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Backup when 'no entry' sign flashing?

226 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Nov 18, 2012 2:40 PM by Kappy RSS
carls247 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 18, 2012 1:28 PM

I've repaired disks, repaired permissions, s.m.a.r.t is verified, hard drive test run and no troubles found, reset PRAM. All with no luck so I've come to the conclusion I need a new HD. However, I'm unsure when I last did my backup so I was wondering if I can do a backup to an external HD when all I get is the flashing 'no entry' sign when I turn on my MacBook? Also, I want to make sure that if I can do a back up it doesn't replace previous back ups (just in case)

Any help is appreciated!

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (39,305 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 18, 2012 2:17 PM (in response to carls247)

    No. To backup, you must be able to access the disk which you no longer have.


    You have two alternatives which are to use the old backup or send the disk out to a service to get the data recovered.


    The backup is old so some data will be lost.


    The service is going to charge you megabuck to recover what they can get off the disk.



  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (220,950 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 18, 2012 2:40 PM (in response to carls247)

    It's possible you can return to normal without extreme actions. Give this a try:


    Reinstall OS X without erasing the drive


    Do the following:


    1. Repair the Hard Drive and Permissions


    Boot from your Snow Leopard Installer disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu. After DU loads select your hard drive entry (mfgr.'s ID and drive size) from the the left side list.  In the DU status area you will see an entry for the S.M.A.R.T. status of the hard drive.  If it does not say "Verified" then the hard drive is failing or failed. (SMART status is not reported on external Firewire or USB drives.) If the drive is "Verified" then select your OS X volume from the list on the left (sub-entry below the drive entry,) click on the First Aid tab, then click on the Repair Disk button. If DU reports any errors that have been fixed, then re-run Repair Disk until no errors are reported. If no errors are reported click on the Repair Permissions button. Wait until the operation completes, then quit DU and return to the installer.


    If DU reports errors it cannot fix, then you will need Disk Warrior and/or Tech Tool Pro to repair the drive. If you don't have either of them or if neither of them can fix the drive, then you will need to reformat the drive and reinstall OS X.


    2. Reinstall Snow Leopard


    If the drive is OK then quit DU and return to the installer.  Proceed with reinstalling OS X.  Note that the Snow Leopard installer will not erase your drive or disturb your files.  After installing a fresh copy of OS X the installer will move your Home folder, third-party applications, support items, and network preferences into the newly installed system.


    Download and install the Combo Updater for the version you prefer from


    If your computer has a FireWire port and you have access to a working Mac with a FireWire port, then you may be able to access the drive using Target Disk Mode.


    Last chance:


    General File Recovery


    If you stop using the drive it's possible to recover deleted files that have not been overwritten by using recovery software such as Data Rescue II, File Salvage or TechTool Pro.  Each of the preceding come on bootable CDs to enable usage without risk of writing more data to the hard drive.  Two free alternatives are Disk Drill and TestDisk.  Look for them and demos at MacUpdate or CNET Downloads.


    The longer the hard drive remains in use and data are written to it, the greater the risk your deleted files will be overwritten.


    Also visit The XLab FAQs and read the FAQ on Data Recovery.


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