I have no idea what happened, but my macbook pro's battery died, and when I went to turn it on, it took me to a grey screen with the prohibition symbol. When I researched the problem, most solutions were to reinstall OS X. I booted up recovery mode and went to do do so, but when prompted to select a disk to install it on, the menu was empty.

Went to Disk Utility, and the HDD is showing up there. Tried to repair, got several weird errors, so I used Internet Recovery mode instead. Trying to reinstall OS X on there also did not work as the menu is also empty.

This time, trying to repair the disk gave some progress, but I kept getting stuck on a "partition map failed while adjusting size for logical volume" error message. I went into Single User Mode and ran fsck -fy, which did return a successful "The volume appears to be OK" message, but when I try to repair the disk again, it still gives the same message.

I have no idea what to do and have exams in 4 days, so if anyone knows what to do or knows how I could access my files (class notes), I'd really appreciate it.

The computer is a mid 2012 Macbook Pro non-retina model, and I bought it in October 2013. It was running the latest OS.

Thank you in advance.

1 Answer 1


Wow. After a frustrating 6 hours, I managed to fix it 10 minutes after posting this.

Although I have no idea what I really did, I'll post my "solution" for anyone with the same problem who happens to come across this because the amount of frustration I felt at people who described my exact problem but never gave an update is unreal.

Anyways, all I did was kept restarting my computer, booting into internet recovery mode and just continuously repairing the disk over and over, ignoring the "this disk can't be repaired" and other messages. I only ran the "fsck -fy" command once in total. It looks like the key is just continuously repairing the disk until it starts to function again.

I knew it was working when it returned a success message and the disk showed up in the OS X reinstall menu, but I didn't even need to reinstall; I rebooted and everything is working fine.

  • What is the SMART status? If it's failing or failed, you need to get a new drive ASAP. Also, do you have a backup? You NEED a backup. It's possible that this problem will reoccur, so you need to take these steps sooner rather than later. (And by sooner, I mean the next few days)
    – NoahL
    Jan 28, 2017 at 5:40
  • If you don't have a backup of your system I would strongly advise to get one in place ASAP (at the very least move important school related files to a service such as DropBox in the interim). As it's unclear as to what exactly happened to cause your issue (a battery dying should not cause this problem) you can't be certain that there isn't still an underlying issue waiting to pop back up. If it were me, after exams are over I would also reinstall the OS. I would always prefer to work with a pristine image - not one that's been ripped up and taped back together - if you know what I mean.
    – NYKg
    Jan 28, 2017 at 5:44
  • @NoahL The SMART status just shows up as "Verified." I actually did have a TimeMachine backup but that was from 4 months ago so none of my important files was on there so I was freaking out. I just finished backup up all of my things on an external drive. Do you have any idea what could have caused this? The only thing I can think of was I very briefly changed permissions on a /var/ folder, but that was weeks ago.
    – Luke James
    Jan 28, 2017 at 6:07
  • @NYKg Thanks for the suggestion :) I did have an old backup (useless) so I just finished quickly backing up the most important files. I'll definitely reinstall the OS once exams are over. Do you think it'll occur again? Is there anything I can do? The only thing I can think of that could have caused this was I very briefly changed permissions on a /var/ folder, but that was weeks ago.
    – Luke James
    Jan 28, 2017 at 6:09

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