This article is about how Frau Klein deals with a dying hard drive in her new macbook pro having time pressure of finishing up a project. the ongoing head -> wall, swearing and screaming isn’t documented here ;)
Symptoms: The mac used to freeze for a few seconds every now and again. Since I am back home it increased dramatically: every half an hour it froze for half a minute and in between every so often.
What happened? I was looking in to the system.log using the Console and found for each freeze a Disk I/O error. Panicing around I used Disk Utility to check the HDD, the tool lied and said everything is ok. I also executed it from the install CD with the same result. A hardware check was successful too.
Backing up the system: As the duration and count of freezes increased I used one of my external HDD to backup everything via time machine which worked out fine. As I haven’t used it before I don’t know what gets backed up and which applications or configurations I might loose, so I also used Carbon Copy Cloner to backup everything to another drive. CCC complained about unreadable files – and proofed so my concern that the HDD is dying. I hope I can create a bootable external disc to be able to finish my project before I fix the mac. For that I formatted an external 320 GB device as bootable disc using disk utility:
- In Disk Utility click on the external drive (the manufacturer’s info line but not a specific partition) and click on the Partition tab.
- choose the Options button and select GUID partition table (needed for booting on an Intel Mac) and click OK
- Click on the Volume Scheme, and choose 1 partition from the drop-down list
- Click the Format drop-down, and choose Mac OS Extended (journaled)
- Name your drive and click the Partition button.
Then I started CCC, choosed the source drive (deselected some folders) and the target drive and clicked on clone. It takes about 2 h to clone 100 GB.
Finishing work: Once, the cloning is done I restart the mac using the USB drive by opening System preferences, choosing Start up device and then selecting my backup device.
Now I try to finish my work before I care about fixing the machine.
- how to install os X from a usb flash drive summarizes the steps how to format the usb device
TS1417 apple support page how to check the file system integrety
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