Monday, January 10, 2011

Waiting for Root Disk

Recently my MacBook Pro suffered a quasi-fatal catastrophe: the hard drive failed. To help out anyone, I have compiled a list of symptoms and a test.

  1. During the start-up process, either the gray apple never shows up or, at some point, it is replaced by one of the following icons:
    (1) a folder with a question mark

    (2) a gray circle with a slanted line through it

  2. After about a few minutes - or any time that is substantially longer than your usual boot time - the spinner icon that usually appears under the gray apple does not appear.
  1. Start up your computer
  2. When the screen turns gray and/or you hear the start-up sound (whichever comes first) hold down "command + v" until the screen turns black
  3. A lot of white text will be displayed over a black background
  4. After a while, if the last line of the text says "still waiting for root disk," your hard drive has most likely failed
If you get any combination of the symptoms that I listed, you should run the test; if the test returns positive for possible hard drive failure, it would be prudent to go to the Apple store immediately and learn about your - mind you, expensive - disk-recovery options.

I went to pick up my computer and one of the Apple Geniuses said that the cable that connected my hard drive to the rest of the computer became loose. There was no actual damage done to my hard drive, so I do not have to get anything recovered - nothing was lost. For anyone who experiences the waiting for root disk problem, definitely take it to the Apple store so they can run further diagnostic tests, because those tests could determine the problem to be something less expensive to fix.

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