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  1. #1
    dead MacBook Pro hard disk drive, little help?

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    dead MacBook Pro hard disk drive, little help?
    i'm assuming this is a hardware issue, but it may also be a software related issue (like the time a .pref file ate itself and os x broke etc...)


    anyway...


    i was working away on my 2009 MacBook Pro in iWeb for a few minutes, when i got the spinny beachball, so i waited... and waited... and eventually after a couple mins got fed up and tried to force quit, which wouldnt work either, so i was left with no option but to hold the power button, my intention to restart.

    the MBP powered off, but when it rebooted, it just displayed a grey screen with a spinny circular wait thing that just spun forever... and just recently it has shown a grey screen with a folder/question mark

    i couldn't use target disk mode, as it doesn't show up on another mac when i connect it

    i opened the MBP up (i dont have apple insurance and the warranty has long expired - kinda ****** off as a computer i spent 2k on doesn't last 2 years)... i connected the HDD into a usb cradle, and used disk verify/repair on another mac, and can now read all my files from both WinXP & MacOS partitions. but cannot boot from either.

    its a Seagate momentus



    so at first i mega panicked at the thought of losing everything
    but when i was able to read my files but not boot, it made me wonder if it was a bad sector/mechanical error or some kind of software error - pref or similar.

    so is it the hdd cable, a mechanical error, or a software error...?


    also....


    if i were to fit a new hdd and install osx from my dvd, would i be able to recover my firefox and chrome bookmarks from a pref file etc, as i didnt export them as html?

    and

    when i reinstall itunes, will i have to wipe my ipod and start over, or can i just import my itunes library from the old disk so that my play counts and ipod sync data will stay the same.??


    other than the fact my IBM Thinkpad R31 needs an adaptor card for WiFi, USB 2 and firewire - though not all at the same time, doesnt run on battery power for more than 2 mins, doesnt have more than 800mb of RAM, cant play DVDs, doesnt have a trackpad, wont sync my ipod, doesn't run Logic Pro and the fact that SuperTuxKart runs kinda chopily, i'm not missing my Mac at all. no seriously. but it would be nice to have it working again.

    a MBP treated delicately, compared with an ex-business machine from 1996 that still works after years of abuse. at least my Thinkpad "just works".
    Work is more fun than fun - Noel Coward

  2. #2
    dead MacBook Pro hard disk drive, little help?
    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steviec View Post
    i'm assuming this is a hardware issue, but it may also be a software related issue (like the time a .pref file ate itself and os x broke etc...)


    anyway...


    i was working away on my 2009 MacBook Pro in iWeb for a few minutes, when i got the spinny beachball, so i waited... and waited... and eventually after a couple mins got fed up and tried to force quit, which wouldnt work either, so i was left with no option but to hold the power button, my intention to restart.

    the MBP powered off, but when it rebooted, it just displayed a grey screen with a spinny circular wait thing that just spun forever... and just recently it has shown a grey screen with a folder/question mark

    i couldn't use target disk mode, as it doesn't show up on another mac when i connect it

    i opened the MBP up (i dont have apple insurance and the warranty has long expired - kinda ****** off as a computer i spent 2k on doesn't last 2 years)
    The computer is likely fine. It's just a bad HDD. It can happen to any PC.

    ... i connected the HDD into a usb cradle, and used disk verify/repair on another mac, and can now read all my files from both WinXP & MacOS partitions. but cannot boot from either.

    its a Seagate momentus
    Sounds like a filesystem error - this can be caused by any number of things, but you're correct in assuming that a failing mechanism could be one of them.

    so at first i mega panicked at the thought of losing everything
    but when i was able to read my files but not boot, it made me wonder if it was a bad sector/mechanical error or some kind of software error - pref or similar.

    so is it the hdd cable, a mechanical error, or a software error...?
    Hard to say, there's simply not enough information here. The simplest thing you could do is to reinstall the drive and run the Apple Hardware Test:

    Intel-based Macs: Using Apple Hardware Test

    also....


    if i were to fit a new hdd and install osx from my dvd, would i be able to recover my firefox and chrome bookmarks from a pref file etc, as i didnt export them as html?
    Possibly. If the drive reads OK right now, you can probably just do a clean install of OS X and when prompted to run "Migration Assistant", do so "from another drive on this Mac". That assumes that you can mount the drive in an external enclosure for the purposes of this exercise.

    and

    when i reinstall itunes, will i have to wipe my ipod and start over, or can i just import my itunes library from the old disk so that my play counts and ipod sync data will stay the same.??
    Not if the aforementioned process works - or even if you can just get your iTunes data off the drive. The first time you run iTunes, it should pull all of your library back into it, even if you just grabbed the Users/YourUsername/Music folder off the defunct drive.


    other than the fact my IBM Thinkpad R31 needs an adaptor card for WiFi, USB 2 and firewire - though not all at the same time, doesnt run on battery power for more than 2 mins, doesnt have more than 800mb of RAM, cant play DVDs, doesnt have a trackpad, wont sync my ipod, doesn't run Logic Pro and the fact that SuperTuxKart runs kinda chopily, i'm not missing my Mac at all. no seriously. but it would be nice to have it working again.

    a MBP treated delicately, compared with an ex-business machine from 1996 that still works after years of abuse. at least my Thinkpad "just works".
    A hard drive can fail in *any* machine. It's one of the few mechanical parts inside of a computer. So, it's not a question of "if" it's going to fail, but "when". This is why it's really important to have a good backup scheme, either using Time Machine or by doing regular full backups using a tool like SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner. If you were using the latter two tools, you'd already be up and running from your external drive.

