View Full Version : Uninitiated Drive - Save from format?

The Error Guy
28-12-2012, 05:27 PM
Trying to repair my sisters MBP, of course windows won't read from the HFS+ formatted drive so I set up my external HDD to boot ubuntu, another external HDD to backup her stuff to and her HDD to back up from, all this was done externally via various USB/SATA interfaces I have.

This setup was working fine yesterday however I changed one of the USB/SATA's today because I had it handy, when I tried to boot from my 1TB external my PC had a random restarting fit, rebooted several times quickly, sometimes skipping the BIOS start screen, sometimes not. Anyway, it calmed down but when I tried to boot from the external again but it wouldn't, just skipped to my Win7/8 bootloader. I thought perhaps I had used the wrong HDD (I have 2x caviar 1TB greens) so I booted back to win7 and when I checked in the partition manager (to see if the bootable partition was present) I was prompted to Initialize my drive with either MBR or GPT. My HDD was listed, obviously, as uninitialized with no partitions.

My question is, how can I restore my HDD back to working status without loosing everything on it? Will initializing it rebuild the partition tables?

I think the USB/SATA adapter I used is at fault. It was from a HDD that wasn't working (Another WD mybook) and the 2x TB HDD's I used with it are now dead, uninitialized. Is it possible that a bad SATA/USB interface could cause this? Right now I'd just like to get my stuff off the drives!

The Error Guy
28-12-2012, 06:14 PM
Typically I have jumped the gun a tad and managed to repair the drive (with EaseUS) however when I tried to boot off it again my laptop did the reboot loop thing again, when I returned to win7 the drive was uninitialized again, damn! but a replugging it fixed the problem.... I'm not going to use the external to boot from since it seems erratic but I'm a little concerned about the fact it keeps becoming un initiliazed. Is that a warning for an impending drive failure? Or is it just the USB/SATA unit going out?

28-12-2012, 06:50 PM
My limited experience playing around this way has taught me to beware your BIOS reconfiguring the drives available, and butchering their boot order.

If there are different drives installed at the time of boot you should always investigate your BIOS to ensure you're actually booting from where you want to be!

Not that this needs to have anything to do with your current issues, just the only clue I've got at present.

You might find help is sparse this time of year, on a Friday night.

28-12-2012, 06:53 PM
Worth making sure Windows still believes your normal boot drive has a drive letter assigned. Simply assigning a letter can be done safely, and resolves silly issues (again, from my limited experience - nothing is sure or safe when dealing with boot sectors, images, initializations)

The Error Guy
28-12-2012, 07:24 PM
Yeah, it seems to be working and I wasn't really counting on much help on a friday night anyway!! By any chance would you happen to know how to views the current read/write speeds of HDD's in ubuntu? I'm using DD via terminal to img the HDD but of course I have no way of knowing how long it will take! All I can find in google is how to do a read/write speed test. I just want to observe the current transfer speeds.

28-12-2012, 09:37 PM
Why don't you install osx on to an external disc and do the repair from within osx,

The Error Guy
28-12-2012, 10:36 PM
OSX itself is fine (I think), Problem started when she came home from overseas, laptop died, no status light on magsafe adapter. She said it had been randomly shutting down recently so I guessed overheat that finally killed the board or SMC reset. SMC reset did the trick but problem still remained (random shut downs) fans cleaned. Temps normal. Updated SMC but won't let me update the BIOS/EUFI (MBP version 8,1 - still says the firmware is not the correct version). Thinking it might just be a funny software bug in OSX I updated to Mountain Lion but problem still persists.

As far as the backup goes, Time machine terminates unexpectedly. Won't backup. Copying the users folder from OSX results in a termination due to the very vague finder error -36 (I/O error), frustratingly at this point finder won't skip the bad file, instead ends the copy and deletes the progress. It's not a permissions or ownership since a sudo cp via terminal works fine, and nicely continues to copy even when encountering I/O errors. The files which throw the errors (there are several) are actually corrupt somehow.

Since copying from the native OS is a pain I made a copy of the users folder in ubuntu successfully and am currently making an image of the drive now. Window's lack of support for HFS+ is annoying since the few imaging programs I used wont read the drive.

Plan is to do a clean install of ML to see if that fixes the problem (than and the computer needs a clean out anyway) If not then it's off to a premium reseller who will probably say it's a mobo issue and slap up a rather large bill for that since laptop mobo's are just damn pricey.

That's the plan at least, unless you have a few ideas up your sleeve with your undoubtedly greater expertise in dealing with bad apples? I can't really think of anything other than hardware tbh. It's been dropped a fair bit, battery mounts are all broken and all the corners bent to hell. I'm surprised the HDD functions "normally'' (smart status warn - bad sectors) and the screen is intact. Good build quality I must say. No observable damage otherwise. Its a 2011 model.... some people just shouldn't have laptops :rolleyes:

28-12-2012, 10:45 PM
Half of what you have said has gone over my head, but sounds similar to when my drive died on the mac, what does smart say about the drive. Just seen bad sectors. Tried a different drive?

The Error Guy
28-12-2012, 11:08 PM
SMART is fine, it's just got a few reallocated sectors. Seems normal. I don't have a spare 2.5" SATA to test install with.

EDIT: scrap that I do indeed have a spare 120gb SATA drive. haha. I'll give that a spin

29-12-2012, 01:50 PM
SMART is fine, it's just got a few reallocated sectors. Seems normal. I don't have a spare 2.5" SATA to test install with.

EDIT: scrap that I do indeed have a spare 120gb SATA drive. haha. I'll give that a spinany luck