Transferring Macintosh HD from dead mac to external HD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Kirodoc, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. Kirodoc macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2012
    I'm sure this has been answered, and I've read many of the solutions, but I seem to be missing it. I need it spelled out, simply.

    I have a Macbook Pro, running Yosemite that has come up with errors on the drive Macintosh HD. I have a windows partition on there as well, that is bootable. The OS X side is not bootable. The diagnosis for the problem was bad sectors on the disk.

    OK, I have an external HD and access to another working mac. As I understand it, the easiest thing to do is to boot the mac with the errors in Target disk mode. Then connect it to the other mac with a thunderbolt cable which will also be connected to the external HD. Then, using the other mac, transfer Macintosh HD to the external HD. Does this sound right?

    If so, how is the transferring of files best done? Do I just grab the files and drop them onto the external HD, in this case a Lacie. Do I use migration assistant? Do I use something else?

    Thanks for any help. I've never done this before and don't want to tie up the other persons machine for any longer than I have to.
  2. Kirodoc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2012
  3. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    Put your Mac into target disk mode.

    Connect via thunderbolt, firewire or ethernet to another Mac.

    If the disk is recoverable it will mount. You can then drag the files either to the working Mac or to any external HD.

    Don't use migration assistant or anything like that.

    Just drag the files you want out. Don't bother with applications, just documents, music, photos, etc.

    If there are visible bad sectors on that disk, then the HD is on borrowed time.

    The other idea is to boot the mac into Windows and install Macdrive (It does a short trial) and will allow you to mount your Mac OS X volume in Windows (Macdrive is normally more tolerant than a Mac). Again, drag the files you want out, but this time directly onto an external drive.
  4. Kirodoc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2012
    Awesome, thanks so much for that. I just needed someone to confirm what I suspected was that easy.

    If I elect your second option, will that speed up the transfer time because it isn't going through the thunderbolt and then other mac? That seems ideal, as then I don't have to borrow a mac. Thanks so much for the info!
  5. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    If it is a nonretina mbp, you could take out the HD and put it in an enclosure too
  6. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    It won't make much difference to the transfer speed, but it will put extra strain on the drive.
  7. Kirodoc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2012
    So, Macdrive doesn't seem to let me transfer the files to my external drive, but at least it recognizes the blown drive. I'm considering taking out the drive, but that seems like a huge hassle, so I'd like to avoid it.

    I'm just going to try and transfer my stuff by hooking up my machine to another one and then using that to access the drive in Target Disk mode and put them on my external drive.

    Thanks for the help.

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