Hard Drive Issues on a Mac – A Rarity, but a Pain Nonetheless Earlier this week I received a call from a local business client who was having problems publishing a self-maintained website for their store. Although my service call began with troubleshooting a problematic website, the situation promptly escalated to showing symptoms of a serious hardware issue. At first it seemed like the Macbook Pro owner’s issues were purely related to iWeb and needing to be properly configured for their web hosting account.
It wasn’t long before I discovered that her Mac was having issues accessing files from its hard drive. And that’s when it happened Upon a system restart, the Mac would not boot past the initial gray screen with Apple logo, spinning wheel and frozen progress bar. It was quite obvious the computer was not successfully accessing its operating system files but it was too early yet to be sure whether it was due to mechanical issues with the hard drive or motherboard, missing or corrupted files stored on the hard drive. I was going to have to narrow it down before making a diagnosis that could cost the client unnecessary data loss, expenses for hardware or labor. I would suggest the following steps that I tried prior to assuming a hard drive failure: 1.
- The Media Access Control (MAC) address is a binary number used to uniquely identify computer network adapters. These numbers (sometimes called 'hardware addresses' or 'physical addresses') are embedded into the network hardware during the manufacturing process, or stored in firmware, and designed to.
- Is there an official fix in the works thru multibeast / chimera etc? Is one even possible? This issue appears to be popping up like crazy over the last few versions.
Attempt to repair your system drive using Disk Utility. Obviously if you are stuck at the gray screen of agony, booting past it isn’t an option. But you can boot from your system disc labeled Mac OS Install DVD. To do so, pop it into your optical drive and hold the Alt/Option key while you power up the computer. Keep holding it til you see your boot drive options and then click the Mac OS Install DVD to boot from it. Once past the language selection, you can access utilities from the top menu.
Over the past week, MacRumors has seen an increasing number of devices from Apple's networks and in general that are identifying themselves as running iOS 8.1.3, likely another bug fix update.
Disk Utility is the one you want. When it opens, click on your hard drive in the left column sidebar and the click Verify Disk followed by Repair Disk under First Aid. If your computer completes its process, then it might just be your lucky day.
You should now initiate a normal restart to see if your problem has been resolved. But if your situation is like mine, you might get failures indicating the hard drive is unreadable.
Pass go, but do not collect $200. If you DON’T have a Mac OS install DVD OR you DO have access to another Mac and a firewire cable, try booting in Target Disk Mode.
This is when you boot your afflicted machine as though it was an external drive to a healthy Mac. To do so, first turn on your sick Mac while holding down the T key and you will see a gray screen with a large occasionally moving Firewire logo. You can now connect the two computers via firewire cable and boot the healthy computer while holding the Alt/Option key as described above. Your sickly computer’s hard drive in target disk mode should appear as a boot option on your healthy computer. Choose it and proceed. If you are able to boot to it successfully, you can try again to run Disk Utility from Applications-Utilities and to verify/repair the hard drive. If this works without a hitch, again try and reboot your computer normally to see if your problem has been solved.
If not, keep reading. This option is the one that surprisingly worked for me: Boot into Mac Safe Mode while showing its progress in a command line UI. Your Mac will automatically attempt some more gloves-come-off disk repair measures when you boot into safe mode.
To start up into standard Safe Mode (to Safe Boot), do this:. Be sure your Mac is shut down. Press the power button. 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. Release the Shift key when you see the gray Apple icon and the progress indicator (looks like a spinning gear). To start up into Safe Mode with display of the progress in a command line UI, do the same as above EXCEPT hold the Command and V keys along with Shift.
In my case this process worked and I was able to boot into safe mode with the affected computer. You can now restart the computer as normal and you will likely be able to boot now, possibly after a brief progress bar display during bootup. If this works for you, you should still be concerned! Even though your computer is working seemingly normally, you should consider yourself blessed (I don’t do luck). If you’ve found my advice helpful so far, heed my next directive: use your extra life to immediately make an entire Time Machine backup onto a reliable clean external hard drive. You will need this if/when your hard drive crashes if you want to recover your documents and/or applications. If none of the above worked for you, it may be time to bring out the big guns if you really need to save your data.
Try an advanced data recovery software such as DiskWarrior or Disk Drill. Short of sending your hard drive to an expensive data recovery specialist, this might be your last resort for a DIY fix. These solutions may require you to remove your hard drive, use a live boot cd or target disk mode. You should refer to their respective developer’s website for a thorough outline of the process. In Conclusion and in Summary In any case, there is a reason your hard drive is having these issues.
