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iBook dead - hard drive failure suspected


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iBook dead - hard drive failure suspected
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fiddler
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2004-09-05, 03:48

So I've got a 12 inch 900 mhz iBook that's served me wonderfully for the past year. The warantee has just recently expired (something like 1-2 weeks). I come home yesterday to my iBook which had been running all day to find that it's running exceptionally slowly. There seemed to be a ticking sound coming from the left side, not a good sign. Mind you, I had heard this sound previously, but (perhaps stupidly) chose to dismiss it.

I boot with my OS X install disk, run Disk Utility's disk repair... and it fails. I try Disk Warrior, and it seemed to work, but the hadrware test indicates that the Toshiba drive's SMART status reports impending failure. Uh oh. I boot into the hard drive again, and although it is again very very slow, it manages to boot somewhat normally. I download Carbon Copy Cloner and try to copy over everything to my external drive. Partway through copying over my Applications folder, the progress bar stops. The hard drive starts making strange wheezing noises, as if it was trying to spin up, and failing.

Now, it won't even boot from the install CD. I hold down C, I see an apple for a few seconds, followed by a circle with a slash (you know, a no smoking sign without the cigarette). The hard drive makes a strange pulsating noise, kinda sounds like "errr..errr.....errr..errrr.....".

Is there any hope of salvaging even some of my data? All of my vacation pics that I took with my digital camera are (were?) on there, and the camera's memory card was erased to make room.... I really wanted those pictures.

Any chance that Toshiba might offer a warantee replacement? My instinct says no, but I'd be glad if it was wrong. I have no problem with installing the drive myself. I battled a messier hardware problem recently with a Blueberry iMac (look up iMac Resurrected on Google) so I think I'll be able to manage this. If it boils down to me having to buy a new drive (which I fear is the strongest possibility at this point), which drives are recommended? 40 gigs is sufficient - I've got a 160 gig external for big stuff.

Thanks in advance.
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usurp
High Monarch of MacDebate
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Kuwait
 
2004-09-05, 03:53

well if its a harddrive failure then you are lucky, because the most common failure is the logicboard and thats big bucks.

if it is the harddrive then most of the data should be recoverable by proffesionals. I dont know if the apple service center has basic recovery but if the stuff is really imporant that are companies who you could send your harddisk to and they will recover the data for u. check the back pages of macaddict and macworld.

portable: MacBook 2.4Ghz, 2GB RAM, 250GB HD | personal: PowerMac G5 dual 2.3ghz, 6GB RAM, 6TB HD | work: MacBook Pro 2.5ghz, 2GB RAM, 160GB HD | car: Alpine iDA-W407 with black iPod 80GB | pocket: iPhone 3GS with Ultimate Ears Super.fi 5 Pro's
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fiddler
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2004-09-05, 03:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by usurp
well if its a harddrive failure then you are lucky, because the most common failure is the logicboard and thats big bucks.
On the contrary, I'm kinda hoping it's the logic board, because my iBook falls into the Logic Board Extended Repair Program. This way, my Mac would be fixed for free, and I won't suffer from data loss. However none of my symptoms seem to indicate logic board failure, does it?
http://www.apple.com/support/ibook/faq/
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usurp
High Monarch of MacDebate
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Kuwait
 
2004-09-05, 07:45

yeah u r right for sure, the data is more important then the logic board. but since you live in the states you have a lot of resources around you that would be able to recover the data. here in kuwait we dont have any facility like that.

the ticking sound is what gives it away as a harddrive failure. The reason i say that is i have had 2 hard drive crashes at the office and both drives ticked before they died and tick now when plugged in.

since then i have become paranoid and recently purchased a External Exabyte Firewire VXA-1 drive from ebay to back up the important date on my mac at home (emails, home folder, etc..) Original price of drive on exabyte.com.. $1099, price i paid on ebay.. $160 with 2 33/66GB tapes.

my advice for anyone reading this thread is to invest in a backup drive. your infomation should be worth more then 200$ but many people only realize that after they lose there precious files.

I chose exabyte because there tapes will virtually last for decades and you can freeze the tapes, dump them in boiling coffee and you would still be able to read the data off the tapes.

There are currently a bunch of firewire VXA-1 drives for sale on ebay. Just do a search for VXA.

for more info on the drive go to www.exabyte.com
or here for the drive i am taking about
http://exabyte.com/products/products...ith%20FireWire

portable: MacBook 2.4Ghz, 2GB RAM, 250GB HD | personal: PowerMac G5 dual 2.3ghz, 6GB RAM, 6TB HD | work: MacBook Pro 2.5ghz, 2GB RAM, 160GB HD | car: Alpine iDA-W407 with black iPod 80GB | pocket: iPhone 3GS with Ultimate Ears Super.fi 5 Pro's
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fiddler
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2004-10-12, 05:04

Here's a funny update to the story:

So just over a month after the death of the hard drive (I hadn't bothered to try to fix it or put in a new drive yet), I decided to see if maybe a month's holiday would have been enough to fix the un-bootable drive. I hit the power button-- nada, same ol' "trying to spin up" sort of noise. In a brilliant flash of inspiration I whacked the iBook's palmrest, precisely where the hard drive is located.

