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Repair a dead drive without fully removing it System
This is a hardware hint, but it saves me work each time I use it, so I figured it was worth sharing.

If a Mac dies due to a bad system or such, and (as is quite frequent on the tray loading iMacs) the CD-ROM drive has been vandalised, you're locked out. The only option is to remove the HD, mount it in a working Mac, and repair. Just digging a hard drive out, though, can be a time-consuming pain. But if you can get to the interface cable and plug in an IDE to USB cable instead, a repair can be effected in situ.

[robg adds: I added the froogle search link, just to show the item under discussion.]
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Repair a dead drive without fully removing it | 13 comments | Create New Account
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Repair a dead drive without fully removing it
Authored by: chabig on Mar 29, '05 11:44:25AM

I see your point, but just getting to physical connector on the bad drive isn't going to magically make the machine bootable. You still need a boot drive to do repairs. And it would be much simpler to just plug in a firewire drive and boot from it. So what exactly is the point of this hint?

Chris



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Repair a dead drive without fully removing it
Authored by: fds on Mar 29, '05 11:46:49AM

Shouldn't FireWire Target Disk mode work in this case?

Just start the misbehaving Mac with F pressed then do whatever repairs are necessary from the other Mac...



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Repair a dead drive without fully removing it
Authored by: jpkang on Mar 29, '05 12:02:07PM
It's "T" for Target, not F (and in any case, as another poster has pointed out, tray loading iMacs did not have Firewire).

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Repair a dead drive without fully removing it
Authored by: TazmanDman on Mar 29, '05 11:57:18AM

People, tray loading iMacs have no firewire, therefore cannot boot from them.

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bueller?.... bueller?....



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Repair a dead drive without fully removing it
Authored by: clamstrip on Mar 29, '05 12:45:45PM

My G4 iMac (800mhz LCD "iLamp") is tray loading and has firewire.
My G3 iMac (400mhz DV) is slot loading and has firewire.
Only the reeeely old iMacs were tray loading w/o firewire.

Anyway, my solution is to have a bootable system on a firewire hard drive.
You can install a system on the drive using another mac if necessary.
For the dinosaur iMacs, this might work with usb drives as well, I don't know if they are bootable or not.



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Repair a dead drive without fully removing it
Authored by: TazmanDman on Mar 29, '05 04:22:22PM

let me rephrase - tray loading iMacs (original models) have no firewire, which was the context of the original poster as I understood it.

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bueller?.... bueller?....



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Repair a dead drive without fully removing it
Authored by: mustang_dvs on Mar 29, '05 12:07:17PM

What about WiebeTech's firewire-based drive docks -- the one I have has saved my butt a couple of times.

(Sorry, I recoil at the thought of using USB, when you have a Firewire option at hand; granted, the Wiebetech docks cost about $50 more...)



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Repair a dead drive without fully removing it
Authored by: kirkmc on Mar 31, '05 06:53:58AM

Unless I missed something, the WiebeTech is $250 - that's a heck of a lot more than the USB / IDE cable.

(I never heard of this before either, but I'm going to look for one - it's a good way to use an old drive as a temporary backup without installing it in a case...)

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Read my blog: Kirkville -- http://www.mcelhearn.com
Musings, Opinion and Miscellanea, on Macs, iPods and more



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Repair a dead drive without fully removing it
Authored by: barryjaylevine on Mar 29, '05 01:32:15PM

IDE-to-USB adaptors are not supported by Disk Utility. Running DU on a drive connected in this manner will, most assuredly, hose the drive and require a re-initialization via FireWire or "real" IDE connection.

I speak from experience, not theory.

You want to attempt a repair on such a drive? Yank it out, install it into a FW case, and go from there. That old iMac is a POS anyway.

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Two things in this world aren't overrated: Macintosh and Lemon Meringue Pie.



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Repair a dead drive without fully removing it
Authored by: seann on Mar 29, '05 11:29:32PM

worked fine for me with a no name usb-to-ide cable.

were you usb 1 or 2, i was 1



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Repair a dead drive without fully removing it
Authored by: poenn on Mar 30, '05 05:44:07AM

Ha, I didn't even know that there IS something like an IDE-USB cable... :-)



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Repair a dead drive without fully removing it
Authored by: jmao on Mar 30, '05 03:40:04PM

In my past work where I maintained 100s of tray-loads as well as other iMacs, we kept a NetBoot image that booted into OS 9 that included diagniostic tools as well as an ASR image of the machine so we could reimage it.

We ran all these machines in OS 9, and at the time, didn't have the NetBoot capacity to NetBoot them all,...eventually we increased our server capacity,...

So, for old iMacs like tray-loads, keep a NetBoot server handy,...if nothing else, it's an easy way to know if the machine is having a hardware issue or software issue. I would guess that most folks who have this problem have a lot of old iMacs,..and probably also have an OS X server that could do this,...and perhaps even an extra copy of 10.2 server in the box that could be loaded up somewhere to server this purpose,...



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Repair a dead drive without fully removing it
Authored by: LC on Mar 31, '05 08:14:36PM
I've used the bootpd and tftpd that are included in OS X (client), to serve the kernel and initrd to a Linux client in my home network. I know OS X server will serve OS X to netboot clients, but I never understood what stops the client from serving the same -- is it because we don't receive the netbootable kernel (OS image) with OS X client? Anyway, some (freely available, Unix-like) OSes can be served over the network, from a OS X client system; Larry.

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