Need some help - broken hard drive/replacement questions

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I have a 2009 Macbook Pro 15. My hard drive made some clicking noises, froze, and restarted. After restarting, it ran fine. When i came back to it later, the computer had shut off and will not get past the apple boot logo. I dont have a backup (I know, I know).
Question 1: Has anyone tried a recovery service and if so what can I expect - price, success, etc. The only thing I care about are the photos.
Question 2 ; I read under Apple's Support page that my model will only be compatible with a 256 GB SSD. Is this true? Why cant I put a 500 SD in it?
Question 3: How can I do about starting the laptop up with a clean hard drive that doesnt have Mavericks installed?
 

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In response to your questions:

1. A recovery service is very expensive and will likely run way more than you may be willing to pay. Why don't you try using data recovery software first? I recommend Data Rescue and Disk Drill. Both are not inexpensive but they have trial versions which you can test with first.

2. I'd like to see the link to that article which states the compatibility of SSD size. I find that hard to believe.

3. You would need to do an internet recovery of Mavericks.
 
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Having used data recovery services professionally, I can tell you that (a) they work most of the time; (b) they're great when you absolutely need the data recovered; and (c) they are outlandishly expensive.

I totally agree with chscag that you should try Data Rescue-- get a USB/SATA adapter and connect the sick drive to a working Mac, then let it do its job. I was able to recover most of a crashed 250GB drive using Data Rescue.

Good luck!
 
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In response to your questions:

1. A recovery service is very expensive and will likely run way more than you may be willing to pay. Why don't you try using data recovery software first? I recommend Data Rescue and Disk Drill. Both are not inexpensive but they have trial versions which you can test with first.

2. I'd like to see the link to that article which states the compatibility of SSD size. I find that hard to believe.

3. You would need to do an internet recovery of Mavericks.


From Apple's support site, I may be reading it wrong, in that this is what that year models options were, but I dont remember SSD's being an option on that model:
https://support.apple.com/kb/SP544?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US


Storage
250GB, 320GB, or 500GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA hard drive; optional 320GB or 500GB 7200-rpm hard drive, or 128GB or 256GB solid-state drive4

Are you saying that I should be able to install a larger 500 gb SSd drive without any problems?
 
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Having used data recovery services professionally, I can tell you that (a) they work most of the time; (b) they're great when you absolutely need the data recovered; and (c) they are outlandishly expensive.

I totally agree with chscag that you should try Data Rescue-- get a USB/SATA adapter and connect the sick drive to a working Mac, then let it do its job. I was able to recover most of a crashed 250GB drive using Data Rescue.

Good luck!

Will data recovery software still work with a hard drive that may be physically broke? I assumed that data recovery software would only work with a functional drive. Assuming my drive has sustained internal damage would it still work?
 
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Will data recovery software still work with a hard drive that may be physically broke? I assumed that data recovery software would only work with a functional drive. Assuming my drive has sustained internal damage would it still work?

If it still spins up, there's a chance it may be able to read some of the data. In 25-plus years in IT, I've recovered data from drives in all sorts of disrepair, including those that made all kinds of horrible noises. The 250GB drive I mentioned in my post above was a victim of a half-bottle of nail polish remover being poured over the computer's keyboard, and some of it seeped to the disk drive's logic board and physically melted some components.

Data Rescue 4 is $99. It's really up to you to decide if recovering the data is worth spending that amount. If you go the bit-by-bit professional recovery route you may spend thousands of dollars for the same results.

Good luck!
 
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If it still spins up, there's a chance it may be able to read some of the data. In 25-plus years in IT, I've recovered data from drives in all sorts of disrepair, including those that made all kinds of horrible noises. The 250GB drive I mentioned in my post above was a victim of a half-bottle of nail polish remover being poured over the computer's keyboard, and some of it seeped to the disk drive's logic board and physically melted some components.

Data Rescue 4 is $99. It's really up to you to decide if recovering the data is worth spending that amount. If you go the bit-by-bit professional recovery route you may spend thousands of dollars for the same results.

Good luck!

