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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook - Emergency: Need help restoring my Macbook


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desperate_eve

 
Member Since: Aug 16, 2008
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Or whatever you would call it. It was doing the blinking file folder with the question mark in it. I called apple support and they said I needed the install disc. I was on vacation so I didn't have it. I'm not anymore, but it's in the middle of the night and they aren't available but I really need to get it back up and running with all my files intact ASAP.

I restarted it using the Install disc. I couldn't put the disc in and then start it up because the disc wouldn't go in unless the computer was on. So I turned it on, blinking question mark and everything, and then put the disc in, it went to the Language menu, and when I got to "Select A destination" I restarted it, again, this time holding the "C" key, because that's what the step by step instructions I found on a different site said to do. When it restarted, holding the "C" didn't make it do anything different from when I put the disc in in the first place. The directions also said something about double clicking the hard drive. I see no hard drive icon. Is it supposed to be in the upper right hand corner? Because it's not there.

So now the disc is in there, I can't eject it, I can't call anyone, and I need help NOW before something else bad happens. I have some really important files on my computer that I NEED to get back. The screen I am currently looking at is the Language menu at the very beginning. Where do I go from here?

PLEASE ANSWER ASAP
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skaheadpunk

 
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Ok, so when you get to select a destination does your HDD show as an option to install to?
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desperate_eve

 
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no. it's not there. no icon or anything
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skaheadpunk

 
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Ok. Have you got a menu bar at the top? If so you want to get into Disk Utility and see if it shows up there. If so, check out the status.

TBH it sounds to me like your drive has died - meaning you're going to need a new one. Folder with ? tends to mean bad, bad things.
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desperate_eve

 
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It's listed on the left side. I click it and at the bottom it says "Disc Description: blah lbah lbah", "Connection bus" under capabilities it doesn't say anything though. I don't know if that means anything
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desperate_eve

 
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Need a new drive: you mean i need a new computer? Meaning everything is gone?
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skaheadpunk

 
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Well, if the drive dies you just need a new hard drive, not a new computer, but you'd lose your data. It showing up in Disk Utility is a good sign though. Have you tried selecting it and clicking the Verify Disk and Repair Disk buttons on the bottom-ish right of the disk utility screen?

Another thought - is the 'Mount' button at the top greyed out?

Sorry if this is all useless, just trying to remember what I did when this one happened to me.
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desperate_eve

 
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I think it was actually the install disc that the icon was for. It looks like the hard drive icon. Next to it it says "5.1 MAT****ACD-RW CW-8221" and then under that icon there is the Mac OS X install disc icon and it's indented so it looks like it's part of the other thing

I clicked "Verify Disk Permissions" and it said "First Aid failure" and "error" No valid packages

That was the only button I could click on.
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skaheadpunk

 
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Hmm... sounds like the install disk.

Run through this and see if any of it helps, but if not it could well have had it.
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desperate_eve

 
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It says to click "repair disk" and I can't do that. It won't let me.
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skaheadpunk

 
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I think you need a new hard drive. If you're under warranty see if Apple with replace it for you, or it's relatively simple if you're up to doing it yourself.

And sorry, I know what a pain in the backside it is when things like this happen.
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desperate_eve

 
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Is there any way at all I can get my files back?

And how do I shut my computer down now? I can't take the disc out and I don't want to just leave it in there.
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Like skaheadpunk said, it sounds like the hard drive totally died. If you boot with the OSX Install DVD holding C and run the Disk Utility, you do not see the hard drive but just the CD/DVD ROM drive correct? Do you remember the name of your drive like Macintosh HD or whatever? If that does not show, then I am pretty sure the drive had died. You can not repair the DVD install as you can not write to a DVD that is already made.

If no Mac HD is showing up in disk utility, then the drive is gone. I was going to have you check the SMART status, but it the drive is not there, you can not do that. How old is the Macbook? If under a Year take it to an Apple Store if you can and tell them what happened and that you need your files, although if the drive is totally dead they will not have much luck.

To get the Install DVD out, hit the power button and after the Startup Sound hold down the mouse button and keep it down and the DVD should eject.
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desperate_eve

 
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Any idea what could have caused it so I don't make the same mistake again?

BTW, my Mac is a little over a year old.
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Do you still have apple care left on it? If you do, bring it into an Apple shop and have the hard drive replaced. Sometimes hard drives just quit on you for no reason because of a manufacturing problem and so forth. If you don't have a warranty left on it and you are mechanically inclined, replacing hard drives on a macbook isn't too hard to do.

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