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My Mac started off by giving me the spinning ball of death for an unreasonable amount of time so I caused a force shut down (I know, unwise) and tried to restart it. Came up with the file error. I know what it means so I tried to run disk utility to find the boot disk but their I wasn't even there. I have tried researching it for a while and tried to start it again, and this time it started up normally. So I frantically started removing valuable files, but before I could finish the it froze again. So I restarted it and was faced with the same problem. I ran disk utility, and the boot file was there! So I tried to run a disk repair and it crashed again while in the process.

I am completely stumped, ideas?

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Sounds like the drive is dying.
Get it out of the machine & stop trying to boot from it.

Your best chance of recovery, assuming you don't have any backup, is to attach it to another machine in a USB enclosure & use a recovery utility to rescue it to a separate drive.

The more you mess with it, the smaller your chances get.

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