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Backing up files on a damaged iMac?


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Jmckinson

 
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Hi, I am using an iMac/2.8Ghz/2008 model running leopard and basically I have come to a point where I have no way of backing up my files from the internal 'Macintosh HD'. I have tried all steps, I've tried to repair the disk in the disk utility through the Mac OSX installation disk but the repair fails. Also, my system will not start up in safe mode. Sometimes, I have the ability to log in to my account (which is very rare) but whenever it does I try to open an application and it doesn't. Even the finder won't. I cannot do anything. Eventually I tried to give my system a clean re installation backing up my files using the 'Archive and install' function but when I reach the 'select a destination' step the 'Macintosh HD' appears with a yellow triangle with an exclamation mark. It then said I have to erase the data but I do not want to reinstall OSX until I have backed up my important files. I have at least 5 years of work on there and I would be very devastated if I lost them. When I noticed my iMac was starting to die I went out and bought myself a 500gb external hard drive to back up my files but there was an error during the procedure. If you could please help me resolve this problem I would really really appreciate it. Thank you!
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chscag

 
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Kind of late in the game to be making backups. There's not much you can do since it appears your hard drive is not accessible through normal means. Here's what you can try:

Remove the old hard drive from the iMac. See instructions for swapping out an iMac hard drive at iFixit: The free repair manual. After removing the hard drive, purchase an external USB SATA carrier that can accommodate a 3.5" drive. Attach it to the iMac after you get it working with the new hard drive. You may be able to read the data from it that way. There is no guaranty that will work, however.

If you have another Mac, you can try Data Recovery software or target disk mode. I don't think you'll have much luck with target disk mode if the drive is not accessible. There is also Disk Warrior which may be able to access the drive and extract your data.
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Jmckinson

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
Kind of late in the game to be making backups. There's not much you can do since it appears your hard drive is not accessible through normal means. Here's what you can try:

Remove the old hard drive from the iMac. See instructions for swapping out an iMac hard drive at iFixit: The free repair manual. After removing the hard drive, purchase an external USB SATA carrier that can accommodate a 3.5" drive. Attach it to the iMac after you get it working with the new hard drive. You may be able to read the data from it that way. There is no guaranty that will work, however.

If you have another Mac, you can try Data Recovery software or target disk mode. I don't think you'll have much luck with target disk mode if the drive is not accessible. There is also Disk Warrior which may be able to access the drive and extract your data.
Thanks for the advice chscag!. I will keep this in mind and see if those steps work. I don't have another mac unfortunately, I only have a windows xp laptop which I guess will not work since it doesn't have as much memory as my iMac? so I cannot read or retrieve data from the Mac HD. I will also look further into buying a new internal hard drive and see if this resolves the issue. Thanks again!
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