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

Any hope for my Macbook?

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Member Since: Sep 10, 2009
Location: los angeles, california
Posts: 2
haleykaang is on a distinguished road

haleykaang is offline
Hi everyone,

I was browsing the web this morning when my mouse turned into the spining rainbow and my Firefox browser stopped responding. This happens from time to time so I tried to force quit but nothing was working and everything froze up so I reluctantly pressed the Power button to shut it down and when I went to restart, my Macbook would power up and go straight to the grey screen and not go any further. For a while, it would only stay on the grey screen but now when I turn it off and turn it back on again, the grey screen comes up and a folder with a question mark flashes on the screen as well.

I did some research online and read that this most likely means that my hard drive has failed... I just wanted to make sure, is that really the case? I am planning on taking my computer into the Genius Bar as soon as I can but what exactly can they do in this situation and how much do you estimate it will cost? Also, is there any chance that my data can be recovered? I was not able to back up anything on an external hard drive, which I know is a huge error on my part, and would do almost anything to be able to recover my files. Is there any hope for me and my macbook?
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Member Since: Jan 23, 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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Mac Specs: 27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 4, 3 iPods, OS X 10.9.2

chscag is offline
It does sound like your hard drive may have died. It depends on how bad it is... sometimes the drive can be removed and placed in an external carrier and data can be obtained that way. Other times special software may have to be used to try and get at your files. If neither of those work, you're looking at a very expensive process, too expensive for most folks.

In any event the Apple store genius bar will do their best to rescue whatever data and files they can for you. Unless your machine is still under warranty, the cost is probably going to be several hundred dollars at the least. You might want to ask first when you bring the machine in.
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Member Since: Jan 22, 2008
Location: Marlton NJ
Posts: 35
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Mac Specs: Early 2012 13" MBA Core i5 1.8 GHz, 4GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, OS X 10.7.4

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If your Macbook is no longer under Applecare, you can replace the Hard Drive yourself. I have a 2006 Macbook Black, 2.4 GHz, 2 GB RAM and replaced the 250 GB HDD with a 500 GB HDD with no difficulty at all. had a video on how to replace the HDD. It amounted to little mire than removing 3 screws and pulling out the old HDD and sliding the new one into place. The HDD would cost less than $100 and a little of your time and your Macbook will be as good as new.

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Member Since: Mar 08, 2011
Posts: 83
duncanbrodie1 is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: 15" Macbook Pro i7, 500Gb / 32Gb iPhone 4 / 16Gb Ipod Touch, 4th Gen / 30Gb Ipod Video

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I think the bigger issue here is not the replacement of the drive but the potential loss of data. But chscag is right, there are ways of recovering the data.
Supposedly data can never be actually erased, just converted (supposedly).
What they do is place the drive in a sterile room and image the drive magnetically, thus recovering the hidden data. But its a ridiculously expensive process and even then, not a guaranteed success.
You just have to decide how valuable your files are
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