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My MacBook Pro (Mac OS X Snow Leopard) would not start up and the apple service guy suggest me to take the internal hard drive and back up the data to another computer using an external hard drive adaptor.

I did that and connect the "Externalized internal hard drive" to another PC. The hard disk is named "Macintosh HD" and I can only see system and application files but not any other directories or folders.

Is there some special way to read data off a Macbook pro hard disk?

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What happens if you open Terminal.app, navigate to the drive (it'll be listed under /Volumes) and type sudo ls -la. Do you see a Users directory then? –  user479 Jun 10 '12 at 2:58

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Spinrite (www.grc.com) is awesome at repairing hard disks. The only caveat is you have to take it out and plug it into a PC as a drive. The PC won't read it, but Spinrite will.

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