Power outage, boot partition is damaged..what do I do?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by helpmeme, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. helpmeme macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    #1
    I've had a few power outages before but I think this time did it. My computer was on normally with nothing installing or anything updating and it powered off without shutting down. Now I can't turn it back on.

    I'm on a Macbook Pro running dual boot with both windows 7 and mac with boot camp. I can get to the page where you can select which operating system you want to boot in but once the starting windows page comes up it just freezes and I can't get past it (same for booting in mac, it freezes at the page with the circular loading bar). If I try running with the "windows startup repair mode" a bar loads for a while, then a green bar comes up with the windows logo and then after that it all goes black. So I looked this problem up and I'm assuming that my boot partition is damaged. I have a windows 7 and mac os cd but none of them can load in. Would a usb, external cd drive work?
    I also read online to try using a Linux cd. I have that too, so should I try that?

    And I'm guessing there's no way to save any of my files on the hard drive?
     
  2. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #2
    One basic test you can perform is removing both RAM modules and reinsert them one at a time and try booting on the individual modules. Based on your description I would say the problem is either your RAM or your motherboard. Since neither Windows or Mac OS will load completely from the hard drive or DVD. If your boot sector was damaged it would not even get to the point of trying to load the OSes.

    Since you can not boot off a CD or the hard drive. To get your files back you will need remove the hard drive and put it into an external enclosure. Then mount that drive on another Mac and copy the files onto another hard drive. I say a Mac so that you can read files on both partitions and I do not recommend Target Disk Mode as I have found that to be less reliable than an external enclosure.

    Once you are able to get everything back and your Mac working again. Get an external hard drive for regular backups. Only use this drive for backups not as additional storage which many people do. Since that additional storage then has no backup.
     
  3. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #3
    So the OP doesn't shut down or sleep his computer when he is low on power?

    It's a Mac so the battery lasts a LONG TIME, and gives 10 minute warning when low on battery. Something doesn't sound right.
     
  4. helpmeme thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    #4
    I disabled sleep mode WHEN plugged in, I just had a misunderstanding with someone who happened to see my laptop, after I left for 4 hours or so, and plugged it out. I usually change my settings if I don't know how long I'm going to be out for, but I completely forgot this time. But, I thought something was weird. I usually use Windows 7 on boot camp (and I was at the time). It doesn't show me the low battery warning.. it only says at the last second before powering off. I know how to change the settings for that but I just never got around to doing so. But I thought windows usually shuts down safely by itself at low power levels, even after changing th sleep/hibernate modes (that's what my sony did). Anyways, on the Mac os the battery alert worked fine. But another weird thing was the computer made a lot of fan noises periodically, even when I was only on notepad or something. And my volume/brightness hotkeys were disabled a few days before this happened as well as strange crackling sounds whenever I changed the volume manually (with the sliding bar). Even after a sudden power outage, I can always turn it back on but I don't know why this time I can't.

    And also, I don't really care about saving my files more than I do about saving the laptop itself. I just want to be able to use my laptop again. =(
    The problem is I can't use the Windows Install Cd nor the Mac Cd.
     
  5. helpmeme, Feb 25, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011

    helpmeme thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    #5
    wow, ok I relied on someone else to try the windows/mac cds and he said none of them worked

    So, today I tried the cds myself just to check and the windows repair cd worked! The thing is that he didn't know about the holding down the option part to get to the boot choosing mode... yeah. So if anyone else has this problem, I just put in the cd, held down the option key at the white page, waited for the cd picture to come up and then I just clicked repair. Everything's all good and back to normal. None of my files were wiped, it's exactly as it was before. =D
     
  6. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #6
    You do NOT need to disable sleep mode when plugged in.

    Mac OS X has SEPARATE setting for powered and battery mode, so no, the problem you described should not happen on Apple laptop.
     

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