Previous 1 2 Next 26 Replies Latest reply: Feb 1, 2013 11:12 AM by Mike Sombrio
yellowjello Level 1 (0 points)

Hi I need some help desperately as I'm in my last semester and I need to get things done on this 4 year old machine – bought in late 2008, it was the very first aluminum unibody MacBook (not MacBook Pro), its running Lion OS now.


So what happened was that: like any other ordinary day, I was running iTunes, have about 4 Safari pages on, Pages with about 3 documents and was chatting on Skype as well. So all of sudden, the music stopped and everything slowed down, almost hanging. There was the 'rainbow' wheel of course, and music came back on, and stopped again. So I force quitted iTunes. And 5-10mins later after trying to let it sort itself out, I force shut down the entire machine.


I turned the MacBook back on, allow it to do its thing, and it prompted me to reformat, basically the page where you could choose to reformat, repair and stuff like that. I didn't know what problem it was at first, so I choose to restart again, in hope to get in again normally by typing my password. But I was wrong.


My case seems to be the most similar to this one here in terms of how it happened:


Right now I can't get pass that prohibitory sign even though I tried to press 'shift' to get into safe mode, seems like it was running so slowly that it did not register my effort there for about 5minutes, so this already happened the second time. And it's been so slow that it took 25mins to change from the apple logo to the prohibitory sign.


Please help me! I need my data inside, is it possible to just repair or reinstall snow leopard but have all my data untouched?

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • yellowjello Level 1 (0 points)

    Is lion recovery going to work better? I've been trying to get the hard disk repaired on disk utility, but failed.

  • yellowjello Level 1 (0 points)

    Will somebody please help??


    Still not getting pass the prohibitory sign, lion recovery not working either cause it cannot detect the hard disk, can't get into safe mode either.


    I'm going to try to insert the snow leopard installer disc again and use terminal to load the safe mode.


    Any other ideas are welcomed.

  • Mike Sombrio Level 6 (14,948 points)

    I'm going to guess that your hard drive has failed. At this point you need to know that every attempt to repair the drive is putting whatever data you may be able to recover at risk. I would recommend you take it somewhere for a professional evaluation. Hopefully you had a backup.

  • yellowjello Level 1 (0 points)

    i think i have to accept the fate of the hard disk now. but isn't there a way to restore/recover some data at all? i'm banking my hope on diskwarrior, i've just put diskwarrior into a freshly reformatted external hdd.


    anybody knows how does the 'don't erase data' option works under the disk utility by using a snow leopard osx installer dvd? i read from apple's support that data is potentially recoverable.


    but is there a way at all for me to just copy the **** data out before i smash the macbook, i mean a total wipe out and reformatting.

  • Mike Sombrio Level 6 (14,948 points)

    I use Disk Warrior for repairs that Disk Utility can't handle. For data recovery I would use Data Rescue from Prosoft.

  • yellowjello Level 1 (0 points)

    hey mike appreciate your help.


    since now i have a fresh external hdd, is it possible to run the external hdd and get into the system and copy out the data?

  • Mike Sombrio Level 6 (14,948 points)

    If you use DataRescue then yes it should work. Prosoft offers a free download that will allow you to scan your drive to see if the is data that can be recovered, if you choose to try to recover it then you have to purchase.

    I would boot up off of the external download the free version and give it a try. You should probably prepare for the worst and hope for the best. You can also try a professional data recovery service but they're expensive.

  • yellowjello Level 1 (0 points)

    i've just downloaded the demo for datarescue, will it work if i simply copy the dmg file into the external hard drive? how can i boot datarescue from the hard drive?

  • Mike Sombrio Level 6 (14,948 points)

    You need to make the external a bootable drive and get OS X onto it in order to start your computer from there. Have you done that? You can copy the dmg to the external and mount and run it once you have the computer running off of the external.

  • yellowjello Level 1 (0 points)

    okay, i'm installing the os x lion onto the GUID partitioned external hard disk now. which is bootable right? so it means that, i'll be able to start up the macbook as per normal after this right (which is right about done now)? and its gonna look like a fresh new macbook again?


    it also means i should never unplug it as of now if i need to restart and do all the things i need to be doing right?


    is it okay if i were to copy the dmg file onto a thumb drive? would it be doing the same?

  • Mike Sombrio Level 6 (14,948 points)

    Reatsrt your mac holding the Option key down and select your external drive as the start up volume. DR should run off of a thumb drive, I've never tried it.

  • yellowjello Level 1 (0 points)

    okay, ermm i'm running macbook with the external hard disk right now. is it possible to just copy everything from the existing internal hard disk onto the external one? i didn't make another partition. it prompted me with, 'erasing a partition deletes all the data on that partition, but does not affect other partitions on the same disk'.


    so i only have one partition on that external hard drive. where do i go from here now?

  • Mike Sombrio Level 6 (14,948 points)

    If you're using Data Rescue it shoud ask you to scan available drives and then when you select the drive you want to scan it'll ask you to designate another drive to use as workspace to recover files onto. Unless you have anther available drive you'll need to use the external, hopefully it's got enough available space for DR to do it's thing.

  • yellowjello Level 1 (0 points)

    Hey mike, I ended up using disk warrior anyways because I had previously burnt a dmg file of the image into a disk and left it inside my MacBook. Hope you can still guide me through this.


    I've been follow this:


    Now, I'm at the preview, and it seems like they've fixed many many things that are coded red but they're asking me to copy specific files out to the external hard drive that which co-running the computer now. That's a bad sign right? I wasn't given any choice to select 'replace' that is shown on the guide (above link).


    I'm gonna go with copying my data out to the external hdd.

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