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SmittyRR Level 1 (0 points)

I hope someone here can help me out with my issue...


I successfully installed MAC OS X Lion to my desktop to transition to iCloud. I prodceeded to do the same on my MacBook Pro. However, after restarting my laptop as prompted upon the installation completion, the following message popped up: "Install Failed. MAC OS X could not be installed on your computer. MAC OS X Lion couldn't be installed, because the disk is damaged and can't be repaired. Click Restart to restart your computer and try installing again."


After pushing the restart button several times, the same message continues to pop up on my screen, not granting me access to my desktop and, consequently, my files.


Anyone else had this issue when installing Lion on their MacBook Pro? If so, any success in getting the window off your screen and returning to the previous version (with all files intact)? Any guidance is greatly appreciated. I'm afraid I've lost everything I have on my laptop, as I'm not one who backs up early and often.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,742 points)

    What that message means is that the hard drive is badly corrupted and could not be automatically repaired by the Lion installer.  You could try repairing using Disk Utility from the Snow Leopard install disk, but I'm pretty sure that's going to be using the same repair engine (or an older one, actually), so that's not likely to work.  You can try getting a copy of DiskWarrior, which may be able to repair the damage.  It can often fix things Disk Utility cannot.


    Unfortunately, any time there is corruption like this, there is the potential for data loss.  If you don't have backups, you may be about to learn why they are so important!  Because if DiskWarrior fails, your best case option is to erase the hard drive and reinstall everything from scratch.  Worse, in this case it's possible the drive is failing, and will need to be replaced.

  • jsd2 Level 5 (6,200 points)

    If it turns out that you can't repair the MBP's HD and it remains unbootable, it still might be possible to retrieve at least some of your files from it before you erase it and start over.


    Since you have a second Mac, you could try connecting the two computers with a FireWire cable, and then booting the MBP into FireWire Target Disk Mode. For details, see this support article:

    How to use and troubleshoot FireWire target disk mode.


    With luck the MBP's HD will still be capable of mounting on the Desktop of the good Mac, and if so you could then try to copy your files back to the good Mac. You may end up with good files, corrupted files, or no files at all depending on how badly the MBP's disk is damaged, but as a last resort it is worth a try.

  • Cerebro Level 2 (240 points)

    Do what jsd2 suggested.  Connect it to your desktop and boot in target disk mode.  The MBP's drive may not be able to boot, but if it can mount, you could retrieve the data from it and copy it over to your desktop.  Afterwards, try using your desktop's Disk Utility to repair the MBP drive.  Failing that, and if the drive isn't toast, your best bet would be to erase it, reformat, and start fresh.  (Target disk mode was my friend, a couple years back, when drive in my old PowerBook began to fail and wouldn't boot.  I connected it to a friend's Mac, booted in target disk mode, used Disk Utility to repair it to the point where the disk was able to mount, and, promptly, copied all the data to another volume.  Thankfully, I didn't lose anything.)


    The big lesson to take away, here, is always back-up.  It's even more crucial to do so before making changes to your operating system.  You never know if, or when, something will go wrong.

  • SmittyRR Level 1 (0 points)

    Unfortunately, I'm unable to select Disk Utiliy, as it is greyed out. The Apple Support technician I spoke to this morning advised me to take it in to the store. Not looking good... Thanks for your response. Much appreciated!

  • SmittyRR Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm going to give your crisis mode steps a try. Fingers crossed!

  • a brody Level 9 (65,758 points)
  • carolsm Level 1 (0 points)

    Same exact thing just happened to me, and was told to take to the store and a "genius" would boot from snow leopard disk. Well, he looked at my laptop for 5 sec and said it was my hd that was damaged and had no relation with the update. Interesting, since it was working perfectly before, and i've been researching this online and found out that a lot of people have the same problem! Could it be that we all have hard drives that were damaged, but it onlyshowed after the install? I doubt it. I believethere is a serious issue with Lion that causest his but Apple is not willing to help. They want me to buy a new hd! I am very upset because I actually called Apple Care and taked toabout 8 specialists on what wasthe best andsafest way to transition to icloud without running into any issues. And i just followed their advice, now I haveno laptop!

