Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Intel X25 in a Macbook Pro. Trouble In Paradise - Corrupt OSX Partition.

I love my Intel x25 SSD but yesterday the darn thing stopped working. I was having some USB problems so I decided to reboot to see if that fixed the problem. Upon Reboot I just got the dreaded folder with a question mark in it. I then booted with OSX S Snow leopard CD - Disk utility sees no partitions. Now what? My backup is a month old (yeah i know) no need to say more)

I Booted with UBCD for windows (because I had one handy) and used the testdisk open source tool. this is also available for the mac which I didn't know at the time.

While the disk utility gave me no option for repair or fix, testdisk was able to see my partion including size, start location and ending block. I tried to load this copy of the partition table and testdisk was unable to write the file back to the disk. I also tried the mac version of Testdisk. Testdisk on both versions recommends using pdisk to write these parameters to the disk.
I ran Pdisk added in my parameters displayed by testdesk and Wahlah! I can see my partition again and access some of the files. I didn't know my block size so I just used the defaults. I wonder if that is why I can only see some of the files.
Now disk utility can see my parition. I ran the repair tools (permisioins and repair). I can now see the disk and my files on the disk but I still can't boot off of it. Somehow through all this mess my GUID partition is now a standard apple HFS partition without GUID.

A great post over at macosxhints writes about how to convert a standard apple partition to a GUID partition. I modified the above walk through document by using a third disk as a boot disk. So now plugged into my machine I have:

  • A spare hard drive with osx on it from a mac mini
  • The non guid intel SSD
  • A spare blank SATA hard drive
To increase the speed of this process I used a express card to Sata card. Unfortunately this froze about 600 megs into the copy. Restarted. The SSD is now gone from the finder and also isn't showing up in the disk utility.
I rebooted off the snow leopard disk. No the SSD's name has changed to dev0 or some other random name in place of the volume name. Went into console mode and tried PDisk. no parition viewable there. Went back into Disk Utility. No Partition or Disk is detected at all.
I tried a power cycle and booted off the snow leopard DVD again. This time Disk utility froze at gathering disk information.

NO! I don't want a screw driver, thank you. I unplugged my spare drives and power cycled one last desperate time. I guess i need that screw driver. More on the next Post.

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