Disk Utility can't repair...

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by MasterMatt, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. MasterMatt, Sep 29, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011

    MasterMatt macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    I was recently trying to partition my Hard Drive, (on my Macbook Pro), and I was running Firefox, (stupidly), during the partition, and it crashed. I went into Disk Utility to recover the lost space, and it said to boot from OS X install disk. I did that, repaired the disk, and all was fine. I booted back into OS X from my Hard Drive and tried again. It said that the hard drive needed to be reformatted to a single volume before I could partition. I ran Disk Utility again, (from the HDD), and it froze, the screen became darker, and more grey, and a message came up saying that I needed to restart the computer. I did that, booted from the CD, ran Disk Utility again, and now it says something like "Disk Utility can't repair the disk. Backup all files and reformat the hard drive". It might say "reinstall OS X", I don't remember.
    Anyway I have a few questions:
    -Is it dangerous to run the computer with a corrupted hard drive? (It's boots fine)
    -Is there an easy, clean way to back up to an external hard drive, and then plop all my applications back on the reformatted hard drive without much hassle?
    -If I am able to backup everything, how do I go about reformatting, and repairing the disk? (I am not able to purchase any fancy software at this point.)


    **None of my files SEEM to be corrupted.**
  2. benmrii macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2007
    I've had the same thing happen... well, at least the part about needing to reformat before partitioning. There is an easy solution: reformat before partitioning. =)

    The good news is doing this is fairly simple.

    Here are the basics, and reply here if you need more specifics:

    1. Connect your external hard drive and back up your computer using Time Machine.
    2. Once this is backed up, disconnect your external hard drive.
    3. Reboot to the OSX DVD that came with your computer.
    4. Access Disk Utility and format your drive.
    5. Start the OSX installer on your fresh drive.
    6. Once you boot up the software will prompt you to create a new user profile or to restore from a backup. Choose to restore from a Time Machine backup and reconnect your external hard drive.

    As to your questions:
    It's not worth the risk. It is very likely that the corruption is simply at a software/formatting level and possible that it increases until you begin to lose or lose access to data.
    The Time Machine route is very much without hassle and will put everything back as it was... files, applications, etc.
    Disk Utility through your OSX DVD that came with the computer. You mentioned accessing it before. Reformat it there (after backing up!) and then run the tests to be sure it was just software (since, if it is, the reformat will fix it).

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