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Lion Installation Failure: Hard Drive is Damaged

20293 Views 41 Replies Latest reply: Apr 16, 2013 6:53 PM by akg58 RSS
  • rmunde Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 20, 2011 5:29 PM (in response to ev149)

    Make an appt.  You can do it online (assuming you can get online) or via iPhone app and it saves time.

  • BigDfromnew haven Calculating status...

    Verified startup disk. Check!

    Veified install directory. Check!

    Reran Lion install. Check!


    Now to learn the new features.



  • Graham Perrin Level 2 Level 2 (240 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 20, 2011 6:07 PM (in response to ev149)

    The volume Hard Disk Drive could not be repaired after 3 attempts.


    Still not sure how to fix this. :/

    For lines such as 


    Incorrect number of thread records


    — expect Disk Utility in Lion to be more capable than Disk Utility in Snow Leopard, but that's no immediate help in this particular situation.


    A quality third party utility such as DiskWarrior might effect the repair but again, no immediate help if you don't already have that on optical disc.


    (Resist the temptation to attempt starting from the volume with the incorrect number of thread records. In any case, the checks that are integral to startup might properly prevent the system from starting where the filesystem is dirty and apparently irreparable.)


    Of greatest immediate interest to me, for support purposes: how the disk issue arose. The installer for Lion does quietly verify the target volume, so I would not expect the installer alone to lead to such damage to the structure of the volume.


    Please: did you at any point force a stop of the computer, by pressing and holding the power key?


    Or a forced restart, by keying command-control-power, or command-control-eject?


    Is the volume journalled (the norm), or without a journal? Anything unusual about the volume or its containing disk?


    If whilst started from the Snow Leopard DVD you can happily use Terminal (maybe from the Utilities menu), then you might browse the directory where we expect to find the log of installation:


    cd /Volumes/Hard\ Disk\ Drive/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ Data


    ls -lh


    Amongst the files you might see:




    … if this is getting too technical for you (the opening poster), just say. I'm keen to have edge cases like this under my belt, but not at your expense.


    Thanks for approaching this with a level head and with patience. It makes all the difference.

  • Graham Perrin Level 2 Level 2 (240 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 21, 2011 3:20 AM (in response to ev149)

    I assumed, maybe wrongly, that whatever system is started will allow your named Hard Disk Drive to mount.


    (Depending on the errors and the system, a volume with errors might, might not mount read-only.)


    What response, please, to the following command?



    cd /Volumes/Hard\ Disk\ Drive



    If not possible to change to that directory, then the volume has not mounted.


    Your idea of taking the computer to an Apple Store is good.


    As not everything is backed up, prefer to regain access to data.


    I never visited an Apple Store but if they have a Lion system free for this purpose, ask whether they can attempt a repair of your volume in target disk mode. With the more modern Disk Utility the first few attempts might fail — with each attempt apparently no different from the last — but (in my experience) for some types of error, repeated attempts will eventually succeed.


    With target disk mode in the mix — and with the holder of the Lion computer taking a view of


    — things might be expedited by timely repeated diconnections, reconnections to the target volume.


    (Hint: never take that approach without assurance, from the tail of fsck_hfs.log, that the system has completed its automated attempt to repair the dirty filesystem. Keyword: timely.)


    With or without repair, with the error as previously reported it should be possible — with a suitable peripheral system — to gain at least read-only access to your Hard Disk Drive for exceptional backup purposes.


    Side note


    At this time, beware of rushing to experiment with any of the .dmg -oriented startup hacks/workarounds that are known to the public but not recommended by Apple. Such things may be not appropriately tested in the fullest range of environments.


    Hope that helps


  • torefromoslo Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 21, 2011 5:32 AM (in response to ev149)

    I got the same problem. When I went to my local Apple store in Oslo, Norway, they said I would present the original receipt from the store on 5th avenue. That is how far I got. But the symptoms are exactly the same and my Macbook Pro worked perfectly beore I tried to install Lion. I guess when enough people have had the same experience, Apple will act in a more supportive manner.

  • spartytom Calculating status...
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    Jul 21, 2011 10:56 AM (in response to ev149)

    Same problem. I followed the advice to reset pram, then did the control-r thing to bring up the disk utility. This turned out to be the utility for Lion, which wouldn't let me repair the disk. So I rebooted using the Snow leopard installation disc. The disk utility from that volume did let me repair the  disk. After that, I was able to install Lion with no problem. So my advice:


    1. Run disk utility before installation, verifying the volume. Probably wouldn't hurt to repair permissions.


    2. If you get stuck in the installation like I did originally, reboot using the snow leopard disk and repair things from there.


    It should be that simple.

  • Graham Perrin Level 2 Level 2 (240 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 21, 2011 1:36 PM (in response to spartytom)

    spartytom wrote:

    1. Run disk utility before installation, verifying the volume. Probably wouldn't hurt to repair permissions.




    When you run the installer, the preparation stage (before the first automated restart) does not verify the volume.


