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10.9 Target Disk Mode
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sknapp351
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Sep 8, 2014, 09:06 PM
 
Hello all,

It's been a while since I've run into anything that I haven't been able to figure out. I have a 13" non retina MBP running 10.9 and it won't boot. I just heard of erase free space (I assume you all know why I recently heard of that...) and was looking at that since I hadn't noticed it before. I know my HD was about 2/3 full, but had at least 149 gb free. I clicked on erase free space and watched as it told me that I had 9 hours to go or something similar. I went to bed, and came back late the next day. It was still barely half through and had stopped progressing noticeably. I noticed in my iStat Menus that my HD was now showing completely full. I looked up the process on another computer and read that it creates a temp file and assume that was what had filled my HD. I then clicked skip, as I thought that to mean cancel and was not making progress other wise. Once it finally stopped, my HD was still full and everything was as slow as imaginable. I then thought maybe restarting would get rid of the temp file. It has never worked since that moment. It automatically boots into Recovery now but Disk repair said the HD cannot be repaired in live mode (or something similar). Naturally, I just recently moved and haven't figured out how to mount my external HD on my new comcast supplied modem/router, so I have no recent Time Machine backups.

I am willing to used reinstall Mac OSX from recovery, and am of the understanding that it should leave my files, but I would like to back them up first, just in case. I just booted the laptop in Target Disk mode with a Firewire 800 cable connected between my laptop and iMac, both running 10.9. My laptop hard drive is not showing on the iMac though. I tried connecting, then starting in target disk, starting then connecting, removing and reinstalling the wires, etc.

Any ideas how to get Target Disk mode to connect?

Thanks for any input.
Sam
     
sknapp351  (op)
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Sep 8, 2014, 09:10 PM
 
I forgot to mention, the laptop does appear to enter Target Disk mode. It shows the Firewire symbol on the screen, but it is not mounting or appearing on my iMac.

Thanks,
Sam
     
Spheric Harlot
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Sep 9, 2014, 03:15 AM
 
It sounds like the drive is dying.
     
P
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Sep 9, 2014, 10:00 AM
 
I also think that the drive is dying, but you could try going to single user mode and repairing the directory from there.

First go to single user mode: Mac OS X: How to start up in single-user or verbose mode
After entering this mode, type "/sbin/fsck -y" without the quotes to run the same directory check that you get in Disk Utility. Once it is done, it will say one of three things:

1) "<Disk name> is OK": Try rebooting normally and see if that works.
2) "FILE SYSTEM HAS BEEN MODIFED": Run "/sbin/fsck -y" again.
3) Some sort of error. In this case, your drive is probably hosed.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
sknapp351  (op)
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Sep 9, 2014, 08:55 PM
 
Damn. It was working fine... I will try the single user mode. Nothing to lose...

Thanks you two.

Sam
     
sknapp351  (op)
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Sep 9, 2014, 09:09 PM
 
I ran FSCK twice and both times it came right back with the HD is ok. When I rebooted, it went automatically back into recovery mode. When I run disk repair from recovery mode, the return is:

Checking File system
Checking Journaled HFS Plus Volume
Invalid Record Count
Catalog file entry not found for extent
The volume could not be verified completely
Volume repair complete
Updating boot support partitions for the volume as repaired
Error: Disk Ultility cant repair this disk....disk, and restore your backed up files.

Sam
     
akent35
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Sep 10, 2014, 12:01 AM
 
Given that Disk Utility is basically useless in this case, you should try and use Disk Warrior as a first step. Tech Tool Pro is another excellent program to use, but Disk Warrior can do "wonders".

The problem is, as you initially stated, the disk cannot be "seen" via Target Disk Mode. Maybe you could remove the disk from your MBP, put in into an external case, hook that external case up to your iMac, and run Disk Warrior from the iMac to try and repair the disk. Assuming that is successful, you could then try and boot your iMac from that external drive. Not sure if that is possible, given that the repaired disk is from your MBP, and there could be some "system" differences that prevent this re-boot. But, I'm no expert on that. Maybe some other folks on here can offer better, more definitive advice.