Replacing your hard drive very soon should be your plan especially if you have a hard drive more than 3 years old and you don’t have a strong hunch that you caused your own issue in any way. My Recommended Hard Drive Purchase to Fix or Upgrade Your Macbook I recommend Seagate Momentus 7200 RPM hard drives and I use them in my own and client’s machines. Replacing my original Hitachi hard drive (which had incidentally NOT failed, but was critically full at only 160GB) truly breathed new life into my Macbook Pro.
Any Fix In The Works For Macbook Pro
Not only did it provide tons more storage space for me, but the 7200RPM performance and larger 16MB cache has greater responsiveness and performance. (The one that I chose for my 2007 Macbook Pro). Did this article help you? Want to say thanks?
How to make the MacBook Air SuperDrive work with any Mac Note: for Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan and later, instead. (Edited/clarified Nov. 2013, Jan 2015 and June 2016) The story is this – a while ago I replaced the built-in optical disk drive in my MacBook Pro 17″ by an (in the meantime, there are also ) which allows to connect a second harddrive, or in my case, a SSD. To be able to continue using the SuperDrive (Apple’s name for the CD/DVD read/write drive), the Optibay came with an external USB case which worked fine, but was ugly.
And I didn’t want to carry that around, so I left it at home and bought a shiny new (by 2012, Apple USB SuperDrive) for the office. It just didn’t occur to me that this thing could possibly not just work with any Mac, so I didn’t even ask before buying. I knew that many third-party USB optical drives work fine, so I just assumed that would be the same for the Apple drive. But I had to learn otherwise. This drive only works for Macs which, in their original form, do not have an optical drive. At this point, I started to search the net, finding hints, disassembling Mac OS X USB drivers and finally patching code in a hex editor which was the first, but ugly, solution to make the superdrive work, and gave me the information to eventually find the second, much nicer solution presented below. For those interested in the nitfy details of disassembling and hex code patching, the first approach is still.
For actually making the SuperDrive work in clean and easy way, just read on (but note: while it has proven to be a quite safe method, still you’ll be doing this entirely on your own risk! Using sudo and editing system files incorrectly can damage things severely!). Apparently, Apple engineers had the need to test the superdrive with non-MacBookAir computers themselves, so the driver already has an option built-in to work on officially unsupported machines! All you need to do is enable that option, as follows: The driver recognizes a boot parameter named “mbasd” (Mac Book Air Super Drive), which sets a flag in the driver which both overrides the check for the MBA and also tweaks something related to USB power management (the superdrive probably needs more power than regular USB allows). Dave Kinskey says It didn’t work for me in Yosemite OS X 10.10.2. I just installed a second hard drive in my mid-2009 MacBook Pro 15″, 2.53 ghz, using the Other World Computing “Data Doubler” adapter in the space where the Superdrive had been, and put the Superdrive in an external case, the “OWC Value LIne SuperSlim”. I used Text Wrangler to change the file at /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.Boot.plist to include the code “mbasd=1” as outlined in your blog. After restarting and opening DVD player, I still got the error message from DVD Player that a valid DVD drive could not be found.
Here is the code I have in the com.apple.Boot.plist file. The indents on two lines were in the original file.
Kernel Flags mbasd=1. Dave Kinskey says GREAT NEWS! I found a solution that worked for my Superdrive in the external case. After applying the fix you suggested, which did not work by itself, I left the file at /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.Boot.plist with the code “mbasd=1″ included. Then I used the fix on this page: The fix requires modification of some code embedded into OS X’s DVDPlayback framework; essentially replacing the words “internal” with “external”. Now my external Superdrive plays movies using DVD Player.
Dave Kinskey says IMPORTANT: I forgot one step in my last post, and the first step might be necessary. Here are the complete steps I used. — External SuperDrive DVD player fix – SOLVED! This solution worked for my Superdrive, which I had installed in a USB external case, so now it can play movies using Apples DVD Player App, but additional steps may be needed, as I outline below. I had removed the SuperDrive from my mid-2009 Macbook Pro 15″ 2.53 ghz to install a second hard drive with Other World Computing’s “Data Doubler” adapter, and mounted the SuperDrive in an OWC Value Line SuperSlim external case. I don’t know if the two steps below are necessary, but I had done them before applying the fix you suggested, because other suggested them as fixes. 1) I installed Apple’s SuperDrive Firmware Update 3.0, which is on Apple’s support site at 2) Then I applied a fix on this page, using Text Wrangler to edit the preference file at /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.Boot.plist by adding code mbasd=1 between the two string values.
