7 Replies Latest reply: May 24, 2009 9:56 AM by saturnisyours
saturnisyours Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have just returned from the Mac Genius Bar, where the Genius declared my g4's hard drive to be rife with "pre-fails," close to dying.

He recommended that I take it home and do a firewire boot to my MacBook Pro to get all the files off of it that I possibly can.

So I've got the firewire cable going from the g4 to the Pro, and have twice booted it up while holding down the "T" key. The blue screen with the moving yellow firewire icon appears, but no icon for my g4's hard drive will appear on the Pro's desktop.

I've re-booted the Pro and tried again to no avail.

Is my g4's hard drive completely fried?

Important Note: I find all of this hard to believe. The only reason I was at the Genius Bar in the first place is because I accepted some updates that didn't install, and when I went to re-start the computer, it stayed on the gray screen with the progress wheel. I've had that problem before, and it's never been a problem for a genius to fix it in a matter of minutes.

Is there any hope for retrieving those files?

thanks in advance for any help!

iBook G4, Mac OS X (10.4.11), old computer!
  • Texas Mac Man Level 8 Level 8 (46,550 points)
    saturnisyours, welcome to Apple Discussions.

    Did you follow this procedure? How to Use Firewire Target Disk Mode
    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=58583

    Is you Mac Book Pro an Intel Mac & what OS?

     Cheers, Tom

  • saturnisyours Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for replying, Texas mac man!

    I followed the TDM procedure described on the page to which you directed me, which was the same as the procedure I was following before, but I tried it again, anyway, just to be sure. Still nothing.

    The Pro I'm using is an Intel mac running Leopard, 10.5.6

    Message was edited by: saturnisyours
  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (43,580 points)
    Can your other computer see the drive if you check with Disk Utility? If the drive has failed to the extent that it won't mount then it probably won't show up in TDM on another computer. Usually Disk Utility will at least confirm the presence of another drive even if the drive has a bad directory and won't mount.

    If DU will see the other drive you have various choices. You might be able to repair the drive with Disk Utility (somewhat limited in its abilities) or a more powerful tool such as Diskwarrior. If those won't repair the drive you can use various file recovery utilities such as DataRescue II to try and recover the files.
  • saturnisyours Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks, Limnos.

    One of the first things I did was look in DU, and no, the targeted drive does not appear there either.

    I suppose I will have to go the route of hard drive data retrieval. Do you recommend DataRescue II for this, or are there other methods you (or anybody reading this) prefer.

    Thanks again for your response....
  • Texas Mac Man Level 8 Level 8 (46,550 points)
    Data Rescue has gotten good reviews in Apple Discussions. So buy a Leopard compatible copy.

    Here's a plan you might consider.

    1. Buy an external hard drive enclosure that connects via firewire. (Note - enclosures are usually for 3.5" HDs, but also buy a 3.5"-to-2.5" connector adapter. Your iBook has a 2.5" HD.)
    2. Remove the iBook's HD. Instructions at this site. Fix It Guides for Mac Laptops & Mini http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/
    The guides can be viewed on-line or you can download a PDF file.
    3. Install the failed HD in the enclosure & connect to your MB Pro.
    4. See if the "failed" HD is now detected. If so retrieve the files.
    5. If not, use DataRescue and (cross your fingers) retrieve the important files from your failed HD.

    More suggestions.
    1. Buy another 2.5" HD for the iBook & install it.
    2. Buy a 3.5" HD of at least 250GB and install it in the external enclosure. Partition it with one partition for your iBook and another partition for your MB Pro.
    3. Use the external HD to backup, frequently, the files on the iBook & MB Pro. (Don't you wish you had done this prior to your problem. All HDs are going to fail, sooner or later.)

     Cheers, Tom

  • saturnisyours Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the the thorough post TMM!

    I truly appreciate it!!!

    I do back up my files frequently. There are just a couple of things that I'd finished since the last backup that I'd dearly like to get to before I give up on this.

    thanks so much!
  • saturnisyours Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I know this thread's a little stale, but I'm busy in my professional life and am approaching this deliberately, so as to not make mistakes.

    TMM, you and others recommend Data Rescue ("buy a Leopard compatible copy", you said).

    I have done so. However, the Data rescue users guide says that "If Disk Utility can see (the targeted disc), Data Rescue should be able to also; if Disk Utility can’t, then Data Rescue won’t be able to either."

    I had already established earlier in this thread that Disk Utility doesn't read the disc from which I'm trying to retrieve data.

    What made you think to suggest that Data Rescue could do the trick here? How, in good conscience, could you have suggested I buy it?

    I think that's a fair question.

    I hope you understand why I'm asking.

    Is there something else I should know about using this product properly?