My MacBook Pro was working fine this afternoon and after I came back from class in the evening, when I on the laptop, the white page just froze there for around 2 mins and I'm directed to a page asking me to select language. I chose English and it came to the OS X Utilities page where I'm given option to choose to restore, reinstall new OS X Lion, Disc Utility, and search for help online.

I've tried to reinstall it but it showed that my hard drive is locked. Does anyone knows what happened? There's no nearby Apple Store for me to take my Mac to.

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    You should provide more details as it's going to be very difficult to get a focused answer with the limited information you have given. What model of Mac are you running? What version of OS X Lion? What do you mean by "white page?" What happens when you reboot? – user10355 Nov 22 '13 at 18:47

In my experience a locked (read-only) disk in OS X means one of two things: An incompatible filesystem (Like Windows NTFS) or a dying drive. Yours is certainly not the former and likely the latter.

First, see if it can be repaired because it's worth a shot. Open Disk Utility from within the Recovery partition that it boots you into. Highlight your drive on the left-side column (You should see two hard drive icons. The top one represents the physical device and the lower one, indented, represents the volume that the computer sees) and then click the "Repair Disk" button on the right-side panel. See what it spits out at you in the log. Basically red text bad, green text good.

If it tells you the disk was repaired (green text): Restart the Mac and see if it boots up correctly. If it doesn't try holding option on boot and selecting your hard drive as the boot device. If you get back into the system successfully, BACK UP YOUR FILES with Time Machine or your preferred method to another disk.

If it tells you the disk couldn't be repaired (red text): Your drive might be failing. If you plug an external drive into the computer, you can use Disk Utility's Restore tab to clone your hard drive to the external drive. Source = your drive and Destination = the external drive (You can drag and drop them from the left column. Note: Make sure the external drive is blank because restoring wipes the destination drive before copying.

Once you've restored you could try booting off the external drive (Option on startup, select external drive) and doing the restore process in reverse.

  • Great answer ! I did not know the Restore tab of Disk Utility. I think it will save my life. – Nicolas Barbulesco Jan 4 '15 at 17:07

Open Disk Utilities and do a Verify Disk. You can try a Repair Disk also. This will either confirm or eliminate that your hard drive is bad, and if you are lucky, may fix the problem. If you get things going and the disk did show problems, immediately run Time Machine to back everything up: you might be on borrowed time.

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    No this won't. Disk Utility looks for problems with the file system and consults SMART Status, both of which often miss actual faults in the hardware. Also, Disk Utility cannot fix hardware faults, just repair file system inconsistencies (and only some at that). Please avoid short answers like this. Answers should seek to unequivocally solve problems. – user10355 Nov 22 '13 at 18:44
  • Given the state of her Mac, and that the Disk Utility is available from the recovery menu, it is the first step I would take. If you have a comprehensive solution that would unequivocally solve the problem, I invite you to post it here. I was just trying to help the OP, so the downvote is inappropriate. – jalynn2 Nov 22 '13 at 18:47
  • You should have used the comment system then. Also, it's a "her" (nancy). The down vote is very much appropriate here. That's what the voting system is for. You have posted a comment as an answer and it's factually incorrect. – user10355 Nov 22 '13 at 18:48

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