I'll be short and sweet.

My hardware:

  • Mid-2010 13" MacBook Pro
  • P8800 2.66GHz Core2duo
  • 8GB aftermarket RAM
  • 750GB aftermarket Seagate Momentus HDD @ 7200RPM

My software:

  • macOS Sierra Public Beta (latest version).

The computer was feeling very sluggish last night, having trouble loading simple webpages (it spent 5mn on google.com) - so I force shut it down using the power button in order to start it back up (it sometimes goes a bit slow after a few days of uptime).

When I booted it up again, it got stuck at 95% of the grey startup progress bar, and hung there. I restarted it again, and it started shutting down completely midway through the progress bar.

What I've attempted so far in order to solve the issue:

  • Command + Option + P + R to reset NVRAM - this never seems to have worked, as i was unable to make it restart the machine
  • Command + R to boot into recovery mode, which worked - First Aid failed with code 8, and the reinstall option was a no-go, because it stated my hard-drive was "locked".
  • Command + S to boot into single-user command line - tried to run /sbin/fsck -fy, which failed returning disks02: I/O error

I get the feeling I've pretty much exhausted my options at this point. What I want to try again once I'm back home tonight:

  • Command + Option + R to boot into internet recovery - I don't know how successful this will be given my "hard drive locked" issue
  • Try to get my hands on a USB boot drive/installer for macOS, and try booting and running Disk Utility once I'm booted from that.

My own opinion is that it looks like my hard drive is shot. Do you guys agree? Did I miss anything in my troubleshooting process?

Also, since this lappy is my only macOS device, I am currently stumped as to how to get a bootable installer for Sierra. I only have access to Windows machines. Any advice on this front?

Also, if it turns out my drive is indeed fried, what are my options for recovering that which is still recoverable?

Thanks a lot in advance!



2 Answers 2


If, as you suspect, the drive is dying, I'd swap in a new drive so as not to hammer that one unnecessarily.
Then you can use Internet Recovery to put the original OS it shipped with back onto the new drive, update to Sierra & then concentrate on the old drive. Drop it in a USB enclosure & mount as an external.

  • Thanks. I bought a USB stick and tried to install Sierra onto it. It seems to have gone through the whole install process (which took an excruciating amount of time on USB2.0 hardware), but then seems to hang right at the end of the startup progress bar. I have no idea if the installation has succeeded or not. Oct 14, 2016 at 7:22
  • (Didn't mean to add the comment, pressed enter to line break haha). After the hangm Oct 14, 2016 at 7:24
  • .. is there no way to edit comments? After the hang, I force shut down and tried to restart the install process. It started and seemed to go through, but then threw an "install repair or reinstall failed - restart?" Don't really know where to go from here. Getting a new MBP once (if) the new ones come out. Somewhat unfortunate for this shitstorm to start weeks before the launch is supposed to take place. Oct 14, 2016 at 7:29
  • You can edit comments up to 4 minutes after first posting. There's an edit button at the end of your own comments. If you're still trying to thrash the broken drive rather than do what both myself & @IronCraftMan suggested in slightly different ways, then you are lessening your chances of ever getting the data back.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 14, 2016 at 7:35
  • Alright. I tried to find the edit button but was unable to locate it. Which part of your advice am I not following? The only additional thing I can see would be to disconnect the hard drive, but I thought that having the USB be bootable is a pre-requisite for disconnecting the drive? As far as I'm aware, I'm avoiding thrashing the drive as much as possible - I'm just trying to ensure that the USB key is bootable at the moment. Oct 14, 2016 at 7:59

First Aid failing and a locked HD means your HD is failing.

You should boot into internet recovery, and install OS X on an external HD. (Since you don't have another Mac). Then, boot from the external HD and backup any important files from your internal HD. I'd recommend getting a new HD or SSD and installing it into your machine.

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