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John T. F.
John T. F., Mac Druid
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Experience:  20+ years in the computer/Mac industry
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Hi Mike, I was following your advice you provided to someone

This answer was rated:

Hi Mike, I was following your advice you provided to someone regarding fsck issues and repair/modification "At the command-line prompt type: 

/sbin/fsck -fy
..." etc... So I've done this and the command screen keeps looping through 'repairing volume' then I received a message "Volume Macintosh HD could not be repaired after 3 attempts.***the volume was modified****

can you please provide advice where to go now?
Hello! My name isXXXXX will work diligently to provide accurate advice and information.

Mike doesn't seem to be available right now but I would be happy to assist you or you can continue to wait until he comes online.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi John,

happy to work with you.


turned iMac on this morning, got white screen, then rebooted and got white screen with apple logo, progress bar...


found a response from Mike which suggested turning on holding Cmd + S - then typing in /sbin/fsk -fy..


appears I have an error in my volume which can't be repaired. Can you please advise?


do you happen to know what version of OS X is installed?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ahhhmmm I should know that... its the latest, cos I update all the time.


is that leopard? 10.8 is on my macbook, so I'm thinking it would be same? Sorry if that's not much help

No problem, if indeed it's 10.8 then that would be Mountain Lion. If your iMac did not come with this installed then you would have had to update via the Mac App Store sometime in the last year...

Please try the following and tell me what you see;

Shut off your Mac.

Restart and, as soon as you hear the startup chime, press and hold the “OPTION” key.

You should eventually see a graphical menu listing the bootable volumes in your iMac. You can release the option key.

Can you tell me the volumes that you see listed?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

macintosh HD and Recovery 10.8.1

Okay, great... let's try repairing the hard drive using the Recovery partition. It will be similar to what you were using before but you won't be booting off the same volume you're trying to repair.

Select the Recovery 10.8.1 option in the menu.

Wait for “OS X Utilities” menu to appear (DO NOT CHOOSE TO INSTALL)

Choose Disk Utility from the available options.

In Disk Utility, select your normal, bootable hard drive volume from the list in the sidebar (usually "Macintosh HD").

Then, Click "Repair Disk"

If it finds errors, repeat the process until it reports the drive is OK. Repeat this up to 5 times. If it notes the specific issue it is having, please let me know. If you reach 5 attempts and it still fails then stop here.

However, if it goes on and reports the volume is OK, next, click "Repair Disk Permissions"

Then, restart your Mac and it should boot back into your normal Desktop.

If you continue to have questions on this topic, just reply back to this discussion. I will be more than happy to work with you further. Hopefully, this info will answer your question. If so please, please remember that when you are asked to give a rating, you are rating my personal service only and not this website itself or your issue.

Thanks and good luck,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK did this.


received a Red error message: Disk utility can't repair this disk. Back up as many of your files as possible, reformat the disk and restore your backed up files.

That doesn't sound too good hey? I do have a back up on TimeMachine??

Okay, that's is sadly what I was expecting.

There are two possibilities here;
a) this is purely a software issue (file system corruption)
b) a physical issue with the hard drive

However, since you are capable of booting to the Recovery volume then we can assume it is software at this point.

*IF* you have a current back up in Time Machine then you should be safe doing the following;

In Disk Utility, select your startup disk from the list on the left (usually Macintosh HD) if it isn't still selected, and then click the Erase tab.

From the Format pop-up menu, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled), type a name for your disk (usually Macintosh HD), and then click Erase.

After the disk has been erased, choose Disk Utility > Quit Disk Utility.

Wait for “OS X Utilities” menu to appear (DO NOT CHOOSE TO INSTALL)

Select "Restore from Time Machine Backup"

It should then lead you through the process of recovering your files from Time Machine.

Once it restarts, your system should be back to the condition it was at the time of the last back up.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Time machine backs up everything right??? I know it is current, but I need to be confident that it backs up everything, photos etc...

I have used it on number of occasions recently to restore files that have been lost, so I know it works for them...

I'd just hate to lose my photos

Yes, unless you have changed something in Time Machine's settings then by default it back ups the entire Macintosh HD hard drive.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks John, I checked my external hard-drive (backup disk) through my MacBook, and could see that all files were there.. so have confidently deleted and now restoring from the Backup disk.

Looks like it will take some time (showing as 5 hours) but this may speed up.


Thanks so much for your advice and help, will definitely rate you positively, but will just wait until all is finished in case something goes unexpectedly wrong and I need your advice again.


will let you know final outcome as soon as its completed.



Nicci. Smile

No problem at all, Nicci! Glad to hear you are making progress.

It's likely that as it goes through the restore it will speed up a bit. I will keep an eye open and await further word from you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

John, its all loaded up and restarted... very strange though as there are no Apps on it... No Mail, Safari, Mission control, Launchpad, App Store, ITunes, iPhoto, time machine, system preference, msword, ms excel etc, facetime etc.


All are missing and only apps displaying in App folder are those that would not have been installed at time of purchase.


How can I get these back?

Okay , that's very bizarre as they should be included... If you browse the backups.backupdb folder on your Time machine volume do you see the apps there?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no, its weird, I can see my whole microsoft folder in the backup it's got everyithing in it but then a 'lightened out version ' of the actual exe icon, and when I click on it message shows as 'cant open because PowerPC apps are no longer supported.


The apps folder is about half the size of the normal one, so it seems that it's not backed up the standard operating system apps, only the ones that are additional to the standard.


should I try and look for my initial startup/purchase disk? How can I download anything if I can't even get safari?? Aghhh

Okay, it sounds like a portion of your Time Machine back up got damaged at some point. It's possible the previous disc issue may have effected that long before you became aware of it but that would be unusual.

If you boot back into the Recovery volume, you should see an option to re-install OS X. If you use this, it will now install over the top of your restored version and should put back all the apps you are currently missing.

Restart it and immediately press and hold the OPTION key on the keyboard and a graphical menu showing the bootable volumes should appear shortly. You may then release the Option key.

Select the “Recovery " option in the menu.

Wait for “OS X Utilities” menu to appear

Select Reinstall Mac OS X, click Continue, and then follow the instructions.

Once the re-install is complete, and the computer restarts, you should hopefully be in a better position.

Any other apps like Office, you will need to re-install, however.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It says I can't reinstall the Mac OS as I'm not connected to the internet.. which I know I am as I'm wifi connected to you right now from my macbook




ignore that I've sorted that out :)

Ok, glad you got it. ;-)
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

All worked fantastically! Thanks so much John for your help.


Will definitely rate your services as * Excellent ! You saved me a packet in $ and time and worry :)




You are very welcome!

I enjoyed working with you – please feel free to request me again at any time when you come back to ask another Apple-related question. I can assist with a myriad number of issues.

I can be reached directly via the following page:

John T. F. and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you

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