Have a mid 2012 Macbook pro that last week wasn't able to find the drive to boot from (just saw the folder with a question mark on booting). When I opened disk utilities from macOS utilities the disk showed errors which couldn't be repaired. At this point I attempted a restore from time machine but this couldn't get past 0.1% after 24 hours for only around 100Gb of data, this led me to believe it was the SSD that has failed.

I then formatted the drive and tried to reinstall the OS. This just got itself into a loop of failing to download Mountain Lion after 17 hours. The error was:

Reading on disk file failed, failing resume

I assumed the issue was the SSD, it's only 2 and a half years old (it was a crucial upgrade and had been functioning absolutely fine).

I have now purchased a new SSD (another Crucial but MX500). I wanted to do a direct time machine restore to the new drive right from disk utilities (which is downloaded) but this gave the error:

An error occurred while adding a recovery system to the destination disk

The time machine backup is from this exact machine but a High Sierra OS and after a little googling there seemed to be the suggestion that a bootable OS had to be in place first.

On my new SSD the download progresses fine however the download of Mountain Lion is stuck in a loop of downloading additional components. I've accessed the logs of these and I'm seeing:

Got chunk 423 of 423
Failed to verify InstallESD.dmg: hdiutil very failed
Damaged resume data

The download then repeats over and over again and runs through get chunk.

I have made no other upgrades to the system other than the OS

Any ideas how I can either install the OS or restore from time machine? I know another option is creating a bootable USB ISO but I can't easily do this tonight from my work laptop and I have a feeling I'll run into the same problem

I have also run the Apple Hardware Test and ran the extended test which took around 20 minutes. This returned with "No Trouble Found"

1 Answer 1


For anyone coming across this in the future, there's 2 issues with this route:

  • The new file system introduced in Sierra means that the startup SSD must be APFS and can not be extended journaled. This means that with a brand new hard drive without a startup volume one can not restore directly using time machine onto the SSD. You need to install (High) Sierra first and then restore from time machine afterwards

  • Mountain Lion OS was apparently not a free OS and in Apple's own words this is why the internet restore is failing at the end

The 3 ways to resolve this are either:

  • Restore from a pre Sierra Time Machine image, then from this image upgrade to high sierra and then finally restore from the time machine image

  • Restore from the Mountain Lion recovery CD, then upgrade to High Sierra and restore from time machine

  • Obtain bootable High Sierra ISO from USB, install High Sierra and then restore from Time Machine

I hope this helps someone. This is my first time having to do disaster recovery in MacOS and I've been really surprised how un-user friendly this experience is when coming coming from an old machine

  • Thanks for the tips. Went with bootable USB ... reinstall succeeded.
    – kenchew
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 12:52

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