Problem. You have an Apple computer that won’t start up properly and the hard drive that is not user accessible. The computer won’t start. You do not want to lose all your data.
Solution. Hold down the letter “T” on the keyboard when starting the computer. Wait until a Firewire symbol appears on the screen. If the symbol does not appear, the drive may have a mechanical failure. Connect a firewire cable from the malfunctioning computer to a functioning computer. The functioning computer should show the hard drive of the other computer on the desktop. Find the files that need to be saved and copy them to the functioning computer. The files should be located on the hard drive in the Users directory.
If the user folder is not readable, it may be necessary to follow the instructions above while being logged into the functioning computer as the root user. When doing so, it is very important to be careful because the root user has full access to the computer.