OSX partition vanished/ disk utility won't repair- can I back up and recover photos?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by JCake, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. JCake macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2009
    First off let me confess I am pretty useless with this stuff compared to the people here. I have searched the forums and while there seem to be a lot of people with similar problems, I haven't really seen a solution that I fully understand or that would help me with my specific problem.

    The Problem:

    I'm using a 3 month old 13.3" Macbook with bootcamp installed. Recently I turned it on and OSX wouldn't load. I had not changed anything on the laptop at all. When it tried to load just got the grey/ blue screen and spinning gear thing. I turned it off and booted into windows no problem. Later I did it again but left it running and eventually OSX did load but the problem recurred when I shut down and now the OSX partition doesn't even show up when I start the computer. Nothing happens for a while and then windows starts. No OSX.

    What I've tried:

    After looking through the forums here I have tried booting into safe mode and single userness, whatever that is, and it's the same- nothing happens and then windows starts.

    I've tried booting from the install disk and running disk utility on the mac partition (it shows up in disk utility) but I get the "invalid node structure" error and it says the disk can't be repaired. When I try to verify I get an error saying the disk "could not be unmounted" (I assume that is a euphemism).

    Windows works just fine.

    What I really want to know is whether I need to reinstall OSX and, if so, whether I can recover some data first. I just got back from a family wedding and have a number of photos that I hadn't backed up (duh) and I really want to try and get them off the disk.

    I understand Diskwarrior might work, but I don't mind reinstalling OSX as long as I can back up the drive first. I have an external USB drive, but absolutely no idea what I would have to do to use it as a backup, or how to recover the photos from it if I do. There is mention on these forums of an "archive/install" option which sounds promising...

    Sorry for the long post, just wanted to be specific. Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer advice.
  2. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Aug 9, 2007
    Data Rescue 2 or Testdisk/Photorec (free) to recover data BEFORE reinstalling.
  3. JCake thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2009
    OK but how do I run it? I've downloaded Data Recovery II from bootcamp/ XP but how do I run it since it's a mac program? And if I use a windows program can I use it to scan an OSX partition?
  4. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    No, cannot do this from the Windows partition

    You will probably need to access the drive from another Mac using Target Disk Mode AND you will need to recover your data to another drive

    You can possibly run Disk Warrior on your partition

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]

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