Whether you can boot the repaired disk or not from the iMac, the next step would be to put it back into your MBP, and then boot the machine. Hopefully, that will work, but if does not, then again, maybe some more smarter folks on here can help you out further.
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 10, 2014, 12:28 PM
 
Don't use DiskWarrior, don't try to repair your disk. Instead, you should use Data Rescue. Basically, the difference is that Data Rescue only reads off of the damaged volume, so it can't make the situation worse. I've had DiskWarrior destroy two volumes while attempting to repair them.
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akent35
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Sep 10, 2014, 01:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Don't use DiskWarrior, don't try to repair your disk. Instead, you should use Data Rescue. Basically, the difference is that Data Rescue only reads off of the damaged volume, so it can't make the situation worse. I've had DiskWarrior destroy two volumes while attempting to repair them.
Each of those products does two different things. Data Rescue, of course, can be successful at recovering various files from a damaged hard drive (one of course will need another drive for Data Rescue to place the files on). DiskWarrior can be successful at repairing a drive (it also first recovers files, etc., and then uses them to build an entirely new replacement directory).

So, the best approach would be to use Data Rescue first, so that files are saved somewhere else. Then, use DiskWarrior to try and repair the disk.
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 10, 2014, 01:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
So, the best approach would be to use Data Rescue first, so that files are saved somewhere else. Then, use DiskWarrior to try and repair the disk.
I would zero the old drive and and copy the recovered data onto the empty volume afresh. As good as Disk Warrior is, I think using Data Rescue is the better route.
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akent35
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Sep 10, 2014, 01:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I would zero the old drive and and copy the recovered data onto the empty volume afresh. As good as Disk Warrior is, I think using Data Rescue is the better route.
I clearly stated to use Data Recovery first, then use DiskWarrior. From what I understand, Data Recovery stores the recovered data on another drive. And, one would assume that is done because if the old drive is completely bad, something should be able to be done with the information Data Rescue recovered.

I'm unclear if and when one would "zero the old drive". Maybe you could supply a step by step procedure to follow. The steps I see are:

1. Remove the drive from the MBP, place it into an external enclosure, and attach it to the iMac.

2. Run Data Rescue on the iMac to recover data from the "bad" drive onto another good device.

3. Run DiskWarrior to try and repair the disk. Remember, the primary issue here is that the drive will not mount in the Finder (nor via Target Dusk Mode), but can be "seen" in Safe Mode. Even with that, Disk Utility could not do anything with the "damaged" disk. So, the next step would logically be to use a more robust disk repair program, like DiskWarrior (or maybe TechTool Pro). But, yeah, a better first step would be to use Data Rescue (even if a recent backup was available?).

If successful, then the data that Data Rescue recovered is not needed. If DiskWarrior is not successful, then it's time for a new drive. If that is the case, how does one get the "rescued" data onto the new drive?

Not trying to "argue" here, just trying to get a handle on this. I of course could be missing something here, and thus I could learn something new.
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 10, 2014, 01:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
I clearly stated to use Data Recovery first, then use DiskWarrior. From what I understand, Data Recovery stores the recovered data on another drive. And, one would assume that is done because if the old drive is completely bad, something should be able to be done with the information Data Rescue recovered.
I know, but to me, repairing the other drive is unnecessary as you're not sure whether the problem has or can be fixed. (Not all errors are necessarily detectable!) HFS+ is an ancient file system and should not be trusted. Hence, assume that the volume is not trustworthy (even if repaired), erase it and start afresh. If you put in the effort of recovering all of your files via Data Rescue, there is no need to try and fix the source file system (the faulty HFS+ volume) to get your data.

