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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Could this be fixed at an Apple Store?


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GrimZ

 
Member Since: Sep 17, 2010
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Hey everyone,

I have two partitions on my Macbook Pro 15", a Window's Bootcamp partition (which I'm on now) and a Mac HD (Lion) partition.

I was just in the Mac HD partition trying to switch to bootcamp through my sytstem preferences window, but the system preferences window that came up was really strange and only showed 3 external devices and nothing else.

I restarted, and Mac OSX Utilities came up, so I kept trying to get back into Mac OSX, but it wouldn't let me.

I followed the instructions on the "find help for your mac" option on utilities, and it told me to repair the disk. I tried that, and it said the disk could not be repaired. Now when I click "start up disk" the only one that shows up is the bootcamp disk, my Mac OSX option is completely gone.

What happened? When I installed bootcamp about 2 months ago, I backed up my Mac HD on an external disk. However, I'm at college, so I'd have to go home to get the external HD if it is needed. If I brought my Mac to the local Mac store, is there anything at all they can do to fix this without needing my external HD?

Unfortunately, I haven't done a back up since I installed bootcamp, so does that mean I lost everything from then until now?


Sorry for the long post, thanks for any help!
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chscag

 
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First, try a PRAM reset:

1. Shut down the computer.

2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.

3. Turn on the computer.

4. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears.

5. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.

Release the keys.

If that doesn't work, restart the machine and hold down the OPTION key after you hear the chime. Select the Recovery Partition. After it boots into recovery, select Disk Utilities. From there you should be able to either repair the disk or at least see if your OS X partition is intact. Let us know.
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GrimZ

 
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Hey chscag,

Thank you for your help. Unfortunately, the PRAM reset did not work, it just brought me back to the same "Mac OS X Utilities" screen as before.

I tried the second suggestion, and I got into the recovery HD and hit "repair," but I got the same message as before. The "details" box came up with a ton of red "invalid node count" and "invalid node structure" readings, and it eventually said after a few seconds "Stopped repairing disk, disk utility can't repair this disk. Back up files, reformat, and restore" etc.

Is there anything else I can try?
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chscag

 
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Quote:
Is there anything else I can try?
The invalid node messages can indicate structural damage to the hard drive (bad blocks) but it could also mean a messed up file structure. I recommend you first try a reinstall of Lion before giving up on the hard drive. From the recovery partition erase and format the primary Lion partition and reinstall Lion. In order to backup your data, boot into Windows (if you can) and copy your OS X partition to an external hard drive.
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GrimZ

 
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Okay thanks, I'll give that a shot once I get my hands on my external HD at some point later today.

In the meantime, what could have caused this problem?

Could it have been from overheating? Or just because the computer is getting old?
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Hard drives are fickle devices. I've seen brand new ones straight out of the box fail the minute they were hooked up. I've also got a few old PATA drives laying around that I pulled from defective PCs many years ago and they still work OK.
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GrimZ

 
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Hey chscag,

I tried to use target disk mode with a friend's computer to recover what I could.

When I connected my computer to his, "Macintosh HD" and "Bootcamp" came up. His computer told me that it coudn't repair my disk, and to back up what I could.

However, in "Macintosh HD" there were just scattered folders (about 5) and they were almost all empty. They were either blank when I opened them, or I would open them and it would immediately exit to the previous screen again.

So, I plugged in my external HD and dragged both "Macintosh HD" and "Bootcamp" to my external drive. Does that mean that I have my entire HD backed up now, like it would be if I had done it through my Window's partition like you suggested? On the external HD, it says that "Macintosh HD" only contains 176KB.

Thanks!

EDIT: I went into my Window's partition, and opened my Mac HD to try and see if things matched up. I wasn't there for long because I got a sudden BSOD (which never happens) so now I'm afraid to go back in there

From what I saw though, I do have everything copied from the firewire target disk method, so I may just go ahead and wipe the slate clean with a fresh install.

So, just to clarify, I will:

1.) Go into recovery HD, select Disk Utility, Select "Macintosh HD"
2.) Hit "erase" and then "format"
3.) Then, do I boot back into utilities and have things restored from the external HD via time machine? If there is anything salvageable on my external HD from the firewire transfer, how do I get that stuff back onto my computer once I re-install? Is it safe to put that stuff back?

Thanks again
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chscag

 
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Quote:
So, I plugged in my external HD and dragged both "Macintosh HD" and "Bootcamp" to my external drive. Does that mean that I have my entire HD backed up now, like it would be if I had done it through my Window's partition like you suggested? On the external HD, it says that "Macintosh HD" only contains 176KB.
It doesn't sound like you had very much on the MacIntosh HD that was recoverable with only 176 KB copied.

Quote:
So, just to clarify, I will:

1.) Go into recovery HD, select Disk Utility, Select "Macintosh HD"
2.) Hit "erase" and then "format"
3.) Then, do I boot back into utilities and have things restored from the external HD via time machine? If there is anything salvageable on my external HD from the firewire transfer, how do I get that stuff back onto my computer once I re-install? Is it safe to put that stuff back?
Just attach the external hard drive to your Mac and selectively drag and drop what you need back. Don't use Time Machine from the Recovery utilities as that will try to put everything back. That might not work after the clean install.

Also, keep an eye out on that hard drive. If you get even one hint of an error on the drive, backup immediately and be prepared to swap it out for a new one.
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