Crisis, need a Terminal wizard: Sierra upgrade failed. How access Macintosh HD to copy to USB?


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 11, 2008
This is a bit of a weird situation that I really hope someone can help with.

My wife's old MacBook Air 11" 2011 needed to be updated from 10.7 to Sierra.

I downloaded the installer and ran it. It promptly hit the "This installer is damaged error" but for some reason I couldn't access the Terminal from within the upgrading console because the Utilities menu was gone. I had hoped to be able to change the date and time to get rid of the error.

I rebooted and removed InstallInfo.plist from the Sierra installer's contents which was suggested could help.

This allowed the installer to run. However, after a while the installer stopped because "File system verify or repaired failed".

I tried to restart, hoping that I could go back to 10.7 because the installer hadn't come very far. It had only gone past the first 5-min part and then continued a few minutes into the long 30-minute installation sequence when it stopped.

But the computer is stuck in a reboot loop. It only goes into the Sierra installer upon restart and upon cold boot.

When the installer stopped the Utilities menu somehow appeared and let me access Terminal. I was hoping I could now copy over ~Documents to get a backup of some important stuff there.

Here's where it seems to get strange.

If I use diskutil list I see Macintosh HD listed as volume disk0s2 together with EFI and Recovery HD. I can also mount disk0s2.

But I am not able to see Macintosh HD if I go to /Volumes and use the ls command. Then only EFI, "Image Volume", Mc OS X Install DVD and OS X Base System appear.

Where has Macintosh HD gone and is there any way at all to access it in order to copy stuff from it?

Thanks heaps in advance

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