On my 2011 Mac mini, I installed mountain lion on several weeks ago. The install was weird, and I actually thought it screwed up, but it eventually didn't. Basically the installer counted down for about 20 minutes and then got stuck at less than a minute remaining. Eventually said -1 minute remaining. Then just when I was beginning to panic the install went back to 20 minutes remaining and from there seemed to go fine. This might be completely irrelevant, might not be. After this I used the OS for several weeks, I eventually noticed that every time I shut down the computer I get a kernel panic. I did not realize this was a problem, I thought it was a random glitch and just ignored it (don't shut my computer down much anyhow). One day Im trying to seeing if there is ways around the kernel panic so I can perform a proper shutdown. So I had restarted my computer several times in a row, every time getting a kernel panic just before the computer powers down. Not a big deal until after several restarts (i was experimenting), my computer does not boot up. I get stuck at the white screen with a turning gear. Apple support told me to repair my disk via disk utility. When I do so though I get an "error disk cannot be repaired, restore from backup" message. Apple support tells me my hard drive must have failed. But I am skeptical because if that were the case why does my partition with OS X utilities work fine? Basically I am concluding that a glitch in mountain lion, managed to corrupt my OS and thanks to it I am potentially going to lose everything on that computer (in theory a fresh install will get the computer working again). I know I should have backed up so I am not here to complain and blame. Just warning others that if your computer is kernel panicking that I hope you ARE backing up. Furthermore hoping somebody could have a solution for me. Hoping I can make a copy of my hard drive onto an external via disk utility, then fresh install OS X (might go to snow leopard, just saying). With any luck I'll be able to get my data back off of the external drive. Sound plausible?