktus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    #9
    Update

    *UPDATE

    -So I bought a new WD external HDD w/ firewire.
    -I installed OSX.
    -Used disk utility to try to repair "disk01"
    - It failed again!
    -But at least this time, disk01 is now recognized as "Macintosh HD"

    -well that's something at least.

    *next step is to use disk warrior.
     
  9. mmcxiiad macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    #10
    No, target disk mode is different. When you hold option down,it gives you the choice of which partition you want to boot into. Target disk mode turns your computer into a external drive. You can then access it as if it was a standard hard drive.

    Any computer with a firewire port can be plugged in and access the entire drive.
     
  10. Gahlaktus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    #11
    ***UPDATE

    CLIFFS
    -Booted on OSX from new external HDD
    -internal HDD now appears on desktop
    -Tried to save folder directly from internal HDD
    -folder size seems smaller that I remember
    -purchased Datarecovery
    -Quick Scan not so "Quick"
    -Can now view files from internal HDD
    -prophecy fullfilled.
    -Now interested in buying a new SSD
    -you
    -read on if interested.



    *It seems that my HDD was not necessarily failing but was just unresponsive due to a bad or forced shutdown. It could have been accumulative as I do it fairly often.

    *story
    In the last update, I found that after attempting to use disk repair on from my new external drive (with OSX installed) that I can now boot and view my original Macintosh HD partition (internal), but with "limited access" as a warning popped up telling me so. I opened it but it was empty... at first.
    After a while it started to fill up with folders and files.

    The folder I wanted was empty also but then started to fill up with files. I left my laptop for about 2 hours to let the HD be read. After I was certain it couldn't read the HD anymore than it already had, I immediately tried transferring the folder to my external. Voila! files saved!! got up and started dancing in front of my laptop for 10 minutes straight I was so happy. no joke.


    ...or so I thought. the transfer dialogue stated ETA was about 12 minutes with 7.45 gigs transfer. But I knew for a fact the folder had to be at least 13.5 gigs. AT LEAST! I let the transfer finish, which took about 4 hours despite the ETA saying 12 minutes.

    Hey, 7.45 gigs is better than nothing. Maybe I just remember the wrong file size. I didn't want to risk it. From my research It was down to diskwarrior or data rescue.

    Diskwarrior would have tried to save my drive fixing bad files etc
    while Datarescue would just recover my files.

    I decided toward datarescue because I already had my heart halfway set to just buying a new SSD drive anyway. If not, my old HDD need a good formatting so no need repairing it.

    So I fired up Datarescue and quick scanned which took 4.5 hours btw (quick scan my ass). Found the folder I needed, and like I suspected, it was 13.5 gigs. I also browsed and recovered other files (old colleges notes/projects etc.) It came down to 40 gigs.

    Now all that's left is to reformat and reinstall all my apps and perhaps buy a new SSD.

    conclusion

    Fixing this myslef cost me roughly $250
    -$20 for an 8 gig flash drive (this was before realizing I needed at least 16 gigs to install osx)
    -$100 new external drive
    -$100 datarescue
    $$$/change, tax.

    It may seem a lot but I would have probably paid just as much to get it professionally done and that would have just been a one time fix. At least I came out with something to keep. It certainly doesn't have to cost you this much if you're reading this and run to the same problem.

    For those facing the same problem I suggest installing OS X on an external drive that is at least 16 gigs. 8 gigs is 'just enough' space to install osx but I found installation kept failing before it completed.
    Making an OS boot drive to work off of is much better and easier than just working off the boot disk alone.

    Thank to all that replied with help and suggestions!
     
  11. kainjow Moderator emeritus

    kainjow

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2000
    #12
    That's not good. Why would you be doing that often?

    Please get yourself a new working external drive and enable Time Machine, then you'll never be in this position again :)
     
  12. astrodog macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #13
    Any sort of backup would stop the data rescue nightmare.... I use Time Machine and SuperDuper nowadays.
    In any case Data Rescue is a great app to have in your toolbox, I once reformatted our camera SD card before my wife had downloaded some important photos from it! Data Rescue saved my behind!

    Good story though - a good reason to not force shut-down your mac! I'm interested why you do it often too - I've probably been forced to maybe 3 or 4 times since OSX came out (few more times under OS 8/9).
     
  13. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #14
    Not wanting to rub it in (actually, I do, for the benefit of others), but buying an external drive and using Time Machine before you get into trouble would have saved you money and effort. And it would have been substantially safer. You are lucky that you could restore any of this data.

    And a hard drive that has failed once is likely to fail again, so replacing the hard drive is now very, very urgent. And using Time Machine is very, very urgent indeed.
     
  14. walterwhite macrumors 6502

    walterwhite

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2011
    Location:
    South Central PA
    #15

    conclusion

    Fixing this myslef cost me roughly $250
    -$20 for an 8 gig flash drive (this was before realizing I needed at least 16 gigs to install osx)
    -$100 new external drive
    -$100 datarescue
    $$$/change, tax.

    It may seem a lot but I would have probably paid just as much to get it professionally done and that would have just been a one time fix. At least I came out with something to keep. It certainly doesn't have to cost you this much if you're reading this and run to the same problem.

    For those facing the same problem I suggest installing OS X on an external drive that is at least 16 gigs. 8 gigs is 'just enough' space to install osx but I found installation kept failing before it completed.
    Making an OS boot drive to work off of is much better and easier than just working off the boot disk alone.

    Thank to all that replied with help and suggestions![/QUOTE]


    A real Data Recovery from say drive savers can cost around $1000. I think they start at like 700 and go up into the thousands, depending on how big the HD is.
     
  15. Gahlaktus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    #16

    I force shutdown because I either in a hurry or just impatient. I was naive to think it wouldn't catch up with me. I mean I didn't do it while apps were running or anything. I'm definitely not doing it from now on

    I'm usually the type of person that saves after every thought typed into Word Doc and back up important files. The one time I didn't back up, my HD failed on me :s

    Luckily it was not work related but just a side project I've been working on for long time.
     
  16. astrodog macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #17
    I guess Finder is always running, so is the kernel, with open files etc etc

    I maintain a SuperDuper! clone of my hard-drive, as a backup primarily, also good to be able to boot and do DiskWarrior/Drive Genius tasks on the laptop boot drive.

    Glad it worked out.....
     

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