of the OS using the installation disks.
Start up from the installation disk and proceed with the install. Shortly after the beginning of the install process the installer will warn you that you will have to change your options to proceed with the install.
Choose the Archive and Install (preserve user settings) and continue on with the install. All your data will be preserved and a new copy of the operating system will be installed on the hd.
Do NOT proceed with the install unless you have chosen this option. Failure to do so will destroy all your data.
Hopefully you have a backup of your important stuff, just in case the regular clicking indicates a defective HD.
Sorry, it is not my intent to cross-post but I asked this question at the end of another thread, and that might have been the wrong thing to do. In any case -
My August 2007 MacBook runs OSX 10.4.10. It has performed flawlessly since my daughter bought it in 2007, and perfectly after I purchased it from her last september. The other night I was surfing the web while flying on a commercial airliner. (GoGoNet or something similar) Performance was kind of slow but I attributed that to the in-air wifi, which I had never used before. Then the browser started to hang with the spinning pinwheel. Option apple escape WOULD NOT force quit safari. After a few shutdowns using only the power button, the mac hung up on startup. I hear the chime, see the apple icon, the gear turns but it never goes past that point. It may be significant that the plane was flying through scary turbulence when my problems began.
When I boot up using the mac install disk 1, I can get it to start cleanly using the C key, the D key and NO keys. But when I run the hardware diagnostic, both short and long test, the mac comes up 100% clean. But i cannot see any test for the hard drive. When I try to run disk utility, the colored pinwheel arrives and it never goes away. When I go down the road of re-installing the system software, I cannot see the target drive.
When I put my ear on the deck, just to the right of the track-pad, I can hear the hard drive quietly spinning away with regular - not random - clicks.
I see that Apple is quietly replacing these hard-drives, but the affected computers seem to have a folder/question mark on the desktop on startup, not the apple/spinning gear.
Anyone, especially mrmacfixit, have any wisdom to share about what steps to take before I take it to the apple store for expert help? I really would like to be able to recover my photos and some files if the hard drive is going to be swapped. But I am resigned to the situation that these un-backed-up files will be forever lost.