Apr 162007

The hard drive in Sarah’s iMac has apparently failed quite thoroughly. For the past few months, her computer was strangely laggy, but we couldn’t figure out why. Tests all passed fine and so forth.

Then some occasional crashes started. We did disk repairs, no huge issues.

Then just before my trip to California last week, the computer locked up, and when Sarah tried to reboot it, it wouldn’t. So I mounted it using target disk mode, ran DiskWarrior on it, and fixed a number of problems.

After that it booted again. Once. Locked up about 20 minutes later. Once again, wouldn’t boot.

So then I ran TechTool Pro off its boot DVD and ran that. It found a large number of sector errors on the hard drive. At that point, we booted back up in target disk mode and started copying files off it.

Then we made our critical mistake: we shut off the computer for the night because in target disk mode it’s incredibly loud. That was the last time the drive was ever accessible. Now none of our disk utilities can even find the disk, either booted directly on the iMac or using target disk mode.

Apple has sent us a new hard drive; it’s sitting on the kitchen counter. I’ll be installing it later tonight. Then comes the joy of reinstalling Mac OS X, all Sarah’s software, and so forth.

Of course, the other problem is getting Sarah’s data back. She didn’t have any current backups, unfortunately. I’ve ordered an SATA enclosure to put the old drive into so I can continue trying to recover Sarah’s data. I don’t know how well that will go but it’s worth a try.

 Posted by at 2:35 PM