06-14-2008, 09:12 AM
Yes, taking the hard drive out and putting it in an external enclosure would have the same effect as running the laptop in target disk mode.
The reason taking the hard drive out of the laptop would be better is that it gives you a chance to put a new one in it's place so you can start using the laptop again.
Once you have the poorly hard drive in an external enclosure it is safer as you don't have to fire up the whole laptop just to look at, or try to look at the faulty hard drive each time.
Also, when you try to boot from the drive which you do each time you switch the computer on and let it try to boot up OSX, there is more chance of damaging the hard drive as it will be trying to read and write to and from the drive, so the less that happens, the more chance you have of recovering files at a later date.
I genuinely haven't used any data recovery software for the last 5 years, so I really wouldn't know what to suggest, but I am sure in those 5 years, severe advancements have been made in that area of software, so I am sure something might just work.
YES! Listen to Mr. Techie Guy! He will do what should have been done once it was realised the hard drive was on it's way out. He will most likely take it out and the "Some kind of Machine" will most likely me another mac, or a PC, but hopefully an external enclosure. Either of those will let him read the drive and hopefully copy the files on it to a stack of DVD's.
How would you get the files off the DVD's onto the future healthy laptop?
Just put them in the drive one by one and put the files off the DVD's to where you need them on the laptop.
To Simplify, and also to help you calm down a little and not get too stressed, here is my reccomendation for a sequence of events to follow...
1) Just stop trying to boot the laptop for now. We are 90% sure the drive is jiggered and keeping on powering the laptop up will not resolve in a miracle cure of the hard drive. Even if it did miraculously start to work again, there is no point leaving it in there for this to happen all over again.
2) Let Mr. Techie guy remove your hard drive, and while he is at it, get him to put in a new hard drive, because your old one he is taking out should not be put back in again. It is faulty and needs to be replaced.
3) Let Mr. Techie guy get the information off the hard drive and put it onto DVD's, another hard drive or whatever. Remember, just because he has taken the hard drive out, doesn't mean he's going to get all the info off there, it's just a long shot right now, seeing as the hard rive is barely able to
let you read it.
3a) if Mr. Techie guy does get the information off, good, you will be bale to put the DVD's in and copy off whatever you need.
3b) if Mr. Techie guy gets nothing off the hard drive, get him to put it in an external enclosure. If the information is that valuable to you, you can at least try now and again to recover the drive. Being in an enclosure will keep it safe and sound and will be easier to hook up and switch on as it will be in it's own little case.
4) Get Mr. Techie guy to install OSX from afresh on your laptop wit the brand new hard drive in there, at the very least you can have your laptop up and running again.
5) Very important. THESE THINGS HAPPEN. Hard drive fail a lot of the time, and in some circumstances the data just isn't retrievable. You can pay an extortionate amount of money and have a specialised lab retrieve the data, but it better be worth the money! Remember sometimes in life you just have to bite the bullet and say goodbye to computer files. I have lost a lot of data due to crummy CD's I burnt when CD writers first came out. A lot of pictures and text files have gone forever. So what? I can make more.