  • a brody Level 9 (65,758 points)



    For one thing, it looks like you need a new keyboard, or to clean the one you presently have, or to better learn the language being spoken.    The lack of spacing in your posts words either is a sign of a potential for miscommunication, or a sign of poor hardware.  If the former, no wonder, the misdiagnosis.     If the latter, again, no wonder the misdiagnosis.  Regardless, unless you have a solution for SmittyRR, it is better if you start your own topic thread, so someone can actually help to isolate your problem.  Otherwise your post won't be seen by as wide an audience as possible, and Smitty may get the wrong advice and try it at their own demise.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,742 points)

    Hard drives die.  It happens, and cannot be blamed on software.  Software cannot physically damage a hard drive.


    I'll agree with you that a 5 second look would not be adequate to judge a hard drive's state.  However, to jump from there to a massive and widespread Lion issue that is being covered up, and used to sell new hard drives, by Apple is illogical in the extreme.  Do not try to read too much into reports online, as the people seeking help with such problems typically don't know much about them, and thus their conclusions are not always accurate.


    If you doubt he Apple tech's diagnosis, get yourself a copy of DiskWarrior and try repairing it with that.  If that fails, or if it succeeds but only temporarily, the tech was probably right.

  • carolsm Level 1 (0 points)

    a brody,


    My keyboard is not dirty or damaged, i am typing from my ipad. I didn' t realize the lack of spacing in some words on my post, since I was typing quickly on my ipad. Also, it is not a sign of poor hardware, because, as I explained above I have no hd, since it was damaged with the install and my laptop will not turn on.


    About learning the language being spoken, fyi I am not a native english speaker, didn't know it was a requirement to post something on this forum. I don't see how lack of spacing would affect the meaning of my words. But I can assure there was no miscommunication since I have spoken with several specialists on the phone and follow their instructions. It was not misdiagnosed. I never had any problems completing my master's degree in English.


    I did not give SmithRR any advice, so I don't see your point.


    There are no rules that require me to post a solution to a post. I simply wanted to share my experience with someone who is going through the same problem I had.

  • carolsm Level 1 (0 points)

    Thomas A Reed


    Thank you for your suggestion, I will get a copy of DiskWarrior and try to repair it.


    I understand that hard drives die, that is why I have a back up system.


    I just want to clarify that I did not say that this issue with Lion crashing hds is massive and being covered up and used to sell new hds. I said that I have read many articles about it, not only from forums, but also from websites and blogs. Several people had the same problem happened to them. I questioned if it was a coincicidence or a real issue with Lion.

    And the Apple genius was not willing to help me, like I said, with his 5 second diagnosis, his solution was for me to buy a new hd.

  • petermac87 Level 5 (7,365 points)

    carolsm wrote:


    Several people had the same problem happened to them. I questioned if it was a coincicidence or a real issue with Lion.


    Yes, I think the point being made is that 'several people' compared to many, many milions of users with no problems does not constitute any wide range problem. Some Hard drives are ready to fail and the stress put upon it by a new system install can just be the straw that breaks the camel's back. It can also happen with upgrades within a system. Saw it happen in Snow Leopard as well. As for the claim that Apple try to make money from selling new Hard Drives, well I have never, and haver never known of anyone to ever buy a new hard drive from Apple as they seem to be extremely overpriced compared to buying the same thing from another (especially online) retailer.





  • carolsm Level 1 (0 points)

    Please read what I posted. I never said anything about Apple making money trying to sell hds! I said the only solution given to me by them was to buy one.

  • petermac87 Level 5 (7,365 points)

    carolsm wrote:



    I believethere is a serious issue with Lion that causest his but Apple is not willing to help. They want me to buy a new hd!


    Then please be clearer how you word you posts.

    Same exact thing just happened to me,


    No it did not


    I am very upset because I actually called Apple Care and taked toabout 8 specialists on what wasthe best andsafest way to transition to icloud without running into any issues. And i just followed their advice, now I haveno laptop!


    The Original Poster had a failed disk, you spoke to '8' specialists about an iCloud transition!! I think you should start your own thread with your seperate issue and stop confusing this post for the person who started it. All you have done is complicate it.



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