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Backing up mac that wont boot

This answer assumes you don't have FileVault enabled. Get an external backup disk that has enough capacity and connect it.

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This loads the recovery mode from the internet, which will be very slow. The advantage is that there is no stress on the faulty disk. Method A — If you want to save individual files : Go to the menu bar and select Terminal. Press Save and wait. Method C - if you have another Mac : Connect the two computers, e. On your broken iMac, press T at the boot screen to enter target disk mode. Now you can use the Finder to browse the broken disk and copy files. Thank you so much for these suggestions. Unfortunately I don't have an external drive large enough to backup the 2TB desktop; previously I was just banking up select files via Time Machine onto my 1TB external.

One quick question: what kinds of cords will work to connect two computers, as you've outlined in Method C? The desktop is far older than my laptop, and it doesn't have any Thunderbolt sockets. I guess your only option may be a firewire cable. Scott Scott 1 1 silver badge 7 7 bronze badges.


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He is the president of Coyote Moon, Inc. Updated February 18, An internal or external hard drive that's large enough to store the data on your current startup disk. A drive that doesn't contain any data you wish to keep. The method we will use will erase the destination drive during the backup process.

Back Up Your Startup Disk Using Disk Utility

Some early USB 3 external drive enclosures did not always work as bootable sources. Be sure and check that you can boot from your external device. An easy way to make sure is to create a bootable backup of an OS X installer , and then try booting from your external. Thunderbolt external storage works fine as a startup drive for any Mac that includes a Thunderbolt port.

Select the destination drive from the device list in Disk Utility. Select the 'First Aid' tab in Disk Utility. Click the 'Verify Disk' button. If Disk Utility lists any errors, you will need to repair the disk before proceeding. Click the 'Repair Disk' button. Select the startup disk from the device list in Disk Utility. Click the 'Repair Disk Permissions' button. Select the Restore tab. Click and drag the startup disk to the Source field. Select Erase Destination. Click the Restore button. Close all applications , including Disk Utility. The above instructions answers your question.

No, that was not the answer to my question. But thanks, anyways… I figured it out. Hi Kendra, do you set a password for your external hard drive? Mine needs the password to unlock the drive which I am not sure how. I am trying to backup my Mac using this process for the past 1 week. I have kept it for hours assuming that the back up would take a long time but it never gets past that screen. Is this an issue or just it taking a long time?

Should I be more patient? I have tried many things. This solution looks the most promising.

5 Ways to Backup Your Mac That Won’t Boot in Recovery Mode – Scott Ng

Thanks for the article. Any suggestions?

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It seems like now a days that doing something like this is essential. It comes, logo appears, the progress bar appears and gets hung halfway. After a bit, the screen goes to white and then it shuts down. Occasionally it will try to reboot but hangs again. Have Yosemite and keep it updated. Very frustrating to see this question not answered. Hello Jan! I am encountering the Exact same symptoms. With regards. Have encountered this problem — it ended up being a faulty logic board.

The HDD itself was fine. Hi, my MacBook said unable to create images. What should i do? Looks like a great solution.

Recover Data from Non-Booting Mac Start-up Disk Drive

Is the external harddrive where the image will be saved erased with starting backing up the image? My external harddrive is huge therefore I also have other files on it that I do not want to delete. Thanks for any feedback! Hey did you ever get the answer to your question about erasure of drive if you made an image in a drive that has information on it already? I have a few problems with my laptop.

I am able to make it to the first steps lists above. I am able to press open disk image which allows me to see all the files and folders on the laptop. Just wondering if you found a solution?

How to: Two solutions for the MacBook Pro White/Gray Logo Screen of Death. 2014 AppleCare Expires..

Mine is doing the same. It says to select your external drive, but it does not show that happening in the picture, which confused me at first until I started from the beginning and followed the words rather than the pictures. Hope that helps! So far, so good! Otherwise, I have lost a year since my last back up.

Not sure what to do next? You need an external drive that is specifically Mac Ready so that it is already formatted correctly. The hard drive is not MAC readable.


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You need to get a FAT 32 drive. Howeve if you have big files you might need another MAC to re format the External drive to a different format. Will this Image taking also backup of my pictures? Can someone confirm this?