Oh no, not the "Invalid B-tree node size" error, pleeze!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by akadmon, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. akadmon macrumors 68020

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    #1
    My daughter's 2 month old MBP froze while she was browsing in Safari tonight. She tried to reboot, but all she got was a flashing question mark inside a folder icon. I googled this and went through the troubleshooting routine in one of the Apple KB articles, which essentially had me boot from the install CD and run Disk Utility to try to repair the HD. Sadly, DU reported the "Invalid B-tree node size" error and told me that it was not able to do any repairs. Does this mean the HD on this MBP is toast, or is there something else I can try before giving it to Apple for a week (which is how long these nincompoops will take, even though it should take them no more than 15 mins to replace the HD)?
     
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #2
    Disk Warrior can sometimes repair a disk when Disk Utility can't. You can purchase it online, and I believe you can download a boot disk maker.
     
  3. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #3
    Um, how do I load it onto a non-booting computer?

    Besides, $49.95 won't cut it. I'm looking for a free solution since this MBP is covered by Apple Care.
     
  4. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #4
    You would need a 2nd machine to make a bootable disk, then startup the failed Mac on that disk. Another method would be to run the failed machine in Firewire Target Disk mode from the 2nd machine, then run DW from there.
     
  5. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #5
    Thanks gr8fly. Although not having this machines for a week will be an inconvenience, avoiding such is not worth the expense and hassle of DW.
     
  6. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #6
    Understandable. Though, DW is a great tool to have around.

    If you have an Apple Store nearby, they might be able to do the repair in-store and cut the time down to a day or two. It's worth a try, anyway.
     
  7. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #7
    I have something like 6 storers within an hour's drive. The closest is 15 mins away. I hope you're right about a 2 day turnaround. Hate to have her usurp my MP while she's waiting for her MBP to be repaired :)
     
  8. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    #8
    Might not work for everyone, but work running disk utility a couple of times. Resetting PRAM, etc might also be worth doing before sending to a store.
     
  9. GeeYouEye macrumors 68000

    GeeYouEye

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    #9
    Doesn't AppleCare still come with Techtool Pro? That might be able to help.
     
  10. rockstarjoe macrumors 6502a

    rockstarjoe

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    #10
    Sometimes you can just hold down Option while you boot and select your hard drive, and everything will magically work again. The question mark basically means the computer doesn't know where to boot from.
     
  11. davidlv macrumors 65816

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    #11
    I recently purchased DW online, and that allowed me to download the application and they sent me the serial number immediately by e-mail, then I got the bootup disk in the mail later.
    If you buy it online from your MP and hookup the laptop by firewire Target Disk mode (press the T key while booting up the laptop and then attach the firewire cable) you can use DW to repair that HD (replace the directory with an optimized repaired directory). That should be better than asking the Apple Genius to try and fix it (last choice). Sure you have Apple Care, but that is for hardware trouble, not software induced file structure damage, although they may try to fix it for you.:cool::apple::cool:
     
  12. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #12
    I had a genius at a nearby Apple store look at the machine and he confirmed that the HD is dead. Unfortunately, neither this particular store nor three others in the area that he called have the part in stock, so I have to wait. Bizarre that Apple stores would not stock what must surely be the number one component that is likely to fail in a laptop :eek: Anyway, after the HD arrives (1-3 days), they'll do the replacement within an hour of me dropping off the machine. BTW, it's a Hitachi drive that died. I'm hoping to get a WD drive, but there is no guarantee I will. It's the Apple HD lottery :mad:
     
  13. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #13
    It is a bit strange they don't have the drive, but Murphy's law probably kicked in there (if it were any other part, they'd have it sitting on the shelf ;) ). The good news is they came through with a promise of quick repair, once the part comes in.

    A family member recently had their MBP's keyboard and logic board replaced in-house within a day or two - so, they usually seem to try their best for a quick turnaround.
     
  14. m85476585 macrumors 65816

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    #14
    You can continue using the MBP for simple web browsing and email checking with a Linux live CD. Download something like Knoppix, burn it to a CD/DVD, boot the MBP from it (hold Option to get a boot menu?), and when it starts up you should have a functioning OS that can do everything but save data to the hard drive. When you reboot and take the CD out, everything will be back to normal.

    http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html
    Knoppix used to be by far the best Linux live CD, in my opinion, then it was abandoned for a while, and it apparently recently went through major changes, according to their website. I haven't tried it since, but it should still be good. Wireless network support can be tricky with Linux, so you might have to use a cable if you can't get it to work. If Knoppix doesn't work for you, you could try something like Ubuntu, which might or might not have better hardware support.
     
