Mac OS X 10.5.1 jnl: replay_journal: bad block list header

After a cold boot I reproducibly got into an infinite loop of the gray start screen. The boot-up sound would be played every 3 minutes continuously.

I pressed Apple-V to see what is going on and I got several messages indicating that the journalling on my root disk was corrupted:

jnl: replay_journal: bad block list header @ ...
jnl: journal_open: Error replaying the journal!
hfs: early jnl init: failed to open/create the journal (retval 0)

Booting in single user mode (Apple+S), doing an fsck -fy and an exit solved the problem temporarily. It would boot up without problems. But after a day and another cold reboot the problem was there again. My MacBook Pro would not boot and was stuck in the endless gray boot screen loop.

I think I now solved the problem by making it boot once (see above), then disabling the journal by doing

sudo diskutil disableJournal /dev/disk0s2

(This cannot be done in single user mode, you need to boot Mac OS X for this.)

Then I rebooted. No problem. Then I activated journalling using the disk utility and it works again. Rebooting cold now works fine. Let's see what the future brings.

But: Apple: Please. How hard can it be. Please make your stupid fsck program deal with such a situation instead of continuously rebooting. This is a showstopper bug for a lot of users. Filesystem checks must never assume the filesystem including any journal is OK!!! This is sounds rather obvious to me.


Anonym hat gesagt…

Thanks a lot - with your tip I finally managed to fix my wifes laptop. This behaviour of fsck really is stupid.

icode hat gesagt…

I just wanted to add, that this really fixed the problem permanently. I never saw this message again.

nyuwec hat gesagt…

Thanks for this info, it really helped me to solve a one-year agony with my white macbook! :)

alomuc hat gesagt…

Thanks a lot, your hint fixed a problem abroad with urgent need for a working macbook.