User data location - Leopard - drive failing and trying to recover

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Motorheader, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. Motorheader macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2008
    I replaced my daughters drive in her Macbook last fall. The move went without any issue and she had an additional 100GB after the upgrade.

    Now it appears the drive is dying. It won't boot to get to the login - it gets to the blue screen and mouse cursor in the upper left, then circular spinning countdown in the center, then repeat, then hang at the blue screen. I can hear the drive making a repeated winding/reading type of noise when it gets to the point where the login should be coming up.

    Here's what I've done so far:

    - I've tried booting off the Leopard disk and verified disk - it passed.
    - I also repaired permissions - it repaired about 2 dozen and passed as well.
    - I've reset the pram with no impact
    - It won't boot in safe mode - keeps getting some flashing text at the top and won't complete the boot.
    - I took the drive out and ran Spinrite 6 on it - it got to about 53% and it started making the noise like it was stuck at the blue screen at Leopard bootup. It ran for 3 hours and the drive eventually passed with nothing fixed and no errors found.
    - I'm afraid to try an archive and install since I think the drive is failing

    So here is what I'm going to do.

    - Purchase replacement drive and do a clean Leopard install
    - Put the existing failing drive in my USB powered enclosure

    I don't have a time machine backup to work from.

    Now my question is where is my daughters user data and system files? She is the only user on the Macbook. Once I find them and bring them over - barring any other issues - where do I put them on the new drive/Leopard install and make her desktop, user data, music, photos, network settings, and apps the same again - like it would be with an archive and install? Is it as simple as copying over a user folder or series of folders? What about user login - does it have to be the same or does that come with copying the folders/data over.

    I've done alot of homework prior to asking for help and can't find a clear answer.

    Any suggestions are more than welcome.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    The best solution is Migration Assistant, but it does not support USB... if you could get a Firewire enclosure, it would work

    I would probably try to clone the drive, either by using Disk Utility's built in restore function... or Carbon Copy Cloner

    Other than that, you will probably have to create a new account on the new drive and copy things with drag/drop

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  3. Motorheader thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2008
    Thanks for the prompt reply.:)

    I'm afraid I don't have access to firewire enclosure.:(

    So do I just copy over the whole user folder or just certain folders?

    Say the user name is "barbie" on the old failing drive. Do I have to create a new user named "barbie" on the replacement drive/clean leopard install or can it be anything I want it to be? I'm trying to do this as pain free as possible.

    With the drive failing and the inability to get to the OS, I don't think I can user Carbon copy.

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