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I can't boot my Mac in any way, not even from my backup HD. Disk Utility and fsck says

Missing directory record (id = 33496403)

What can I do now?

El Capitan on MacBook Pro late 2008.

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  • Do you get the same error on your backup HD and your internal? Is it the original hard drive?
    – benwiggy
    Apr 19, 2021 at 12:42
  • Adding more details about your "backup HD" will help us give you a better answer (which software did you use to create it, is it supposed to be a bootable backup (if yes, what error are you getting when it does not boot), is it a TimeMachine backup, etc.) Apr 19, 2021 at 15:08

2 Answers 2

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If you have a backup I'd recommend formatting the drive, reinstalling macOS and restoring from backup.

If you don't have a backup you could try 3rd party tools like Alsoft DiskWarrior or Micromat TechTool to repair the volume. Alternatively you could manually back up data via Terminal or by booting from an external drive (and using Finder) if the volume still mounts.

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You will need your second mac, If you don't have one, borrow one from your friend. In the other mac, Make a Bootable USB Installer for OS X El Capitan

In your MacBook Pro 2008, Attach the Bootable USB, Boot your mac while pressing Option(Alt) key. Select the Boot Disk. The name will be Install OSX El Capitan. Open Disk Utility. Select the internal drive and click Erase. In the pop-up menu (OS X Extended should be selected), enter a name, then click Erase.

Once it's done formatting, Close Disk Utility, Select Install OS X. Follow the onscreen instructions. Once it's done downloading, it will reboot, once it's finished installing, do the setup.

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    An 08 doesn’t have Internet Recovery, nor does El Cap understand apfs.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 19, 2021 at 4:30

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