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In the last couple of days I have suffered and actually managed to recover - BY MYSELF - from my Mac Book Pro undergoing a major crash. But it is still somewhat unwell, and I have a suspicion that the HD may be on its last legs. I was prompted by a kindly twitter message from [personal profile] green_knight to post here before doing anything drastic (like taking said computer in to have a new HD installed). The collective brain of the interwebs never ceases to amaze me.

So here's what's been happening, and what I've done so far.

Mac has been lagging, running slowly and programs have been crashing. On Tuesday, everything froze, I shut it down, and it wouldn't start up again, just hung at the startup screen. After various trials and errors, I discovered a way to start up in a kind of DOS like screen (I think it's called single user mode, if that means anything to anyone) and was able to run something called fsck and then reboot, which got me going again.

So far, so good. But my research had told me that I needed to try a disk repair, running disk utilities. When I tried to do that, I was not able to, and it said that if I couldn't I should do it by running the OSX install disk and then go into disk utilities in there. When I did that, my HD didn't even show up, which my research now tells me means that my HD is in bad shape.

On the other hand, there are programs out there, that cost less than a new HD, that purport to fix things. And there's the possibility of an erase and reinstall. Any thoughts?

Meanwhile, I have at least been able to get Mac running again, though he seems fretful (I'm writing this on my old macbook, which is luckily just old and still runs perfectly well) and the other thing I've achieved is to format an external harddrive and backup my photos and all documents (which are really the only things I care about). Oh, and that reminds me, I should do my itunes library, too.

So I'm actually feeling quite pleased with myself. I know that many of you are much more accomplished computer whizzes than me, but I think I've just passed at least into the intermediate ranks :-)


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 13th, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC)
Hard drives die. Lap top hard drives seem to go sooner than desktop ones. You might be able to resurrect the current one though if Disk Utility can't find it it's pretty far gone. The chances are it won't last long though. The main thing is to keep your primary drive backed up. With external 1TB drives costing about $100 there is really no excuse! Also your Mac should have Time Machine on it. Time Machine is the easiest to use back up software I've ever come across.
Jan. 13th, 2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm running it into an external drive as we speak :-)

So it sounds like it might be more cost-effective in the long run just to go straight into having the drive replaced rather than try buying some heavy-duty disk-repair program which a) might not work and b) might only provide a stop-gap remedy.
Jan. 13th, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC)
The current price for a 250GB 2.5 inch SATA drive is around $50 - $60. I'm not sure what a dealer would charge to install it but it can't be all that expensive so I'd go with the new drive.
Jan. 15th, 2011 06:25 pm (UTC)
If I'd had a physical misfunction, I'd buy a new drive, because I would ever trust the old one again. As a rule, unless you install a lot of software- particularly shareware - you should not have a software problem (I forget how to rebuild the desktop files on OS X or even whether that's still an issue). Your problem sounds more mechanical than software-related to me, so I'd buy a new disc.

I am glad you got the data off it. If you have an external hard drive that's formatted as a startup disk (you need to do this using disk utily before you put any data on it at all) and the drive currently works, you can hook the external drive up, and install the system on it. You will be asked whether you want to transfer your user information from the current drive - say yes, and all your settings will be trasferred. Then when you get the drive replaced, you can boot up from the external drive and use the installation disk to reinstall on your laptop with your settings intact.

(I also reccommend partitioning a drive into a generous system-cum-scratchdrive and a data partition.)
Jan. 17th, 2011 03:02 am (UTC)
Thanks! Oddly, it's been working fine the last few days, but I am prepared for it to go at any time.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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