*whirrrrrrrr....*

OMG. You cannot be serious.

As a result I've been able to recover my vacation photos and important documents... etc etc, and copy them over to my external HDD. The drive's SMART status still says that failure is imminent, so I'm not especially hopeful about how long this will last.

At least I have my photos now...
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Dave
Ninja Editor
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Bay Area, CA
 
2004-10-13, 03:54

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddler
Here's a funny update to the story:

So just over a month after the death of the hard drive (I hadn't bothered to try to fix it or put in a new drive yet), I decided to see if maybe a month's holiday would have been enough to fix the un-bootable drive. I hit the power button-- nada, same ol' "trying to spin up" sort of noise. In a brilliant flash of inspiration I whacked the iBook's palmrest, precisely where the hard drive is located.

*whirrrrrrrr....*

OMG. You cannot be serious.

As a result I've been able to recover my vacation photos and important documents... etc etc, and copy them over to my external HDD. The drive's SMART status still says that failure is imminent, so I'm not especially hopeful about how long this will last.

At least I have my photos now...
Hehe, I've heard of that trick before. It usually works once (twice if you're lucky), and then the drive never spins up again.
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Stone Of Love
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Detroit City is the place to be...maddog town gonna set you free
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2004-10-13, 10:10

I would send it in anyway! You situation sounds alot like what happend to me and my iBook back in April. But back then, my iBook wasn't eligible for the "recall". So I had a third party put in a new logic board and HD. 8 months of email gone.....such is life.

My iBook is now eligible, but Apple won't pay for the repairs cuz they didn't perform the work!

Love my Mac, but gotta wonder about that customer support!

Different Strokes, for Different Folks.
And So On and So On, and Skoobie Doobie Doobie.
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fiddler
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2004-10-13, 10:13

It's most certainly a hard drive failure though. That's the one thing that worries me about going in to change the hard drive myself-- if the logic board fails, I might be SOL, just because I opened the case myself.

BTW, I've rebooted the iBook several times so far and everything seems to be going ok.

Knock on wood...
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NosferaDrew
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Los Angeles
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2004-10-13, 11:27

My HD failed in my 12" PowerBook (I dropped it off a table).

I didn't have AppleCare (wouldn't be covered anyway), so I opened it up and replaced the HD. Once I put it all together, it wouldn't fully reboot.
Heard the startup chime and the fan immediately came on, but nothing else.

I need to go back in and attempt it again, but I have a stuck/stripped screw that's impeding my progress.

It's really tough to get in and out of those little machines, but I can be done.
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Stone Of Love
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Detroit City is the place to be...maddog town gonna set you free
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2004-10-13, 11:47

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddler
It's most certainly a hard drive failure though.

Just to quote the guy who fixed mine, and this was before I knew about the recall....."the HD crashed the logic board, or the logic board crashed the HD, there is no way to tell"

If it works...and you are backed up...well, then I guess wait and see. But since this recall is happening, I gotta think this is whats at the root of your problem. I got lucky! I had replaced my 20gig HD less than a year earlier with a 60 gig, so that was covered. Only had to pay for the logic board and shipping. About $300. I still think Apple should be paying for this, but what can a guy do??

Different Strokes, for Different Folks.
And So On and So On, and Skoobie Doobie Doobie.
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stickydick
 
 
2005-04-18, 12:48

Curses. This happened to mine too, about a month after the warranty expired. $400? Jeez. I wonder how hard it is to install the HD yourself? I have done it several times on a PC (tower) but I am not sure what would be compatible with the iBook G4 or if it would be possible. Any recommendations on models, tips with install?
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WBG4
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA CPSU
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2005-04-18, 16:19

Macsales.com will be able to tell you what drive would fit. I don't think it it too horribly hard, but it is not a job for a rookie. If you have a fair amount of hardware experience you'll probably be fine.

Comic sans sucks.
That is all
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stickydick
 
 
2005-04-27, 05:51

Hey, thanks for the info. I got a great HD from macsales, bigger and faster than the stock drive and although I am a rookie, with some help from online guides (acceler8yourmac.com) I was able to install it with no problems. I did have 3 extra screws left over though...! (I think I could save apple money...35 screws to take the top off? Certainly felt like that!) Anyway, all happy.
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