Advice needed - appear to have lost my boot volume

Discussion in 'macOS' started by tigerintank, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. tigerintank macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    #1
    Bear with me pls - some stupidity and lots of detail ahead.

    (Not blog - boot - no edit of title!)

    I planned to upgrade my MP2008 to El Capitan from Mavericks. I had the upgrade file from when I upgraded my rMBP 2013 to El C. I wasnt able to - as the MP claimed it was corrupted.

    So after a lot of googling, I decided to move the MP boot disk to a USB3 caddy and try to install by running the installer on the rMBP and installing to the USB3 external. That also failed with same error.

    So instead of downloading a new copy of El C, decided to try High Sierra.

    I ran the HS installer on the rMBP, making sure to select the external USB3 / MP hdd. At a point early in the process the machine said it needed to reboot, which I did think was a little odd as I was installing to the external hdd or so i thought.

    When the process completed i got the select your language screen which I also thought odd. So I declined and shut down.

    When I rebooted with the external disconnected, i got the flashing folder/?, after i entered my boot/firmware password.

    So it looks as though the process has overwritten my rMBP boot volume and the copy of Windows id also installed.

    Things I've tried;

    Target disc - seems the firmware password stops me from getting to Target DM.

    I booted the Mac Pro with another disc and attached the external - it shows as a High Sierra volume - so it looks like the install was to the external as I intended.

    So why my internal rMBP volume has at the same time, been deleted apparently - im completely lost.

    I could 're-attach the external to the rMBP and complete the High Sierra install and maybe that will allow me access to my files, but I wanted to get some advice here first.

    I accept there's a fair amount of stupidity laid out there - taking that on the chin

    Could really do with your help here though. I won't make any more hasty moves until I see what's suggested.

    It's late here so I won't see all replies until tomorrow.

    Hope this belongs here rather than El C / High S forums & sorry for lengthy post.
     
  2. Weaselboy, Oct 2, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017

    Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    Can you command-r boot the rMBP to recovery and remove the firmware password?

    I think where you may have gotten in trouble is a firmware password will not let it boot to an external drive during the install like you did.

    Then from recovery, what do you see in Disk Utility?

    Also in recovery, go to the Utilities menu and start Terminal then run the two commands below and tell me the output of each.

    Code:
    diskutil list
    
    diskutil cs list
    I edited your title for you.
     
  3. tigerintank thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    #3
    Yes this was successful - i'm sure I tried it but I may have only tried it before the firmware prompt and not afterwards - in any case worked this time.

    I can see my MacOS & Windows volumes plus an OSX base system - so this is looking much better than I feared.

    Size: 399.4 GB
    Free Space: 18.9 M

    Physical Volume C132……………….
    ---------------------------------------------
    Index: 0
    Disk: disk0s2
    Status: Online
    Size: 399.4 GB

    Logical Volume Family 9FBD…………………..
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Encryption type: None

    Logical Volume 278DF…………………………
    ------------------------------------------------
    Disk: Disk1
    Status: Online
    Size (Total): 399 GB
    Revertible: Yes (no decryption required)
    LV Name: Macintosh HD
    Volume Name:Macintosh HD
    Content Hint: Apple_HFS



    Thank you for that and for the help above - i've stopped looking for pentalobe screwdrivers and external caddys for the rMBP internal drive in anticipation of a slightly more successful outcome!
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    Is there data on the rMBP drive you need? Or can we just wipe and start over?
     
  5. tigerintank thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    #5
    Yes some data on there that I really could do with recovering.

    My Time Machine backup stopped working in terms of new writes to the SDXC card about a month or so ago - so whilst its readable and I can get that data, I stupidly don't have access to things later than that. Plus a few other files that i don't have ready access to.

    Now that I have the firmware password removed - maybe I can use target disk mode?

    Edit
    Not worried about the windows volume
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #6
    If you command-r boot to recovery, can you see the Macintosh HD volume in Disk Utility?

    If so, try to just reinstall to that volume without erasing anything. That might get the OS back up and running so you can get your data off.
     
  7. tigerintank thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    #7
    Ok things have gotten even better - though I'm not sure why.

    Yep was able to see the Macintosh HD volume via command-r to recovery.

    Decided to give target disk mode a try first and was distracted - so missed the opportunity to press T and it booted straight to Windows!

    Restarted and held alt down - could see the MacOS volume as well as Windows and the Time Machine SDXC card.

    Chose the MacOS volume and it booted to the desktop exactly as normal.

    Grabbed the files I need - copied to an external -just in case.

    Then rebooted a few times to check all ok - no problems.

    I'm inclined to leave the firmware password off for now - as the removal of that earlier, is the only change from last night and it's removed the flashing folder / ?.

    I'm at a loss to explain the difference the removal of the firmware password makes - its been on for around a year and half with no problems. As you said above - must be some sort of interaction of the installation of HS to the USB external drive and boot password.

    The only thing that seems a little out of the ordinary is that from power on to boot volume selection via 'alt' - took c 40 secs which felt quite long. Might be my imagination though, as its not something I've paid a lot of attention to.

    I may reload El Capitan anyway as a precaution, as although I plan to go to HS, i'm waiting till 10.13.1 - what would you do in my place?

    Thanks again for all your help.
     
  8. Weaselboy, Oct 2, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017

    Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #8
    Go to System Prefs and in the Startup Disk pane make sure you have the correct boot disk selected. If it is not set correctly, it will boot very slow as it searches around for available bootable volumes.

    If you have it working well now, I agree it may be best to just wait until that first HS point update to give it another try.
     
  9. tigerintank, Oct 2, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2017

    tigerintank thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    #9
    Ok sounds good to me.

    No more trying to get HS onto the MP2008 until I get some time set aside to do it properly - if i'd taken the time last night then I'd have found the patcher method and saved myself (and you) a lot of grief!

    Macrumors and Weaselboy for the win :cool:
     

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8 October 1, 2017