    Following the first automated restart, according to a log that I have here, verification should begin around thirty seconds after system starting for the installation stage of installation. In the log:


    … Performing volume consistency check …




    During either stage (preparation followed by the first automated restart, installation followed by the second automated restart) you can view and if necessary save the log. Key:



    2. If you get stuck in the installation like I did originally, reboot using the snow leopard disk and repair things from there.


    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7), 8 GB MacBookPro5,2 GeForce 9600M GT
  • pprofpopp Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 22, 2011 5:16 AM (in response to ev149)

    Same issue and saga here

    I'm a fanboy but oh dear, this time apple didn't "just work".  I tried installing Lion but got error message that my hard disk was corrupt/damaged.  With the installer running, I couldn't just quit and go back to Snow leopard to try a fix.  Infinite installer loop.  I then ran disk warrior to 'fix' the corrupt HD. (which was never a problem before).  whoops, that ma have fixed the disk but it made it invisible and so now lion couldn't 'see' a disk to install onto.  When I managed to 'fix this' then the error message was that my hard disk was 'locked' and couldn't be written to.  I booted up from snow leopard and now I'm back to snow leopard  'normal'.   If you can manage that, you should be 'saved'.   Have now done several verify disk and repair permissions runs using disk utility.  I'm sure I should have done those pre-installing Lion.
    I have a big deadline job for next two weeks so may wait until after then to retry.  My first and worst mac install/upgrade horror.  Hopefully the last.  i still love them though :-)




  • Graham Perrin Level 2 Level 2 (240 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 22, 2011 9:20 AM (in response to ev149)

    ev149 wrote:

    … (Apple logo on grey background) for a couple of hours …


    Assume that the startup routine silently ran fsck_hfs when the dirty filesystem was encountered, then either:


    • silently got no further after the first failed attempt to repair
    • silently repaired, repaired, repaired, repaired … (increments) until you stopped the computer.


    Base on your earlier posts, I think the former is more likely.


    With the greyness (without verbose mode) it's impossible to be certain. If you'd like to enable verbose mode without the need to key v at startup, you can use Terminal whilst started from your Snow Leopard DVD to run the following command (the value will be saved in NVRAM, not on disk):


    nvram boot-args="-v"


    At the Store, with a genius in attendance you should need no luck but in any case: good luck!




    fsck_hfs(8) Mac OS X Manual Page — not yet updated for 10.7, I expect a variety of man pages to be updated in due course.




    If at or after your visit to the Store you can set aside copies of logs etc. from

    /Mac OS X Install Data

    it'll be interesting to discover, if possible, the point at which things first went wrong.


    Concerning the issue now detected by Disk Utility: my best guess is that a latent issue — possibly minor and undetectable by the automated verification during installation — was exacerbated by the shrinking at the 'tail' of the startup volume, which is normally done to make space for the hidden ~650 MB partition that's used for Lion Recovery and other purposes.

    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7), 8 GB MacBookPro5,2 GeForce 9600M GT
  • TosaDeac Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 22, 2011 9:22 AM (in response to ev149)

    Same exact thing happened to me on Wednesday morning...downloaded Lion and let it get started and kept getting same error message.  I live close to an Apple Store so I just made an appointment and had them do their magic.  Turned out there was something wrong with the drive architecture (or something like that).  they had to reboot my computer in Snow Leopard and thus erase the entire drive.  I had to leave it there because it was taking so long but came back later and had my Mac back running Snow Leopard like it was fresh from the box.  Luckily I had backed up a week before so didn't lose a lot but it still sucked.  I have since upgraded to Lion without problems this time.


    He said that I should boot my other iMac with the Snow Leopard Disk (start computer with the disk in drive and hold down C while starting up) and then run Disk Utility on that disk to Repair my hard drive before trying to install Lion on that one.  I did that with no errors but have not been brave enough to upgrade to Lion yet.  Maybe next week.


    Good luck

  • bfmcmillen Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    The second time I attempted to install Lion had preceded the install by verifying the hd. All seemed ok. Sent Lion to install and there it was, disk damaged message. For the second time I am back to square zero after having my hard drive and copied TM files back to the machine. I can't imagine a 3rd install without understanding why the last two installs failed.

  • MLem116 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 24, 2011 1:41 PM (in response to ev149)

    Hello All,


    I found a fix to the Damaged disk.  It requires Disk Warrior software.  When I tried to install Lion i got the "Damaged and cannot be repaired" loop.  I tried everything including using Apples Disk Utility to repair and creating a USB install disk without any success.  I then tried my copy of DISK WARRIOR (Version 4.2) which successfully fixed the Disk errors.  All errors were fixed and I could start up my computer like I never tried to install Lion (Started up in 10.6.8).  I then tried to install lion again and it was Successful!!  I did not lose any of my original files or hard drive.  I did not have to reformat the drive to install.  NOTHING WAS LOST!!

    WOO HOO FOR DISK WARRIOR!!   Give it a try if you have it!!  Good luck!


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