Mac OSX resetting itself to recovery?

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by sartois, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. sartois macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2015
    Hi, my niece has a MacBook Air running OSX Yosemite. Twice over the last month it has mysteriously wiped it's hard drive and gone into the Recovery mode when it restarted, leaving her no option but to reinstall the OS.

    Now, a couple of caveats here:

    1. The first time it happened she had a virus on it. I didn't get to see this as I do not live near her and by the time I had a chance to have a look at it the hard disk had been wiped, and the only option was to reinstall the OS. I did not see what she did before this happened and she is adamant she never reset the Operating system to it's factory mode.
    2. The second time it happened (last night) she said she was doing her homework, shut it down for 30 mins and when she turned it on again it was displaying the recovery mode options. In disk utility it was showing as 249GB of 250GB available so once again it appears the SSD has been completely wiped, and once again she has had to reinstall the OS.

    It's still under warranty but she doesn't live near an Apple store so will be a pain to get them to look at it... just wondering if anyone has heard of a virus or something that could literally wipe out someones OS and erase it from the computer.

    This is baffling me, and the only way I know this could happen is if she was to wipe this herself... but she doesn't even know how to do this. I am presuming that because the disk was wiped there is no way to find out what happened?

  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I can't answer your question as to -why- "the wiping" is going on.

    But it would be a very good idea to instruct your niece as to the importance of keeping a backup drive, and how to go about creating one.
  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    There is absolutely no way a virus or anything could wipe the OS like that. What can cause that is a failing drive, but usually that manifests as the machine not being able to boot at all.
  4. sartois thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2015
    Thanks for the replies... much as I thought. The OS resinstalled without issues so it can't really be the drive, and since it's a clean install of the OS, that can't really to be to blame either. So that leaves one other suspect... the user!
  5. sartois thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2015
    That is the one thing that she does do... she has her files on a very losable thumb drive though!

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