Finally solved on Mac how to fix Could not recover SATA HDD after 5 attempts terminating error

My Mac has decided to constantly freeze and re-start several times a day whilst I’m using it. This is going to be one of those weeks. This happened to me while I was living a nomad digital life in Tulum. Finally solved on Mac how to fix Could not recover SATA HDD after 5 attempts […]

Written By TRX Traveller

On 18th April 2019

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My Mac has decided to constantly freeze and re-start several times a day whilst I’m using it. This is going to be one of those weeks.

This happened to me while I was living a nomad digital life in Tulum. Finally solved on Mac how to fix Could not recover SATA HDD after 5 attempts terminating error.

No Apple stores around

And only one café with internet fast enough for downloading OSX systems. Shit! Subsequently you may find my post here: 7 top tech tips checklist for digital nomads before leaving to travel or backpack useful. If you’re planning to live a life from a backpack.

This error frustrated the hell out of me for 3 weeks. I couldn’t work, edit photos or move my (what I first initially thought). There’s no worse feeling for me than leaving home thinking I’m all prepared tech wise and Boom! My Mac buggers up. I came from London, obviously tech problems weren’t a problem if they occurred. Something which I realised I took for granted after leaving. Especially in pursuit of a tranquil life in less fortunate countries. Anyway, when this particular problem kicked in I researched and tried everything before stumbling upon the solution. Which solved it for good.

The problems it was causing with my Mac

  • As soon as my Mac seemed to be getting taxed on the memory or processor front it restarted
  • Whenever I used Photoshop and pushed the memory slightly it restarted
  • It restarted all the time using Lightroom
  • Using adobe premiere to scrub over a video it restarted
  • Adobe premiere to render a video it restarted
  • Any video calling software it restarted

The main thing I noticed was that it always seemed to restart when the Mac was put under strain with heavy loading programs. It’s a MacBook Air 13 inch early 2015. I assumed it was due to some program fault. Maybe a lack of an update for Adobe or OSX. Perhaps a rogue font causing problems that I’d download for a design. Or perhaps there was a loose lead to the Hard Drive. I figured one by one I’d tackle the problem ruling out each one as I experimented.

