Fried MacBook

25 Jun, '07

This is not a very good day for me. Since I woke up things just conspired against me and me no likes it.

The latest is that my not-so-lovely MacBook just went belly up for no reason it seems. After struggling with it for the last 3 hours I hear the dreaded “click click” noise coming from the hard disk. The dealer (sorry Sofyan! pickup your phone!) doesn’t have a spare start-up Mac OS X DVD for me to try to start it up and run a Disk Repair. Now I’m off calling my friends to see if they can locate their original DVDs for MacBooks.. my brother (if he calls back) might come to the rescue.

So bloody frustrating… and of course I didn’t back up for a long time!!

Wish me luck. Until it gets fixed, I am comendeering my driver’s desk and computer to do my work (and blogging) on.


andanotherthing: noticed that the engine in my car was misfiring, that is after it being in the garage for 2 weeks getting a major 40k service and bodyshop work, I notice it misfiring! They are replacing the ignition coils and I am stranded in the office without a car so I can’t even drive downtown to take the computer to the dealer to be looked at. Lovely isn’t it? 👿

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  1. Fried MacBook in Bahrain - EmiratesMac | 25 Jun, '07
  1. Johnster says:

    and you will find the dreadful, self interested local dealer charges a whacking fee (‘admin’ apparently) to fulfill the ‘free’ guarantee.


  2. Magnus says:

    Sorry to hear about your problems. It doesn’t boot up at all, or? Tried Single User mode?

  3. mahmood says:

    The hard disk has gone bye bye. All of a sudden, it choked and died. I hope I should go to such a painless end when my time is up!

    I’m dropping it off to iMachines tomorrow morning and they assure me they will do whatever they could to retrieve the data. At the same time, I asked them to upgrade it to a 200GB drive. I think one of the reasons it melted was that it only had about .5GB left on it!

    Anyway, we’ll see what they can do with it and I’ll report back, needless to say if they can retrieve the data, they’ll receive FREE advertising for a while (hint hint!)

    Johnster, the unfortunate thing is that it is just out of its warranty period!

  4. sairafi says:

    I just got Mac OSX installed on my HP laptop this morning, I really hope this doesn’t have anything to do with your nightmare ;0) If the DVD I’ve got for it would help in any way then I’ll *cough* burn you a copy *cough* lend it to you.

  5. Romster says:

    How funny, you actually expected a dealer in Bahrain to give service to their over-priced goods. GOOOOOOOD LUCK. Apple dealer in Bahrain are really good at selling Ipods.

  6. Romster says:

    How funny, you actually expected a dealer in Bahrain to give service to their over-priced goods. GOOOOOOOD LUCK.
    Apple dealer in Bahrain are really good at selling Ipods only (no brainer).

  7. Squeaky is gone?! Shame!

    I actually force myself to back up my Mac once a week using SuperDuper.

  8. [ZoDiaC] says:

    😯 😯 😯

    I got A MAC (MacBookPro) 2 months ago … i paid for it through the nose … because or reviews and false ads … saying … macs rule .. and they are invulnerable … it seems far from true …. very far … 😥 😥 😥

    anyone interested in buying the cool thing 😉

  9. Magnus says:

    [ZoDiaC] – what do you mean “invulnerable”?

  10. Mr. H says:

    Mahmood, if u havent checked online yet, this may be the problem macbooks faced a couple of months ago where there was problems with overheating and bulging expanded cases and stuff.. Apple in the US briskly replaced those laptops with new ones thanks to good local Apple support over there. I would be VERY surprised if contingency plans are not in place in our own local Bahrain Apple stores for such mishaps.

    If they dont have any ‘Plan B’ then WHAT THE HECK R WE BUYING A MAC locaallyy????? I wouldn’t mind saving some money and buying it online anyway! Anyway, I’m using an old G4 Powerbook (4 years old atleast) and never failed a bit (never formatted it) and I got 2 more iMac’s which I never faced problems or formatted it ever and I’m really looking forward this summer to get the brand new ‘Core 2 Duo’s’ Macbook Pro’s! install Bootcamp and there is NO reason what so ever to go back to a PC.. what system in the world can boot dual Max OSX and Windows Vista in the same laptop?! none! 🙂 Cant wait to play C&C Tiberium Wars on it too!

  11. mahmood says:

    Okay, I set up a backup desktop (windows unfortunately) on my desk now, and as most of my files are on the server anyway (including email, addressbook, documents, etc) I should be fine and my business will not suffer.

    The last backup I did was several months ago, but as the policy is that we print every document (quote etc) that we need to file and as I habitually email that document in pdf form to customers, then most of that is not lost.

