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andrew5oo0 Level 1 (5 points)

Hello All,


Last night like many of you I downloaded Mountain Lion to update to the newest Apple OS. During the install procress I was told my Harddrive was corrupted and needed to be repaired. After running the Verify Disk utility the following errors came up


Checking Catalog file,

Incorrect number of thread records

Incorrect number of thread records


Checking catalog hierarcchy.

Invalid volume file count


Checking volume information.

The volume Macintosh HD was found corrupt and needs to be repaired.


Then I used the repair utlity on the same screen.

The message was that it had attempted to repair it three times and it could not do so.


During the repair the error message incorrect number of thread records appeared twice.


Afterwards it no longer showed that harddrive as mounted and I cannot boot back into it. When booting it gives me the option of the Install Boot, the Recovery Boot, or my Windows Partition boot.


Two Questions

Is there a way to boot back into the OS to recover my files, I have most backed up but would like to get a few more on my external HD?


My other question is how can I sucessfully repair the disk so that I can do the above question and also install mountain lion.


Thank you,


Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • Appl4Life Level 1 (0 points)

    My wifes 2009 Macbook has the same problem!  This is horrible...  We are taking it to Apple today to see what they say.  They better repair this for free or at least recover the files she needs since last backup. 

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,644 points)

    If you have no current backups, DO NOT TRY TO BOOT.

    If you want to preserve the data on the internal drive(s), you must try to back up now, before you do anything else. It may or may not be possible. If you don't care about the data, you can skip this step.

    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 into Recovery (command-R at startup) or from a local Time Machine backup volume (option key at startup.) 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.

  • Rags001 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Andrew

    I had the exact problem word for word. The hard drive is completely corrupted. I tried restoring with time machine back up but it didn't work. I took it to apple store- they tried everything again including erasing the disc but nothing works. The hard disk is inaccessible. I was told a new disc would cost £119 and I have to bear it. They claim my disc already had a "problem" which manifested because of the major install. Told them about lots of similar problems on forums. Reply was " if you do any search you'll find people with similar problems. It is just coincidence". Suggested downloading mountain lion onto on of their systems in front of me to see what happens but was told they are not allowed. Offered to bring a friend's laptop to try... I was told "they may have a similar hard drive problem".


    Basically downloaded £13 software now have to cough up 150 for the hard drive when my system was working perfectly fine before.

  • Appl4Life Level 1 (0 points)

    My wife was able to get the data backed up to her back up HD in the Apple store.  Now we are told to wipe the computer and reinstall the software.  What a horrilbe launch of product.  Rags001 that sounds like a bad Apple store, usually they are more helpful/understanding.

  • Rags001 Level 1 (0 points)

    I was always impressed with the product line and extremely helpful apple store employees. They usually don't create a fuss with this sort of thing. This is my first nightmare experience. Completely shocked by the experience. The guy was just not ready to accept that it was the "upgrade" that triggered hard drive catastrophe. Until the install it was perfectly fine with no "symptoms of any problem. It is just past the 1 yr warranty for my bad luck.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,644 points)

    The guy was just not ready to accept that it was the "upgrade" that triggered hard drive catastrophe.


    He was right. No software is capable of causing a drive failure. Your drive was on the verge of failure, probably running out of spare blocks. A sudden spate of writes pushed it over the edge.

  • Rags001 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Linc


    Have accepted that now, after calming a bit. You don't expect your mac to break down in one year so it comes as a shock. It was probably the components fault but the timing and similar other cases made me wonder.


    Curious to know if Appl4Life was able to restore hard drive from backup.

  • Rags001 Level 1 (0 points)

    Interesting development--- thought I will give my MacBook another go with restart. I now have have the lion desktop after a long time but it has not finished loading completely - still spinning. What does this mean? Is it software fault after all? Don't know how to rescue it from here?

  • Appl4Life Level 1 (0 points)

    Rags001.  I won't be able to attempt it till after work.  We shall see, happy Apple store was able to save the data at least.

