Hard Drive Problem. Cannot Allocate Memory.


Hi! My laptop broke down this week and after googling for days I still haven't been able to fix it so I thought I'd ask if anyone here can help. I attached pictures of the problem (I'm on my iPhone right now) but I'll give some background info.

It's an early 2011 13-inch MacBook Pro with a core i7 processor and 4gb of ram.

Anyway, so my laptop hadn't been working well. I think something was up with the ram, because it would turn off and give me a beep every five seconds but most of the time I was able to fix it by either restarting in reboot mode or taking out the ram and putting it back in (Can't buy a new one just yet). I think this ended up affecting the harddrive somehow and when I tried to turn it on it gave me an error message that wasn't just related to the ram this time around.
I needed to write an essay so I decided I'd just use the OS DVD and wipe the drive, which I did. And it started working again although pretty slowly. at one point it froze though and just stopped working all over again but this time around I can't even run the DVD anymore, or install a new OS via the Internet because I get an error message; when I try to install the OS with the DVD it just says it can't do it and via the Internet it doesn't find the hard drive so I can't even begin the installation (I'm guessing it's cuz it's unformatted?)

In terms of the general problem, the error message I kept getting first when using disk utility, said there was a problem with the partitions map and after that it changed to the system not being able to unmount the drive. I couldn't even force it to unmount through disk utility, but eventually I made it happen and unfortunately now I have this new problem. I can't erase the drive (to try and format it through disk utility) or create a new partition, nor can I install an OS.

Obviously I know I'm gonna have to invest in some hardware but I just wanna know if there's any way to salvage this harddrive (I bought it last year) and get this laptop going cuz I really need it for college . Thanks!


Last edited:


Rosie Moderator
Staff member
One thing that people forget is to use the electric plug when doing the OS install. The laptop needs full power rather than the just the power from the battery.

Not being able to unmount the drive says that the drive itself is at fault. The allocating memory error says that drive went bad - the OS sets some space on the drive for memory as well as use the RAM installed. Unless some one here has a trick to get you running, it is time to replace the drive.


You did say that you just replaced the hard drive last year.
On the MBPros - The SATA cable is quite fragile - it's very common for that ribbon cable to fail, so if you want to try something else, replace the drive cable, too.