Data Forensics and Recovery

Macbook Hard Drive Recovery

Today we had an Apple MacBook 2011 in that needed data recovery services. The hard disk drive failed and the MacBook didn’t boot at all and got stuck on the Apple logo. We get quite a few Apple MacBook’s in and one issues they seem to have is a faulty hard disk drive cable as well. Either the hard disk drive doesn’t show up at all or OS X becomes very slow and unstable. In this case the Apple hard disk drive started to develop errors and the faulty sata cable caused it to completely become corrupted. Our first step is to make an image or clone of the hard drive with a special hardware based imaging tool That way we never work on a faulty or damaged drive. Keep in mind a hard disk drive can fail anytime. Once the hard disk drive from the MacBook was imaged, we only found a couple bad sectors on the drive we noticed file structure was damaged as well. Disk warrior is a good tool to battle these issues. Most of the data structure was reconstructed but still the MacBook didn’t want to boot and now was throwing Kernel errors at us. A recovery of OS X was performed but still the MacBook got stuck on the Apple Logo during boot. We fitted and upgrade the MacBook with a Solid State Drive and did a fresh installation of OS X Maverick. Mac booted fine but as soon as we used the Apple migration assistant to copy the user data and apps onto it we had the same issue. Keep in mind that migrating data can take hours. To double check I installed a OS X Lion and migrated the Data from the old drive and it worked. Unfortunately, most apps were tied to Maverick and I did the upgrade from Lion to Maverick with the same results. MacBook got stuck on white screen. Even a recovery boot and OS X install had no effect at all. Back to Lion Data migration and I tried to upgrade with all user data from Lion again to a different OS X. Same issue Sierra, El Captain all installed fine but got stuck on boot again. I came to the conclusion that the OS X user account might have been corrupted. I installed a fresh OS X on a formatted hard disk drive and this time I used the migration assistant to only copy the apps and preferences over. Bingo, I had OS X Maverick working with all apps running. The only thing I still had to do was coping the personal data over into the newly created account such as documents & pictures. The whole process took about 3 days from start to finish but the customer was delighted with the end result. I do not give up that easy and in this case I had no time machine backup at hand. The cost came in at around £450 including Vat but that including some hardware upgrades ( Solid State Drive ) as well and the initial data recovery. Do you similar problems and your MacBook doesn’t boot or has a broken – damaged hard disk drive feel free to contact us for help and advice.

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