9 Replies Latest reply: Feb 16, 2011 4:51 AM by den.thed
smilingcupid Level 1 (0 points)
My computer started slowing down when I initially installed Snow Leopard. Eventually it stopped starting up at all, leaving only the white screen of death. I tried without the perioherals and I reset the P-RAM and nothing changed.

The most success I had came when I booted using the Snow Leopard disk. I went to disk utility to repair the disk, but it says "Disk Utility can't repair this disk. Back up as many of your files as possible, reformat the disk, and restore your backed-up files." I would be willing to but I can't even get that far along to back anything up. Please help! I keep trying different things. Will I lose everything, including my software if I restore??


iMac, Intel-Based, Mid 2007, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • Templeton Peck Level 9 (60,935 points)
    Get a copy of Disk Warrior. Chances are that will fix it. If not, you'll have to backup your files, erase the drive and reinstall.
  • Sketcm Level 1 (15 points)
    Sounds like your hard disk is dying. This happened to me a few months ago, and I'm currently running off a firewire backup drive. If you can get the computer to boot (try safe mode) get as much of your stuff as you can on to another drive. Then at least if the disk has gone south at least you haven't lost everything. I backup to Time Machine, and before my disk went down I backed up weekly to the Lacie FW drive. You don't think it's important until you need it...
  • Király Level 6 (9,635 points)
    You need to get your stuff backed up immediately. Don't do anything else until you back up. Use Disk Utility's Restore button, while booted up from the install disc, to make a complete copy of your internal drive to an external drive. Then you can try DiskWarrior or reformatting/reinstalling.
  • smilingcupid Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you all for the suggestions! I am not sure how I get to the point of using Disk Warrior since I can't get past the initial "Installation" of Snow Leopard. I am still not sure how to back up my files. I can't get safe mode to work (Holding shift during startup) so I tried Disk Utility's restore button as suggested. The problem is when I select Macintosh HD as a source I can see some of my folders (not all) but I cannot select them to move them. I must be missing a step somehow.
  • Dah•veed Level 7 (33,385 points)
    Stolen from MacWorld.
    8. Back up a drive
    Looking for a free way to back up a drive? Well, you’ve already got one—Disk Utility’s Restore tab. It’s a somewhat crude tool, but it does work. Launch Disk Utility and choose the Restore tab. Next, select the volume you want to back up in the left column, and drag it to the Source text field. Select the volume that will hold the copy, and drag it to the Destination text field.

    If you want to erase the contents of the destination volume before storing your backup files there, select the Erase Destination option. Otherwise, the newly stored data is simply added to the existing files. Click on Restore to make a copy, and the backup process is complete. If you need to use your backup files later, simply reverse the Source and Destination directions.


  • smilingcupid Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks! I purchased another external new hard drive today just to make sure I have no problems with space. However,when I try to restore says "Could not restore - input/output error." One time when I tried it said something about not enough memory. Are either of these issues typical?
  • Király Level 6 (9,635 points)
    Oh dear - this is bad. Very bad.

    How much RAM do you have? When you used Disk Utility's Restore button, did you click the Erase disk check box? Try using Disk Utility's Partition tab to make sure the disk is partitioned with the GUID scheme. How are you connecting the external disk? USB or FireWire? Do you have any other cables you can try?
  • smilingcupid Level 1 (0 points)
    I read further and I think it's because I didn't use a hard drive with firewire connectivity. I tried with a firewire connection and now it says "Restore Failure: Could not restore- cannot allocate memory." I don't know how much RAM I have. My internal hard drive is partioned with GUID, but this new external drive I am using is partitioned with Apple Partition Map. Do I need to change that? If so I am not sure how to do that. I tried other cables and got the same result. I'm definitely losing faith at this point.

    Thx again...
  • den.thed Level 7 (25,615 points)
    FireWire will be faster than USB, but either will work just fine for copying and/or booting an Intel iMac.

    Yes, you need to reset the partition map scheme to *GUID Partition Table* and the format to *Mac OS Extended (Journaled)*

    +1. Connect the External HD and open Disk Utility in the Utilities Folder.+
    +2. Highlight the External HD in the list of drives and select the Partition tab.+
    +3. Under Volume Scheme select 1 Partition and click on the Options... button.+
    +4. Now then in the drop down window, Select GUID Partition Table and click OK.+
    +5. Set the Format to Mac OS Extended (Journaled), name it and click the Apply button.+
    +6. Once that is done, then you can copy your Internal HD to your External HD using Disk Utility Restore, Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper.+