I have a 13" Macbook Pro running OS X 10.8. During an update the hard drive got corrupted (horribly) somehow, to the point where it was unfixable using Disk Utility (wouldn't boot, could only get into recovery). I copied the entire disk to an external drive as a disk image. The disk image is functional, albeit with a "DamagedFiles" and a "lost+found" folder. Most everything seems intact- Applications, Library, System, and Users folders are all there and seem complete as far as I can tell.

I'm trying to figure out how to get my machine back the way it was. What I've tried:

  • Formatting HDD and copying disk image over to it (didn't work because it was copied as a .dmg image rather than copying the actual files, don't know how to resolve)

  • Doing a clean OS X install and using Migration Assistant to try to bring the files over (Migration Assistant doesn't see the mounted external drive as a source, don't know how to resolve)

Any ideas on how I could go about restoring my computer? I can manually drag and drop some stuff over, but I'd really like to have everything set the way it was, including system settings and my user account and the like. Cheers.


Apple's Disk Utility is fairly basic and won't be of much help for a seriously corrupted disk. I once experienced a situation like yours and after banging my head against the wall with Disk Utility, I wound up buying DiskWarrior from Alsoft, which sorted the disk and got me back up and running (Apologies if I'm not supposed to recommend third-party software as a solution).

The corruption I experienced was also due to an OS dot release update, which I ran directly from the App Store. I've noticed that sometimes Apple's update servers seem to fail, likely from being overloaded, so here's my current approach to doing such upgrades:

  1. Wait until the update is manually downloadable via Apple's Support site (usually within a day or so).
  2. Clone my current disk to an external drive (I use Carbon Copy Cloner, but SuperDuper or even dd would likely work).
  3. Manually launch the update.

It takes longer, but far less than trouble-shooting/restoring a disk from scratch.

Good luck.

  • Thanks for the reply. Not a bad idea, but I actually did try some outside software to fix the disk as well with no luck. That's off the table now, though. – Rathlord Mar 4 '17 at 14:31

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