Mac OS forum


Mountain Lion install fails saying disk irreparably damaged

by jolysmoke / May 17, 2013 10:46 PM PDT

i tried today to install ML direct online from Apple Store on a MBPro running the latest Snow Leopard 10.6.8. When it demanded the required restart to install the new OS, after a few minutes it reported failure on the grounds my disk was damaged beyond repair.
Check with First Aid reported all OK. Further check of permission said it would take 5 hours to complete which I found exorbitantly long so ended it.
Our 15" MBP seems made in Aug 2009, bought in early 2010 from Apple. Always functioned fine till now and still seems to on SL to which it has returned.

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All Answers

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I would be inclined to believe the ML installer
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / May 17, 2013 10:58 PM PDT

when it says that your disk is damaged.

5 hours for a Permissions Repair would indicate that there is something going on there.

I'm sure the MBP is functioning right now but you may find that it takes longer and longer to start up or to do something.

Start the MBP up using the DVD that came with it and then run Disk Utility from the DVD. Although the abilities of DU is extremely limited, you may get a different answer while booted from an external source.

A replacement hard drive for that machine is relatively cheap and easy to install. See Link:

Once installed, install 10.6 back onto it and then use your Time Machine backup to replace everything back onto your new hard drive.
On completion, upgrade to ML


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I've managed this time to install ML as took risk of retry
by jolysmoke / May 18, 2013 4:15 AM PDT

Hi, thanks for that. You may be right but before I got your message (saw it just now), I noticed that the ML installer was still visible in the dock end, so I decided to have one more try and this time not leave the machine but watch every step to see what went wrong.
This time it got to the install Mac OS X window with its big saltire cross, and said 34 mins install time. It got to 32 mins and remained stuck there for 10 mins or so but then the blue line started moving steadily forward until only 8 mins were left and then it suddenly jumped back to 22 mins. But it regathered forces and moved on again and finally installed it in a single linear movement without retreating again. I did the iCloud stuff etc and lo! i have an MBP with ML installed. Proceeded to update latest software too. And here i am on the net with it replying to you. Don't know why it complained & failed the first time but this time there was no remark about the disk being damaged.
I don't know if I can check it with the old install disk and I have no disk for ML as it was from the web??

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Good Job.
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / May 18, 2013 10:16 PM PDT

thanks for getting back with an update.

I seem to recall the ML installer progress bar moving in both directions when I installed it on an iMac here.

Yes, you can still use the old install disc to boot the machine from, it takes the OS from the DVD and loads it into memory and totally ignores what is on the hard drive.

Running Disk Utility from a source that you are not booted from, the DVD, allows Disk Utility to actually do some repairs if necessary. You can't repair a disk, with DU, that you are booted from.

Anyway, enjoy ML, there is quite a bit to learn.


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