    And if you're not already backing up the ThinkPad, I would recommend you start doing that as well if you're concerned about the contents of its hard drive. As I mentioned, it's not a question of "if" the HDD in that machine is going to fail, but "when".
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  3. #3
    dead MacBook Pro hard disk drive, little help?

    Member Since
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    as my thinkpad hdd is only 20GB, of which i have used 2gigs, i can and do backup that to my FTP server, which i couldnt do with a 500gig mbp hdd.

    why is it that a pc i spend 50 quid second hand on over a decade ago lasts longer under tougher conditions (ie dropped multiple times) than a mac i bought for 2 grand new less than 2 years ago which is treated as delicately as possible? when apples are supposedly built better using higher quality parts hence the higher price?

    as far as im concerned right now, macs are overpriced just cos they look fancy. im getting an IBM next time.
    Work is more fun than fun - Noel Coward

  4. #4
    dead MacBook Pro hard disk drive, little help?
    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steviec View Post
    as my thinkpad hdd is only 20GB, of which i have used 2gigs, i can and do backup that to my FTP server, which i couldnt do with a 500gig mbp hdd.

    why is it that a pc i spend 50 quid second hand on over a decade ago lasts longer under tougher conditions (ie dropped multiple times) than a mac i bought for 2 grand new less than 2 years ago which is treated as delicately as possible? when apples are supposedly built better using higher quality parts hence the higher price?

    as far as im concerned right now, macs are overpriced just cos they look fancy. im getting an IBM next time.
    Luck of the draw. Again, we're talking about a mechanical part - and that part is something that Apple doesn't make.

    I've had hard drives that lasted for 8 years and had no issue - then again, I've had hard drives that lasted for 6 months and went up in smoke. Now, I will say that Toshibas and Samsungs tend to be worse than most, but for the most part, Seagate, Hitachi and Western Digital make a pretty reliable drive.

    This is one of the reason that the industry is moving toward SSD as opposed to traditional HDDs.

    Buy whatever makes you happy - but don't be surprised if you have a bad hard drive in that "IBM" (Lenovo) going down the road. ALWAYS make good backups. It has absolutely nothing to do with the cost of the machine. As I said you can (and will) have a bad hard drive in ANY PC. It's not a question of "if", but "when".
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  5. #5
    dead MacBook Pro hard disk drive, little help?

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    just typed "2009 macbook pro hard drive fail" into google, and the results worry me

    so im as well buying an hackintosh-compatible IBM and installing my LEGIT apple install DVD?



    i shall let you know how the new hdd goes, however the only type that seems to be compatible is another sodding seagate ...

    dont have the money for an SSD
    Work is more fun than fun - Noel Coward

  6. #6
    dead MacBook Pro hard disk drive, little help?
    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steviec View Post
    just typed "2009 macbook pro hard drive fail" into google, and the results worry me

    so im as well buying an hackintosh-compatible IBM and installing my LEGIT apple install DVD?
    We don't discuss illegal activity here. But again, you stand just as good of a chance having a bad hard drive in a LENOVO (IBM doesn't make computers anymore) as in an Apple. The fact that it's assembled by one Chinese factory instead of another doesn't change that.

    And as far as Googling goes... pick any product, then pick any form of failure and search the terms.

    I could pick "blown engine 2009 Honda" and see a thousand comments about a blown engine in a 2009 Honda. Does that mean that Honda makes unreliable cars?

    i shall let you know how the new hdd goes, however the only type that seems to be compatible is another sodding seagate ...
    Untrue. Any SATA 2.5" HDD will work. I'd recommend a Hitachi 7k500 or something of its ilk. I'm not impressed with Seagate's recent track record.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  7. #7
    dead MacBook Pro hard disk drive, little help?

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    so i can take a pc which i bought and load software onto it which i bought and its illegal? screw this.


    you can pick up old IBMs on eBay, which is probably what i should have done in the first place instead of wasting 2 grand.

    then again, at least it didnt go on fire or fry its logic board.
    Work is more fun than fun - Noel Coward

  8. #8
    dead MacBook Pro hard disk drive, little help?

