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Cannot startup Macbook: error panic(cpu 0 caller 0x47f5ad)

4973 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: May 22, 2012 8:19 AM by tjk RSS
Bob_Slee Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
Currently Being Moderated
May 20, 2012 7:47 AM

Since a few days, my MacBook started to run a bit slower, and applications crashed more often.

Today, my iTunes crashed, so I decided to restart my MacBook.

I shut it down, but when I tried to restart it, I got this error message in the top left corner of my screen.


panic (cpu 0 caller 0x47f5ad): "Process 1 exec of /sbin/launchd failed, errno 85\n"@/SourceCache/xnu/xnu-1504.15.3/bsd/kern/kern_exex.c:3145

Debugger called: <panic>

(Then a backtrace)

BSD Proces name corresponding to current thread: init

Mac OS Version:

Not yet set

Kernel version:

Darwin Kernel Version 10.8.0: Tue Jun 7 16:33:36 PDT 2011; root:xnu-1504.15.3-1/RELEASE_I386

System model 6,1 (Mac-F2268EC8)



Then a message popped up, telling me to restart my MacBook.

I have tried restarting it a number of times, but all to no avail. I have tried resetting PRAM using Cmnd+alt+P+R, starting up in safe mode by holding Shift, but neither of it worked. I also tried Repairing my harddisk by using Disk Utility from the OS X Snow Leopard startup CD. That didn't work either, it said the harddisk couldn't be repaired.

So I searched on the Internet, and it seems the only solution is to erase the harddisk, and install Snow Leopard again, and then restoring all my data using Time Machine.

There is just one problem:

I have no Time Machine backup!!


Is there any other way to make my MacBook work again? I have valuable data on my harddrive I cannot afford losing.


Thanks in advance!!


MacBook Pro 17", Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • tjk Level 7 Level 7 (24,130 points)

    Hi Bob,


    If you have access to another Mac, you can try starting your Mac in FireWire Target Disk Mode and copying files to the other Mac.


    You can also try a stronger utility such as Disk Warrior, TechTool Pro, Drive Genius to see if one of them can fix your HD directory (all are much stronger than disk utility, but if your HD is physically dying, nothing can repair it). You could also try an app such as Data Rescue and see if it can recover any of your data.


    Not to rub it in, but I hope after you get this sorted out, you'll backup frequently.

  • tjk Level 7 Level 7 (24,130 points)

    Bob_Slee wrote:


    Hi tjk,


    And I would love to use any of those apps you mentioned, but how can I use them when I cannot startup my own Mac?


    Each of these apps has the ability to boot a Mac. That said, there's no guarantee it will work, so it depends on how important your data is and if you can find another way to resolve the issue.


    Is there an Apple Store convenient to you? If so, you could make a free "genius" bar appointment and they will have at least one of the apps I mentioned. They will spend only limited time with you, but it's possible they could be of help.

  • tjk Level 7 Level 7 (24,130 points)

    I can't promise anything, but every Apple Store I've ever heard of has "tools" like this and beyond. Macsales, who sells Drive Genius, states that this is what Apple Stores use.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,985 points)

    First, you have to back up all data before you do anything else. See below.


    After you've backed up, boot from your installation disc. You might be able to fix the problem by launching Disk Utility from the Utilities menu and repairing the permissions of the startup volume. This is one of the few situations in which permission repair may be useful.


    If that doesn't work, you'll have to reinstall the Mac OS. After reinstalling, run Software Update until all available updates have been applied.


    There are several ways to back up a Mac that is unable to fully boot. You need an external hard drive to hold the backup data.


    1. Boot from your recovery partition (10.7 or later), a local Time Machine backup volume (10.7.2 or later), or your installation disc (10.6.8 or earlier.) Launch Disk Utility and follow the instructions in the support article linked below, under “Instructions for backing up to an external hard disk via Disk Utility.”


    How to back up and restore your files


    2. If you have access to a working Mac, and both it and the non-working Mac have FireWire or Thunderbolt ports, boot the non-working Mac in target disk mode by holding down the key combination command-T at the startup chime. Connect the two Macs with a FireWire or Thunderbolt cable. The internal drive of the machine running in target mode will mount as an external drive on the other machine. Copy the data to another drive. This technique won't work with USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth.


    How to use and troubleshoot FireWire target disk mode


    3. If the internal drive of the non-working Mac is user-replaceable, remove it and mount it in an external enclosure or drive dock. Use another Mac to copy the data.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,985 points)

    Select your startup volume in the Disk Utility window, then select File > New Disk Image from... in the menu bar. Save the disk image to your external drive. Since the volume is corrupt, this operation may fail, or it may not back up everything. In that case, you have a tough problem, which I won't be able to help you solve.


    The corruption of your boot volume was caused by a disk error. If it happened once, it may happen again. You have to decide whether you want to continue trusting that disk with your data. If you do, you'll have to erase it, then reinstall the Mac OS, and finally restore your other files from the backup.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,985 points)

    Ok, I will try creating this disk image. But does it erase all of my other files on the external drive?


    No, but I warn you: If the files on that drive are not backed up, you're in danger of losing them too, whether you take my advice or not. You will lose any data you don't back up, sooner or later. Of that, you can be certain.


    Any data-storage device may fail at any moment, without warning, regardless of how it's used. Eventually, it will fail.


    And if it should fail, which certainly is a possibility if I may believe you, does that erase the data?



  • tjk Level 7 Level 7 (24,130 points)

    Bob_Slee wrote:


    So I went to the Genius bar yesterday, but frankly, it didn't help at all.

    We tried to recover my data using a number of different methods: firewire, linking it to their main server, but nothing worked. When we finally made a connection using firewire, we tried to copy my data to secure it, but after 1.5 hours of copying, it just stopped, because it had found an error in one of the files.

    So I left my Macbook with them, they will replace my harddisk, and give me the old one back, so I can manually try to recover my data by linking it with a harddisk case, turning it into an external disk.

    I think I'll just use this disk as a backup's backup, to store some files that I really want to keep, even if it isn't 100% safe.


    If it copied for 1.5 hours, you should have a significant amount of your data recovered. I hope you/they didn't take the "all or nothing" approach . . . . Did they give you that data that was copied?


    When you get the HD back, don't write anything to it; that may just make things worse. And don't start it up unless you're trying data recovery. If it's dying, it has a limited amount of time it's going to work to any degree, so you need to make the most of that time.


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