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Old 05-12-2012, 09:40 AM   #1
OddLittleAnimal
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retrieve files from macbook

I have a macbook running 10.5

Its been freezing a lot lately and the system is trying to go to mac heaven.

I believe I can do a clean install (and reformat the hd) and get it to work again, however I have pictures on the HD that I don't want to lose...I know. I should have backed them all up long ago.

I can startup from the install disks. Is there a way to save my information to an external disk from there.

(Good grief...now my phone is freezing. Electronics hate this house)

I may also just look into buying a new HD for it and turning the old drive into an external...which may solvboth problems.
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:35 AM   #2
DeltaMac
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If the problem is a failing hard drive, then you will need an external hard drive.
Boot to your installer DVD.
Run Disk Utility from the Utilities menu.
Select your hard drive from the Disk Utility list, and click the Restore tab.
Drag your hard drive from the list to the Source line.
Drag your external hard drive from that Disk Utility list to the Destination line.
Click the Restore button at the bottom right of the window.
And - wait for that restore (really a backup, or you could call it a clone) to finish. You may get errors, and you should shut everything down, and try the process again. A failing hard drive might get quite hot, so you should make sure the MacBook is not sitting on a surface that will prevent heat from disappating. I would set the MacBook on blocks, so air can flow underneath.
Another choice is to remove the hard drive, and try the same process with the drive in an external case. Hopefully it will backup your files without major problems.
And, after replacing your hard drive with a new one, reverse the restore process through Disk Utility (the backup is the source, and your new hard drive is the destination...)

Another way to do this, and probably a better choice:
Replace your hard drive, so the new hard drive is installed in the MacBook.
Boot to your OS X installer DVD, and install the system. It will restart automatically when complete. The new user setup will appear, and ask if you want to copy information from another drive. Your OLD hard drive will be in an external case, so follow the directions to copy your files from that external drive. This makes the transfer a one-step process. If it fails in that file transfer, you still have the old drive, and you can pursue other methods to retrieve your files (if possible), such as good data recovery software, or even a commercial data recovery service, such as DriveSavers.com
In my experience, you need to use care when trying to save files from a possibly-damaged hard drive. I have often seen recovery attempts fail, and then the recovery gets more difficult, the drive may damage the bad sectors because of previous failed attempts.
Bottom line - the more attempts that you make can sometimes make the problem worse - and the data sometimes is lost forever.
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:02 PM   #3
anthlover
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I can concur with Deltamac you likely have a failing hard drive. I have seen similar behavior many times.

You should follow his latter directions. Buy a new drive. I am fond of the Seagate Hybrid XT drives, anything reliable will do.

Install the OS on the new drive and then you can use Migration assistant to move data from the dying hard drive. You might want to choose this opportunity (or soon after) to consider switching to Snow Leopard for $29, free if your a Mobile Me user.

Also you should always keep multiple back ups on separate physical disks and something like crashplan which i highly recommend. Its off site unlimited backup for around $50 a year and keeps revisions.

Last edited by anthlover; 05-12-2012 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:32 PM   #4
OddLittleAnimal
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Thanks for the responses. I figured there would be a fairly easy way to get the pictures off using an external drive but was afraid to try anything without someone telling me how to do it. I haven't really had problems with a mac since os9 and things have changed some since then.
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:54 PM   #5
anthlover
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Glad you got your pics. What is important to back up is different to each person. Some want an image of the entire system and all their data/pics etc. Some just data. Some data is harder to simply back up without taking an image, etc.

None the less would recommend replacing what is likely a dying drive. There is a smart reporter firmware on all drives you can check out from Apple Disk tools. There is also software tht puts a icon in the top tool bar, smart reporter, that tells you at glance if there is a probable failure coming soon. There is also not a paid version i have not tried that has more features. I think the free version at least is good to use as it can warn you of an impending problem. Just realize that you can be warned of a problem that is likely but not guaranteed to become fatal and more importantly there is sometimes no warning when a drive is going bad. At the first sign of trouble flagged by a utility or not I always replace faulty drives. I do not want to loose data an I back up many times over. I dying drive can potentially corrupt a back up some it gets dicey.

http://www.corecode.at/smartreporter_lite/index.html

Last edited by anthlover; 05-13-2012 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:19 AM   #6
macsolver
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SMART Utility

Hi,

I would recommend running SMART Utility and see if the drive thinks that it is failing.

http://download.cnet.com/SMART-Utili..._4-146625.html

Regards,

Nick
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:16 AM   #7
DeltaMac
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Unfortunately, SMART is not infallible.
It might report a problem, when no physical problem exists
and, passing a SMART diagnostic does not mean that the hard drive is good.
The SMART protocols is just another tool, which can be used to support a diagnostic or other test.
- However, I tend to lose confidence in a hard drive that fails SMART. Keep in mind that, in general, external hard drive cases do not pass through SMART monitoring info, so transferring a SMART-failed hard drive for use in an external case is not something that I would do.
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:29 AM   #8
macsolver
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Agreed

I agree with DeltaMac absolutely.

I work on the basis that if SMART Utility shows any "Bad Sectors" then it is definitely time to replace the drive.

Regards,

Nick
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:17 AM   #9
fracai
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SMART Utility, to my knowledge, won't directly search and report for any bad sectors. It can be configured to monitor the system logs and report any occurences of "I/O error", which are usually bad blocks. Under more recent version of OS X, this requires running as administrator, or changing the permissions of the system log files, and editing newsyslog.conf to make these changes persistent.
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:54 AM   #10
macsolver
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SMART Ulility does display Bad Sectors

Hi,

"SMART Utility" does display:

Pending Bad Sectors
Removed Bad Sectors
Reallocated Bad Sectors

http://www.volitans-software.com/ima...nshotmain3.jpg

Are you thinking of "SMART Reporter" ? (I run both - belt and braces)

Regards,

Nick
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