Just tried DU from the Snow Leopard DVD. I verified the SSD and got this error:
Invalid record count
The volume SSD-Boot Drive could not be verified completely.
Error: This disk needs to be repaired. Click repair disk.
Volume repair complete.
Updating boot support partitions for the volume as required.
Error: Disk Utility can't repair this disk...disk, and restore your backed-up files.
I appear to be running Snow Lion at this point.
The SSD has disappeared from the destination when trying to reinstall the OS again.
How about putting the OS onto one of the other 2 internal HD's, then erasing the SSD and transferring Snow Leopard back to the SSD? CAn this be done? How?
Attempting the repair with 10.6 was worth a shot. Sometimes it can repair more than the previous version, but it does not seem to be able to fix this one.
If you have about 20GB free on another drive, you can probably install Mac OS X there.
Once you have Mac OS X running from another Drive, Mounting your damaged SSD to get files off it may be more successful than Booting off a damaged SSD or trying to Install onto a damaged SSD.
The SSD will not appear on the list of candidate drives because it is damaged. As I noted above in detail, you cannot install onto it in its current state.
But you can install onto another drive. Then you may be able to mount the SSD and get files off it.
RE: Time machine.
If you have copies of your files in a Time Machine backup, you should be able to restore those files WITHOUT erasing the SSD. But you would need to be running Mac OS X from another drive (not just the Installer) to do that Restore.
If you want to, you can install a copy of Mac OS X on every drive in your Mac and every external drive as well. They can be the same version or different versions. There is no "special place" that your Mac boots from. It uses
System Preferences > Startup Disk ...
... to decide what Volume to boot from.
You do not need to clone a certain magical copy of Mac OS X back and forth. Leave one or leave several. Or erase all but one. 10.6 takes up about 20GB.
I realize what you say, but I had created the 3 drive system when I got the Mac to make it more compartmentalized. I used the original, single 320 GB HD, cloned the OS, installed it onto the then new Intel SSD and got the 1 TB drive for Time Machine. I prefer this orderly system with a dedicated SSD for the OS. Operation is quicker, seems logical.
Again, is the SSD capable of being cleared and reused? I do not wish to go back to a 2 drive system and will try to make the SSD boot drive work.
Yes it can be, if you trust your backups. This removes all data on the drive.
You can boot from the latest Installer DVD you have, answer only the "what Language" question and wait for the MenuBar to be drawn. Choose Disk Utility off a Menu. Select the SSD and choose the Erase tab. Now select ( Security Erase ) and Zero all data one pass [NOT random data and NOT more passes]. This will take an hour or more, and will do a number of things:
Erase the directory area, removing the scrambled information from before.
Write Zeroes into every block on the drive, and check whether that pattern holds.
Any blocks found to be bad will be substituted from the drive controller's private stash of spare blocks.
When it passes, you have 100 percent good blocks again.
Then choose Partition, one partition, Mac OS X Extended (journaled). You can name it "Macintosh HD" or anything you like, just avoid most punctuation except hyphen "-"
NOW it will appear as a drive onto which you can Install Mac OS X.
I'd really like to erase the SSD at this point, but there is data on there I don't want to lose. If I were to zero it out, could TIme Machine supply the now lost programs after I re-install the OS? Time Machine is always backing up my system, but I've never had to actually use it to recover anything.
Is Target disk mode able to recover a few files from the SSD before I erase it?
Target Disk Mode requires that you have another Mac that can be connected via FireWire. Programs in your damaged Mac's ROM can allow it to fucntion as an external Hard drive for the other mac.