PS Just a point of clarification: With zeroing the drive I did not mean you should use safe erase, but reformat the drive, repartition it and create a new, fresh HFS+ volume.
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akent35
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Sep 10, 2014, 01:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I know, but to me, repairing the other drive is unnecessary as you're not sure whether the problem has or can be fixed. (Not all errors are necessarily detectable!) HFS+ is an ancient file system and should not be trusted. If you put in the effort of recovering all of your files via Data Rescue, there is no need to try and fix the source file system (the faulty HFS+ volume). Assume that the volume is not trustworthy (even if repaired), erase it and start afresh.

PS Just a point of clarification: With zeroing the drive I did not mean you should use safe erase, but reformat the drive, repartition it and create a new, fresh HFS+ volume.
OK, I see. But, how do you know that the old drive can be used at all without first trying to repair it? Given that Disk Utility had issues with trying to do anything in Safe Mode would indicate that there is something wrong either with the drive itself, or the information on the drive (ie, bad directory, but maybe other things). Remember, DiskWarrior attempts to rebuild an entire new directory on the disk, assuming the disk is not damaged. If DiskWarrior cannot do this, than the drive is not repairable, nor can it be used.

Now, if DsikWarrior (or TechTool Pro) can repair the disk, then maybe the next thing to do (assuming one uses your assumption that even then, there could still be problems) would be to do what you are saying: Zero the drive, reformat it, repartition it, and then get information back onto the drive. By the way, what would be the steps to do that? Get everything from Data Rescue's "backup"?

This episode just re-enforces my belief that my weekly maintenance/backup processing is, for the vast majority of the time, extremely valuable. As I've mentioned before. I always run TechTool Pro every week on each of my two internal SSDs (on my Mac Mini and my Mac Book Air), and once in a while I'll run Disk Warrior on each of them too (of course, I have the Super Duper backups for each machine that I can recover from). Some folks around here criticized me for doing that (also for some of the tools I use), but it lets me avoid such problems as the op has/had.
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 10, 2014, 02:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
OK, I see. But, how do you know that the old drive can be used at all without first trying to repair it?
You need to check whether there are any hardware problems first (e. g. by running the drive's built-in test routines which can be accessed from the command line via smartctl, although you can also use the GUI version). But assuming you've verified that the hardware is ok, you can just reformat the drive, destroying the old, corrupted file system in the process and create a brand new one.
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
By the way, what would be the steps to do that? Get everything from Data Rescue's "backup"?
Yes, you first recover all data you can via Data Rescue onto another, working drive (that's the way Data Rescue works), reformat the broken volume and recover from the »Data Rescue« drive. And why do you put quotation marks around backup?

@sknapp351
You should start making regular backups starting yesterday. Just switch on Time Machine and plug in an external hard drive every once in a while.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
akent35
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Sep 10, 2014, 03:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
You need to check whether there are any hardware problems first (e. g. by running the drive's built-in test routines which can be accessed from the command line via smartctl, although you can also use the GUI version). But assuming you've verified that the hardware is ok, you can just reformat the drive, destroying the old, corrupted file system in the process and create a brand new one.
Interesting. I have always relied on TechTool Pro (and once in a while Disk Warrior) for such testing (also Oynx, in a few respects). Is that software a replacement for Disk Warrior (or TechTool Pro), or can it be used in addition to either of those programs I mentioned? For example, if the directory structure is somewhat "hosed", will that routine reveal that, and if so, can it repair it like Disk Warrior or TechTool Pro can? Are there any things that software can do that either DiskWarrior or TechTool Pro cannot do?

