I had the same problem that has been described through out this thread, and I have solved the problem, and the HDD did not fail as stated by Apple to many people. The HDD was corrupted by the Mountain Lion installer. I will describe how I got the information off my HDD on a fresh installation of ML.
- After the original install, I got the installation error and the bad HDD messages. I do not need to go into that here as it has been described by many.
- The macbook pro was stuck in the installation / error loop every time I restarted the computer.
- I attached an external drive to a USB port and rebooted.
- The installation window came up again. I went to disk utilities, picked the external drive and partioned for new ML OS installation.
- Once the partitioning was complete, I exited disk utilites and started the ML install process again. Once it gave me the HDD choice, I chose the external HDD attached to USB
- Once the installation was complete, ML installer gives you the choice of migrating information from time machine or and old system. My internal HDD was the corrupted drive and still in the computer. This HDD showed up in the migration assistant. I chose it, and after 2.5 hours all the data was migrated to the new drive.
- I then removed the corrupted drive from the MB Pro and installed the new HDD with the fresh installation.
- Booted up and all data, applications and settings were as is running in ML
- NOTE THE CORRUPTED HDD WAS NOT A BAD DRIVE! THIS FAILURE IS COMPLETELY DUE TO ML INSTALLER. I HAD TO USE THIS METHOD AS MY TIME MACHINE BACKUP WAS SEVERAL MONTHS OLD AND I HAD DATA THAT I NEEDED.
If you are not familiar with changing the HDD in your model, go to http://www.ifixit.com and enter your mac specs, and it will give you a step by step guide.
First of all, I would like to thank user "adarjo0422" for his solution because it worked for me.
I took my macbook to the Applestore to see what the problem was. As I had expected, the guy at the Genius Bar did not say that this was a common problem. In other words, Apple was not taking responsibility for this rampant problem that seems to be occurring with everyone. Anyways, they told me that I had to take my hard drive to a data recovery specialist, which would've cost me around $250 in addition to obtaining a new hard drive. I found this to be total BS. Therefore, after doing some research, I ran into this thread and solution. I can happily say that I was able to recover all my data without taking my hard drive to a specialist.
DO NOT BE DISHEARTENED! This solution may work for you. The catch is that you need an external hard drive.
Kudos to adarjo0422!
Hey adarjo0422, thanks for the tips, i had the same problem since few days ago, but i never get a chance to do much about it yet, i was just letting my MBP to "load" most of the time and hope for miracle to happen, but ofcourse there was no luck, I didnt back up any of my files before i got this problem during the update, and there is a lot of thing that can't be erased thats why i have been waiting for a solution to "fixed" my mac, install Mountain Lion, and without losing any of my old files.
Today i brought my MBP to the office and connected it to an external hdd and follow your steps, I'm now waiting for the the installation to complete on the external hdd!
And hopefully i can backup all my data from my older hdd (internal hdd inside the mac) to the external hdd. then i can format my MBP and do a clean install of ML on its orignal hdd.
I have my finger crossed, but i'm pretty confidence that everything will work out at the end!!
Thanks for your tips again!
and i have
7 more minutes to go...
Hope it works out for you. It should. Sounds like you are not going to swap the hard drives, which is also ok. You can restore to external hard drive, them clean install on the internal hard drive, and once again restore from the new external hard drive. The reason I swapped mine was that I went from a 500GB to a 750GB and it was three years old. Might as well replace the drive and avoid a REAL HDD failure later.
Here's what I did to mine:
- Wiped out the HDD by doing a clean install of Snow Leopard (SL) from CD
- Upgrade SL with some patches
- Upgrade to ML: yet again, AppStore Upgrades failed and crashed a couple of times
- Create a temp admin a/c
- Restore app/usr/etc data from TimeMachine including my main admin a/c
- Loged out and login using the restored main admin a/c
- Remove temp admin a/c
It is working fine but I had to underscore the fact that the ML upgrade is the most troublesome Apple upgrade I have encountered so far. It is definitely underpar compared to the Windows platform. I hope the next upgrade is better tested.
hey thanks! when i came back to the office today and i found my Mac is running again, on Mountain Lion! and now if i want to do a clean install of Mountain Lion again with my internal hdd on the mac, i need to make a Mountatin Lion install USB right? but this time i learnt to backup all my files again to a the external hdd before i do anything again!
That's somewhat true, but not very helpful. Users DO tend to overlook the fact that everything, even Macs depreciate over time. But the reason Apple customers are saying that their machine worked fine before upgrading because the implications of what could go wrong during an upgrade were not well outlined.
I know not all of these 'failure' problems during Mountain Lion install are likely to be solved by just one method. But the steps listed below worked for me on a MacBook on which I got the 'failed' error when installing Mountain Lion:
- From screen with 'Installation Failed...' screen, shut down as normal from Apple menu
- Start up again in Safe Mode (hold shift key down until gray apple logo first appears, then release and let startup continue into Safe Mode)
- Log in with an admin-enabled ID in Safe Mode (if you have log-in enabled)
- If you didn't already have a backup of some kind, you might want to take the time to do that while in safe mode and your files are accessible... before doing the next steps.
- Launch Disk Utility from Utilities folder in Applications
- Run 'Verify Disk' and click 'Repair Disk' if any repairable errors are found by the 'Verify Disk' process. This can take a while. (NOTE: In my case, there were NO disk errors found in this process. I ran it a second time to make sure -- same results: NO errors found. So in my case, it was pretty clear the physical disk 'failure' during installation of Mountain Lion was not a true condition.)
- Run 'Verify Permissions' also and click 'Repair Permissions' if any repairable permissions settings need fixing. This can also take a while. (NOTE: I ran the permissions check in addition to the verify-disk because of no errors found in 'Verify Disk' prior step... and I had read in other threads other users' belief that the physical disk itself is not bad, but it's somehow being seen by install process as un-writable which was throwing the error. And in my case there were a number of permissions that needed to be updated / repaired.)
- Shut down normally from Apple menu.
- Start up again normally (NOT in safe mode)
- Let Mountain Lion install process resume and (hopefully) finish, as it did in my case.
In my particular case, the above steps resulted in the Mountain Lion install starting up again from the default install partition and running without error / failure through completion... and all is working OK now with the new Mountain Lion OS on this MacBook.
Once you started up Mountain Lion for the first time, it should ask you whether you want to restore from another mac, time machine, or niether. If you choose another mac, your internal HDD should show up. I have done this several times successfully as have others on this forum. If it does not work, your drive may truely be corrupt.