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I Mac crash, hard drive corrupted?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Software  
Author I Mac crash, hard drive corrupted?
mousegarden
Yesterday my I Mac became currupted, I'm wondering if it has a virus? The hard drive labels are just a row of brackets and incomprehensible symbols, I was on the phone for two hours to Apple support and they couldn't fix it.
Anyone else had this problem with hard drive labels? It won't even let me rename them, or let anyone gain access to my computer via screen sharing.
The Apple guy insisted it wasn't a virus, as "Macs don't get viruses" I don't believe that for one minute.

hmmm.....
Shledge
Likely dying, or corrupted by an unexpected power off. Macs are not known for good crash recovery.
sduck
Got a backup?
arthurdent
Do you have an external drive with the OS on it - either a backup or any other system drive? If you do, you could boot from that, then use Disk Utility to check the integrity of the drive in the machine. My first guess would be a failed/failing hard drive, after that maybe a corrupted OS.
mousegarden
Thanks folks, I think I got a bit confused, I turned it off while it was doing an update, without realising. But, it has virus like behaviour, it won't let me load in virus checkers or allow me to do a Time Machine backup.
I've used Disk Utillity and First Aid, but it won't run, says there's something wrong. I'm waiting on Apple to get back to me, they took over the computer and ran Terminal.
I'm not bothered really, I'm going to use my 13 year old Windows XP PC just for now, and, it still works perfectly, at least until this Mac is repaired.
I've got backups all over the place, on drives, I don't store anything on this computer anyway, and my music is in about five different places.
People who keep loads of data, financial etc on computers always amaze me, it's total madness.
arthurdent
Depending on what type of update you were doing:
Newer Apple operating systems have something called System Integrity Protection (SIP) which is supposed to protect your system from outside hacks and interference but it can also prevent you from doing legitimate things on your computer as well. There's lots of stuff on the web if you're interested in reading about it.

So once again, IF you have a viable external backup laying around that has the OS on it, you could try booting from that; if it starts up, you can then repair, or re-install the backup, and get back into business. My experience of late in dealing with Apple support is that they really don't know much any more - it's like calling AT&T 'cause your internet/cable is out and you get someone from a call center in India and it's OBVIOUS that they're just reading from a script as they talk to you...
mousegarden
arthurdent wrote:
Depending on what type of update you were doing:
Newer Apple operating systems have something called System Integrity Protection (SIP) which is supposed to protect your system from outside hacks and interference but it can also prevent you from doing legitimate things on your computer as well. There's lots of stuff on the web if you're interested in reading about it.

So once again, IF you have a viable external backup laying around that has the OS on it, you could try booting from that; if it starts up, you can then repair, or re-install the backup, and get back into business. My experience of late in dealing with Apple support is that they really don't know much any more - it's like calling AT&T 'cause your internet/cable is out and you get someone from a call center in India and it's OBVIOUS that they're just reading from a script as they talk to you...


The computer is working, that's the strange thing, it's fine, it just won't let me gain access to the HD, and change the drive name back to Macintosh HD, currently the name is...

///////////////////,,,,,,,,,,/////////////////

While the computer was on, I was aware that my arm was resting on the keyboard, I thought the computer was off, but it was on, I may have pressed all sorts of keys and commands without realising it, but that doesn't explain why I can't change the drive name or do back-ups.
arthurdent
You could try single user mode:

Shut the computer off, then restart while holding down COMMAND-S.

When you see a bunch of text scroll on the screen, release the keys.

The scrolling will eventually stop and there will be a localhost# prompt.

At the prompt, type fsck -fy (note the space between the k and the hyphen).
The system will then do a self check.

IF you get a response back that says "File system was modified", type the above command again. Continue doing this until you get "the volume {volume name} appears to be OK without the "modified" statement.

You can then type exit and proceed to a "normal" login screen.

Another thing to check, go into System Preferences, Users & Groups, verify that you are still an Admistrator for this computer.

If you have a newer OS, it could be the System Integrity Protection; you can shut this off in Terminal if you know how to use it and are comfortable with it. You can find instructions on the web as to how to do this.
sduck
^good advices^

You could also run the installer for whatever OS you're on - it'll go into repair mode once it detects that it's already installed. That is, if you're able to access it. There are also several avenues via the recovery disk - reboot while holding command-R, but I can't remember specifics after that. Goggle is your friend there...
arthurdent
Here's the link to Apple for Recovery Mode options:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204904

And Google is NEVER your friend, it's just a necessary evil, like root canals and proctology examinations.
mousegarden
Thanks again folks, I've litteraly tried everything, to no avail. It looks to me like the drive is damaged and just not mounting or being recognised in anyway. I've been through all you say here, permissions, everything, it's just not having any of it. The Apple tech spent two hours on the phone and he couldn't come up with anything except maybe the drive is damaged.
Shledge
Little technique I've heard people do - put the HDD into a freezer, take it out and it's likely to temporarily work.
mousegarden
Shledge wrote:
Little technique I've heard people do - put the HDD into a freezer, take it out and it's likely to temporarily work.


I can't get it out, it's one of those "tamper proof" Macs, it's glued together...what an arse hole thing to do, this will be my first and last Mac, it's either an HD recorder or a cheap PC from now on.
ersatzplanet
If you have another Mac around, you can try booting the Mac while holding the "T" key which puts it into "Target Disc Mode" mode where the Mac appears as a hard drive to other mac's that connect to it via FireWire, Thunderbolt (2 &3) and USB-C. Then you might be able to get files off it (if the boot sector is the only damaged part) or fix it with disc utilities run on the second Mac.
mousegarden
ersatzplanet wrote:
If you have another Mac around, you can try booting the Mac while holding the "T" key which puts it into "Target Disc Mode" mode where the Mac appears as a hard drive to other mac's that connect to it via FireWire, Thunderbolt (2 &3) and USB-C. Then you might be able to get files off it (if the boot sector is the only damaged part) or fix it with disc utilities run on the second Mac.


There's nothing on this Mac I want to keep, or back-up.
I've given up on it, if it was a PC, I'd have had the drive out reloaded the OS and all would be well.
mousegarden
I'm back in PC land, and I'm feeling all warm and cozy. It's like the old days, it actually works with my android phone, unlike my Mac, it actually works with my outdated i Pad, unlike my Mac, it actually lets you do stuff basically without treating you like an uneducated naughty child, plus, no frigging i Cloud or Apple ID.
It cost a fraction of the price of my Mac, and has a similar spec, i7, 16 RAM, plus liquid cooling and an SSD. Off to buy a 27 inch monitor, and we're on the road again.
The Mac is doing sterling work as a rather attractive door-stop.
ersatzplanet
How old a iMac was it? Since you have a replacement already, you can try to take the old one apart to replace the drive. Two systems are better than one. I have a bunch of old Mac Laptops in my studio running older copies of Reason and acting like Multi-voice, multi-channel MIDI synths. You could at least turn your old iMack into something like that.

I know it is a hassle taking the iMacs apart, but if you don't care if it might get damaged, then why not? Lots of videos on the Other World Computing site (www.macksales.com) showing what you have to do to replace hard drives on the iMac. Drives are cheap.
mousegarden
OK folks, I think I know what might have happened.
I can rember playing with my Music Easel and getting carried away, I thought the Mac was off, but it wasn't, I had my arm on the computer keyboard without realising it, pressing all sorts of keys, I suddenly realised what I was doing and turned the computer off. After that I seem to rember things being changed, I don't know how to get back to my previous settings, and, it doesn't really explain why it won't run First Aid, maybe it's because it cant recognise the drive name anymore, I can't seem to be able to rename it in any way at all?
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