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Thread: Lion Install Hanging

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Confused Lion Install Hanging

    A client's 15" MBP (late 2011 or early 2012 model) crashed yesterday and after visiting the Apple Store they asked if I would be willing to help them recover their data.

    They stopped by the Apple Store in the morning where their Genius stated that it was a software issue and the drive was passing their hardware checks. They said that the only way they could proceed was to reformat and reinstall. The client had data they would prefer to recover if possible, so they passed on the reformat and started looking for other options.

    The course of action I took was to pull the original HD and swap it out with a new drive. I was planning on doing a fresh Lion install on the new drive and - assuming that I could recover the data from the original drive using Disk Warrior, etc. - I would then migrate over their existing data from the original drive.

    Where I am running into trouble is that the lion installation keeps hanging at 15-25% on the new drive. After just sitting there for 5-10 minutes it will invoke the name of Beach Ball and then mock me indefinitely... In fact, on one of the attempts I got the darkened screen / restart the computer message.

    I have tried using two different 500GB drives. Both of which I verified using Disk Utility on the MBP and a separate MBA.

    I erased both of the drives multiple times using Disk Utility on the MBP and a separate MBA.

    I have tried using an official Lion flash drive as well as a bootable DVD made from the App Store download.

    I have tried keeping power connected and also running on the battery.

    This disk swap, reinstall, migration process is something that I have done at least 10-12 times. I have never had a laptop get stuck like this.

    Could it be a hardware issue? I considered pulling the memory, 1 stick at a time, to eliminate that as a possibility. Any other suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Virginia... where one Democrat CAN make a difference


    Pulling the memory is a good idea.... see if you have a bad ram stick. Known good components that are failing anyway can be caused by bad ram.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Grangeville, ID USA


    Wonder if it would be worth the effort to install Snow Leopard and then update it to Lion afterward?

    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    on the landline, Mr. Smith


    Some MBP models have a fragile/bad SATA cable. To test if it is the SATA bus, you might try installing to an attached USB/Firewire hard drive, and see if the installer behaves.

    If it installs without a hitch on an external, it might point at SATA cable, or SATA bus.....which would likely mean new logic board.

    More surgery & time, but you could also try installing on the SATA bus the optical drive is on.

    Oh, and if it is still under warranty, keep the old HD for the customer, and have him take it back to Apple to deal with (with the new replacement HD in). That way they can format as much as they want, and you can be the hero and save the data - if it is still there - once they have the machine happy again.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

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