    What is of course is the little bits and pieces and applications that help me to do my job, those I will miss until I resurrect my laptop and that will take an awful long time. The pictures of course are on the old drive and I did not back them up, that’s a bummer.

    But I decided to just try to resurrect the stuff myself; my engineer is convinced that he can do it himself so that’s the route I’ll take.

    Of course we might call on the local dealer’s expertise if we need to!

    Again, wish us luck.

  12. mahmood says:

    Okay, I’ve had it already with this Windows rubbish!

    I’m off to iMachines (I do trust them, their technician has helped me quite a lot previously with resolving some stupidities I have done on the thing) to get them to replace the disk so I can get my life back. I can’t deal with not having my MacBook!

    This is one reason that I insist on buying from local dealers (I am one after all!) as I can be assured of at least critical support when I need it.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Whats a good backup software for Win Mahmood or anyone who can help

  14. mahmood says:

    I sure will start using a backup software and put in a proper backup policy for the office starting today.

    I’ve just come back from iMachines and the guys there tried as hard as they could to resurrect the data, but the drive is only good for being a door-stop or a paper weight. I got them to install a new 160GB drive in there and am in the process of installing the software on it now. The worst part of this experience, as I am sure a lot of you already know, is the time wasted in trying to restore “the ways things should be” on the computer, so I think it will take me days or even maybe weeks to get it how it was.

    I should learn (again) from this experience, I just have far too much trust in technology.

    I stopped over at an accessories shop and got from them a 2.5″ enclosure (USB, no one in Bahrain seem to stock SATA/Firewire enclosures, they’re all USB) and will – once my system is restored and I have some time – attempt to rescue the data by using the external enclosure.

    If you guys have any experience n this I would appreciate help. If you also know of a good data recovery place which you have used, please let me know their link or contact details so I can send the drives (yes, plural!) over to get them restored.

  15. mahmood says:

    Sairafi dropped this bombshell earlier:

    I just got Mac OSX installed on my HP laptop this morning

    And no one batted an eyelid about it!

    Ahmed, spill the beans please, let us know HOW you did it and how we can install it on ours, the more detailed the how to, the more thanks you will get!

  16. mahmood says:

    Does anyone know where I could get a hard disk enclosure with a Firewire connection for a SATA 2.5″ drive in Bahrain or Khobar?

  17. Einar says:

    I’ve experience «the click of death» several times too…. just get a SSD disk, and be done with it! 🙂

  18. Ehsan says:

    You usually have one shot to recover data. If more than one technician has already played with it, the physical damage to the heads could be beyond salvation. Unfortunately all the tools I use for recovery are based on NTFS or FAT filesystems.

    As a last resort (you can do this only once), if you’re absolutely hopeless, the freezer method for curing the click of death! Put the drive in a ziplock bag to keep out the moisture, and freeze it overnight.

    If you’re lucky, the heads will retract and it will work for 5 to 20 minutes. Be prepared to mount it and copy the things you need quickly.

    And if this doesn’t work, you would’ve made it worse and your drive would be dead forever.

    I’ll be back in Dubai next week if you need that enclosure.

  19. mahmood says:

    Yes please Ehsan! I won’t do the freezing method yet but I will wait until I reinstall the system and applications and then will take my time trying to recover the data; else I shall send it away and just pay whatever it takes to get the stuff out of it.

  20. Redbelt says:

    did you try ubuntu Linux? you can boot directly from the live cd (free download) and it will run ubuntu os directly. Nothing better than a full os to rescue. BTW, I’d like to know how os x got instalped on an hp. I know it’s all intel, but still.

  21. Sid says:

    Mahmood, sorry to hear about the situation. I’ve lost a ton of data – some very important personal stuff, so I know how you feel. Not sure what your recovery options are, but for future use:

    1) First Gen Macbooks as mentioned before are known to overheat/swell etc. – I recently got a C2D MacBook Pro, and in our lovely Bahraini summers it regularly fried me until I installed smcFanControl – you can manually adjust fan RPMs to ensure a cool notebook.

    2)SuperDuper is by far the best backup utility currently available. For those of you using .Mac, PLEASE, AVOID using Apple’s Backup software – it simply sucks. In any case, Leopard (Mac OS 10.5) is due for release in October and ‘Time Machine’ is a fantastic feature – all current reviews are mindblowing.

    Finally, I’m not sure about Bahrain, in KSA I would suggest Jarir Bookstore – they carry a lot of Mac and Mac-friendly stuff. I have a macaddict buddy there who will be able to give me better info – will post as soon as I know.

  22. mahmood says:

    Thanks Sid. I’ll buy SuperDuper immediately, that’s for sure!