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Yes, you first recover all data you can via Data Rescue onto another, working drive (that's the way Data Rescue works), reformat the broken volume and recover from the »Data Rescue« drive. And why do you put quotation marks around backup?
I am still not sure if Data Rescue's recovery can capture everything for a restore. If not, then that is a reason why I used the quotes, as it would not be a true backup. If it does, then I stand corrected.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
@sknapp351
You should start making regular backups starting yesterday. Just switch on Time Machine and plug in an external hard drive every once in a while.
Also, run some maintenance processing on your drives to verify the health of each device. You can use Disk Utility for a number of those checks, and also what OreoCookie suggested in the first part of his post. You can, if desired, use other tools to do the same thing (or similar tasks). Myself, I use Onyx and TechTool Pro, and they are fine with me. For others, they might want to rely on Disk Utility only. That's fine.

And, as for a backup, one can also use a cloning program like Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner to make a backup. In fact, the best strategy is to use both Time Machine and either Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner.
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 10, 2014, 06:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
Interesting. I have always relied on TechTool Pro (and once in a while Disk Warrior) for such testing (also Oynx, in a few respects). Is that software a replacement for Disk Warrior (or TechTool Pro), or can it be used in addition to either of those programs I mentioned?
All smartmontools (and its GUI wrapper do) is access the diagnostics from within the drive. For instance, things like surface tests and read/write head tests are baked into the firmware of your hard drive, and you can start those if you wish. You can also read out all the diagnostics which the drive logs (e. g. number of spin ups, hours of use, number of failures to do something, block errors, etc.). These tests do not concern the filesystem layer, just the hardware layer. So they are not a replacement for the apps, but you can use them to check the hardware status of your drive or SSD.
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
I am still not sure if Data Rescue's recovery can capture everything for a restore. If not, then that is a reason why I used the quotes, as it would not be a true backup. If it does, then I stand corrected.
Data Rescue is a forensic data recovery tool, and in my experience it's the best tool out there if you want to have the hope to access your data. The only time it let me down was when I used it after I tried a repair with Disk Warrior. (All the data was still there, but the file names got all lost.) Of course there are cases when also Disk Warrior has to capitulate. So when you can recover the data only partially, of course, you won't have a full backup, but it's the best you can do. (The OP doesn't seem to have made any backup.)

The only time I would consider using Disk Warrior is if Data Rescue could not recover all of the data. Then you literally have nothing to lose. But I would never trust the filesystem even after the repair.
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akent35
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Sep 10, 2014, 07:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
All smartmontools (and its GUI wrapper do) is access the diagnostics from within the drive. For instance, things like surface tests and read/write head tests are baked into the firmware of your hard drive, and you can start those if you wish. You can also read out all the diagnostics which the drive logs (e. g. number of spin ups, hours of use, number of failures to do something, block errors, etc.). These tests do not concern the filesystem layer, just the hardware layer. So they are not a replacement for the apps, but you can use them to check the hardware status of your drive or SSD.
Thanks for that explanation. It sounds like a useful tool. I have downloaded it already on my Mac Mini (will also do it on my Mac Book Air), and I'll use it from time to time. But, I'll still depend upon Tech Tool Pro (and sometimes DiskWarrior) for all its' analyses and tests.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Data Rescue is a forensic data recovery tool, and in my experience it's the best tool out there if you want to have the hope to access your data. The only time it let me down was when I used it after I tried a repair with Disk Warrior. (All the data was still there, but the file names got all lost.) Of course there are cases when also Disk Warrior has to capitulate. So when you can recover the data only partially, of course, you won't have a full backup, but it's the best you can do. (The OP doesn't seem to have made any backup.)

The only time I would consider using Disk Warrior is if Data Rescue could not recover all of the data. Then you literally have nothing to lose. But I would never trust the filesystem even after the repair.
I guess if one never (or hardly ever) uses any tools on a consistent basis for checking their drives, then what you state seems accurate. What's also surprising is that in just about all the recommended steps one should take after Disk Utility "chokes", either DiskWarrior or Tech Tool Pro is recommended. But, I can certainly see the value of Data Rescue (although I make weekly backups for both of my machines (and 2 backups each on different external devices)).

Thanks for the lesson! I've definitely learned something valuable.
     
   
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