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A week after upgrading to Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, hibernation begins to falter. When I open the lid, I get the Spinning Beachball of Death and have to hold down the power button to restart.

Today when I do this, instead of the normal rEFIt boot menu between Mac and Windows (I use Boot Camp), rebooting only leads me to a blinking folder.

screenshot

When I hold Option to boot from a specific partition, I get a blank screen.

When I hold Command+Option+P+R to reset the PROM, the chime does sound, but it does not fix the problem.

When I use an Ubuntu livecd, it runs successfully, but it does show this error while booting up:

ata1: COMRESET failed (errno:-32)

When I use a Mac OS X installation disc, Disc Utility does not display a hard drive, only the DVD drive. When I open Terminal.app and ran df -h, it only shows a 6 GB drive (the Mac installation disc) and a handful of virtual devices (200-300 KB each).

I hear no crunching noises to indicate the hard drive failed. Signs point to a dead hard drive, but I haven't seen any indications of a dying drive until today.

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4 Answers 4

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I took it to the Genius Bar. Evidently, a "hard drive bracket" inside the MacBook had to be replaced. The hard drive itself is fine.

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I've had more than one drive "fail silent" without a sufficiently horrible death as to generate an audible mechanical sign of failure. It seems pretty clear that this is probably a hard drive failure - if you have an external enclosure, you could use that to make sure its not the connections inside the machine.

If its in warranty, its time for a trip to your friendly Apple Authorized Service Provider, or the Apple Store. If it's not in warranty - well, sadly, its time to buy a new drive and find out how well your backup strategy works.

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I took it to an Apple Store Genius Bar and they ended up replacing a "hard drive bracket", some internal component that was damaged. It was fixed overnight. Me = Happy. –  mcandre Sep 22 '11 at 23:50
    
@mcandre Excellent news. Some random part not working > total data loss. Which was my "fail silent" experience. –  Fomite Sep 23 '11 at 1:45

i had the same issue on a mid 2010 macbook pro 15" core i5 series notebook, it was due to the hard drive. the drive in question was as seagate momentus with the flash memory of 4gb built in and i believe i caused the issue by moving my notebook around after closing the lid and before the hard drive head had parked, so i ended up damaging my drive physically. my system would randomly freeze prior to the complete failure and i was lucky that i had my time machine on a network nas device, qnap, at the home office to restore from. you might be able to get data back if you maybe sent it off to a recovery service. you could also try putting the old drive into a usb caddy and plug it into another mac or pc ot see if it mounts the data.

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I can't really discern a question, but it definitely sounds like your hard drive has died.

iFixit has handy repair tips for Macs which may be useful to you. Otherwise it's probably time for a trip to the Apple Store Genius Bar.

Good luck!

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