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Hard Drive Woes - Help Please


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Peter W

 
Member Since: Jul 19, 2007
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Hi Everybody, thanks for letting me join your forum!

I could do with some experienced advice please. A month or two ago, the hard drive in my Mac Mini packed in, I booted up into disk utility, and it could see the hard drive but when I did a hardwear test it said that there was a problem with the mass storage device. I followed some instructions to replace the hard drive, with an 80Gb drive, which was successful, and I re-installed OSX Tiger and downloaded all of the software updates to get my mini back to normal.

Here is where I need you help with 2 things really -

1st - All of my music library in iTunes has gone, it is all on my iPod, but you cannot sync back to iTunes from your iPod. Or can you? Do any of you know if there is a way of cheating this rule in order to restore my iTunes library? I know that this exists to prevent file sharing, but I think that there should be some kind of exception for hard drive failures.

2nd - As disk utility could see the old hard drive, but I could not boot from it, I thought the data on it could be salvaged by using a file recovery software package. I bought an external firewire drive bay and plugged the old disk into it, connected it to my mini, and it saw the disk. I carried out a scan on the disk, but the trial version software kept crashing half way through the scan (the drive was getting really hot too). I am hoping that the OS section of the drive got bugged and the rest of the data will be there still (it had 18 months worth of photos & work stored on it). I want to use the old drive as an external back up if it still works, but I want to see if I can recover the data before I attempt to re-format it.

Any answers or solutions would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Peter.
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RiDE

 
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1. Use Senuti

2. When using the Old/bad drive as an external, do you see any files on in at all? When you "Get Info" does it tell you there are files on the drive?

3. Welcome to the forums!
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Peter W

 
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Thanks RIDE! Senuti worked great. My iTunes library is now back to normal.

OK, the external drive. When I plug it in a warning box appears - "The disk you connected was not readable by this computer". If I click initialize, it shows 2 drives - Macintosh HD & 37.3Gb - Generic, with the mounted disk as Disk2s3. I have tried to scan & repair the firewire disk but it reads the same problem that I had when the drive failed, it goes something like - there was an error detected in a partition (I can't remeber the exact text, I can check again if you need it). I used a demo version of Data Rescue to see if it could find any files on the disk, and it look like it was reading the disk, as the access light was flickering and the drive was whirring away, but the program seems to stop scanning half way through and I have to force quit the application. As I said the external drive gets really hot during the scan.

I hope you may be able to gather some info from the above and suggest any further route for me to read the drive if possible.

Thanks,

Peter.
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Sherman Homan

 
Member Since: Oct 27, 2006
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Sounds like the hard drive is toast. There is no difference between data for photos and data for a bootable system. So unfortunately your theory there isn't quite right. Data Rescue is a great program, but it can't work miracles. The fact that the drive is getting really hot is not good. There are professional recovery services, but they are very expensive. Good luck!
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dtravis7

 
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Agreed, it does sound like the drive it toast.

Would you mind me asking you one thing? What brand is the drive that failed? Just curious.
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Peter W

 
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Thanks for the help guys, I sort of guessed that it was toast when it failed really, but I thought I would try and get some advice and see if there was anything I could do to save it.

I always leave the Mac in sleep when I am not using it overnight, I only ever shut it down once a week if that. I woke it up one morning and the mouse pointer was spinning, I gave it a bit of time, and then did a reboot by the standby switch (I could not do a normal shut down), and it would not boot back up, just a picture of a finder file with a flashing question mark, and that was the end of that.

It was the factory Apple/Seagate 40Gb drive, 18 months old.

Thanks guys,

Peter.
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Sherman Homan

 
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I just recently reinstalled System 7.0.1 on a Performa 400. Original hard drive, the System file had gotten corrupted. According to the owner, the machine drive has been in constant use since she got it as a Christmas present in 1992. Unbelievable. There is no way to guess how long a drive is going to last. Ya gotta have a backup scheme of some kind!
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Peter W

 
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It's the first drive fail I have ever had, I love my Mac but that left a bitter taste in my mouth! I had to pull my 9 year old PC out, still running windows 98 as a stand in until I fitted the difficult to change hard drive. I will be buying another drive to go in the external firewire bay I bought, to back up in the future. I read an article about some decent back up programs that clone the internal drive to the firewire drive which is also bootable, so I will be doing that ASAP. When Leopard comes out with the time machine functions, it should make life a bit easier.

At least I got my iTunes library back, so when the iPhone comes out over here I can load my music onto it, without having to import all of those **** CD's that took about a week to do when I first got my Mac.

Thanks,

Peter.
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cwa107

 
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It really is a shame, but hard drives have gotten far less reliable than they have been in the past. It's not uncommon to see such early drive failures. I remember having systems with hard drives that were 5+ years old without any trouble. In fact, my first hard drive equipped system (an Amiga 2000) had a 50MB Quantum HD (that's megabytes - not gigabytes) that ran just fine until I retired it in 1996 (bought in 1989).

I'm surprised to see a Seagate drive fail so quickly. They have instituted a 5 year warranty program on all of their drives. Unfortunately, since it was sold by a system integrator, the onus is on Apple to warranty the drive - and their warranty is not nearly as long.

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!
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dtravis7

 
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Peter W, do not let that HD failure leave a bad taste in your mouth against Apple. I have the same system and got it the first week it came out with the same 40GB Seagate Momentus drive and it's fine after 2 years and I use it to death. Drives fail as CWA107 pointed out. Seagate's are usually quite reliable.
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Sherman Homan

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
Peter W, do not let that HD failure leave a bad taste in your mouth against Apple. I have the same system and got it the first week it came out with the same 40GB Seagate Momentus drive and it's fine after 2 years and I use it to death. Drives fail as CWA107 pointed out. Seagate's are usually quite reliable.
Don't forget that when a Seagate drive leaves the factory it could be put in a Mac, a PC, etc. This isn't an Apple problem, unless Apple dumps the warranty on you. But even then, a warranty isn't important when your data is poof gone.
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