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Ask Michelle Your Own Question

Michelle
Michelle, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 729
Experience:  Apple Computers and Mobile support with 10 years of exp.
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My macbook will not boot

Resolved Question:

My macbook will not boot
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Michelle replied 1 year ago.

Appleologist :

Hi, and welcome to JustAnswer! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am excited to get started with you.

To determine if your issue is hardware or software related, I will need additional information from you. Do you know what operating system you are running?

Customer:

I think it is Snow leapoard

Customer:

but I'm not sure

Appleologist :

Do you have the install disk?

Customer:

yes

Customer:

let me get it

Appleologist :

Great.

Customer:

got it

Appleologist :

Insert the CD into your computer. Then restart your computer while pressing and holding the option key

Customer:

Mac OS X snow Leopard

Appleologist :

You will then see a picture of the CD, click on it

Customer:

clicked

Appleologist :

Ok now it will load to the install screen. Once it loads choose english as your language

Customer:

i see and apple and the disc is operating

Customer:

I see the icon spinning

Appleologist :

Ok so it is booting up

Customer:

use english

Appleologist :

Yes

Customer:

preparing installation

Appleologist :

Do you see Utilities in the upper menu?

Customer:

yes

Appleologist :

Click on utilities and then choose disk utility

Appleologist :

This will allow us to check your hard drive

Customer:

the screen says to repair you disc

Customer:

pressed

Appleologist :

Click on Macintosh HD in the left column and then choose verify disk

Customer:

where would that be?

Appleologist :

Do you see macintosh HD in the left column?

Customer:

the screen says "select a disk,volume, or image

Customer:

I see Disc utility

Appleologist :

Yes but in the left column, you should see listed volumes

Full Size Image

Customer:

file edit images window

Customer:

I see 160.04 GB Toshiba

Appleologist :

Does your screen look like this?

Full Size Image

Customer:

Not exactly

Appleologist :

If you do not see macintosh HD, it looks like your computer lost its partition. Do you have a backup?

Customer:

no

Customer:

I pick the machine up by the corner and it rebooted

Appleologist :

From what you are describing, it sounds like your computer is not booting due to a hard drive failure. We may be able to try to re-partiion the hard drive, but it will erase everything

Customer:

oh brother

Appleologist :

Im sorry. Would you like to try to re-partion it?

Customer:

I pressed the 160.04 screen and have a screen that says repair disc

Appleologist :

Ok, Do you see verify disk?

Customer:

i shows a micoscope ?

Appleologist :

You are looking at the top. Look at the bottom right corner

Customer:

It shows a microscope icon?

Customer:

yes

Customer:

I see it

Appleologist :

Ok click on that verify disk button

Customer:

pressed

Appleologist :

Ok, let me know what it says when it is done

Customer:

verifying volume

Customer:

invalid key length

Customer:

click repair disc

Appleologist :

Ok, choose repair

Customer:

pressed

Appleologist :

Let me know what it says

Customer:

it says disc utility cannot repair

Appleologist :

Im sorry, it does sound like the internal hard drive needs to be replaced.

Customer:

back up as many of your files as possible,reformat disc

Customer:

ok how do I back up my files

Appleologist :

From what you are describing, it may even be too late to backup files because the partition is lost. The partition is where all of files are stored. Look at the illustration. You are suppose to see Two hard drive. The actual hard drive which displays the size of the drive and then macintosh HD which is the partition

Full Size Image

Customer:

I have a Toshiba and below a Matshita

Customer:

I just plugged in my backup unit

Customer:

its a passport

Appleologist :

Yes but it does not say macintosh HD. Matshita is sounds like your Optical drive. Do you seeXXXXXlogos

Full Size Image

Customer:

WD Smart ware

Customer:

yes

Appleologist :

What does the second hard drive logo say

Customer:

it does not

Appleologist :

So then you only have one hard drive logo?

Customer:

the top is the 160.04 GB Toshiba MK 165

Customer:

I have 2 logos but only one with a descroption

Appleologist :

Are you chatting from another mac?

