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Mike
Mike, Mac Maestro
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 164
Experience:  Apple Consultants Network, Apple Certified
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Even after I got some excellent help from Apple with a start-up

Resolved Question:

Even after I got some excellent help from Apple with a start-up problem with my MacBoook Pro, I'm still having difficulty. I couldn't start the thing up so they told me to go into the disk utility area and hit "Repair Disk Permissions" button. Everything got fixed and for an hour or so it looked as if everything would be fine. But now I'm facing the same problem and hitting "Repair Disk Permissions" doesn't solve it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.

Mike :

Hi - I'm happy to help with your Mac issue. Please give me more details abut what is happening?

Customer:

Well, Mike, I was just about to tell you that I'm totally screwed because the disk utilities thing on the Mac Book Pro was telling me that the disk was corrupted but I just tried it again and it says (in green rather than red) "The volume Untitled [that's what my hard drive appears to be called] appears to be OK." That's what it was saying before I started getting the apocalyptic message in red saying that the disk was corrupted.

Customer:

So if the disk isn't corrupted then I'm back to working on the disk permissions repair -- which solved everything earlier tonight but isn't going so well now.

Mike :

I want you to try something that may seem a little complicated, but will help us understand if the hard drive is having a problem. I will list the steps for you:

Customer:

Great

Mike :

1. You will need to boot your system in Single User Mode to perform a repair on your Hard Drive. This is done by powering off. Hold the Command and S key and power on. Your machine will boot directly into Unix so it will look very strange - a black screen with white text. <more>

Mike :

2. When it has finished booting you will be a prompt <more>

Mike :

At the prompt type the following (be very careful to type exactly: /sbin/fsck -fy

Customer:

After tons of text, mine ended with this: :/ root#

Customer:

rather than <more>

Mike :

Then you will see it start to diagnose and repair your hard drive if the directory is corrupted. When it's finished it will tell you that it was successful

Mike :

Then, finally, at the prompt, type: reboot and return

Mike :

Your system will restart and hopefully, the problem will be corrected.

Customer:

I should tell you that I tried to boot up in safety mode with this command line type deal and it was a debacle

Mike :

Do you feel comfortable with these instructions?

Customer:

That was about 20 minutes ago

Customer:

(Yes)

Mike :

I was indicating <more> to mean I had more to type - root is correct

Customer:

Oh

Customer:

Guess I'm not as comfortable with the lingo as I thought

Mike :

if you see the prompt - carefully type /sbin/fsck -fy

Customer:

Still :/root#

Mike :

you must reboot with command S depressed to be in Single User Mode. These commands will not work from just the terminal

Customer:

Is :/root # XXXXX prompt, Mike?

Mike :

give me 1 moin to check

Mike :

sorry 1 min to check

Customer:

No worries. Thank you.

Mike :

yes that is correct

Customer:

OK

Customer:

I types in what you told me to

Customer:

It says "Checking catalog file" (after it said a bunch of other yang)

Mike :

yes - that's normal

Customer:

Checking all sorts of stuff

Mike :

takes a couple of minutes to perform this

Customer:

"The volume Untitled appears to be OK"

Customer:

***** FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED******

Customer:

:/ root#

Mike :

this is a back door method to run the same checks as Disk Utility, but Disk Utility can't repair the boot drive - this can

Mike :

type reboot

Customer:

Sounds like a miracle but what do I know?

Customer:

Apple insignia

Customer:

round thing spinning

Customer:

(the one that's been spinning endlessly all night and appears to be doing the same thing now)

Mike :

This tells me that your OS has become corrupted. What OS is installed?

Customer:

Spinning

Customer:

X

Mike :

what version

Customer:

Lion

Customer:

OSX

Customer:

Spinning

Mike :

OK that is good. We will have to reinstall your Lion OS. This is done by booting into the recovery disk.

Customer:

I should mention that I tried to do that and it said something like, "The information for reinstalling OS X can't be accessed"

Customer:

Been a bad night

Mike :

you will need to force power off by holding the power sw down until the machine down

Customer:

Done

Mike :

this will not be destructive to your data

Customer:

Right. It's done

Mike :

wait 1 min pls

Customer:

Sure. Thank you.

Mike :

hold down the command and d key together and power on until you see the gear spinning

Customer:

Then let go?

Customer:

Letting go just led to an endlessly spinning gear. Should I hold on to command and d?

