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Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4770
Experience:  Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
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Customer Question

my macbook air had been recently quitting applications for no reason as this problem gradually progressed happening more frequently my macbook air then began suddenly shutting down for no reason. Then all of a sudden when I would turn it back on, it would either only come on for a second and then shut down or not turn on at all. I read and followed the instructions below:
1. Be sure your Mac is shut down.
2. Press the power button.
3. Immediately after you hear the startup tone, hold the Shift key. The Shift key should be held as soon as possible after the startup tone, but not before the tone.
4. Release the Shift key when you see the gray Apple icon and the progress indicator (looks like a spinning gear).
..........but it instantly shut down again. Then I tried to start it up by holding down the command and R keys until it finally did start up in OS X Utilities mode. I tried to verify the HD disk but it said it needed to be repaired so I clicked on the repair option and it went about repairing the disk, or so I thought. Then it said on the screen; "that the HD was corrupt and couldn't be repaired so I would have to backup as many of my files as possible, reformat the disk and then restore my backed up files. How in the hell do I do that?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Daniel replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name is Dan.
I will do my best to help you, the only stupid question is the unasked one.

Good diagnostics, do you have another Mac computer with an optical drive or an external optical drive (DVD drive)?
I ask because it will be very handy for what follows.

I use a utility that picks up where Disk Utility leaves off called Disk Warrior, it can repair drives that DU cannot.
Another one that works well is TechTool Pro
Both can boot your Mac and are about $100 each and worth every penny.

The reason for the DVD is to boot from it to do repairs, the MBA is started in Target mode, connected to the other Mac via Firewire or, in some cases, USB.
The utility is used to either repair the disk or the host Mac can be uses to install OSX on the MBA. The MBA is treated as an external hard drive.

Once that is done backing up is paramount because it may not hold.
That is a partial answer, please look it over and let me know.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes I have a G5 desktop MAC


Expert:  Daniel replied 3 years ago.
That will work providing you have a Thunderbolt to firewire, then you may also need a firewire 800 to 400 adaptor.

And Disk Warrior, it will be a good tool to have for any and all Macs.
The only thing is that the OS that is on the G5 will not run on the MBA, it can be used for repairing the MBA, however.