An example of the consistent error message

Anonymous UUID:       D4FB79A1-84CB-1C25-0BDC-3DAB5E16BB77
Mon Jan 21 20:02:39 2019
*** Panic Report ***
panic(cpu 0 caller 0xffffff7f9dcc8293): "ino 4297105692 no extent covering dstream alloced_size 16384 (fsize 16384) pos/len 24576:0\n"@/BuildRoot/Library/Caches/
Backtrace (CPU 0), Frame : Return Address
0xffffff80b897b740 : 0xffffff801c86c1c6 
0xffffff80b897b790 : 0xffffff801c995274 
0xffffff80b897b7d0 : 0xffffff801c987544 
0xffffff80b897b840 : 0xffffff801c81e1e0 
0xffffff80b897b860 : 0xffffff801c86bc3c 
0xffffff80b897b990 : 0xffffff801c86b9fc 
0xffffff80b897b9f0 : 0xffffff7f9dcc8293 
0xffffff80b897bba0 : 0xffffff7f9dc7e476 
0xffffff80b897bd60 : 0xffffff801cacc59a 
0xffffff80b897bdd0 : 0xffffff801cabeb57 
0xffffff80b897be40 : 0xffffff801cd4768a 
0xffffff80b897bee0 : 0xffffff801cd474fa 
0xffffff80b897bf40 : 0xffffff801ce03968 
0xffffff80b897bfa0 : 0xffffff801c81e9c6 
Kernel Extensions in backtrace:[F5310D5D-825A-3114-86DA-6E7D2A21133A]@0xffffff7f9dc5d000->0xffffff7f9dd41fff
BSD process name corresponding to current thread: UserEventAgent
Mac OS version:
Kernel version:
Darwin Kernel Version 17.7.0: Thu Jun 21 22:53:14 PDT 2018; root:xnu-4570.71.2~1/RELEASE_X86_64
Kernel UUID: 1AE5ACFD-3B6F-3D74-AD52-31F1430DBC6F
Kernel slide:     0x000000001c600000
Kernel text base: 0xffffff801c800000
__HIB  text base: 0xffffff801c700000
System model name: MacBookAir7,2 (Mac-937CB26E2E02BB01)
Root disk errors: "Could not recover SATA HDD after 5 attempts. Terminating."
System uptime in nanoseconds: 634254777727
last loaded kext at 247411089492:	1.10 (addr 0xffffff7fa219a000, size 69632)
last unloaded kext at 408015217428:	1.10 (addr 0xffffff7fa219a000, size 61440)
loaded kexts:	1.70	1.9.5d0	110.23.37	2.7.0d0	1.0.0	3.0	281.52	3.6.5	3.20.13	3.20.13	1	1.0.1	6.0.7f10	1	1	7.0.0	10.3.6	170.12.6	6.01.2	3.1	1.5.5	10.3.6	211	1	4.0.0	3.1.1	439.70.3	133	407.50.6	1.0.0d1	40	1.0.0	1.0	748.51.0	329.50.2	1241.31.1a9	161.0.0	2.0	6.1	1.8	2.1	6.1	1.7	183	8	3	1.0	281.52	526	3.20.13	680.2	680.15	1.1.0	1.0	11	1.1.0	519.20	281.52	281.52	206.5	1.2.0	1.0.18d1	378.26	211.15	1.0.0	6.0.0d8	3.20.13	3.20.13	519.20	1.0.0	6.0.7f10	6.0.7f10	6.0.7f10	1.2	5.0.0	133	6.0.7f10	6.0.7f10	1404.4	1404.3	205	53	1	301.40.2	288	5.5.5	5.5.5	2.1.3	4.7.2	6.7.8	1200.12.2	1.0.1b8	1.0.4	53	3.0.60	3.0.60	3.0.60	1.2	1.2	1.0	900.4.1	1.2	2.1	2.1	1.1	2.0.0	300.0	1.0.0d1	480.60.1	28.30	1.0	2	439.70.3	1.0.5	140.70.2	404.30.2	404.30.2	2.1	1.0	1	1.2	1.0	1.0	1.0.1	1	31	680.15	3.4	6.1	3.1.9	2.9	1.4	1	1	1.0
Model: MacBookAir7,2, BootROM, 2 processors, Intel Core i5, 1.6 GHz, 4 GB, SMC 2.27f2
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 6000, Intel HD Graphics 6000, Built-In
Memory Module: BANK 0/DIMM0, 2 GB, DDR3, 1600 MHz, 0x80AD, 0x483943434E4E4E384A544D4C41522D4E544D
Memory Module: BANK 1/DIMM0, 2 GB, DDR3, 1600 MHz, 0x80AD, 0x483943434E4E4E384A544D4C41522D4E544D
AirPort: spairport_wireless_card_type_airport_extreme (0x14E4, 0x117), Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (
Bluetooth: Version 6.0.7f10, 3 services, 18 devices, 1 incoming serial ports
Network Service: Wi-Fi, AirPort, en0
Serial ATA Device: APPLE SSD SM0256G, 251 GB
USB Device: USB 3.0 Bus
USB Device: BRCM20702 Hub
USB Device: Bluetooth USB Host Controller
Thunderbolt Bus: MacBook Air, Apple Inc., 27.2

Everything I tried that failed

  • I Used every free admin fixing tool, clean up tool and error reporting tool on the app store.
  • Used a Stanley knife. Hacked away at the bolts and finally opened up my Mac to see if any leads were loose from the hard drive or the memory. All looked fine.
  • Wiped Adobe CS6 and re installed it. Luckily I had brought a backup install disk on an external.
  • Launched my Mac in all sorts of different recovery modes. I literally pressed and used every restart keyboard combination you can with a Mac. And I used them several times over and over in different scenarios.
  • Used the repair disk utility tool multiple times in different recovery modes.
  • Wiped my OXS mac and returned it default. Went to the internet café and downloaded Mac OS Sierra install and re installed a fresh version
  • Wiped my mac and downgraded back to Mavericks
  • Then wiped my mac and upgraded past Sierra
  • And then wiped my Mac and went back to Sierra
  • Download the manual updates and installed them each separately
  • Spent hours researching every forum and reading every article of similar problems and solutions. None of the solutions worked for me

Nothing worked. I Began to loose the will to live and started planning how I’d travel to the closest Apple store in Playa Del Carmen 2 hours away. With no way to call them I figured it would need a week or two left with them. I had clients waiting for work that I was doing remotely. Shit! Again. But then a little light bulb came on in my head.

Finally solved on Mac how to fix Could not recover SATA HDD after 5 attempts terminating error

The solution that fixed it for good…

I’d read a lot about processors over heating and Macs re-starting due to this over heating. An automatic safety feature built into the mac to prevent the processor from becoming damaged. I could never hear my fan going crazy, it sounded like it was barely working. If at all. So I assumed my processors must not be hot. I was certain the Problem lied within some rogue development coding in the software. All the hardware checks were coming up fine in the log reports.

I figured I’d grab a tool that could look at the temp of my processors just to be sure. I searched for a simple free one on the apple store, they’re hundreds to choose from. All do the same job. After downloading it, I opened it up and then opened up Adobe Lightroom and began to use it. Normally the mac would freeze after 2-3 mins of using the program. I watched the temp gages monitoring the processors as I used it. They began to shoot up to the 80’s C close to the 90’s C and then sure enough my mac froze and re-started.

