Repairing Disk without Installation Disc?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by TheLastNinja, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. TheLastNinja macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2011
    I verified my hard disk in Disk Utility today. It seems I need to make some repairs. :(

    Verifying volume “Macintosh HD”
    Checking HFS Plus volume.
    Checking Extents Overflow file.
    Checking Catalog file.
    Checking multi-linked files.
    Checking Catalog hierarchy.
    Checking Extended Attributes file.
    Checking volume bitmap.
    Checking volume information.
    Volume Header needs minor repair
    Macintosh HD
    Error: The underlying task reported failure on exit

    1 HFS volume checked
    Volume needs repair

    I have an eMac 1.42Ghz PowerPC G4 running OS X 10.4.11. I lost my installation disc many years ago during a move. Trying to find out if I can successfully repair my disk without the installation disc.

    I've read these in my search for a solution.

    As well as this thread.

    So, I should start up in single user mode and use fsck? Is this very reliable? Are there any significant risks that I should be aware of? Will I lose any files? I don't really have anything to back up my stuff right now. How about AppleJack?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. bizzle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    Beings the machine is still bootable, I'd first recommend you check the health of the drive with a utility called SMART Utility.

    There is a Tiger and Leopard+ version available for download.

    If it checks out, using single user mode to run fsck is no different than running it from the install media.

    Simply type /sbin/fsck -fy

    Keep in mind, depending on the extend of the file system damage, you may need to run something like Disk Warrior to repair it.
  3. TheLastNinja thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2011
    In Disk Utility, there is a part that says "S.M.A.R.T. Status: Verified". Should I still try out that SMART utility you linked me to?

    As for Disk Warrior, wouldn't I need the installation disc to use it?
  4. bizzle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    The SMART nonsense in Disk Utility is worthless, never trust it. I've had drives that had completely failed, yet would still say verified in Disk Utility. For Disk Warrior, you would need another bootable volume or a bootable Disk Warrior media.
  5. TheLastNinja thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2011
    Damn, I just used the SMART utility. My drive is failing. :(
  6. adnbek macrumors 65816


    Oct 22, 2011
    Montreal, Quebec
    Post a screenshot of it. Smart utility says "failing" even if the errors are normal age-related ones.

    I wouldn't call a drive with a few bad sectors as "failing", but Smart Utility says so by default. (can be change in its settings).
  7. TheLastNinja thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2011

    So, should I be worried?
  8. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    It's a small drive, so it's more of a concern than a few bad sectors on the larger drives in more modern machines...If it were me I'd look to replace it...You'd be surprised how many sites still support spare parts, and I love to see old Macs still working. Hope you do repair it.
  9. TheLastNinja thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2011
    Meh. I'd love to simply buy a hard drive and have it all fixed up. But wouldn't I need an installation disc in that case? I don't have my Tiger disc anymore, and installation discs for Tiger and Leopard are still very expensive. Seems like the total cost for all the things I'd need to purchase [compatible internal drive, external for backup, installation disc, special screwdrivers, etc.] would be better put towards building myself a new computer. I've also read that it's pretty tough/risky to take an eMac apart for HDD upgrades. :confused:
  10. adnbek macrumors 65816


    Oct 22, 2011
    Montreal, Quebec
    Nah. For its age, it's normal.

    Keep in mind your drive can die at any time. Can last for another 10 years or fail tomorrow. SMART values can't really predict this, but those numbers don't indicate an imminent failure. What's more important than the current values is how they change over time. If your bad sector count or hardware ECC numbers were continuously climbing, that would be a bigger cause for concern but those numbers would be consistent with the age of your drive.

    To be sure, I'd do the "long test" on the drive after you've finished repairing with fsck to see if there were any other bad sectors that have yet to be found.

    Anyway, keep in mind SMART is a reference but it is not a crystal ball. Your drive can fail tomorrow or last you another 10 years. Always better to backup just in case but your numbers alone are not worrisome.

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