Hello People of Reddit,
Apologies in advance, I'm new to Reddit and a complete noob with computers so I feel like I am writing this post in a new language.
I restarted my Macbook Pro (Retina, Early 2015) the other day and when it was loading up (after I entered my password) it got halfway through the bar and then shut down. Now, it keeps doing this and I haven't been able to log back in for days. It was fine before this, other than the battery needing a service (although Apple stores are shut). It did do a similar thing, about a week ago, but it then loaded up fine after a few tries. I've tried re-loading it so many times and so many different ways now.
I mostly care about getting my photos and documents off the laptop, rather than getting it working again, although it would be great if I could get it working properly. I have already ordered a new laptop and I am currently using my brother's old laptop (Macbook Pro, Retina, Mid 2014) for university.
Now I realize there are some golden rules of computer ownership, 1. back up regularly, 2. keep software updated, and 3. Keep some spare space on the HD. So, um, well I did none of these. I honestly don't know if I have ever backed up this computer; for the last 5 years, I kept telling myself I'd do it later and I guess I never got around to it. It has all my photos over my life, my university notes, and all the other important personal documents adults have. Furthermore, from my investigations, it looks like my software is widely out of date (Sierra 12.6.03 - July, 2017) and I think my hard drive is full.
I have been scrolling through the internet troubleshooting for hours over the last few days, but I haven't found a solution yet.
From my research, I suspect it's a few issues.
Firstly, I filled up my 'internal physical disk', I can see that by starting it up in recovery mode and opening disk utility. It shows that my 'APPLE SSD SM0512G Media' has no spare capacity, also the sub-disk(?) which on everyone else's computer is titled "Machintosh HD", is titled "Untitled" on mine and also full with "Zero KB" free. I was able to run "first aid" on my internal disk and both disk images, but the "untilted" disk is greyed out and I can't run first aid on it. All first aid came back clear.
Secondly, in recovery mode I tried to "reinstall macOS" after clicking this and clicking "About Install macOS" it says the version is macOS Sierra Version 12.6.03. So that is from July 2017. I could have sworn I have updated it since then, but I guess not. I tried to update it, but I got the error: "UNTRUSTED_CERT_TITLE".
Other things to note is that I can't seem to load the laptop in "safe mode", but I can load the laptop in the guest user account, just not my account (which is the only account on the laptop).
I have read about three possible solutions:
A - Copy image from "UNTITLED" to an external hard drive.
B - Download macOS onto an external drive and booting up the computer from that; or
C - Use a lightning cable to access the documents and photos off my old computer with my brother's laptop.
Progress so far:
A - Following the guide (https://macreports.com/how-to-back-up-your-mac-that-wont-boot/
) I tried to copy image from "untitled" to the external hard drive, but I got the error: (com.apple.diskutility error 3). So I moved onto solution B.
B - Following the guide (https://www.online-tech-tips.com/mac-os-x/install-boot-and-run-mac-os-x-from-an-external-hard-drive/
) I started trying to set up the external drive for macOS, when I was erasing and formatting the external drive it didn't offer me a scheme option, but I went ahead anyway. I assumed I needed the same version of macOS that my laptop had, being Serria 12.6.03, however, I couldn't find that version on the online apple store (the latest I could find was "macOS Sierra 10.12.6 Combo Update"). I also don't know if I'm using the right external hard drive, I am using one that says WD Elements on it and it's 2TB (that's all I know about it, sorry). I downloaded "macOS Sierra 10.12.6 Combo Update" but I didn't get far and when I opened the installer it gives me the error: "This update requires macOS version 10.12.". This is as far as I have gotten.
C - I haven't tried option C yet, as I need to obtain a lightening to lightning cable. I plan on following the guide (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201462
) I am not sure if this will work, as it said: "if it's formatted for APFS
, your Mac must be using High Sierra or later. Earlier versions of the Mac operating system
don't mount APFS-formatted volumes." I don't know if APFS applies to my situation. Also, when I try to load my laptop in target disk mode by holding the T key when it starts up (it does the same thing as when I try to start it in safe mode) it just turns on to the log in screen as if I didn't press anything.
Thank you if you've read this far. I would appreciate any help and advice.
P.S. I know I'm an idiot for getting myself in this situation.