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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 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.) – Kevin Grabher Apr 19 at 15:08
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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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If that’s the case, If you had another mac, Make a Bootable USB Installer for OS X El Capitan. In your MacBook Pro 2008, Erase and Reinstall OS X.

NOTE: In the pop-up menu (OS X Extended should be selected), enter a name, then click Erase.

If you only had a MacBook Pro 2008 and did not have another one, there is nothing I can’t help with.

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

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