Thanks for the help. Ill have to look into it. I have about 40Gb's worth of pics that I really dont want to lose. From what I read I assumed that a professional recovery might cost less than 1 thousand, which is still a lot, but something Id be willing to spend to recover the photos. If one hundred bucks for some software might do the trick, Thats a steal
 

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Thanks for the help. Ill have to look into it. I have about 40Gb's worth of pics that I really dont want to lose. From what I read I assumed that a professional recovery might cost less than 1 thousand, which is still a lot, but something Id be willing to spend to recover the photos. If one hundred bucks for some software might do the trick, Thats a steal

As I mentioned above, both Data Rescue and Disk Drill have a trial version you can download to test with first. I would go with Data Rescue 4 first and use its trial version to see if recovery is possible. If it is, buy a license; if not, proceed with a data recovery service.
 
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As I mentioned above, both Data Rescue and Disk Drill have a trial version you can download to test with first. I would go with Data Rescue 4 first and use its trial version to see if recovery is possible. If it is, buy a license; if not, proceed with a data recovery service.

After looking at the website for Sate rescue, It seems that the software is only Mac compatible. Since my Macbook is not currently functional, I only have a windows desktop PC available. Does this software come in a PC based version that would still allow me to use it for a Mac formatted drive?
I emailed their customer service but have yet to hear back.
 

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To answer your question about using it on a PC, the Data Rescue 4 information states that it works with NTFS formatted Boot Camp partitions. Based on that, I would assume it should work, however, it's best to wait until their tech support confirms that. It already works with HFS+ and FAT-32.
 
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There are two versions of Data Rescue, Data Rescue 4 for Macs, and Data Rescue 3 PC for Windows.

To attempt recovering your photo's you need the Mac version. As it's economical replacing your MacBook Pro's hard drive, consider a standard 5400rpm hard drive or an SSD. I've installed 1TB hard drives in the Mid 2009 MacBook Pro's, and SSD's up to 960GB. I'm typing this on a 15" Mid 2009 2.8GHz MBP 8GB and a crucial 512GB M500 SSD. I'd never go back to the old original hard drive. Choose the drive that suits your requirements and budget, fit it and install your chosen OS.

Then mount your failed drive in a 2.5" SATA drive box. This is more versatile than a caddy in which your drive is likely to sit upright, as sometimes it's beneficial to lay a freezer block on the drive to cool it, then rotating to another if still needed. Download the demo of Data Rescue and see if a data recovery is possible. Typical instances when it might not be possible are if Data Rescue can't see the drive, if it's continually clicking or if the spindle motor isn't running. There's no need to consider running the PC version of Data Rescue when it won't recover data from a Mac initialised drive.

Good luck with recovering your photos.
 
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Thanks for the replies. tech support confirmed that it will only work on a mac , and that data rescue 3 will not keep the directories or filenames if i try to recover on a pc.

@techiesteve - this is what I plan to do, fingers crossed that I can recover my pics. I'll probably just pick up 5400 Hd again. I would have liked to have gotten an ssd, but my 1500 dollar auto repair killed that idea.
 
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Just wanted to update for the record.
Installed a new hard drive, had to use my old Snow Leopard boot disc to get started. Installed Yosemite, and downloaded Data recovery . GOOD NEWS - it looks like I will be able to recover my files.

Thank you all for your help and input, I really appreciate it
 

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Good show! Now, how about a good backup strategy? ;D
 
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Good show! Now, how about a good backup strategy? ;D

Oh believe me - My old time machine drive ran out of room, and I was always "getting around" to getting a larger drive.
I will be making sure I get around to it this time. Or maybe even adding icloud photo library just to be double safe.

Having itunes match was a godsend so I didnt have to stress about my music collection.
 
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Oh believe me - My old time machine drive ran out of room, and I was always "getting around" to getting a larger drive.
I will be making sure I get around to it this time. Or maybe even adding icloud photo library just to be double safe.

Having itunes match was a godsend so I didnt have to stress about my music collection.

Always have your data in three locations to be safe, one of which is off site. For many the setup is something like: 1. your boot drive 2. Time machine and 3. something like crashplan, backblaze, carbonite, etc. Hopefully you never have to use the offsite backup but should your residence be robbed, natural disaster, etc. you'll be glad you had it. I had one instance where I reformatted and when I plugged the time machine backup in to restore the drive failed.
 

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