The aha moment! As partridge would say.

That seems hot I thought and no fan was kicking in. A quick google explained that was BLOODY HOT for a processor. Indeed it would re start to prevent damage. So my fans were bust. Shit! Again. This would mean new hardware, which would be time and money consuming. Then I thought, I wonder if perhaps the sensors have bust. So I googled if it was possible to turn on the fans using an app. Sure enough it was. I found this little beauty of an app called Macs Fan Control. This little gem not only allowed me to turn the fans on but also allowed me to set them to come on automatically when the temp of the processors got to a certain level.

I tested it by turning the fans to almost full RPM and opened light room to use it. For the first time in as long as I could remember I heard the fans come on and start up. Ten mins in and no restart. No way! I thought. I then opened Adobe Premiere and set a video to render. This was a guarantee crash at around 4 mins render time. It didn’t crash. It rendered the damn movie! I couldn’t believe it.

After weeks of frustration

And god knows how many restarts, re-installs and wipes. I’d figured out the problem. The fans internal sensor wasn’t working any more. I set the automatic controls using Macs Fan Control app. I made the fans come on when the processors got to around 55 C and set the maximum RPM of the fans to just shy off top. And that’s it. My MAC has worked perfectly ever since with the fans now kicking in and cooling down the processors. Preventing them from re-starting.

Hopefully if you’ve got this problem and you’re ready to smash your Mac. You’ll stumble upon this post before you do. Let me know in the comments below if this solution helps you? Or if you want to know in more detail everything I tried?

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TRX Traveller

Hello there! Thanks for visiting my blog. It's my mission and passion to help people achieve their fitness goals using a TRX absolutely anywhere. I've spent 5yrs TRX’ing 32 countries with no end in sight. If you're looking for a progressive TRX workout guide? Find it below. Here's to your Fitness Freedom!


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  1. Faryn

    This is exactly what’s been happening to my macbook for well over a year! I’m so glad I found this post and can’t wait to try out this app. I’ve had to put ice packs under my mac when running PS just to prevent kernel panics. It only works if my files are relatively small and don’t push the processor.

    Did you have to pay for the pro version of the app to set the custom settings? And did you change the Sensor-based value from Ambient?
    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this article and all your trial and error. Fingers crossed this works!

    • TRX Traveller

      Faryn I really hope it works for you dude, it drove me crazy for months on end so I feel your pain. I still only use the free version and I’ve never had a problem. Just have to get into the habit of turning it on whenever I’m using heavy load software. Let me know if it works, good luck

  2. Winston

    Brother, you are a genius! I feel your pain. I had the exact same issue with my Macbook Pro Early 2015. Initially, I thought it was an OS issue because I haven’t upgraded to Catalina. When it still kept freezing after I upgraded, I was ready to unleash my inner rage by purchasing a brand new Windows laptop! Thankfully, cooler heads prevail and I found your article.

    Disclaimer: my absolutely speculative guess is that for recent Macs (manufactured above 2015), CPU speed is throttled automagically so it doesn’t get too hot. A youtuber named Dave2d talked about this. However, other chums (like us) would have to solve CPU overheating via custom software like what you suggested.

    Thank you so much!

    • TRX Traveller

      A pleasure, I’m glad you found it useful. I honestly nearly put my head through a wall several times trying to battle it haha!

  3. Miaou

    I had the exact same issue from last week on
    MacBook Pro 15″ 2014 – 2,5 GHz Intel Core i7 – 16 Go – 512 Go – NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M

    Same error in kernel panic log : “Could not recover SATA HDD after 5 attempts. Terminating”.

    The solution you are proposing surprises me. I make diag on my mac with Apple ASD 3S162 (Apple Service Diagnostic) : the diag tool used by Apple in repair center : the test found nothing.

    So in fact, its an HARDWARE BUG or system drivers BUG on fans ???

    • TRX Traveller

      I feel your pain, this drove me mad for a VERY long time. I hope the article helped.

  4. LyleM

    The problem described is most often attributed to problems with the system management controller (SMC). The SMC may be reset following this guide:

    If that doesn’t work, Macs Fan Control is a fine piece of software. I often use it on desktop Macs to extend component life. Note that you may need to blow dust out of the computer more often due to the increased air flow.


    • TRX Traveller

      Definitely not the SMC dude, hence the post haha – Mac Fan Control to the rescue! Totally fixed it

  5. Abhinil Agarwal

    Thanks a lot for this blog post.
    I believed I can find any solution on the internet,
    Now I know I can
    Thanks to you
    It worked perfectly

    • TRX Traveller

      A pleasure, really glad it could help

  6. Sebastián Martínez

    which setting di you recommend?. I don´t want to set the wrong setting


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