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MacBook pro won't start up

Hi,

I have a MacBook pro. I dropped it while it was on. The machine continued to function. Now I restarted the machine, it goes to a grey screen with a flashing folder with a questionmark on it - just sits there flashing.

Seems like I damaged it. What steps should I take to see what's going on? Ideally I'd like to just get some data off the drive. Others have recommended:

1) insert mac os 10 cd on boot up - might be able to run disk-fix utility from the cd (granted problem is hard drive)
2) hook up my mb to another mac via FireWire - somehow I can see files from my mb on other machine?
 
Any info would be great,

thanks
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DJ_AM_Juicebox
Asked:
DJ_AM_Juicebox
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2 Solutions
 
strungCommented:
The flashing question mark means that the computer can't find a valid system. Likely you have damaged the hard drive.

Try booting from the system CD by holding down the C key while booting, then pull down the Disk Utility menu to Disk First Aid and run Repair Disk.

Let us know what happens.
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DJ_AM_JuiceboxAuthor Commented:
Ok so when I power up, I am holding the 'c' key down, but it still just shows the grey screen with the blinking icon. Do I need to have the mac os X cd inserted for that to work?

Thanks
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vancleefCommented:
> Do I need to have the mac os X cd inserted for that to work?
Yes. His recommendation is to boot off the Mac OS CD to get access to the diagnostic tools.
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Bransby-ITCommented:
I would expect that your hard drive has failed!

Let us know if it is the hard drive I have a link how to change it.
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Bransby-ITCommented:
You can chose the startup disk by holding down the option key just after the powerbotton is pressed.
Option key is like the alt key on pc .
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DJ_AM_JuiceboxAuthor Commented:
ok, won't be able to get to my mac os x cd until a little later - is there any way to make a boot util cd from the net instead? If the hard drive has failed, is there any way to try recovering some data off of it by taking the drive out and hooking it up to another machine or smthg?

Thanks
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strungCommented:
If you have another Mac, you can connect the two using a Firewire cable and try to recover the data using Firewire Target Disk Mode:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1661

You can also try to repair the drive using Firewire Target Disk Mode by booting your computer into target disk mode and running Disk Utility from the connected computer.
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DJ_AM_JuiceboxAuthor Commented:
Ok so I got my os  X installation CD, put it in the cd drive. Power on, hold down the 'c' key. Same grey screen. After some time, the machine just ejects the cd again, then shows the blinking folder.

I can go to a mac store tomorrow - given that I can't even get this disk util to start - is there any chance they'd be able to salvage any of the hard drive contents? I'd like about 1 or 2 files off of it, then I'd consider it an ok accident!

Thanks
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strungCommented:
Your best shot is to try to recover to another Mac using target disk mode as above.
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DJ_AM_JuiceboxAuthor Commented:
Ok I'll have to give the target mac thing a try. My primary concern is getting a few files off the dead drive. I took a look at geek squad, they charge $260 for disk recovery (not to mention the initial fee!).

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strungCommented:
If it the drive is not readable using target disk mode, download the free demo of DataRescue III and run it from target disk mode:

http://prosofteng.com/products/data_rescue.php?PHPSESSID=5b240ea8a33035f6117ef0857a1fab08
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Bransby-ITCommented:
Got to be honist if the drive is hardware failer which it sound like it is, your better off sending it away to a specialist.   This will probably cost around £400 UK pound so around 700$ US.

If its not hardware then buy an external USB and do it yourself.
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DJ_AM_JuiceboxAuthor Commented:
Ok so forthe recovery app:
http://prosofteng.com/products/data_rescue_sysreq.php?PHPSESSID=5b240ea8a33035f6117ef0857a1fab08

I download it, but  how do I make a bootable dvd/cd out of it? (never done this on mac). I guess I just need to boot from the cd somehow - when I download the app, it's a dmg file.

As for sending it to a specialist, I'd like to do that as my last effort - I just have some docs on there that are kind of sensitive - if I can't recover myself, I might just trash the hard drive altogether and start from scratch.

Thanks
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DJ_AM_JuiceboxAuthor Commented:
Update:

I put in the os X install CD again during boot, and was able to get to Disk Utility. It seems to be listing only my DVD drive in the left column of the app window - probably should be seeing my hard drive there too?
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Bransby-ITCommented:
Yep it should

Sorry
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strungCommented:
There is still the possibility that DataRescue will read the drive, even if Disk Utility won't. Since the demo is free, it is worth a try.
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DJ_AM_JuiceboxAuthor Commented:
Strung, how do I boot From that utility though? I downloaded the trial whiich is a dmg file. Will the mac recognize this if I just put it on a cd and try to boot from it just like I did with the mac os x cd?

I don't know how the drive is constructed, it has moveable parts though right? I wonder if it's just plain busted. My sadness is infinite.
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strungCommented:
No. You need a second Mac to boot from and to run DataRescue from. Connect the two Macs using firewire target disk mode, or take the drive out of the broken Mac and put it into an external USB case.

Alternatively, if you have another drive in an external USB case, you can install a system on the external drive and boot from it.
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Bransby-ITCommented:
If the drive is not seen in your Mac OS Utilitys then the drive is not there.
If it was just a filesystem curuption then it would see it as the drive but nothing else.
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DJ_AM_JuiceboxAuthor Commented:
I brought it to a mac store, they wouldn't take the drive out for me and just replace it. I have sensitive data on the drive, I'm sure they wouldn't read stuff off of it if I did hand it over, but I'd rather be safe about it. They said they need the old drive to send back to the manufacturer in order to get a new one, whatevs.

So I took the macbook apart myself. The hard drive was still plugged in and fastened ok. I removed it, plugged it back in again, tried to boot, same thing, grey screen with flashing disk icon, boot from os x cd -> disk util can't find any hard drives.

The hard drive itself looks ok on the outside, I shook it a bit, doesn't sound like anything is loose. Maybe it just shorted out or something during the fall? Now that I have it removed, I guess I can bring that to a specialist to see if they can recover anything (or I might try doing that myself too because of the fun privacy issue).

Anyway going to try getting a new internal drive and plug it in, and reinstall os X. I hope it's just the hard drive that got fried, so that a new hard drive is all I need, and that none of the other wiring etc was damaged - then I will have a brand new useless hard drive!

Thanks
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Bransby-ITCommented:
Just get a new sata 2.5 and then at the same time get a USB caddie.

If it's booting up it will be fine, it's not the wires or anything, but I do expect it's the hard drive is screwed.

Some times when we drop the hdd it will bend the drive arm or somthing simple but it's bot always a noise whenn you shake it lol
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