I have an original Macbook Air with Snow Leopard.
It takes about an hour to boot to the login screen.
After I enter the password, it shows the spinning gear, and stays there.
There are some files on the hard drive I would dearly like to recover.
My question: Is there a way to boot the system from a USB HD or flash drive?
I have next to no knowledge of Mac OS, and all the Googling I've done so far rest on the condition that I am able to boot into the system.
I have followed some of the suggestions on the Apple web site for booting from an external USB device, but I do not see the drive in the boot menu (when holding down the OPTION key).
Also, if the drive is corrupted (as I believe), how can I re-install the OS from scratch?