Customer:

yes

Appleologist :

What year is the troubled macbook?

Customer:

It's about 8 years old

Appleologist :

So it is white?

Customer:

yes

Appleologist :

Do you have a firewire cable?

Customer:

Sorry what is a firewall cable?

Appleologist :

A fire wire cable is used to connect two machines together to transfer data. Some external hard drives even come with fire wire cables. It looks like this

Full Size Image

Customer:

No but I do have a passport back up disc

Customer:

will this work?

Appleologist :

No im sorry. The passport is only used to backup information from your mac onto your passport incase of hard drive failures. Do you know if by any chance you have a time machine backup?

Customer:

I think so

Customer:

how would I be able to verify?

Appleologist :

Ok lets check. Plug your passport into the computer you are chatting from now

Customer:

plugged

Appleologist :

Open your finder window. Your passport will show up under devices in the left column

Customer:

yes it does WD Smartware & my passport

Appleologist :

Ok, click on it to see its contents. Do you see a Backup folder inside?

Customer:

Backup/backups

Appleologist :

Awesome. Now click on that folder, they should be arranged by dates

Customer:

WD smart backups

Customer:

WD samrt ware

Customer:

Jan 8

Appleologist :

Click on Jan 8. What do you see

Customer:

A series of dates

Appleologist :

what is the latest date?

Customer:

I guess my last backup date was on 12/24/2012

Appleologist :

Click on the 12/24/2012 folder. What is inside that folder?

Customer:

documents, mail,music etc

Appleologist :

Click on the documents folder. Do any of the documents look familiar?

Customer:

No

Customer:

I'm gonna shoot this thing

Appleologist :

It does not sounds like you were backing up using Time machine which came with your mac. It sounds like Western Digitals (WD) own backup system

Appleologist :

Did you look through other files within the folder to see if you recognize anything?

Customer:

no

Appleologist :

Ok, you have a few options. Either way, you will need to replace your hard drive
1. Attempt to reformat your hard drive which wipes everything off
2. If another computer can see the failing hard drive, you can purchase cables to connect the two (which I can explain if you choose this option
3. You can use data recovery. The software option may not work in your situation so you may need to take it to a data recovery specialist ( which I can recommend if you choose)
4. Replace your hard drive and start fresh

Customer:

Ok, sounds like a new hard drive

Customer:

I would like to recover whatever I can before doing that

Customer:

is that possible?

Appleologist :

It depends on the state of the hard drive. You can first try to connect the troubled mac to your new one. The mac does not currently recognize the hard drive. However it is possible when connected, the other computer will recognize it. If that does not work, you will need to still replace the hard drive but you will need to take the old hard drive in for data recovery

Customer:

Got it

Customer:

Sounds like a trip to the apple store

Appleologist :

Yes, make sure you tell them that you are interested in recovering data. They have what is called a hard drive sled. What that does is allows the tech to connect your old hard drive to the new hard drive. If it mounts, then data recovery is possible

Appleologist :

I wish you the best of luck with this process. Hard drive failures are no fun. I too had to learn the hard way. Make sure when you get your hard drive replaced. Enable time machine on your computer. This will backup your documents daily incase another hard drive issue occurs

Customer:

Ok how do I make an appoinment at the Danbury CT store?

Appleologist :

Here is the link. It will open up in a new window. http://concierge.apple.com/reservation/us/en/

Customer:

Thank you

Appleologist :

You are very welcome. Best of luck

Customer:

Thanks. Just made the appintment.

Customer:

Thanks agian. Good bye

Appleologist :

Awesome. Make sure you bring your WD hard drive too. You are welcome

Customer:

will do

Customer:

Bye Bye

Appleologist :

Take care :)

Customer:

do I just leave the page?

Appleologist :

You can now go ahead and rate my service and end the Chat.

Michelle, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 729
Experience: Apple Computers and Mobile support with 10 years of exp.
Michelle and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you

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