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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Dec 28, 2009
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    8
    trouble with a dead HD and connecting my MB to a host imac via firewire
    Another question from the side of the technically unsavvy:

    My MB's (2007, white 13", 2.16GHz, 120gb) hard drive died yesterday and, reading about ways of salvaging my precious data, I got a firewire cable and went to a friend's house to connect my MB in target mode to his imac.

    I did everything as instructed, held the "T" key, my MB went into target mode (a huge firewire sign keeps floating on its screen), but nothing appeared on the host imac's desktop. I disconnected, tried again, etc. etc., and nothing.

    Mind you, the guy who gave me the cable said it was refurbished, and after I couldn't connect the first time he gave me another cable to try -- so maybe it's that, but could it be anything else?

    The cable is firewire 400, 6-pin at both ends. My firewire port is 400, 6-pin, and the imac has two ports, one 6-pin and the other 9-pin, both presumably 800, but that shouldn't be a problem -- I understand that you can run 400 cables on 800 ports.

    Could it be that my HD is so damaged that it cannot be read in this way? What happened yesterday is that everything stalled, I couldn't even force-quit anything, and then I turned it off by holding the power button. When I turned it back on the horrible question mark folder started blinking and I could hear three tiny clicking sounds every few seconds or so. I read about this problem online and everyone says it's the symptoms of a dead HD.

    Now, after connecting in target mode, I was going to use DiskWarrior to try and fix the HD as much as possible (and get all the data I possibly can), and then exchange it. Would this fix my MB (installing a new HD)?
    If I turn out to be unable to connect my MB to this imac, would a bootable DiskWarrior dvd help?

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Aug 28, 2009
    Posts
    147
    The old HD is dead - buy a new one.
    While you are there, buy a USB disk enclosure ($20).
    Remove & replace the failed HD and install your OS - don't bother trying to use the migration tool - just do a clean install so that you system is working again.

    Mount the failed HD in the USB enclosure and connect it to the newly resurrected Macbook - then power up the enclosure and see if the HD comes up on the desktop.

    If it does, then grab as much data off the external HD as you can as quick as you can - it might be dead again at any second. Go directly to the /Users/<Your_Name_Here> folder on the external HD and drag the whole thing to your new HD - the desktop is fine for now.

    If it doesn't, then stick the enclosure in the freezer for a day, and then connect it to your MB. I'm not F***'in with you, sometimes the cold will allow the HD to spin up for awhile - at least long enough to let you get some data off.

    BTW: First rule of computers: It is not IF the HD will fail, it is WHEN. They all fail at some point. Backup, backup, backup.

    Good luck.

  3. #3

    JUKE179r's Avatar
    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by ticedoff8 View Post
    If it doesn't, then stick the enclosure in the freezer for a day, and then connect it to your MB.
    I dunno Dude. Ice, moisture, water doesn't mix well with electronic circuitry.
    MBP 11,3 | Logic Pro X | Ableton Live 9 | Traktor Pro 2 | AKAI MPC2000XL, X7000, MPK-49 | Roland MV-8000, SP-808, TR-707, TR-808 & TR-909 | Ensoniq ASR-10 | x0xb0x #911 & Willzyx | Denon DN-MC6000 | (3) Technics SL-1200MK1 | 4000+ vinyl records

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Aug 28, 2009
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    147
    Quote Originally Posted by JUKE179r View Post
    I dunno Dude. Ice, moisture, water doesn't mix well with electronic circuitry.
    I rarely have moisture on my HD.
    Unless I drop them in the toilet.
    And I haven't done that in awhile.

    And, this actually works. Not always, but often enough that it was "Step #1" when ever we got the "OMG! I just had a 2nd drive fail on my RAID5".

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Dec 28, 2009
    Posts
    8
    Thanks for the advice -- I'm ordering a new hd and an enclosure off newegg as we speak.
    (Good choice? :
    --http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148446
    --http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182140)

    So, target disk mode is definitely not going to work? (I've tried three firewire cables by now, and my MB has not appeared on the host imac)

    And a bootable DiskWarrior dvd neither?

  6. #6

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
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    10,614
    Specs:
    2.8 GHz MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone 6+
    When you tried Target Disk Mode did that Mac have Disk Warrior? If so were you able to run it at all. If Disk Warrior didn't see the disk in target mode it likely won't be able t help. Still having a copy of DW around is a good idea. I've only needed it a few times but when I have boy has it come in handy.
    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Dec 28, 2009
    Posts
    8
    Yes, I had the DiskWarrior, but it didn't detect my MB. So I gave up on target disk mode.
    For now I'm following ticedoff's advice, we'll see what happens.
    Anyone have any other suggestions?

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