5 Replies Latest reply: Feb 17, 2009 7:39 PM by John Paterson1
sutton.zach Level 1 (0 points)
After installing Windows XP on a separate partition using Bootcamp and successfully dual-booting both operating systems for a number of weeks my Mac OSX drive has mysteriously become unbootable and I am no longer able to access my Mac data (using MacDrive 7) while logged into Win XP (receiving the error message that the disk structure is corrupt and unreadable).

When attempting to subsequently repair the OSX drive using the Mac OSX install DVD the disk utility is unable to verify the disk causing me to fear that the drive (and all the data on it) may be irretrievable.

Has anyone else had this issue and / or can anyone else offer advice on the best way (if any) to retrieve the data stored on the Mac partition or alternatively any methods by which I could restore the drive completely? If so it would be much appreciated ...


MacBook 13" 2.0 GHz, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Kappy Level 10 (265,883 points)
    First try repairing the drive, not verifying it:

    Repairing the Hard Drive and Permissions

    Boot from your OS X 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 Installer menu (Utilities menu for Tiger and Leopard.) 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. Now restart normally.

    If DU reports errors it cannot fix, then you will need Disk Warrior (4.0 for Tiger, and 4.1 for Leopard) and/or TechTool Pro (4.6.1 for Leopard) 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.

    If the drive is not repairable in any way, then you can look into recovery software:

    General File Recovery

    If you stop using the drive it's possible to recover files that have not been overwritten with 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.

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

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

    If recovery software doesn't work, then you would need to send the drive to a data recovery service which is very expensive.
  • sutton.zach Level 1 (0 points)
    I purchased a copy of Disk Warrior but after reviewing the product page I've since discovered that the latest Disk Warrior version is not bootable on the latest (unibody) MacBook range.

    Any advice on alternative methods of fixing my broken and non-bootable Mac OSX drive?
  • Kappy Level 10 (265,883 points)
    If Disk Utility cannot repair the drive and recovery software will not recover your data then your alternatives are limited. You will need another Mac with Firewire. Start with both computers turned off. Connect a Firewire cable between the two computers. Boot your computer into Target Disk Mode. After the TDM logo appears boot the other computer normally. If your hard drive appears on the second computer's Desktop and if it's accessible then you may be able to recover your data if they are intact. You can also run Disk Warrior from the second computer and attempt to repair your drive provided it has appeared on the Desktop. This precludes the need to boot from the DW CD.

    If this doesn't work then all you can do is reformat the hard drive and reinstall OS X from scratch. Of course all your files will be lost unless you had a backup prior to the problem's occurrence.
  • sutton.zach Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks Kappy. Unfortunately my new MacBook doesn't have a firewire drive otherwise I would have tried that approach. Looks like I'll have to learn the back-up lesson the hard way on this occasion ...
  • John Paterson1 Level 2 (165 points)
    You will need an external drive with a Leopard install on it. Then start up from the external drive, install and run DiskWarrior.

    I have had the same issue as yours, but am not sure if Boot Camp is the culprit, or running MacDrive from Boot Camp.