Need some help repairing a friend's Macbook

Blackened Apple

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 15, 2012
116
0
Hey everyone,

I haven't really got much experience with Macs (yet, I'll be receiving my MBA next monday), but my friend asked me to try and repair his black Macbook. So I guess I need some of your help ;)

Originally, it would freeze during boot up, during the spinning wheel screen. I turned on verbose and the last message was something about AppleYukon. I then booted up using single user mode, ran the file system check which found some problems and repaired them.

Next time I booted up, it went all the way to the blue screen with the mouse, and then it froze. I had to power off using the button, which must've screwed up the file system again, because it would stop at the AppleYukon message again.

I've burned the SL image to a 16GB USB stick, and booted into the installation manager. I ran Disk Utility's Verify Disc which gave me "Error: This disk needs to be repaired. Click Repair Disk.", which I did. Then it gave me "Error: Disk Utility can't repair this disk. Back up.... and restore your backed-up files."

I then ran Verify Disk again, and it finished fine with the message "The volume Mac HD appears to be OK." The Verify Disk Permissions and Repair Disk Permissions options are grayed out, though. The next time I restarted, I got stuck in the blue screen again...

If I have no further options, I'll just back up the disk's contents and reinstall SL, but I'd like to know if there's anything else I can do...

And when it comes to backing up the disk, is doing it through the terminal my only option?


Cheers

EDIT: I've now enabled journaling on the partition, so that power-off do not disturb the filesystem. I've stopped stalling at the ApplYukon message ever since. Still stuck at the blue screen, though...
 
Last edited:

Tander

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2011
676
1
Johannesburg, South Africa
Sounds to me like the hard drive is on its way out. Best bet is to try save the information and replace the drive.

I would first try formatting and reinstalling the OS on the MacBook.
 

Blackened Apple

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 15, 2012
116
0
Ok, so I backed everything up, reinstalled SL and applied all the updates. It's running pretty much flawlessly, so I don't think there's anything wrong with the hardware...
 

\-V-/

Suspended
May 3, 2012
3,155
2,619
Ok, so I backed everything up, reinstalled SL and applied all the updates. It's running pretty much flawlessly, so I don't think there's anything wrong with the hardware...
I would still be weary of the drive. Just keep an eye on it for now. Reformatting can temporarily make a failing hard drive appear okay, but it could be on the way out. If it isn't, great! Just make sure your friend keeps a back up of their stuff. Hard drives are cheap to replace. Files are not.
 

G-Mo

macrumors 6502
Nov 6, 2010
466
2
Auckland, NZ
It sounds like this drive is failing. Run TechTools Pro or equivalent to confirm. Replace HDD, restore from backup.
 

Blackened Apple

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 15, 2012
116
0
I'll run those tools to confirm, but since the HDD is only 3 years old (he replaced it, I don't know why), I have a hard time believing it's failing so soon. Anyway, I've installed SL on another HDD so that if the other one fails, he can have a running system just by swapping them. Everything's backed-up.
 

G-Mo

macrumors 6502
Nov 6, 2010
466
2
Auckland, NZ
I'll run those tools to confirm, but since the HDD is only 3 years old (he replaced it, I don't know why), I have a hard time believing it's failing so soon. Anyway, I've installed SL on another HDD so that if the other one fails, he can have a running system just by swapping them. Everything's backed-up.
"only 3 years old"? Are you serious? Hard drives fail after 3 months, 3 weeks and even 3 days. 3 years for a moving parts device, especially with a lot of use, is getting near life expectancy.

I replace at least a handful of drives every week, that are dead than less than 3 years old.

Check the warranty on the drive, something like a WD Scorpio Black has a 5 year warranty.
 

BrianBaughn

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2011
6,459
977
Baltimore, Maryland
True it's very possible the drive is failing or has a bad sector. Just be sure you're backing up and keep an eye on it.

If you want to be sure here are some PC utilities out there (free from manufacturers..such as "Seatools" from Seagate) that can do a detailed job of checking the disk and all of its sectors.
 

psychocub

macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2012
3
0
Hard drive failure rates are about 1 in 10. I have had new out of the box drives fail.