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I had a hard drive die in my Macbook Pro (from ~2012) and I replaced it. I booted into recovery mode and tried to install an OS on the new SSD, but it keeps hanging at "installing additional components" and eventually (after several hours) failing.

I used command + l to see the logs, and it keeps counting up the chunks it receives, only to eventually say "Failed to verify InstallESD.dmg: hdiutil verify failed", at which point it restarts the download process.

At one point, I did get through the process successfully, but since that got me to a desktop with Snow Leopard, I immediately tried to update to El Capitan using the App Store, which also failed, saying "This copy of the Install OS X El Capitan application can't be verified. It may have been corrupted or tampered with during downloading."

Why are these installations failing?

  • So at this point you asked and answered this question two hours ago. We find in your answer it's been running smoothly for a week after you replaced a drive cable with a trip to the Apple Store. – user90735 Feb 8 '16 at 23:15
  • @user1155120 That's because I came here specifically to ask the question and answer it myself: see blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/07/… I could not find this answer on the internet when I was having the problem and wanted to document the answer I eventually found offline. I asked the question in present tense because that's how people will search for it. – Nathan Long Feb 9 '16 at 22:00
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Bad drive cable

I finally took this to an apple store, and the techs diagnosed it as a bad drive cable - a common problem for Macbooks from that year, they said. With a new cable, the Recovery Mode installation worked, the El Capitan upgrade worked, and the machine has been running smoothly for months.

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    In my case the same error was caused by a faulty RAM module(they are soldered into motherboard btw) - so my MBP 2014" worked only 4 months after the warranty expired - yikes. – Boris Treukhov May 2 '16 at 10:53

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