Raiders of the Lost Drive

This is a weird one:

Two days ago, I had my MacBook freeze on me. Unable to do anything, I hard booted the computer. Eversince, it will not start. The screen remains grey. I inserted Disk Warrior and Techtools but either one can even see that theres a hard drive there. It is as though there werent any.

How can I reconnect with the hard drive?

Frak
FrakAsked:
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strungConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Try resetting the PMU:  http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3964

If that doesn't work, take the drive out and put it into an external USB case and see if you can then read it from the other Mac:

http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/MacBook_13inch_HardDrive_DIY.pdf
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splaitCommented:
You may not be able to.  Something is definitely wrong with the drive or the two tools you mentioned would see it.

If you are lucky, the drive's electronics are bad and not the drive itself (the electronics are attached to the drive).  If you don't want to send the drive out for repair, you can try finding another drive of the EXACT SAME model and firmware version and swap out the electronics.  That way, you can connect the old drive up through an external USB enclosure and recover your data.

If you wish to test the system to determine if the drive is the problem, I suggest getting another drive (brand new, if possible) and swap it out for the one in the laptop currently.  See if the system recognizes the new drive.  That will tell you if the problem's the drive or the laptop internals.

Hopefully, it's something simple.
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strungCommented:
You may be able to recover the contents of the drive using DataRescue III  http://www.prosofteng.com/products/data_rescue.php by connecting your computer to another Mac using Target Disk Mode:  

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1661
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splaitCommented:
strung -

If the Mac itself doesn't recognize the drive, is it still possible for a product like DataRescue to help?
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strungCommented:
Yes. Datarescue can often recover data from drives which will not mount. However, if the drive does not spin, nothing short of a professional data recovery company will help.
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FrakAuthor Commented:
Hi Strung,

Interesting solution to be certain. I rechecked the drive and I cant hear it spinning. Further to this, I did connect it to another Mac in target mode and the laptop doesnt even show. No diagnostic disk can read it, it is as though it didnt exist.This is very mysterious since it was working perfectly well until that ill fated restart.

Do you think I should bring it in to the garage and have a mechanic take a look at it?

Frak
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strungCommented:
Try DataRescue first. You can download a free demo from the link above. The free demo will give you a list of recoverable files and allow you to recover one file without payment, just to demonstrate it works. If you are satisfied it works, you can then pay for a key to unlock the full function.

If you still can't see the disk, you could try removing it from the computer and putting it into an external USB case to see if it is then readable. (I.e. problem may be the computer, not the drive.)
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splaitCommented:
I agree.  (I usually agree with strung!)  

Don't forget my troubleshooting advice above, though.  If DataRescue doesn't help, try putting another drive in the Mac and see if it is recognized.  That way, you isolate the problem to the old drive if the new one is seen.
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FrakAuthor Commented:
Okay Strung & Splait,

Ive ordered the software and will give it a go. Ill let you know how it turns out.

Cheers... and Happy New Year too!

Frak
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splaitCommented:
Same to you, and you, too, strung!
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jazzIIIloveCommented:
strung
I have been following this thread, I have a USB portable disk that I cannot recover with any 3rd party yet. I have connect it as a slave to my machine and boot the machine with bootable knoppix, yet it is not recognized and I hear the spinning too. So, this means with Datarescue I can rescue my disk?

Best regards.
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strungCommented:
It is worth a try. DataRescue almost always will work if the drive spins. Since the demo is free, you have nothing to lose by trying it. You have to run it from a Mac, though.
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FrakAuthor Commented:
Hello again Strung & Splait,

I downloaded the demo and ran it. The laptop is connected via Firewire to my main Mac G5 in target mode, but the MacBook doesnt appear either on the desktop, on the drive list of Disk Utilities and Data Rescue doesnt pick it up either.

However, I did pay attention closely and the MacBook does a faint clicking sound after I pressed the power button. But the screen remains grey and the system doesnt boot up. Also, once its started, the fan starts to spin full blast. Its the only thing spinning though...

Please advise.

Frak
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FrakAuthor Commented:
I forgot to mention... when I press the power button while the computer is on, it shuts down instantaniously.

Frak
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splaitCommented:
I have no more ideas here beyond what I've already said.  I will monitor your thread, in case there's anything else I can add, but right now, I can be no help.

Hopefully, @strung can lead you to the treasure!
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FrakAuthor Commented:
FYI

I brought the MacBook to an Apple Service Center. The expert on duty told me the HD was defective and had to be replaced.

Frak
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