I'm in trouble. My Mac won't boot (frozen on gray apple logo with spinning wheel), and it appears to be a disk problem. I ran disk utility from Lion's recovery disk, but it says it can't repair my disk and that I should erase it.

I want to try diskwarrior, but before buying it I want to know if I can create a bootable disk with the downloadable version. I can't wait for the DVD to ship -- it'd take at least two weeks if not more, and I need it right now.

I searched on alsoft's site and the web, but I don't understand if it's possible or not. I'm guessing it is, otherwise buying this program is useless in case of emergencies (I'd rather get a new Mac than wait for the DVD to ship).

So the question: has anyone managed to create a bootable diskwarrior disk?

  • If you don't care about licenses, there are tutorials how to use Apple tools like Disk Utility.
    – user24244
    Jun 21 '12 at 9:46

you could try DasBoot and create a bootable disk with a USB thumb drive and a running OS, obviously not yours, maybe someone who has a similar OS. DasBoot allows you to install custom apps, and then you can boot from it and repair your disk.

I hope you have a backup. It could be a mechanical problem, which no software in the world can fix.

Do you hear strange noises coming from the HD? Is it a recent model? Maybe you could bring it to a genius bar so they can make sure it is not a mechanical failure or some other problem...

  • Thanks, I'll check DasBoot out. Anyway nope, I don't hear any weird noises (by the way, don't know if it's an useful info, but I can boot just fine in Windows, installed with Bootcamp).
    – ySgPjx
    Nov 6 '11 at 17:10
  • DasBoot's website looks very old, are you sure it works on newer machines?
    – ySgPjx
    Nov 6 '11 at 17:13
  • 1
    Well it worked with snow leopard... haven't checked in a while. If you can boot fine in Windows, then it most probably mean your hard drive is fine, mechanical-wise. And based on your earlier description and experience i think DiskWarrior will be able to fix your problem. But, I would strongly recommend doing a backup and format, even redo the partitions (this will erase everything, even the windows side) and reinstall the OS from scratch. Sounds like a major file tree problem. Maybe you could clone the windows partition with Carbon Copy Cloner before, will save you some work...
    – Fred
    Nov 7 '11 at 5:48
  • I did exactly that in the end, and I'm glad I've done it. The Mac is much faster now. No more spinning fans. Apps open instantly. So good!
    – ySgPjx
    Nov 7 '11 at 10:23

Got a reply from the support. What I asked is not possible -- but you could use two alternative methods (in my case I couldn't do that though).

Our licensing agreement with Apple doesn't permit transmitting the operating system via the internet. As there are other methods to run the application (as outlined previously [link]) most folks can run the software using the downloaded application. Also, DiskWarrior is the type of utility to prevent these problems - regular maintenance can help prevent the emergency situation.
  • Well, looks like you don't have much choice. Do you have a Mac store or Apple store close by? Surely they have tools that can help. I don't know how urgent your situation is...
    – Fred
    Nov 8 '11 at 12:59
  • I wrote a comment on your answer yesterday. It was very urgent so I ended up formatting the drive and reinstalling the OS from scratch (I managed to save my data on an external drive). And it turned out to be a pretty good thing, the Mac is much faster and very silent now.
    – ySgPjx
    Nov 8 '11 at 14:57
  • In situations like this, it is often good to start the broken Mac in Target Disk mode by holding down Command-T. You can then connect it to another Mac using either Firewire or Thunderbolt. It will show up as an external hard drive on the second Mac, and you can run any disk repair program you like.
    – daviewales
    Dec 3 '12 at 10:07

For the future you might want to try installing OS X onto an external hard drive. Then when you have a problem you can always boot up to recover your files.

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