Hard Drive: Fail!

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My Macbook is working now, thankfully. I had to get a new hard drive. Instead of an Apple showing up when the Macbook booted up, I saw a symbol with a circle through it, suggesting there was a problem. After much diagnosing and talking with others via Twitter and Geeks, I learned that indeed – my hard drive had died.

I tried all of the suggestions that all of you gave me, and nothing really worked. I went online on Apple’s site, and made an appointment via my AppleCare. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again now: AppleCare is well worth the money you’ll spend for it. It completely takes the stress out of any problems that may arise with your equipment!

I took the Macbook in, and the tech plugged in a Target Disk Mode. That’s where you plug in a FireWire drive, and boot off of that. Then they ran a Smart Disk Utility check from that. Indeed, the hard drive was failing. I knew that they would replace the drive, and they had it in stock. I begged them to let me have my dying drive back, even though it’s not policy. After signing my life away, they did give me the bad drive. That gave me the opportunity to try and recover the information off of it.

A few months ago, I talked about the NexStar Hard Drive Dock. I wasn’t sure I’d really have much use for it again. Boy, am I happy now that I have this little thing! I plugged it in and connected it by USB. I was able to mount my dying drive, even though it was read-only. I didn’t have a lot of things I needed to copy off of it, but there were some things. I use the Macbook to sync my iPhone, so I wanted to be able to get an index of all of the Apps I have!

The NexStar works perfectly! The connection is a bit flaky, but as long as you don’t touch it you should be ok. I ran into some problems using OS X Copy feature. Instead, I dropped to a command line, and did it that way. I was able to get all of the data that I needed from my old drive.

What should I do with the dying drive now? Should I take a hammer to it? When asking the chat that question, someone mentioned that I had “learned my lesson”. Uhm, seriously… this isn’t an Apple problem. It’s a hard drive. They fail. It doesn’t matter what kind of machine they might be in. However, AppleCare was amazing, and I had an excellent experience. How could I complain about that?

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8 thoughts on “Hard Drive: Fail!”

  1. Err CP, when the Mac “Suddenly” didn’t boot, didn’t you suspect the drive @ 1st glance?? & WHY didn’t you let the Apple tech’s do the data recovery, as well; isn’t that included, in the service(s) you’re ALREADY paying for??

  2. Put the hard drive in an old microwave that you don’t mind destroying and film it. See what happens =D

  3. Hello,

    I was not in the chat for the "learned your lesson" comment, but I would have assumed this had more to do with your data backup policy than what brand of computer you are using.


    Aryeh Goretsky

  4. I’m glad you got fixed up. If you do decide to go the hammer route, make sure you get the magnets out. Those are fun. Hard drives typically have rare earth magnets that can hold up a whole pack of paperclips :)

    Just be sure to play with them away from electrical equipment!

  5. Years ago my laptop’s hard drive started failing and by using Target Disk Mode I was able to retrieve all of my important files. Target Disk Mode is an awesome Mac OS X feature, try it out sometime and get the feel of how it works.

  6. I am surprised that you did not have a bootable backup of your MacBook hard drive on an external hard drive. I use SuperDuper! (software) and make a bootable backup (clone) of my iMac every evening. I use a G-Tech Q (Quad) external hard drive, but there are many others. I used Disk Utility, which is found in the Utilities subfolder of the Applications folder, to create two partitions on the external drive. I use one partition to make the nightly clone and one for Time Machine.

  7. Perfect timing for that drive to fail too. Right when you were going to stream from the tweet up. Will it blend? lol

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