Yesterday I left off where I had just bought a new hard drive and an enclosure for the old hard drive (to see if I could salvage any of the old data). I was able to get the new hard drive working in the computer, which confirmed that the hard drive was the problem. As an FYI to anyone replacing a Macbook hard drive the hard drive caddy uses a Torx T-8 screw driver. I found this out AFTER I got home after buying the hard drive I realized I couldn’t put it in until I bought one of these suckers. At first I didn’t even know the name of the pattern, but now I know any star-shaped pattern on a screw is known as “Torx.” Once again google came to the rescue. I called Radio Shack to see if they sold it, but the guy on the phone said “no,” though he sounded confused when I asked (probably because he didn’t know) … So I went to Home Depot and bought a Torx precision kit for 5 bucks.
Installing the hard drive was straightforward. I have to give Apple credit for making the swap easy (however, I don’t know if the Torx choice was a good choice). Anyway, after getting the drive and new OS installed I turned my attention to trying to get the data off the old drive.
I hooked up my old drive to a Thermaltake Black Widow hard drive dock I bought from Best Buy. It’s pretty handy for plugging in hard drives without the hassle and fuss of a regular enclosure where you have to unscrew and screw things back together. With this dock you just plug it in like you would an iPod. I plugged it in and fired up the only disk utility I knew of, Disk Utility. When I first plugged in the hard drive I got an error message which said the drive isn’t readable (not a good sign). But, luckily, when I ran Disk Utility the drive showed up. I clicked the repair disk option and it started doing it’s repair magic. While it was doing this it was making some god afwul noises–clicking, screetching, beeping. Good sign, right?? Unfortunately, things went downhill from there…I got an error message which said it couldn’t fix it. Hmmm…what to do now?
Back to google. Since things weren’t looking good I decided to look into data recovery companies. I have heard these companies were expensive, but I wasn’t sure how much exactly. I looked for a Southern California based company and found one called OC Data Recovery. According to their website they’ve been in the business since 1999, which means they got to be good… I called them to just get an idea of prices. Turns out the minium price is anywhere from $1000 to $1500, but could be even more depending on how severe the problem. I don’t have that kind of money so I politely declined. Back to the drawing board.
I then decided to look into other programs that can do data recovery and that’s when I came across a software program called Disk Warrior. I read their reviews on Amazon and Macworld and it was really positive. Macworld’s conclusion “Time-honored disk maintenance and repair tool stays essential.” I decided to give them a try. I went to their website and purchased the software for a hundred bucks. I figured it was worth a shot since I was running out of other doors to try. The purchase, download, and install were straight forward. The moment of truth had arrive…woudn’t it be able to fix my ailing hard drive. I ran the program and it looked like it was running, but midway this showed up:
Nuts! Things were looking hopeless. On a whim I sent them an email yesterday like the error message told me to do. This morning when I checked my email I didn’t get a reply. I decided to call them instead. I got a voicemail box and left a voice message thinking it was a lost cause. To my surprise the called me a few hours later. Jason actually called me and told me to do some extra things… like send him my console and system logs, put in some extra secret codes they have installed in the program, etc.. He started helping me through iChat and we left off with him saying that he might need to rebuild the journal for the hard drive by hand since the Apple Disk Utility might have screwed it up. I’m not a hundred percent sure what that means, but it means some glimmer of hope. We’re going to reconnect tomorrow and see if it can work. My fingers are crossed.
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