How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dustin Your Own Question

Dustin, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 12532
Experience:  Over a decade putting the missing byte back into Apple. Also worked in The US Army as A Network Switching Systems Operator/Controller
Type Your Mac Question Here...
Dustin is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was working with John T. F. yesterday and he made me do a

Customer Question

I was working with John T. F. yesterday and he made me do a few things to the Mac but now after trying to archive install it is stuck on Installing for over 14 hours
Don't want to shut it off afraid I am going to lose my files

What do i do
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mac
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: No answer yet.
There was a continued problem but now there is a different one Not the same Question!!!!!!
I did what your tech said to do but now it is stuck on INSTALLING Please read my Question!!!!!
Expert:  Dustin replied 3 years ago.
Welcome, my name is Dustin and I will assist you today!

Sometimes an archive and install, or any install will error out.

It absolutely should not have taken so long to complete.. Two hours, max.

What you can try to do, is hold down the power button, shut the mac down.

and then, start it and attempt the install again...

If your archive install fails twice.. Then if your trying to save your files.. Your best bet is to use a second mac..

Take this first mac your trying to repair, boot into target disk mode, connect your other mac, and then manually copy all the files you need. And once thats done.

Perform a normal clean install on the mac.

Heres a bit about target disk mode.

My apologies that your previous technician did not get back to you sooner, I just started my shift 15 minutes ago and wanted to get a message to you as quick as possible.

If you run into any issues or have any questions, please let me know.

If my answer helped, please click one of the smiley faces to rate the solution, and then click the green submit button to rate the answer. We can still communicate after rating, as rating does not end the conversation.

If my answer did not work, please wait to rate the answer and instead send me a reply so that I can continue to assist you as needed.

Thanks! D.Sandlin

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK it finished installing and I ejected the dicc

It now keeps restarting spinning awhile and restarting

Ok It just stopped and there is a

question Mark on a file appearing with a grey screen blinking in and out

What do i Do now?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Are you there?

Expert:  Dustin replied 3 years ago.
Im here Mike, i was on a lunch break when you responded, just returned.

When you say you finished installing.. Did you have to shut down the mac, and restart the reinstall?

Also, if you shut down again, and hold down the shift key, and then start.. Does that allow anything different to happen?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No it shut off on its own


A folder with a question mark appeared

So I went on Google and a mac forum they said to restart holding option key down I did and the Picture of a hard drive icon came up I clicked that and its back to the Grey screen with Question mark on a folder

Should I hold down the Shift bar now is that what you suggest?

Expert:  Dustin replied 3 years ago.
Yes, lets try starting while holding the shift key.

And if that doesnt change the response of the computer.. Then we need to boot from the disk again, go into utilities, and run a disk repair, and a also a permissions repair on your startup disk / hard drive.

Let me know what happens, and if you run into any issues.

Dustin S.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Won't let me repair disc says Error: Filesystem verify or repair failed

Expert:  Dustin replied 3 years ago.
Did you try to verify the disk first?

Or, did you go staight to the repair option?

Also, did you try to repair permissions afterwords?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes did both

there is no disc Repair permisions

I Hope yoiu guys didn't lose all my files





Expert:  Dustin replied 3 years ago.

The archive and install was suggested by the previous expert..

Im a firm believer that files can always be accessed.( just dont erase the drive)

That being said, it sounds to me like the first archive and install failed.. And we dont want to continue trying , or else we risk doing serious damage to the files that should be still there.

Instead, its imperative we connect to this mac, in target disk mode.

And then pull its files onto another mac.. And then, do a clean install.

Heres some info on target disk mode again.

Do you have a second mac with you so we can access this one in Target disk mode?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK Trying to clone in disc mode and target computer finder does not respond

Drive shows up on desktop and then when clicked the target computer freezes


Expert:  Dustin replied 3 years ago.

When you say target computer freezes, by target computer, you mean the one we did the archive and install on? ( correct ? )

How long has drive been frozen after you clicked on it?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

NO the target computer is the Good Computer or Mac that I am trying to clone

Expert:  Dustin replied 3 years ago.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

The computer that we want to save the files from, thats the same computer that you did the archive and install on, ( the one that wont start correctly )

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes the computer that won't start that we did the install that didn't take we are trying to Clone the info off of it to a destination Mac that works

When we hook them up to the fire wire and start bad computer in Target mode by holding down the t it does show up on the destination computer but when you try and open the HD on the desktop of the good mac the finder crashes on the good mac


Expert:  Dustin replied 3 years ago.


lets try booting the target mac into single user mode, and running a repair command.

This page below will guide you through the command I would like to run

Let me know if anything goes wrong.. And if not.

Let me know, can the mac boot afterward?

And if not, if we go into Target disk mode again, will the finder still lock up?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Still Locking Up

Expert:  Dustin replied 3 years ago.
Were you able to complete the commands.. ?

Were there any errors?