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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

From 10.6.8 to Mavericks with a disk-that-needs-to-be-repaired?


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Boullan

 
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I'm on 10.6.8 on a mid-2010 Macbook Pro.

I'm considering upgrading to Mavericks, but before I do so, I'm told that I should first run Disk Utility and make sure everything is in order. As it turns out, everything is NOT in order - when I run Disk Utility, I get a "this disk needs to be repaired."

I don't have an installation disc any longer - it's been three years since I bought the damn thing - so I can not repair the disk the old-fashioned way. Guess I'm down to three alternatives:

1. Give up on Mavericks, and keep on truckin' in 10.6.8.

2. Buy a new 10.6.8 installation disc, repair the disk and then upgrade to Mavericks (!?).

3. Find some kind of work-around, which allows me to safely upgrade to Mavericks without first buying a new 10.6.8 installation disc (!?).

What say you, folks? Between the three, what would y'all recommend?
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chscag

 
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When a hard drive is three years old and needs repair, it's probably time to make a backup and swap it out for a new one. And yes, buy a new copy of Snow Leopard from Apple since it's only $19.99 direct from them. Once you get your new hard drive installed and Snow Leopard back up and running, then upgrade to Mavericks.

In any event, make a backup of your data as soon as you can.
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^^^ or if you're going to upgrade to 10.9...

Am with chscag, once a drive starts needing repairs, I don't trust them any longer.

Get 2 drives - one to make a backup - one to replace the existing drive and get a 8 GB thumb drive.

Make a backup
Download Mavericks - don't install it - create a bootable installer on the thumb drive - plenty of tutorials via google.
Boot the machine to the thumb drive.
Head into Disk Utility and see if it will repair the drive
If it does, exit out of it back into OS X and create another backup
Replace the internal drive with the new one
Boot to the thumb drive, partition/format the drive and install Mavericks
Restore from the backup

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Eh... I'm not sure I agree with the advice to buy Snow Leopard and then get Mavericks. If you download Mavericks safely enough and make the bootable installer, then there's not much point to buying Snow Leopard also. I agree with everything else though. If you really want to check your drive more thoroughly, I have a guide on how to do so. Just make a backup immediately and beforehand no matter what.
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For $19.99, better safe than sorry. He can always use the Snow Leopard disk to get back to square one if he doesn't like Mavericks or something goes wrong.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeisabeach View Post
Eh... I'm not sure I agree with the advice to buy Snow Leopard and then get Mavericks. If you download Mavericks safely enough and make the bootable installer, then there's not much point to buying Snow Leopard also.
I personally like having the disks for the better safe than sorry approach (especially since I have older Mac's that I still run 10.6 on). But I agree...if someone has a bootable 10.9 USB installer...and repairing the disk via Disk Utility is desired...then this should work.

But (to the OP as a "watch-out")...if the hard drive has problems that Disk Utility cannot repair (such as failing hardware)...then Disk Utility is not going to help. Just got to run Disk Utility to see.

- Nick

p.s. You should also check the S.M.A.R.T. status of the hard drive via "System Report":

- Apple Menu
- About This Mac
- More Info
- click on "SATA" in the left column
- look to the info on the right for the "SMART" status

p.p.s. I'm using 10.8...the steps for the SMART status info may be slightly different for 10.6.8.

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Boullan

 
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Thanks everyone, really excellent replies.

Since Iím all about better-safe-than-sorry (I do Time Machine back-ups every few weeks), and since I also like the idea of at least having the POSSIBILITY of going back to 10.6.8 if Mavericks disappoints (not saying that I think it will), I might just go for the installation disc.

Then there is the question of possibly swapping out my hard drive, or else trying to repair it. Perhaps it should be noted that it hasn't actually been giving me any trouble at all -- so when Disk Utility told me it needed repairing, that came as quite a surprise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
You should also check the S.M.A.R.T. status of the hard drive via "System Report":

- Apple Menu
- About This Mac
- More Info
- click on "SATA" in the left column
- look to the info on the right for the "SMART" status
Roger that. Did this, and it says "S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified."

Does that mean that... Well, what does it mean? (Pardon my ignorance.) Should I still run one of the SMART monitoring tools recommended by lifeisabeach in his link?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boullan View Post
Roger that. Did this, and it says "S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified."

