Possible failing HD, could use a few pointers

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Darkknight37, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. Darkknight37 macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2010
    I have a 24" iMac (3gb RAM/Snow Leopard), that's about two years old. For four days it's been running sluggish, and giving me the "pinwheel" every minute. The HD would also make loud "whiring" noises, over simple processes. I did some reading and determined that maybe the HD was dying. I'm sure my warranty has expired, and I never bought into apple care, so I was hoping I could fix the problem myself.

    I went out and bought an external HD, with the hopes that I could use Time Machine to back everything up. I was able to boot the computer with no problems and run Time Machine, until the system completely froze with only 18gb of 250gb saved onto the external. I left it for a few hours hoping it just needed to catch up, unfortantely nothing happened and I powered it off. I was then stuck at the "white screen of death", and decided to try and run the Disk Utility off the Snow Leopard disk.

    I managed to get that to work, and when I verified the HD it said, it was failing, so I tried to repair it. After a few hours the system completely froze again. For now it's powered off, and I was just hoping I could get a few suggestions as to where I can go from here. I would really like to at least recover a few files, but at this point it doesn't seem possible. If someone can suggest a new HD I can buy, to replace my old one, or a way I can get into my system and recover a few things before I replace it, I would be much abliged! :D
  2. tkermit macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2004
    If your hard disk is mechanically failing, your best bet may be to use a professional data recovery service - unfortunately they are truly expensive. Has your hard drive made any different sounds, since the moment the system froze completely ?

    Unfortunately, if the hard drive's head is crashing on the platters, or anything like that, you are actively doing more damage by continuing to have the hard drive in use.

    This is a good site to get a feel for what certain defects sound like. You should rule out a head crash before continuing with any recovery attempts... :eek:
  3. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    Take the hard drive out of the computer, put it in a ziplock back and put it into the freezer. Leave it there for a few hours. What that is chilling, get your machine booting off another drive and make sure you have an external case for the hard drive.

    When ready, boot the machine off the new drive and put the freezer drive in the case. You should, hopefully, be OK for a while and allow you to get chunks of data off of it.

    Good luck.
  4. Darkknight37 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2010
    Thanks for the quick reply! I've pretty much made peace with the fact, that I'll probably not be able to recover anything. But anyway, I believe the hard drive only made noises about two days ago when it was extremely sluggish. I was able to log in last night, and nothing seemed wrong (until I tried to use Time Machine). When I get home from work I'm going to see if I can try to get into the Disk Utility again with the Snow Leopard disk, and from there hopefully Safe Mode.

    If I do loose everything and have to start from scratch is there a way I can at least import the music/photo's I have off my ipod video or my ipod touch? Thanks again!
  5. tkermit macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2004
    I would seriously advise against trying to boot from your failing disk anymore. You will maximize your chances to get some data off of it, by using it as little as possible. You should therefore boot from a different disk and only then try accessing the failing one.

    Now, the easier part will be to get back your music from your iPod. There are several programs to do just that. Since I don't have any experiences with any of them, maybe someone else can recommend one.

    Good luck. :)

    EDIT: Unfortunately, you may not be able to recover your original photos from your iPod. If I remember correctly, unless you specifically asked iTunes to do otherwise, it will only store smaller sized versions of your photos on the iPod...Still - those you should be able to transfer to your computer.

Share This Page