Failed hard drive? I/O error, stuck on grey screen

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Mid 2009 Macbook Pro, Mavericks

I've got a serious booting issue going on. The first symptom was my computer not being able to boot past the grey apple logo screen with the spinning gear. The fsck command in single user mode apparently came up okay, but verbose mode revealed "disk0s2 I/O error" I was finally able to get it to boot to the recovery partition but multiple things go wrong here. First of all, Disk Utility cannot repair Macintosh HD, and trying to make a back up to an external results in something like "cannot copy, I/O error." Furthermore, I cannot use the reinstall OS X application, because it says I am not connected to the internet, even though the network utility says I am, and I can actually use Safari successfully in the "Get help online" option.

Lately, my computer boots to the recovery partition by default, even though disk utility shows that Macintosh HD is mounted. When I go to "copy image" I can even see all of my files (what a tease!) I also recently noticed something in single user mode; when I ran fsck before, it checked "OS X Base Volume." When I get it to check Macintosh HD using fsck_hbn -fy /dev/disk0s2 it comes back with the same "disk0s2 I/O error."

Any ideas about what the **** is going on here? It sounds like my hard drive has failed, but if that were the case, why would it say it is mounted in Disk Utility, and how am I able to look at all of my files? And if my HD did indeed fail (or the SATA cable or logic board for that matter,) how am I able to access the recovery partition?

One final clue: the night before this happened, my computer, which was plugged up to a charger, suddenly turned off and my charger hasn't worked since. I got a new one and it works fine. When this happened, there was fan plugged into the same outlet that continued to function properly.

Any ideas? I know I will need a new HD most likely, but I am desperate to get some recent data from my HD that hasn't been backed up. Thanks!
 
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chscag

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Welcome to the Mac Forums.

What happened to your hard drive is not unusual. I had the same thing occur with an iMac. I could get into recovery, "see" all my files, but couldn't access them. I had a very recent backup so I didn't suffer data loss when Apple replaced the hard drive under my Apple Care warranty.

When you replace the hard drive you might want to consider replacing the SATA cable at the same time especially if your 2009 MacBook Pro has a lot of hours of use on it. Also, it's a great opportunity to replace that spinning hard drive with an SSD. ;) And, I don't think your MagSafe Charger Adapter going out caused the hard drive to fail.
 
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Thanks for the reply!

I am definitely going to be replacing my hard drive. I'm just looking for any sort of last effort type methods of retrieving my data.

I would love to have a shot of reinstalling OS X, just in case. Could the fact that the reinstall OS X application doesn't register my internet connection be related to my hard drive issue, or should I look in the software forum for solutions?
 
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chscag

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What you can try is remove the drive from your MacBook Pro and place it in a USB carrier or use an adapter which can be attached to another Mac. You may be able to retrieve your data that way. You can also try using a Data Recovery app, however, they're all expensive to buy. (around $90 to $100)

You're probably right about the hard drive being the reason you're not being able to access the net. Not a software issue.
 
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What you can try is remove the drive from your MacBook Pro and place it in a USB carrier or use an adapter which can be attached to another Mac. You may be able to retrieve your data that way. You can also try using a Data Recovery app, however, they're all expensive to buy. (around $90 to $100)

You're probably right about the hard drive being the reason you're not being able to access the net. Not a software issue.

I agree. Replace the drive and reinstall the OS then get a USB carrier or USB Sata Hard drive adaper, attach the old drive and see what you can recover. USB Sata Hard drive adapters are not that expensive - about $20 at Amazon. USB carriers are a bit more expensive.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000J01I1G/?tag=macforums0e4-20

If the drive will mount, copy every file you can off of it. I have done this many times for people. If you are luck what is failing involves the OS area of the drive and the data will be intact and retrievable.

Good luck and I recommend backing up (obviously) from now on. Portable hard drives are much cheaper now and well worth the peace of mind.

Lisa
 
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Thanks a lot! I will be trying this as soon as I can, and of course making backups more regularly.
 
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I just wanted to give a quick update for people experience similar problems.

I installed a new SSD and used a OS X Mavericks bootable thumb drive that I made with DiskMaker X. The installation appeared to work correctly, and OS X was functioning, but extremely slowly. I reinstalled Mavericks from the same drive and got the same results, so I downloaded Yosemite from the app store and installed it that way, and ever since my computer has been lighting fast.

The best news is that I was able to recover almost all of my data by plugging in my old HD with a SATA-USB connector. I had to repair the drive in Disk Utility, which didn't actually work but it got it to mount. Then I clicked on it's icon on my desktop and waited about 20 minutes for the files to show up, at which point I just dragged them to my desktop.

Thank you all for your suggestions!
 
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Fantastic! Glad it all worked out.

Lisa
 

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