Share borked drive with Recovery Assistant?

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by rbrian, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. rbrian macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #1
    My friend's MacBook Pro seems to have a duff internal drive. It won't start up, and the Recovery Assistant Disk Utility fails to verify it. I can replace the drive easily enough, but can I remove the data from the dead one still in the machine, or do I need to buy a caddy? I tried to Restore it to an external drive, but that failed saying the source was invalid.

    I've connected it to wifi, but I don't see it in the Shared section of Finder, where my other Mac is.
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #2
    You might be able to see the drive using target disk mode and connecting them (bad and good Macs) with a Thunderbolt cable ($29 :eek:). Given what you described, I would be surprised if this worked though, then you have a TB cable you don't need.

    If it was me, I would pop the old drive in a cheap USB enclosure (something like this) and see if you can get anything off that way.
     
  3. rbrian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    #3
    It gets worse... The suspected dead drive won't mount, and Disk Assistant can't repair it. It's a shame to lose 999Gb of data, but that's not the worst of it - with the original 320Gb drive back in the Mac, freshly formatted, the latest Recovery Assistant downloaded from Apple and running off a USB stick says "OSX could not be installed. Please try again". Again and again and again.

    I went to System Information, thinking that might help me diagnose the problem - but all it did was presented a blank dark grey screen, with a pointer but nothing to click on.

    What now? He went to the Apple Store first, but they refused to help because the hard drive had been changed.
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #4
    It is not as common as a drive failure, but sometimes the drive cable goes bad and causes this. The fact two different drives won't work kind of points to that.

    Do you have an external USB enclosure you can use to see if the drives work there?
     
  5. rbrian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    #5
    I bought an enclosure - the 1Tb drive won't mount, and can't be repaired, so I'm satisfied that drive is dead. However, the original 320Gb drive worked fine in that enclosure, so that should work ok unless there is something else wrong. Is there some sort of hardware diagnostic I can run from the USB stick? I know virtually nothing about the Terminal, but at this point I couldn't possibly make anything worse!
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #6
    You can try to run the Apple Hardware Test, and see what that comes up with.

    So you can out the 320GB drive in the enclosure and boot to the USB recovery assistant and see the drive okay in Disk Util and all? Have you tried to go one step further and install the OS to the 320GB while it is in the external?

    If the 320GB is working fine in the external and not when installed internally, that does point to a bad cable.
     
  7. rbrian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    #7
    Curioser and curioser... I couldn't get the hardware test to work, nothing happened when I tried - I thought perhaps because there was no Recovery Partition. By that time I had reformatted the USB stick for something else, so I re-downloaded the Recovery Assistant, and this time it behaved differently, making me thing that that was the problem. Originally it told me it couldn't install OS X as soon as I started the Mac, this time it started by giving me a menu, one of the options was Install OS X, and that one worked. Just 5 hours and 11 minutes to go...

    The 1Tb drive does seem to be broken - it spins up OK, but it can't be mounted, on either of my Macs or my Windows PC. Is there anything that can be done? When I try to mount it, Disk Utility very helpfully tells me it can't be mounted, and I should get the data off it as soon as possible. How exactly can I get data off a drive when it can't be mounted? Where's the CIA when you need them?
     
  8. rbrian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    #8
    I thought the definition of insanity was trying the same thing and expecting a different result - yet insane as it seems, I tried plugging the unmountable (on my Air) drive into my Mac mini, and it warned me it couldn't be repaired, but it mounted. Now I'm busy transferring all the data.

    Difference in power supply to the USB ports perhaps? I plugged into a powered hub attached to the mini, directly into the Air, which was running off mains power, not battery. Then again, maybe carrying it upstairs jiggled something just enough to fix it, if only temporarily.

    Thanks for all your help!
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #9
    If the data on there is real important you can try something Diskwarrior to recover files. But the fact it won't even mount is not a good sign. :(
     
  10. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    #10
    I'll never understand why people don't do backups.
     
  11. rbrian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    #11
    Oh, that's easy! A combination of laziness and complacency mostly.
     

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