I've got a damaged Mac filesystem, and in single-user mode the command mount -uw / fails (error is something like SATA warning: Enable auto-activate failed). However, I don't need the whole filesystem to be writable, as I am just trying to copy files from my home directory to a USB. Is there a way to mount the USB to /Volumes in a read-only filesystem?


You can't create a directory on a read-only filesystem. But you can mount a filesystem on any existing directory. The fact that the mount is read-only doesn't affect that, and the directory doesn't need to be empty or to have particular permissions or anything.

You can mount a filesystem on /Volumes itself if you're only going to mount one.

  • Thanks! This solves my problem but I'm just curious: if I ever have another USB drive, is there a way to mount it as well? Dec 31 '14 at 0:42
  • 1
    Create a directory on your USB drive (which is writable) and mount the next one there. Dec 31 '14 at 0:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.