    Member Since
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    Unhappy
    Quote Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
    I could pick "blown engine 2009 Honda" and see a thousand comments about a blown engine in a 2009 Honda. Does that mean that Honda makes unreliable cars?
    In 2009, probably.
    im not saying that EVERY 2009 MBP from 2009, but it IS a COMMON complaint. and from a 2 grand i would have expected better.

    Untrue. Any SATA 2.5" HDD will work. I'd recommend a Hitachi 7k500 or something of its ilk. I'm not impressed with Seagate's recent track record.
    i meant from the sites i usually buy hardware from.

    but one minute im being told all HDDs are equally likely as each other to fail, then being told some ie Hitachi are better than others ie Seagate???
    Work is more fun than fun - Noel Coward

  9. #9
    dead MacBook Pro hard disk drive, little help?

    Member Since
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    btw, the hardware test finds no HDD present
    Work is more fun than fun - Noel Coward

  10. #10
    dead MacBook Pro hard disk drive, little help?
    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steviec View Post
    In 2009, probably.
    im not saying that EVERY 2009 MBP from 2009, but it IS a COMMON complaint. and from a 2 grand i would have expected better.
    It's a common complaint in every computer ever made. Take your ThinkPad and the year it was made and google hard drive failure and you'll see what I mean.

    Again, it doesn't matter if you purchased a $5,000,000 Cray Super Computer. If it's got hard drives, they're going to fail. EVERYTHING mechanical will fail at some point. Yours certainly failed early, but that happens sometimes. The cost of the computer has nothing to do with the quality of the hard drive.

    This is common knowledge in the industry, which is why on servers that require high uptime, drives are installed in redundant arrays that will allow for bad drives to be hot-swapped out. For example, most servers will have their storage on RAID5 arrays, with the system drive in a mirrored RAID1 configuration. This way, as soon as a drive fails, it can be easily swapped and the RAID set rebuilt with no fuss.

    Some of these servers are worth tens of thousands and more. Does that make the drives any less prone to failure? No. Does it mean there's any correlation between the quality of the drives used and the price of the machine? No. Do my high-end X-series IBM servers have drives that fail less often then my Dell or HP servers? No. It's a crapshoot. Sometimes I see drives fail in 6 months, other times I'll have a server up and running for 5-6 years with no mech failures.

    i meant from the sites i usually buy hardware from.

    but one minute im being told all HDDs are equally likely as each other to fail, then being told some ie Hitachi are better than others ie Seagate???
    Yes, when hard drive manufacturers introduce new technologies or make changes to their firmware, occasionally they produce more or less reliable drives. Seagate's 7200.11 series drives have proven to be less reliable in the past several years.

    Besides, Hitachi now owns what was IBM's hard drive business. So, if your so fond of IBM products, that would be a natural fit.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  11. #11
    dead MacBook Pro hard disk drive, little help?
    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steviec View Post
    so i can take a pc which i bought and load software onto it which i bought and its illegal? screw this.


    you can pick up old IBMs on eBay, which is probably what i should have done in the first place instead of wasting 2 grand.

    then again, at least it didnt go on fire or fry its logic board.
    My friend, I'm done. You asked for help, you got it.

    You're convinced that your machine is a piece of crap because it had a hard drive failure and was more expensive than others - I'm telling you that it can happen in the best and most expensive machines, it's just the nature of hard drives. You don't seem to grok that.

    Whatever, to each his own. I'm done here. Best of luck with your future endeavors.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  12. #12
    dead MacBook Pro hard disk drive, little help?

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    "ibm thinkpad r31 hard drive fail" doesnt produce nearly as many results as "2009 macbook pro hard drive fail".... does that mean that hard disks are getting cheaper ie crapper by the day?
    Work is more fun than fun - Noel Coward

  13. #13
    dead MacBook Pro hard disk drive, little help?

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    by the way, if the cost of the system has nothing to do with quality of components, why the **** does a mac cost 4 times the price of a Dell or 6 times an IBM if the OSX disk costs 25, if essentially, its pretty much all identical hardware? am i paying a thousand quid for an apple sticker?

    rant over, i will post back if and when i get it sorted, but excuse for not agreeing that macs are the best computers ever because they just work blah blah blah as i have just been set back in my work due to a system failure... d'you know what i mean?
    Work is more fun than fun - Noel Coward

  14. #14
    dead MacBook Pro hard disk drive, little help?
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    My girlfriends $600 laptop - 19 Million search results returned for 2009 Toshiba Satellite Hard Drive Failure. 2009 toshiba satellite hard drive fail - Bing

    My MacBook Air... 9 Million search results returned.

    The reason that your Thinkpad is returning less results is more likely than not the fact that it is a (in computing terms) very old and now obsolete system. When components begin to fail people aren't scouring the internet looking for help, but replacing the machine with something current.

  15. #15
    dead MacBook Pro hard disk drive, little help?
    chscag's Avatar
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    I think we have gone on with this thread long enough. No sense beating this dead horse any longer.

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