Mike :

wait 1 pls

Customer:

OK

Customer:

Not letting go also led to an endlessly spinning gear

Mike :

Sorry I gave you wrong key sequence - power off and then power on with command and r key until you see the gear

Customer:

OK

Customer:

OK now we're into the area I've been fruitlessly toiling in all night. Should I go to Disk Utility?

Customer:

Or Reinstall Mac OS X?

Mike :

no Reinstall Mac OS X

Customer:

Just as happened to me earlier, I get an error box that says, "Could not find installation information for this maching. Contact AppleCare.

Mike :

Make sure you are connected to the Internet so it can download a fresh OS

Customer:

'"

Customer:

I'm relying on wireless and it's a system that requires me to agree to terms. I think it's that page I can't get to in this MAC OS X Utilities area.

Mike :

From what you have described, the machine has become corrupted. Since you are covered by AppleCare, I suggest you make an appointment at your closest Apple Store with the Genius Bar. Unfortunately, we have exhausted all possible things that can be done without putting hands on the machine. In these situations, I have a recovery installer on a USB key that I would boot from to force the machine to reload a new install. I am really sorry, I can't offer any better solution for tonight.

Customer:

Hold on. I think the problem is that I'm not on the Internet

Mike :

Usually, it offers a choice for you to connect to your wirelesss network if you are not using the USB Ethernet connector

Mike :

You have to be on the Internet to reload the OS

Customer:

OK. I'm on it now.

Customer:

Sorry about that

Mike :

OK - then try to Reinstall Mac OS X

Customer:

I had to reboot because the "Continue" box was grayed out when I tried to go to Reinstall OS X"

Customer:

Just about back now

Mike :

OK so command r at boot time to get back to the recovery disk partition

Customer:

OK

Customer:

Taking a sec to get on the Internet. SOrry about this

Mike :

no worries

Customer:

Now I'm on the Internet and the Continue box is grayed out again. It's like a catch-22

Customer:

i Did it

Customer:

I'm in

Customer:

Now I have my choice

Customer:

Recovery HD or Untitled

Mike :

Is it downloading now?

Customer:

No, I have to choose where to install it

Customer:

Either Recovery HD or Untitled

Customer:

Untitled is the name of my hard drive

Customer:

(apparently)

Mike :

question - how did your Macintosh HD get named untitled?

Customer:

Yeah -- the guy from Apple Care wondered that, too. I have no idea.

Mike :

do you have another drive attached to the machine or partition of your internal drive?

Customer:

No

Customer:

Just the computer

Mike :

ok - let's assume that untitled is the right drive, so that should be your choice

Mike :

we'll rename it later

Customer:

OK

Customer:

It's downloading

Customer:

I guess this will take a very long time

Customer:

IT's saying 1 hour and 35 mins

Mike :

All right, once it has downloaded, it will begin the install. This usually takes 35-50 minutes once it starts. When it's finished, it will reboot and you should be able to get to your account and home directory at that point. I also suggest you change the name of untitled to Macintosh HD when the machine is back to running properly.

Mike :

You must have a slow connection - although the download servers are very busy today because of the release of Mountain Lion today (10.8)

Mike :

I think you'll be fine now unless there is a hard drive hardware issue that we don't know about. Is there anything else I can help with tonight?

Customer:

Well, it just became 1 hour and 23 minutes but the problem is that I'm doing this by WiFi. Anyway, I really appreciate all of your help. You get: HIGHEST RATING (whatever that is)

Mike :

Thanks - please let me know if I can help again and I hope this resolves your issue and you make your deadline - cheers

Customer:

Appreciate it, Mike. You really know your stuff. Thanks again.

Mike :

Thanks - Bye

Customer:

Bye

Mike, Mac Maestro
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 164
Experience: Apple Consultants Network, Apple Certified
Mike and 4 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
Hi:

Thanks for the positive review. I wanted to circle back and make sure that your Lion Recovery was successful and that your issue is fully resolved. Please let me know if there are any further issues.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, Mike,

Kind of you to inquire. I'm afraid that the attempt to reinstall Lion failed. I got the files I wanted to rescue off of the hard drive by having another computer use my computer as a hard drive and then I wiped the disk. Then I tried to install Lion again and again it failed. Attempts to repair certificates led to error messages stating that the disk was corrupted. I spoke to Apple Care about this and they said that the hard drive could not be saved.

The story doesn't have a happy ending but, nonetheless, I very much appreciate your expert assistance.

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