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ok so i got this message from a old friend of mine, and i am not by any means an expert on macs, so i hope some one might be able to help. This is the message that i receved:

I was backing up my professor's hard drive (Macbook) to My Passport external hard drive. Everything appeared to be going fine and it said it was copying the data, but then it got "stuck" on "28 minutes remaining" for like half an hour (everything froze). So the Macbook was powered down and then restarted. Then we got the grey screen of death with the blinking folder/question mark. We removed everything connected to the computer and tried again. Same thing. I am absolutely freaking out. She called the repair person on campus, but I think at the moment he is dealing with something else. She (my professor) plugged in the external hard drive to her other computer, and at first it appeared that the folders were all there, but when she clicked on them, there wasn't anything under each folder.

I didn't totally erase all her data, did I?????? I am so worried that because of something I did (although I don't think I did anything wrong...unless copying all the folders at once was what caused it to crash). Will the data be able to be rescued? Is there any hope at all?!?!?!

that is all i know as of now. if you need more information i can see what i can get.

EDIT: is there a way to do a operating system repair on a mac, like there is for windows when you boot to the cd?

asked Aug 17 '10 at 22:26

trueb's gravatar image


edited Aug 18 '10 at 09:30

should have used vista

(Aug 19 '10 at 06:25) Tim Fontana Tim%20Fontana's gravatar image

Seems like something weird happened to the drive, not sure what caused it but I have had a similar problem in the past. I was backing up a laptop hard drive and then the transfer for some reason stopped (just refused to make progress), after that, I could not access the data in the drive.

I was able to fix the problem by running spinrite in level 5. http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm

Do any of your friends or workers at school have a copy that you can borrow or can you somehow get a copy to use. A level 5 scan will take around 18 hours but it works well.

PS file system types or partition types have no effect on spinrite, it supports everything.

answered Aug 17 '10 at 23:06

Razor512's gravatar image


edited Aug 17 '10 at 23:08

You can check the disk for permission problems and sector problems by going in to Disk Utility (Applications/Utilities/). Click the disk you want to check on the left menu. Make sure First Aid is selected, and click Verify Disk Permissions. If there are any problems, click Repair Disk Permissions. Then click Verify Disk, if there are problems, Click Repair disk. If this still fails to solve the problem, you may need more powerful software, or just cut your losses and reformat the disc.

answered Aug 18 '10 at 22:32

tyler785's gravatar image


ohh no! sorry about that mess. Well, you can trying googling up for mac recovery softwares. perhaps you land on a good one. Am only worried about your data my dear, it c'd be something so weird that happened to your HD like mentioned before. Also, i don't know if this will help you. Learn to have alternative backups. I use an online backup called safecopybackup. They keep deleted and old files forever. They give 3GB free trial that never expires. Good luck!

answered Aug 19 '10 at 05:28

Candra's gravatar image


edited Aug 19 '10 at 05:30

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Asked: Aug 17 '10 at 22:26

Seen: 2,160 times

Last updated: Aug 19 '10 at 06:25