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Retina Macbook from 2017 running Mojave here. Every few days, my mac suddenly and randomly freezes (sometimes at times without user input) and crashes. When it tries to boot again, it fails and signals that it's missing a bootable partition.

In this state, it fails however much I try. I then boot into Recovery Mode. Recovery Disk Utility can not detect the Macintosh HD (APFS with Filevault) boot volume anymore. I fiddle around with the OSX reinstall service (also can't detect it) as well as time machine, restart a few times, go into recovery again (without any difference) and sometimes, when I'm lucky, on reboot everything is fine again. Without repair or rescue.

Here is a photo from Single User Mode diskutil list at a time when it just happened, when the boot volume disappeared:

diskutil list

I don't know at all what this is about. Of course I never created these images by myself.

When my Mac boots up again, everything is back to normal. The boot volume is back and those strange ones disappeared. Apple Diagnostics doesn't detect any hardware issue. However, when running fsck, I get the following error:

Checking the container superblock.
Checking the EFI jumpstart record.
Checking the space manager.
Checking the space manager free queue trees.
Checking the object map.
Checking volume.
Checking the APFS volume superblock.
The volume Macintosh HD was formatted by hfs_convert (748.1.46) and last modified by apfs_kext (945.200.129).
Checking the object map.
Checking the snapshot metadata tree.
Checking the snapshot metadata.
Checking snapshot 1 of 5.
error: dstream (id 2938340) does not have an associated dstream id object
warning: snapshot dstream corruptions are not repaired; they'll go away once the snapshot is deleted
error: dstream (id 3440445) does not have an associated dstream id object
error: invalid file extent (id 0x8603957554) logical address 135168 (expected 0)
Snapshot is invalid.
The volume /dev/rdisk1s1 could not be verified completely.

The problem didn't occur until some time ago. I now have a feeling that it's happening more and more often. And sometimes I'm not lucky and can't get access back for hours. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Does this look like a hardware or software issue? Is it related to APFS? Is my Mac dying? Would this be an issue Apple would take good care of when I send it in - and what happens if they can't even replicate it?

Thanks for any input.

Edit 1: I heard from several MacBook 12 users with the same problem. They said it was after all identified as a faulty logic board that had to be replaced.

Edit 2: The clean install didn’t help. I’ll send the device in for repair, praying that they find something.

  • Did you use Paragon or simular to do this The volume Macintosh HD was formatted by hfs_convert (748.1.46) and last modified by apfs_kext (945.200.129) – Ruskes Nov 9 '18 at 16:50
  • Do you have a backup? Doing a clean install is the next best course of action. – Allan Nov 9 '18 at 17:06
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To answer your question, is it hardware or software.

Suggested course of action would be

1- Back up you data

2- Do a "Clean Install"

That should eliminate an formatting issues your SSD had.

If problem occurs again, your SSD needs Replacement/Repair.

  • I'd recommend multiple backups in this situation. You're about to delete the original volume, so the first backup isn't really a backup, it's going to be the primary copy -- you need a backup of it. I'd also recommend using multiple different backup solutions -- not just multiple backups, but diverse backups, so if something's wrong with one of them it's less likely to also be wrong with the other(s). Time Machine, Carbon Copy Cloner, Super Duper, etc, choose at least two. – Gordon Davisson Nov 9 '18 at 17:26
  • Yep, it's just a gut feeling that this won't help. But here is another problem: Time Machine isn't reliable at all since the switch to APFS. Just a few days ago, it notified me that my old snapshots had to be deleted. No further explanaition. And now, the (new) sparsebundle backup from my 500GB SSD just shrunk to 400MB. I can't explain why and there was no reason given by the software. I have another backup at backblaze, but it would still be quite a hassle to clean install in that context. I feel quite overwhelmed by all the problems just after one year of using this laptop.. – Alex Nov 9 '18 at 17:28
  • @Alex Still suggest you should try it anyway. You must create a good backup before giving it to Apple for repair anyway. So trying my suggestion might just save you a lots of money. I am puzzled by this message The volume Macintosh HD was formatted by hfs_convert (748.1.46) and last modified by apfs_kext (945.200.129) which is not common, so did you do it. – Ruskes Nov 9 '18 at 17:31
  • @Buscar웃 Yep, I'm gonna try to do a clean install as soon as possible. There is only one piece of paragon software I have running: It is 'NTFS for Mac'. I know they also have some software for APFS to HFS+ conversion tools, but I never had any of those on my system. – Alex Nov 9 '18 at 17:38
  • @Alex you can try to run this in Safe mode fsck_apfs -n -l -x /dev/rdisk1s1 – Ruskes Nov 9 '18 at 17:49

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