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Cannot access data

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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Hello,

I work with PCs on a daily basis but know nothing about Macs.  I have a friend who has a Macbook and there is something wrong with the hard drive (sorry cannot give exact details).  I know with PCs you are able to take the disk out, attach it to the CD cable of a working PC and access the data that way (as another drive from the working OS).  Is this possible with a Mac as well?  If so are there any tips as to how to do it?

Thanks.
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Commented:
If your friend has another friend with another Mac, you might be able to connect the two Macs together with a firewire cable in Target Disk Mode to transfer files. See:  http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=58583

However, if you give us the exact model of the Mac and what operating system it is using (i.e. OS 9 or OS X) we can walk you through detailed troubleshooting steps that may resurrect the drive.

There is no point in trying to connect the Mac drive to a PC as the PC won't be able to read the Mac drive format.

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Commented:
Thanks.  We could manage getting another Mac without much difficulty.  Both Macs would be OSX.  I know some diagnostics have been run on the failed Mac but I don't think the Target Disk Mode has been tried so will give that a go after reading through the link you sent, thanks again.  (Luckily I know enough to not attempt reading a Mac drive from a PC...)
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Commented:
Before attempting anything drastic, here are some diagnostics to run:

If you have an OS X install disk for the Mac that is at least OS 10.3, you should boot from the install disk by booting while holding down the C key. Once the computer is booted, pull down one of the menues (not sure which one) to Disk Utility.

In Disk Utility, highlight the drive in the left panel, then check to see what the S.M.A.R.T. status is at the bottom right. If the status is "Verified" you know that there is nothing wrong with the drive from a hardware standpoint and your problem is probably disk directory corruption, or damaged system software.

The next step is to click on the Repair Disk button which will run the Mac equivalent of Scandisk.

Let us know the results.

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