It turns out my HD needs to be restored:
It needs to be repaired from another bootable medium.
1. I do not have my original Mac OSX install disk....
You can call Apple for a machine specific OS X 10.6 install disk, but you need to know your serial number and/or exact machine.
You will need the disk regardless, and if you take it to them they will just erase everything and install, then send you home and say restore from TM.
If TM resore fails because of corruption transferred over from your corrupted boot drive, then you can lose everything.
If you get the disks, you can do a lot better yourself, or take it to a local PC/Mac softwre specialist that also does data recovery.
2. I do have Time Machin... but that alone isn't enough to boot from right?
TM is not bootable, it's why it's crap. Bootable clones are much superior method.
3. How likely... is easily fixed?
Very likely the disk could be repaired if you had the 10.6. install disk and be on your way.
It all depends what caused the data corruption, if it was a sudden shock to the hard drive, or it's failing it might be worse.
But you can't continue without the disks.
4. ... how much of a challenge will it be to restore from my TM backup disk?
It would be easy, but takes a long time. However TM could be corrupted and fail to restore, there is no way to check it to ensure that like one can with a bootable clone.
5. Is it possible to continue to work with this hard disk for another couple of days before I can get it fixed, or would you advise against that?
If you have access to your files, do NOT turn off the machine and connect a new external self powered drive and do the emergency quick copy method here. Then disconnect. That will ensure you have your files at least.
Make sure to asusme it's going to go away, export your bookmarks, email addresses, serial numbners etc so you can rebuild if the TM restore fails.
Next go to Apple Menu > About This Mac > more info and find your model (like MacBook Pro 3,1) and your serial number (don't write it here) and use the free MacTracker to find what version of OS X came with your machine.
If it's 10.6.2 or earlier, you can use the 10.6.3 white Snow Leopard Disks, but they don't contan the free iLife like machine specific install disks do.
If it's 10.6.3 or later, you need to make sure you get machine specific versions of the disks.
Call Apple and order the disks. You wil need them.
Then follow these repairs
If you turn off the computer and it doesn't start and you don't have a extra copy of your files off then you have to do this
So I ran this hardware test. Does this support the "just a mismatch of digits" theory from my point 3 above?
Seems to be fine for hardware, so it sounds like data corruption of the bits on the hard drive either caused by shock or just plain failing,
You might have to do a erase and restore, but can't do anything until you get the correct disks.
Thanks for your help ds store. It turned out to be indeed just a mismatch of digits; the HD was fine but simply encountered an uneven number of files.
To be able to repair that I needed to be able to access the laptop without having the HD running. That was difficult because I did not have my initial install disks, or some other form of boot medium.
A colleague of mine found a Snow Leopard install disk in his drawer and that solved it. A simple 'repair disk' was all it took.
What I have learned from this is that my current backup plan is not nearly as reliable as it needs to be. Timemachine is fun and all, but like your plan says a bootable clone is what you need when **** hits the fan.
I'm going to order a solid, reliable disk for that purpose and use SuperDuper to prevent situations like this happening again.
Oh and for those reading this who might see similar error messages like mine: don't panic - hard disk errors are not necessarily hardware malfunctions.. in my case the solution was quite straightforward.
This appears to be a recurring problem . This time there has been no kernel panic, but again I checked the disk and to my surprise was confronted again with:
- Invalid number of files on volume
- Invalid number of volume directories
- Error: this hard drive needs to be restored. Restart the computer from a different disk (eg the installationdisk) and use disk utility to restore the drive.
This time, there is only a difference of one invalid number of files and one invalid number of volumedirectory's.
I found something related in this topic:
if you're having this problem repeatedly, only one of two problems are really possible.
#1) Something is repeatedly damaging the hard drive. Just because it shows up when you use Quicktime doesn't mean that's the cause. You could have third-party software somewhere that is doing it. What that software might be, I have no clue... that would take some troubleshooting. Alternately, if you've been having any apps crash a lot, that could also do it. I'd suggest not using any apps that regularly crash on you. That's not a normal occurrence.
#2) Your hard drive is dying. Open Disk Utility, select the drive (it'll be the one above the name you normally see associated with your hard drive) and look at the SMART status info at the bottom of the window. If it says failed, your drive is dying. (If it doesn't, that doesn't mean the drive is okay, though. SMART status can't detect all possible problems.)
# 2: I don't hope that this is the case, also because a hardware test does not display issues with the disk.
# 1 seems plausible. How can I troubleshoot this? I do still have the kernel panic log from the first time, would that help?
The thread starter of that related topic ( https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2718746?start=0&tstart=0) mentioned a smart utility check.
I just ran one and my HD passed:
So I'm in a similar situation as (s)he was:
"So, I'm thinking that something is just constantly corrupting my drive's data, and the hardware is fine."
There is no further follow-up on what the cause has been in his/her case. Is there a way to backtrace what is causing these issues?