Does that mean that... Well, what does it mean? (Pardon my ignorance.) Should I still run one of the SMART monitoring tools recommended by lifeisabeach in his link?
Chances are (if you've not been experiencing any problems with the computers hard drive)...everything is fine. Since we are communicating over the internet (can't see what's going on at your end)...I basically just wanted you to be aware of other possibilities.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boullan View Post
Roger that. Did this, and it says "S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified."

Does that mean that... Well, what does it mean? (Pardon my ignorance.) Should I still run one of the SMART monitoring tools recommended by lifeisabeach in his link?
Basic SMART status checks like what Disk Utility does rely on the manufacturer's criteria in assessing the variables that a SMART test checks. From everything I've read, the manufacturers tend to push that as far as possible, meaning a drive that fails a basic SMART test is on the verge of failure.

More advanced tools like DriveDx and SMART Utility rely on tools from an open source project that more carefully analyze that same data and can give an earlier warning of the state of a drive's health than regular tools do.
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Boullan

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeisabeach View Post
Basic SMART status checks like what Disk Utility does rely on the manufacturer's criteria in assessing the variables that a SMART test checks. From everything I've read, the manufacturers tend to push that as far as possible, meaning a drive that fails a basic SMART test is on the verge of failure.

More advanced tools like DriveDx and SMART Utility rely on tools from an open source project that more carefully analyze that same data and can give an earlier warning of the state of a drive's health than regular tools do.
Got it.

Downloaded DriveDx, ran the free "try now" option, and here's what I get:

Quote:
Advanced SMART Status : OK
Overall Health Rating : GOOD 77.1%
Overall Performance Rating : GOOD 77.1%
Issues found : 1
Under "problems summary," there's this:

Quote:
Warnings (life-span / pre-fail) : 1 (1 / 0)
When I click on that one, it says "load cycle count" is at 327.134, and status is at 1%.

How do I parse all that, and what does it say about the gravity of my problem? Should I hit the panic button, order an SSD right this minute and swap out the hard drive ASAP?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boullan View Post
When I click on that one, it says "load cycle count" is at 327.134, and status is at 1%.

How do I parse all that, and what does it say about the gravity of my problem? Should I hit the panic button, order an SSD right this minute and swap out the hard drive ASAP?
According to this page, it's a potential indicator of a drive nearing end of life, but does not absolutely mean it is failing. Wikipedia's page indicates that the lifetime rating for laptop drives is 300,000 to 600,000 load cycles. At 327.134 (eh... yer in Europe, I take it? That'd be 327,134 to me then... LOL! Now that makes sense...), then the software is estimating the drive has 1% left of its lifetime load cycles. It's JUST an estimate based on the "expected" lifetime rating as per Wikipedia's entry. So no, don't panic, but be aware and implement a regular backup plan if you haven't already.
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I'll repeat what I said from Post # 2 above:

Quote:
When a hard drive is three years old and needs repair, it's probably time to make a backup and swap it out for a new one.
If you want to press on with that drive after from what you told us and now what the drive test has indicated, that's up to you....
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Boullan

 
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Thread resurrection!

So, I finally got myself a Samsung SSD 840 Pro, and a bootable 8 Gb USB stick with Mavericks ready to rockíníroll.

Seeing how Snow Leopard seems to be going out of style, though, Iím considering maybe NOT buying the Snow Leopard installation CD after all (as I had originally planned -- see my earlier posts in this thread), and instead go straight to Mavericks.

Question: Is this possible? Put in the SSD, and then immediately install Mavericks from the USB stick? Or does the bootable USB stick require that a functioning OS X is already installed on the SSD...?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boullan View Post
Thread resurrection!

So, I finally got myself a Samsung SSD 840 Pro, and a bootable 8 Gb USB stick with Mavericks ready to rockíníroll.

Seeing how Snow Leopard seems to be going out of style, though, Iím considering maybe NOT buying the Snow Leopard installation CD after all (as I had originally planned -- see my earlier posts in this thread), and instead go straight to Mavericks.

Question: Is this possible? Put in the SSD, and then immediately install Mavericks from the USB stick? Or does the bootable USB stick require that a functioning OS X is already installed on the SSD...?
You can go ahead and install Mavericks straight from the USB stick. There is no need to have a functioning installation on the SSD first. When booting up the computer, be sure to hold down the option key to get a list of bootable volumes, then select the Mavericks installer.
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