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Could not recover SATA HDD after 5 attempts. Terminating. [Fixed]

I’ve been experiencing the strangest error message on my 2015 15″ MacBook Pro for months.  I’ve had MBPs for years and this was the first issue I ever had.  Essentially, the computer would panic coming out of sleep mode, and force me to startup from scratch. Quite a headache.



There were a number of posts that alluded to issues with the drive itself, recommending:

  1. Running diagnostics
  2. Starting in safe mode
  3. Going to the genius bar

I blew through 1 & 2, and the advice all pointed to a hardware issue.  I was checking backups and whatnot when preparing for #3 when I stumbled upon the Energy Saver section in system preferences.  Here lies a setting from many MBPs ago “Put hard disks to sleep when possible.”  My original MBP had spinning platters, so this was a common setting to take on for saving batteries and power – but this doesn’t (shouldn’t) actually mean anything for the new SSDs.  I unchecked it on both tabs, and what once was an at least daily occurrence, has not happened since.

tl;dr  Go into System Preferences – Energy Saver and uncheck “Put hard disks to sleep when possible” on both the Battery and Power Adapter tabs.