Mac HD crash - Unable to backup files & reinstall OS

Aug 14, 2017
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Hi Guys,

My iMac HD crashed and I'm unable to boot into my Mavericks OS. From the Recovery partition, I used the Disk Utility feature, but in vain. It's unable to repair the HD. I have also not taken any backup of recent files, nor have I used the Time Machine either. I tried using an old Ubuntu startup disc and was able to access the other files in the HD, apart from the root user files. However, my important files are the root user files. Also, I'm unable to use my Mac keyboard with Ubuntu and that makes matters worse. Moreover, the system now seems to assume the default startup disc as the CD source itself, and states that the boot device is missing if I don't insert a CD. Hence, I'm unable to use Recovery partition or Disk Utility unlike earlier. I need to be able to change the default startup disc. Also, should I maintain a bootable Mavericks OS installer from a USB and re-install the OS on another partition? Then I can take a backup of the required files from the main HD and then proceed to re-format and system and re-install the OS.

I have earlier undergone a similar issue and was able to succesfully backup the files & reinstall the OS. I just can't seem to remember what I did previously. There's no physical problem with my HD.

Please help.
Sep 17, 2014
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Need to know a couple of things:

1. What exact iMac model do you have? Along with that, do you know if the internal HD has ever been replaced?

2. What software have you been using for making backups (to an external device, I assume)?

3. What is Ubuntu? What kind of media is it on? CD, on your HD, or on a USB flash drive?

4. Do you already have the bootable Mavericks OS installer on a USB drive? If you do, and if you stick it into a USB port on your iMac, when you boot up the iMac while holding down the Option key (without Ubuntu "installed"), does the USB drive show up?

5. How are you making posts here? Do you have access to another Mac?

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