5 Replies Latest reply: Feb 24, 2013 8:12 AM by mende1
Terpster77 Level 1 (0 points)

I have a Mac desktop, purchased in 2007. We upgraded last year to Snow Leopard. It has been slow for a few days, and yesterday wouldn't go past the gray screen. Tried booting in recovery with no success, same for safe mode. Even tried fsck -fy. Eventually went to the Snow Leopard install disk and tried to repair disk, but got an "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" message. I've got Time Machine back ups on an external hard drive, but I want to make sure I do this right and don't make things worse. What steps do I need to take?

Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • mende1 Level 10 (92,156 points)

    In most of the cases, that Disk Utility message means that the hard drive is damaged.


    However, you can try to erase the disk and restore the Time Machine backup to see if it works. Follow these steps:


    1. Insert the Snow Leopard DVD and press the C key while your Mac is starting.


    2. Go to Utilities menu > Disk Utility, select Macintosh HD on the sidebar, go to Erase tab and erase the disk. If there's an error during this step, take the Mac to an Apple Store to get a new hard drive.


    3. Close Disk Utility, go to Utilities menu, choose the option to restore a Time Machine backup and follow the steps.


    If the computer is slow after doing this, take the Mac to an Apple Store as soon as you can

  • Terpster77 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks. I did this, and it worked for a few days, but the next time I restarted it the hard drive crashed again. So, I started over, but with less than 24 hours left the power blinked and the computer shut down. If I restart the reinstall will it pick up from where it left off or start all over (it takes 4 days)?

  • mende1 Level 10 (92,156 points)

    Stop trying to restore the Time Machine backup, because the hard drive is damaged. Take the computer to an Apple Store or reseller to get the Mac repaired

  • Terpster77 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yeah, that's what I was afraid of.

  • mende1 Level 10 (92,156 points)

    Most of the times, although Disk Utility says that it's just a filesystem problem, that type of problems show a damaged hard disk that must be replaced as soon as possible. Your case isn't excepcional: all hard drives fail sooner or later, sooner if you use the hard disk a lot to write or read files in it