Mac OS forum


Booting problem due to hard disk failure?

by vernonlouw / May 4, 2012 8:06 AM PDT

iMac 24', OS 10.6.2 Snow Leopard, was shut down during booting process, after which it would not boot beyond the apple logo and rotating disc.

I know very little about the technical aspects of computers, but tried to follow instructions from online forums.

Not able to boot in safe mode.
Not able to reset PRAM.
No change after SMC reset.
Loaded start-up disk, used disc utilities, verified disc, and attempted repair disk, with following message appearing:

Invalid sibling link
Rebuilding catalog-B tree.
The volume Macintosh HD could not be repaired.
Volume repair complete
Updatig boot support partitions for the volume as required.
Error: Disk utility can't repair this disk...disk, and restore your backed-up files.

Then a pop-up window appeared:

Disk Utility stopped repairing "Macintosh HD"
Disk Utility can't repair this disk. Back up as many of your files as possible, reformat the disk, and restore your backed-up files.

My question is:

1. Is there another way to solve this problem?
2. Fortunately I do have most of my files backed up, but there is some important recent stuff that has not been backed up yet.
3. How do I back up files from this point on? I can't seem to access anything on my computer except Disk Utility.

Your advice will be greatly appreciated.


Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Booting problem due to hard disk failure?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Booting problem due to hard disk failure?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
by Jimmy Greystone / May 4, 2012 9:15 AM PDT

No, there really isn't. There's a slim possibility that all it is is a badly corrupted filesystem and if you format/erase it and reload the OS it'll be fine. However, in my experience, every time I saw something like this, it was a HDD replacement for the unit.

Since you have either one of the last white iMacs or more likely one of the slightly newer aluminum non-unibody models, we can pretty safely assume it's OOW. The good news for you, is that on these models Apple was still basically gluing the thermal probe to the drive as a separate piece, not connecting it to the drive itself like later models. So that just means that if/when you replace the HDD, you don't have to deal with a noisy HDD fan because the HDD thermal sensor isn't getting any readings.

You should probably take this thing in to get it tested. It'd probably be cheaper to go to an AASP as opposed to an Apple store. On a unit like yours, there's no real reason to insist on an Apple supplied drive, so if you asked nicely they would probably slap in any drive you want. You could use this as an opportunity to upgrade, and increase the storage capacity of your computer. That way you could make add a small positive to the experience.

Finally, it would be wise to install the 10.6.8 update when you get everything else sorted.

Collapse -
Hard disk failure?
by vernonlouw / May 4, 2012 4:28 PM PDT
In reply to: No

Thank you for your kind feedback. It is a newer unibody model, not sure which, and it was bought about two or three years ago. Not sure if that would make a difference. V

Collapse -
Further info re Mac
by vernonlouw / May 4, 2012 7:35 PM PDT
In reply to: Hard disk failure?

It is a 21.5" (sorry, looked bigger), 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor shared L2 cache, 500GB serial ATA hard drive.

Hope that helps.



Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Your favorite shows are back!

Don’t miss your dramas, sitcoms and reality shows. Find out when and where they’re airing!