How to Repair Your Mac’s Hard Drive
How to Repair Your Mac’s Hard Drive
If you’re having trouble saving files, accessing files, or you cannot boot the computer then you likely have hard drive issues. If this is the case, don’t worry. Your Mac isn’t dead. Unfortunately, it is difficult to tell if these sort of issues stem from hard drive errors, corrupted files, or issues with the Motherboard. We’ll go over several types of diagnostics, as well as more than a few different ways to repair the hard drive on your Mac.
Start in Safe Boot
The first step to diagnosing the problem should always be to attempt to start the Mac in Safe Boot. To do this, shut the computer down, wait ten seconds, and then restart the computer. Hit the Shift Key when you hear the Startup Chime (not before) and then let it start up. This will run a sort of disc check to ensure that there are no corrupted files on your computer, it will let you know if there are corrupted files, and it will disable many of your user installed items that could be causing problems (such as installed fonts, scripts, and third party software). If your Mac has no trouble starting in Safe Mode and performs normally there, then you probably have corrupted files or a virus. On the other hand if you’re still having problems, then it’s most likely a more serious issue.Check our article on how to start in Safe Mode here.
Use Disk Utility
Disk Utility is the best way to check to see if your hard drive does have an issue. In this case, simply run a quick search for ‘Disk Utility’, open it, and tell it to ‘verify’ your disk. This will do a quick check for errors and then if you have problems, it will tell you how to fix them. This is the easiest way to repair your Mac’s hard drive.
Use Your Repair Disc
If you happen to have a repair disc or USB drive then you can go ahead and use this. If you have this then you can just pop it in, follow the onscreen instructions, and your Mac should be as good as new. Unfortunately, if you’re reading this article then you probably didn’t think it was necessary to have one. When you get your Mac back to normal, feel free to purchase a blank CD or a USB flash drive (this is more handy) and put a repair disc for your Mac on it. You can find out how in your system settings.
Use OSX Recovery
The easiest way to repair a Mac hard drive is to shut down the Mac, wait ten seconds, restart the Mac, and then hold Command +R for Mountain Lion or Older or ‘Option’ for Mountain Lion or sooner, when you hear the startup chime. This will take you into OSX recovery (The partition on your computer). If your Mac is from July 25th of 2012 or later then your computer will have Access to Apple’s online backup servers so that you can back up and repair your Mac using WiFi or Ethernet. If your mac is older, then you may need a Disc.
Please note that your Mac may take a few minutes to boot into OSX Recovery. While you’re waiting, OSX Recovery is actually a small partition on your hard drive designed by Apple to allow you to recover a drive if it won’t boot. Importantly, if you are using your WiFi then you will have to keep your WiFi login handy, and you may also have to wait a few minutes while your Bluetooth Peripherals reconnect. Once you’ve gone through the process, just choose whether you want to use Disk Utility, to Restore the OS, or use your Time Machine. Once you’ve logged into your WiFi, you’ll be able to access Apple’s servers and redownload your OSX.
Use Time Machine
If you think that the issues on your Mac are fairly recent then you can use any Time Machine Backup that you might have to restore the Mac. Simply open your Time Machine and run it from there.
Clean The Hard Drive
If the Mac is laggy, failing to copy files, or otherwise not responding then you may actually not have enough space. This is an easy fix but you can find more information in out article on cleaning up your Mac Hard Drive.
To check to see if you have to clean your hard drive, hit the Apple Logo on your system menu bar, choose “About This Mac’, click “more info, and then click ‘Storage’. This will give you a brief overview of not only how much space you’re using, but also what you’re using it for.
REALLY Clean the Hard Drive
Another issue to consider is that your Mac might literally be dirty. Purchase a can of spray air and spray out the vents on your Mac to ensure that it is clean. if you still have issues and have no qualms about taking your computer apart, consider taking off the back panel and swabbing the entire computer out with dry cotton balls or Q-tips.
Visit Your Local Apple Store
If none of these fixes has repaired your Mac’s hard drive then you may want to visit your local Apple Store. If you still have Apple Care then service is free and you may even get a new Mac out of it. If you don’t have Apple Care then they will most definitely charge you for the service.