  • Darione Level 1 (0 points)

    I got exactly the same problem. Called Apple today. Tomorrow will try to save all my documents and data from another mac via firewire. This is just unbelievable. So many people are having the same problem. Bought my imac last year. Perfectly working before I tried to install ML.

  • datamgmt Level 1 (0 points)

    This article helps explain a potential source of the issue:



    Why you might not have a Recovery HD partition

    When you install Mountain Lion on a drive, the installer automatically attempts to repartition that drive to create the invisible Recovery HD partition. (If the drive was previously running Lion and already has a Recovery HD partition, the Mountain Lion installer simply updates the partition’s contents.) I say “attempts” because the installer is not always successful. For starters, as Apple explains, the drive must be formatted with a GUID partition scheme and Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format and it must be at least 13GB in size. In addition, if your drive has a non-standard partition scheme – for example, if it’s part of a RAID or if you partitioned the drive using Boot Camp Assistant and then tweaked the drive’s partitions later – the installer won’t be able to create Recovery HD. So not everyone will get this useful feature.

    Unfortunately, if you didn’t already have a Recovery HD partition from a previous Lion installation and the Mountain Lion installer can’t create the partition, you can’t add it later. Your only option, according to Apple, is to back up your drive (including your Boot Camp partition, if you have one), erase it (repartitioning it as a single-partition, Mac OS Extended [Journaled] volume in the process), reinstall Mountain Lion or Lion and then restore your data from your backup. If you were using Boot Camp, you’d then use Boot Camp Assistant to set up Boot Camp again and then restore your Boot Camp data.

    Alternatively, you could install Mountain Lion on an external hard drive or thumb drive, which would create a usable Recovery HD partition on that drive. If you ever needed recovery mode, you can boot into it using that external drive or thumb drive.

  • Rags001 Level 1 (0 points)

    Further update---I now have my mac back.


    Here is what I did


    1.Turn the system off by pressing and holding the power off button.

    2.Press power button again to turn it on. When you hear the tone press and hold command and R until the screen turns to four options menu with restore at top and disk utility at the bottom.

    3. Go to disc utility. Select mac HD and erase with mac reformat.

    4. Go back to four options menu.

    5. Restore with time machine backup.

    6. Voila.


    So glad didn't change my HD. would have wasted 150.


    Linc, I now have the proof that there is a software capable of causing drive failure.

  • Rags001 Level 1 (0 points)

    Well not exactly total system failure. But the install caused software failure and hard drive inaccessible for a long period. It is not happening to everyone so probably my software was corrupted because of installs and uninstalls and the major upgrade caused a breakdown because of missing codes.


    You don't expect apple stuff to break down which is why it came to me as a big surprise. I am sure apple will sort out the bugs quickly. Will probably not attempt another install for a few days.

  • jonsundin Level 1 (0 points)

    Mountain Lion apparently causes hd directory corruption that makes Disk Utility identify the problem as a hard disk problem.  When I tried to install Mountain Lion, it said installation could not proceed and instructed that the hard drive needed repair.  Apple Disk Utility reported that the hard drive was unrepairable.  That did not make sense to me.


    I used DiskWarrior which repaired the hard drive directory without any problem.  I went through this process twice with the 1st downloaded copy of Mountain Lion. 


    I deleted the 1st Mountain Lion copy and downloaded a fresh file. After repairing the hard drive directory yet again with DiskWarrior, the third attempt at installing Mountain Lion proceeded uneventfully and works flawlessly so far.  Disk Utility now indicates that there is no problem with the hard drive.


    So, no, software shouldn't be able to actually "break" a hard drive, but my experience indicates to me that software can cause code problems that are interpreted by Disk Utility as a hard disk problem.  Why DiskWarrior could handle and repair my hard disk and Disk Utility could not is a question I would like answered.


    Good luck to all.

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