    I’ve held in my hand a beta copy of Leopard today. I was debating whether I should just go ahead and install it on the fresh disk, but then I remembered that thing that told me that I can’t depend on a prerelase to run my business!

    But I can assure you that I will get a cut and install it on an external drive to boot into to have some fun soon (I hope).

    Redbelt I heard a lot about Ubuntu but never had the chance (or gumption) to try it yet.

  23. I says:

    I saw a Firewire HD drive in the computer shop in Seef Mall, just down from Hava Java last week. Not suprising they were charging more than for just a USB, but it was there. I think it was in Iomega drive, but I can’t be certain.
    I’ve been advised to only keep the OS and programmes on the drive in the machine and keep the important data on a separate drive, just for safety. It’s a little more inconveninent when it’s a laptop, but then the peace of mind overcomes that.
    Just my 2 fils worth,


  24. mahmood says:

    Thanks I, that might be a way out if I got a small SATA firewire drive and just use its enclosure to try to fix mine, once that is done, I could use that original drive for document backup!

  25. Sid says:

    In terms of external drives, please, whatever you do, do not buy Lacie Porsche Design drives – these are very sleek looking devices, but not very handy – badly ventilated. I have heard some real horror stories.

    My set up is to have OS, Apps and immediate work on the laptop, and everything else on the external – I’m even going to move my itunes library and iphoto library onto the external.

    In terms of external – I have a 500GB My Book Pro by WD – it’s USB/FW400/FW800 – cost me about 110bd on Amazon – but you can buy at Geant now too. This drive is SOLID, no complaints what so ever. Also comes in a 1TB version.

  26. mahmood says:

    I actually have a WD 500GB like yours that I use for the office. I think I’ll get one to use as my backup too.

    I detest using external drives, I would rather have the very minimum connected to my computer and that is why I prefer larger internal disks, which is okay, but a backup policy is a must in any case.

    I’ve heard the horror stories on Lacie too. They were pretty good at one point!

  27. mahmood says:

    I am almost done, Parallels Desktop is being downloaded now. I’ve installed all the software that I regularly use and am back on the Mac.

    I fired up FireFox and saw how ugly the “tahoma” looked in the small point, so I replaced that with Verdana. I have also removed the “Bookman old style” and replaced it with “georgia, times” – let me know what you think if you would.

    I’ve just connected the old drive after I installed it in the external 2.5″ USB enclosure and I got the click of death loud and clear. Into the fridge it goes tonight!

  28. Yousif says:

    How to recover a broken Hard drive.

    * buy another one from the same company with the exact size and module.

    * open up both the broken and new HD. Make sure you are in a dust-free environment. Google has more info on how to make a room dust free. Unscrew the the disks from both drives. DO NOT TOUCH THE DISKS (i suggest wearing medical gloves — the non-powdered type and picking them up from the edges)

    * Examine the broken drive’s disks. Do they show any sign of wear? Are they broken/scratched/burned? If not continue, if they are go to last step.

    * Put the old disks in the new drive in the exact same order. Screw back the drive box. Connect the drive to another desktop that is fully functional (with it’s own hd and OS). You can use a 2.5″ to 3.5″ IDE converter for laptop drives.

    * copy files from repaired drive to another media using your favorite program.

    Works 50% of the time. Costs as must as a new drive plus your time which could take around 3+ hours.

    * If the data is not that valuable throw it in the nearest bin and buy a new one.

  29. zodiac says:

    your’e back on track then …
    I was just gonna offer u my … beloved .. mac book pro .. 🙂
    interested?? 😈

  30. zodiac says:

    and about mac OSX on PC old news man ..

    check it out …

  31. AZ says:

    wat kind of back you looking for,
    i can provide you remote backup solution just required internet connection and you have to pay little amount permonth

  32. Loki says:

    and that’s why you should ALWAYS have a CD with DiskWarrior handy!! Its taken my Macs back from the brink of destruction.

  33. mahmood says:

    Oh believe me, there will be some changes….

    Ehsan, I tried that “freezer thing” but unfortunately it didn’t work. It still went “click click click” and whirred and whined a bit and then nothing.

    Now I have two disks to send out for recovery.

  34. Loki says:

    Also forgot to mention SMARTreporter which flags up any problems on the hardware side on a SMART capable HD.

    Though I can’t be certain its working as I haven’t had any issues with any drives since installing it.

  35. Altajer says:

    i am a long time reader first time commentator 😀

    Quite of action you had there , Mohammed
    i really really suggest you to upgrade to leopard. i pet you know its oustading new features already so what are you waiting for .


    your’e back on track then …
    I was just gonna offer u my … beloved .. mac book pro ..

    I am really trully interested in this deal , i hope you can send me the features and the price to my E-mail and i would be very gratefull

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