However, that still did not resolve the problem. I left the preference file with the code “mbasd=1″ included, as outlined on that site. 3) Then, I used the fix at which requires modification of some code embedded into OS X’s DVDPlayback framework; essentially replacing the words “internal” with “external” YIPPEE!
Now my external Superdrive plays movies using DVD Player. Jo-Ann Giorshev says I had an interesting discovery with this command. First of all, it worked great, superdrive works.
However, it also might have fixed my previously non working internal optical drive on my mid 2009 macbook pro! It had been broken for a while (the physical arm blocking disks from entering the drive, persisting after resets, etc.) However, after staying broken for many months, it now works!
Recently, I did the Yosemite upgrade, and then today ran this command. One or the other has fixed my drive, I didn’t test the drive in between.
Could it have been because of this.plist edit? If so, you should publicize that! Joe4444 says I just want to add my thanks for this fix! I have almost zero need for an optical drive so I didn’t care when I realized mine was dead, but my girlfriend was really bummed when hers died because she imports music CDs to iTunes almost every week. She bought the external Apple SuperDrive only to find out it didn’t work on her Aluminum MacBook5,1. When she took it to the Apple techs at the store where she bought it, THEN they said, “Sorry, it doesn’t work in any Mac with a built-in optical drive.” Luckily they let her return it. Not long after that her hard drive crashed, and I really wanted to set up a dual drive with SSD for her main drive and HDD in the optical bay for Time Machine so we could avoid the troublesome data recovery process if one day the new drive crashes.
However, she really wants an optical drive. How happy I was to find this blog! In case anyone is wondering, here is what I’ve tested Girlfriend’s Aluminum MacBook5,1 running Snow Leopard 10.6.8: – the plist edit trick to add mbasd=1 works! – the nvram boot-args=”mbasd=1″ trick also works!
My White MacBook3,1 also running Snow Leopard 10.6.8: – the plist edit trick to add mbasd=1 works! – the nvram boot-args=”mbasd=1″ trick also works! On both systems, with either trick I was able to read a data CD, play an audio CD, import the audio to MP3 in iTunesAND play a DVD automatically after inserting the disc using the OS X DVD Player software. I also tested DVD playback in VLC on my White MacBook, and it works as well. Luz says Your.plist was apparently converted to the binary format by trim enabler, that’s why it looks like (mostly) garbage.
It is not possible to edit this with a regular text editor – even if you insert text seemingly at the right place as you did, the result will not be a valid binary plist any more. I just found that there’s a command line utility named plutil which can convert the plist back to XML, so I updated the post and added a step that makes sure the file gets converted to XML before editing. Please try that and check if the result looks as it should.
Any Fix In The Works For Macbook
If not, the direct editing in the binary file has probably damaged the file, in that case I’d recommend to just recreate it new as shown in the post. Jerm says Awesome! MacBook Pro 2,2 15″ Radeon 4850 HD 10.6.8 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM Replaced malfunctioning stock superdrive in Jan 2014 with SSD (swapped HDD into superdrive bay and placed SSD in original HD bay.) Put system files on SSD, documents on HDD. Recently, I’ve been getting kernal panic attacks, and now have the following error messages in disk verification: Invalid volume file count Invalid volume directory count The volume Engineering was found corrupt and needs to be repaired.
Error: This disk needs to be repaired. Start up your computer with another disk (such as your Mac OS X installation disc), and then use Disk Utility to repair this disk.
No superdrive. So I bought one, and exactly like you posted above, it never dawned on me that it wouldn’t work. Thank you for the fix! BoD Now I hope the Snow Leopard disk utility will help me fix the SSD before I upgrade to Lion.
Any Fix In The Works For Mac
The last upgrade for this puppy. (Obsolete my ass! Works better than my late 2009 27″ iMac with 12 Gigs RAM.). Jerm says I should have mentioned Oct.
The drive is recognized, and so is the install disk. But when I reboot with alt/option depressed, I get the gray screen circle slash do not enter sign and spinning wheel. Research says it’s a peripheral. My only peripheral, the Superdrive. EFI Firmware says 1.4, but when I try to install 1.8 or 3.0, both installers say I don’t need either update.
So I can’t access the Snow Leopard white install disk’s disk utility using reboot and alt/option. I can access it upon normal boot, but disk utility that way just forces me to reboot, and into the same gray screen spinning wheel access denied loop at startup. I’m ready to purge all and fresh install.