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How to transfer files off dead Macbook Air?

I'm currently working on this person's Macbook Air, and as far as I can see, the HDD s totally dead (DiskWarrior can't even do anything), but aside from the fact that it's practically dead, I can't seem to find a way to get the files off of the HDD, though I can clearly see that they are still intact in Single User Mode. Does anybody have any advice for getting the files off of this computer? It's a 2009 Macbook Air with a ZIF HDD, so a SATA dock is out of the question. Thanks, Guys.

Best Answered by

iBoysoft author Eudora Liu

Eudora Liu

Answered on Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Before you transfer files off your dead MacBook, you need to recover files first. And you can use iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac which supports you to recover data from unbootable Mac.

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is professional data recovery software that can help you to retrieve kinds of files from HDDs, SSDsUSB flash drives, and sd cards. And it is fully compatible with the T2 chip, M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M2. You can follow the steps to get back your data.

  1. Press the power button or Touch ID and hold on to Command + Option + R to take your MacBook into macOS Recovery Mode.
  2. Launch Terminal and type in the following command to download and open iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.
    sh <(curl http://bbot.iboysoft.com/boot.sh)
  3. Choose the drive and click Search for Lost Data.
  4. Preview the search results and click Recover.

To transfer files off a dead MacBook, you can run Target Disk Mode if you have another Mac/MacBook that can work normally. Here's how:

  1. Connect the two computers with a USB, USB-C, or Thunderbolt cable.
  2. On the Mac you want to use as the external disk in target disk mode, do one of the on-screen operations.
  3. Transfer files by dragging them to and from the disk.
  4. Eject the disk by dragging its icon to the Trash.
  5. On the Mac you used as a disk, push the power button to shut it down, then disconnect the cable.

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