I have a 2011 MacBook Pro running macOS High Sierra. I recently installed an 8 GB RAM module and when I restarted, I was greeted by the Update Needed login screen.

I restarted with Cmd + r and found that the Macintosh HD disk was unmounted and encrypted.

I remounted the disk and set it up as the startup disk but it still took me to the Update Needed screen. I entered the password and the progress bar started to fill in.

3 hours have passed and it's still stuck at the progress bar.

Any suggestions on how to fix this? or atleast get the data back?

  • Please edit the question to specify the version of macOS currently installed on your MacBook and update the tags accordingly. – Nimesh Neema Aug 8 '18 at 6:35
  • If I understand correctly, you restarted normally after selecting your internal disk's boot partition as the startup volume while in Recovery mode, then saw the update needed message. If you haven't preformed the 4-finger salute, do that first, making sure the only thing plugged in is the power connector. After you hear the third chime, wait for the screen to go black one more time, then release those keys and immediately hold down shift for a Safe Boot. Release the Shift key as soon as you see an Apple or message. That clears the old boot cache. – Trellis Aug 8 '18 at 6:59
  • As a reminder, when you boot to safe mode, you're not fully booted until you restart again normally. – Trellis Aug 8 '18 at 7:01
  • @Trellis : Its still stuck on the progress bar that i got after entering my password , Should i do a hard restart on the laptop and perform the NVRAM reset ? ? I am afraid of loosing any data on the mac. Is it updating the recovery disk OS ? or decrypting the file vault ? or any other volatile process that might harm the data on the disk.. Thank you for your help :) – Varad Poddar Aug 8 '18 at 7:35
  • I don't see what choice you have but to hard restart. NVRAM reset is not normally a risk to software on a disk. Depending on how worried you are about the data, you could just force a shut down by holding in the power key, then temporarily replace the internal hard drive and handle one problem at a time. Replacing the internal hard drive isn't too much harder on a 2011 model than adding memory (you can almost surely find guidance at iFixIt.com). If you want to give it a speed boost, you probably need an SSD anyway. – Trellis Aug 8 '18 at 14:11

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