What happened to my Macbook? Hard drive failure?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by someone28624, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. someone28624 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #1
    I just got back from vacation. My Macbook seemed to be having some issues when I first got back. For one, my battery status, which had always been normal, went to "replace soon." It also was very laggy and slow whenever I tried to open or close a computer. It seemed to be "freezing" a lot, per say. I uploaded my vacation pictures, then started backing up to Time Machine. I left my laptop unplugged, and had to leave my house.

    When I returned a few hours later, my computer would not start. I figured the battery was dead. Pressing the battery indicator button would not light up any lights, not even just one flashing.

    I plugged my laptop in and tried to start it again. I got the gear type noise and a white screen. Nothing else.

    I took the battery out and tried to start it again. Same thing.

    I let the battery fully charge and tried again. Same thing. Gerr.

    I tried pressing the "option" button while the computer was trying to start, to see if I could even get into my BootCamp Windows partition. When I did this, the mouse pointer showed up and I could move it with the trackpad, but neither partition loaded.

    So what's it sound like? Harddrive failure? The drive was not the original drive, it was one I upgraded and has been in there a little over a year.

    Also, I'm trying to figure out if my Time Machine back up completed before the computer died, for obvious reasons. I tried plugging it into my Windows laptop, but it does not detect it. I'm guessing it's formatted in a file system Windows doesn't recognize? Anyway to tell if it finished backing up?
     
  2. Pax macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    #2
    Try the usual steps
    - reset the SMC
    - reset the PRAM
    - try to boot into "safe mode" (hold down shift at boot IIRC)
    - try to boot from the install DVD (hold down C at boot)
    - run Apple Hardware Test from the install DVDs

    All this is on the Apple website or on here.

    What model do you have?

    Your Time Machine disk is formatted in a different way to Windows disks so you won't be able to see it on a Windows machine (There might be a way but it's not straightforward)

    Does the battery indicator work now your battery is charged? If not that is a worrying sign that you have hardware failure. But if that was the case you shouldn't get a mouse pointer up or have a working trackpad. Confusing.

    At least you got some/most of a backup done.
     
  3. someone28624 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #3
    Resetting the SCM did nothing. Resetting the PRAM caused me to have the actual start up sound, but did nothing else. I cannot boot into safe mode or from the Snow Leopard DVD.

    My fines are quite loud and I'm hearing a clicking that seems to be coming from under the left side of the trackpad.

    My battery indicator is now showing that it's fully charged.

    After I left it running for a bit, the white screen changed to a screen with a folder with a question mark in it (after trying to boot normally).

    This is a white macbook from July 2007.

    I think I'm going to put the original hard drive back in. Does that seem like an appropriate next step?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #4
    Your HD is likely dead so replacing it and reinstalling OS X should do the trick.
     
  5. someone28624 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #5
    Shouldn't I still be able to boot from the DVD if it's just a dead hard drive?
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #6
    Yeh, you should. Hold down the option key while booting to select where to boot from. See my guide as well
     
  7. someone28624 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #7
    Replacing the hard drive worked like a charm. I still need a new hard drive, since 120 gb isn't nearly enough for me now, but at least I have a usable Mac computer for the meantime.

    My Time Machine backup did not complete before the hard drive failed :( My latest full back up is from 3/11. Hopefully I didn't do anything to important between then. I know I ripped a DVD and probably downloaded some songs. I'll have to cross reference my iPod to see which ones, I guess. I probably also uploaded some photos. I have those saved in a second location as well.

    Oddly enough, one of the pieces of info I need most was on a sticky note in dashboard. Please tell me there's a way to revive that from Time Machine.
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #8
    Open Finder -> Applications -> Utilities -> Migration Assistant -> Migrate from TM back up

    Even the Dashboard should be exactly the same as it was when you did your last backup. If you've added that note after the backup, then it may not be recoverable :(
     
  9. someone28624 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #9
    I can't migrate from my Time Machine backup as the hard drive I have installed in 120gb and my Time Machine backup is like 250gb.

    I'm trying to restore some of my photos from iPhoto now, but when I go into my iPhoto TM backup, it won't let me go "back in time," the arrows don't so anything when I click them, and neither do the dates. Gerrr.
     
  10. Pax macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    #10
    If it helps you in the future, check out SuperDuper for backup. I swear by it (rather than at it).

    You have to get in the habit of using it, unlike TM, but it makes full bootable clones. I had the same problem as you with a dead HD. I just plugged in my SuperDuper backup, hit option on boot and selected the external drive, and I was good to go within about 30 seconds. I ran off the external drive for weeks until I got around to buying a new internal drive. Then I just cloned the external drive to the internal drive.

    Of course it doesn't help you in your current predicament, but it's worth a look. Some people on here swear by a combo of TM and SuperDuper ie use TM to keep file histories continually, and SuperDuper weekly or whatever for a full clone. You could partition a big external drive and run the two off the same drive.

    Best of luck recovering your files.
     
  11. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #11

    Oh :(

    You need a bigger HD then. Luckily 320GB is just 60$ and 500GB is 80$, so buy one and install it. Then you should be able to migrate from TM backup.

    BTW, did you upgrade the HD yourself before? If so, the HD that just died will very likely have warranty left
     
  12. someone28624 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #12
    Yeah, I upgraded the hard drive myself about a year ago. You're right, it does likely have warranty left on it.

    I just ordered a 500 gb one off Newegg for $84. I'll see about getting the old one covered under warranty. Thanks for that tip!
     

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