When I try to start my MBP early 2011 with Mavericks OS installed I get a blinking folder icon. SMC reset, PRAM reset did not resolve the issue. The MBP does not boot into the safe mode too. When I attempt to perform internet recovery, the hard drive does not show up in the list of hard drives. It looks like my hard drive has crashed. Is there some way that I could recover my data?


Did you do anything special before the problem showed up? Like performing an osx update? I'm asking because I experienced my SSD going completely dead after an osx update myself before.

It might be the disk is broken, especially indicated by the disk not showing up in internet recovery.

If you feel comfortable with it, I'd advise you to boot up a Linux live distribution of your choice and check if it is able to detect and mount the drive. If it's not detected, professional disk recovery services are likely your only chance. If Linux is able to mount or at least detect it, you should be able to repair it or at least rescue your data. There are tons of sources on how to repair/rescue hfs+ partitions from within Linux, such as this.

If you don't want to go this route, you can always head to your nearest Apple store and let them determine the issue. While they might not fix it (for free), you'll at least know whats going on and if data recovery is an option.

  • There was an OS X update that I performed a day back. Maybe thats the issue. Though I am not familiar with recovery through linux, I will give it a shot. Many thanks for your help. I will keep you posted.
    – user996018
    Aug 23 '15 at 12:44
  • Did the issue show up immediately after the update or were you able to boot after the update? In any case, going to the Apple store stating "I did an update and my mac broke" is probably a good idea ;)
    – madmax1
    Aug 23 '15 at 12:45
  • No the issue did not show up immediately. I was able to boot the machine and was running it for a day.
    – user996018
    Aug 23 '15 at 12:45

If booting to Internet Recovery fails, you are correct in thinking the next step is to back up any data that is accessible.

  1. Remove the HD from the Mac and read the files from another computer.
  2. Boot in to target disk mode and access the files from another computer.
  3. Bring a USB drive that you know is bootable by your hardware and boot to it.
  4. Bring the Mac to network with a net boot server (OS X server, Deploy Studio, other...) and boot it that way
  5. Cross your fingers and try internet recovery (or try another network if recovery tries internet automatically)

Each of the above needs additional tools or knowledge or support, but the common problem in this case is storage or system failure.

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