  15. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #15
    Thanks for letting me know about the Linux options. I'll look into them if it turns out the Apple store will not get the part by Saturday. 90% of what my daughter does is surf the net, so this is sure to keep her happy until her Mac is up and running again :)
     
  16. LinMac macrumors 65816

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    #16
    Take it as an opportunity to upgrade to an SSD.

    1) Stop by the MyDigitalDiscount.com eBay store here: (You want the RunCore SSD.)

    http://stores.ebay.com/MyDigitalDiscount-com

    2) Take a look here for 8% cashback from Bing.com when purchasing from eBay.

    3) Enjoy your much faster Macbook/Macbook Pro.
     
  17. kgeier82 macrumors 65816

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    #17
    nevermind, you did this.

    I just solved this a few months back with a reinstall.
     
  18. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #18
    Good news! My Apple store got a replacemant HD and I was in/out of there in 40 minutes. The new drive is a Fujitsu. While it's certainly nowhere near as popular as the WD Scorpio, all I've seen are excellent reviews for it. I've gone ahead and bought another of these on Newegg for my other daughter's early 2008 MBP (last pre unibody model) to replace her 250GB HD which she has outgrown. Now I need do find some instructions for a DIY installation. I called around some local Apple authorized shops and the cheapest price for having it installed that I've found is $120. One guy wanted $240! :eek:
     
  19. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #19
    iFixit.com for DIY guides. You can use 'em online, or download the PDF.

    Glad they took care of you so fast, too!
     
  20. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #20
    Removing the top case (Step 8) looks daunting. Some people are reporting difficulties reassembling. Ouch! :eek: Hm, I'm thinking $120 might be worth it for some peace of mind.
     
  21. kgeier82 macrumors 65816

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    #21
    its really not, but if you are more comfy with parting with cash, go ahead.

    You just take I think 10 side screws out, and pop it up from the back, all the way around. Make sure not to pull hard yet, cable for keyboard still on there!
     
  22. m85476585 macrumors 65816

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    #22
    Is is a unibody MBP, or an older one? (2 months old should be a Unibody.) The unibody ones are really easy to upgrade. The old ones are a little tricky, but not that bad. Just don't try to tilt the top case forward when you are removing the front clips or you will bend stuff. Lift it straight off. It will take some force, but you probably won't break anything. I had a little difficulty getting the CD drive slot to snap properly putting it back together, but I wedged some paper in so it wouldn't bend when I pressed on it, and it snapped back together just fine.
     
  23. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #23
    It's not unibody (the one that originated this thread is). I know unibody upgrades are quite simple (I would have done it myself in this case if the machine wasn't covered by Apple Care).

    I don't doubt that in 99 out of 100 cases the DIY HD upgrade on a the early 2008 MBP will go without a hitch. I just don't want to be that one guy out of 100 for whom it does not end well. Saving $120 is not worth the potential downtime and the hassle of dealing with Apple, were I to be forced to seek Apple Care coverage on a machine that I damaged attempting a DIY upgrade. Shame on Apple for designing the MBP in a way that puts a user in this situation.
     
  24. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #24
    Alright, so I ultimately chickened out and paid $95 today to have the new drive installed in my daughter's early 2008 MBP (could have had it done for $75 at another place, but I'd have had to wait until Monday). Oh well, I think of it as a Xmas present for her:) I took the opportunity to upgrade her to SL. The whole process went off without a hitch, including restoring all her files & programs from a TM backup using Migration Assistant. As for the new drive (Fujitsu), I love how quiet it is (noticeably quieter than her old Hitachi drive), and even though it's only 5400 RPM, it seems just as fast as her old 7200 RPM drive. So if you're considering upgrading your MB/MBP with a 500 GB drive, I highly recommend Fujitsu (I got mine for $90 from Newegg).
     
  25. m85476585 macrumors 65816

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    #25
    Data density is proportional to the speed of a drive, so a 500gb 5400 RPM drive might be just as fast as a smaller 7200 RPM drive. Since laptop drives are limited by the form factor, data density is generally proportional to capacity. The same is not true for desktop drives since, for example, an early 320 GB drive might have 4 platters, but if the manufacturer updated them, a new one might have one side of one platter. The largest drives still push the limit, though, so you can generally assume they have a high data density. My 1TB 3.5" drive will transfer at 120 MB/sec, and newer ones peak near 150 MB/sec.
     

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