Can't install Sierra - Computer stuck

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by petehumble, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. petehumble macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    #1
    Hi,
    I have trawled other forums but don't see any solution.
    Trying to upgrade an early 2011 Macbook Pro from Mountain Lion to Sierra. 100+GB spare on internal drive.
    (originally I intended to install on an external drive but had no luck after making the drive bootable via the terminal etc etc and following all the install steps but it kept stalling. So i gave up that and decided to just do a clean install on the internal drive after all)

    Installation looks ok but then just stalls. I let it go overnight so it is definitely stuck.
    I've performed the following trouble shooting:
    - booted in Safe mode (doesn't work)
    - done the PRAM reset thing
    - reset the SMC
    - booted in recovery mode: ran first aid on disc
    tried a clean install (hours later, same result)
    - shut down & boot up normally I just get the progress bar which slowly fills out & then stalls again

    So I'm stuck in this stall cycle and don't know what else to do.
    Any suggestions?
     
  2. KoolAid-Drink macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Location:
    California
    #2
    Perhaps you have a corrupt installer. I'd re-download the Sierra installer and try again.
     
  3. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #3
    What do you mean by "stalls"?
    The macOS install can appear to stop, sometimes for 15 to 20 minutes.
    Give it a couple of hours.

    How are you trying to install?
    Bootable USB installer on a thumb drive?
    Running the macOS installer from your hard drive, while booted to the system?
    Another method (what?)
    Install, booted from a thumb drive, should show a progress bar that might DISPLAY 2 minutes left, but actually can take 20 minutes. I see it happen like that multiple times, so you just need to be patient.
    To be honest, I would allow 30 minutes at the outside.
    When THAT progress bar completes, you should get a reboot, and the actual install takes place, which on a hard drive, might take another 30 - 45 minutes.
    (be patient :D )
     
  4. KoolAid-Drink macrumors 65816

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    Sep 18, 2013
    Location:
    California
    #4
    The OP already tried leaving it overnight to install with no success.
     
  5. petehumble thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    #5
    Yes I did try leaving it overnight so it's definitely stuck. Twice in fact!
    What I mean by "stalls" is that it gets to the end of the progress bar and justs sits there (yes, overnight)
    I'm installing from my internal drive (double clicking "install OSX Sierra" icon in Applications)
    I forgot to mention I've already re-downloaded the Sierra App twice from the App store so I doubt the installer is corrupt.

    Anything else I can try?
     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #6
    Sure.
    Make a bootable installer from that Sierra installer app.
    There's several sites that list the steps to use in the terminal. Just search for "create bootable Sierra installer", and you will find several sites that will list mostly the same steps.
    Or, if you don't care to use the terminal, download the good DiskMakerX, and use that to create a bootable installer.
    An 8GB flash drive is ideal for that.
     
  7. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    #7
  8. petehumble thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    #8
    Hi, as I mentioned in my first post, I already tried that with no success. (it stalled) Besides at this point I'm stuck on the progress bar at every step. I can't access my computer.
    Anything else?
    --- Post Merged, Feb 4, 2017 ---
    The volume I'm trying to install on is simply "Macintosh HD"
    And as I mentioned even if I wanted to change something like that at this point how would I as I can't get in to my computer to do anything?
     
  9. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #9
    I suggest this sequence, as your hard drive sounds like it might be struggling with the process.
    Boot to your USB installer.
    From the menu, Disk Utility.
    Erase the hard drive. Name it something you like. Macintosh HD is OK, I suppose.
    Shut down.
    I suggest that you have nothing attached to your MBPro, except power, and your USB stick/drive. Nothing else.
    Reset PRAM. (Press and release the power button. Hold Option-Command-P-R. You will hear the boot chime. Hold the same 4 keys until you hear the boot chime 2 more times, then release the keys.)
    Boot to your installer USB again. Start the macOS install.
    You should get:
    #1 progress bar for copying system files to the hard drive.
    Reboots, then (#2) progress bar for the actual system install.
    Maybe another reboot, or goes to setup screen.

    How far does it get this time? WHICH progress bar does it stall on, #1 or #2?
     
  10. petehumble thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    #10
    Thanks delta for your detailed suggestion. I will try now and get back to you
     
  11. petehumble, Feb 4, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017

    petehumble thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 12, 2010
    #11
    I booted to USB and erased as you suggested. When I get to the reset PRAM stage as per your instructions I get a progress bar that moves through to the end and then just sits there. 20mins now like this.
    What's supposed to happen at the end of the PRAM reset?
     
  12. petehumble, Feb 5, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017

    petehumble thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    #12
    Delta, after many hours I just ignored the static progress bar and continued with your suggestions and finally.....it worked!!! So thank you. This was my original plan, i.e. boot Sierra on an external drive to get the feel for it however due to all the complications my trouble shooting led me to bite the bullet and try a full install on the internal drive, which I still haven't managed to get working, but it's nonetheless wiped the old OS off and for all intensive purposes it thinks that Sierra is installed.

    In other words, I'm in the awkward position of having a computer which now only runs off a 32GB USB stick.
    I will try now and choose "Macintosh HD" as the start up but fear it will stall as it has previously.

    Is there any way I can get my internal start up reverted back to Mountain Lion? Or, now that I can at least access my computer via USB, is there anything I can do to help the Mac HD accept the OS at start up?

    While I wait to hear back I will see what happens with the internal disc start up anyway.
    What a friggin palaver.
     
  13. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #13
    OP:

    Is the OS on the flashdrive a "full copy" of the OS (i.e., bootable to the finder), or is it just the "installer app" (boots directly to the installer app)?

    The answer is important, please reply.

    If it's a fully-bootable copy of the OS, follow these instructions to the letter:
    1. Boot from the flashdrive
    2. Download CarbonCopyCloner (CCC is FREE to download and use for 30 days). Put it on the flashdrive where it's easily accessible.
    3. Open Disk Utility
    4. RE-initialize (erase) the internal drive (to one partition, GUID partition map).
    5. I suggest you run Disk Utility's "repair disk" function on the original drive at least 3 or 4 times in succession. Do you "get a good report" each time?
    6. If so, launch CarbonCopyCloner
    7. On the left (source drive) choose the USB flash drive. To the right (target) select your internal drive.
    ALSO -- set up CCC's prefs to clone over the recovery partition, as well.
    8. Let CCC do its thing.

    When done, power down, ALL THE WAY OFF.
    Remove the flash drive, then power on the MacBook while you hold down the option key to invoke the startup manager.
    Do you see a "bootable icon" for the internal drive?
    Select it with the pointer and hit return.

    What happens now?
     
  14. petehumble thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 12, 2010
    #14
    Thanks.
    I'm pretty sure it's booted to the finder but I'm not sure I'd know what the difference would be having not been in this position before? It seemed to go through all the usual OS set up stuff including a new user account. In the Finder under 'Devices' the 32GB icon looks like a solid disc icon and is not ejectable like a USB usually is. Does that help?
    All looks like a standard OS operating as normal (apart from it being painfully slow)
     
  15. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #15
    Sounds like you have installed OS X on your flash drive, and if you are booted to that drive, it would be quite slow to use.

    Not quite what you want. :D

    If you are actually booted to your flash drive, then you can look through the files on your internal hard drive - It should be mounted, and available for you to use in whatever way you want.
    If you open a finder window, the sidebar should show your devices, including any hard drives. Click on anything listed under devices, and watch what happens. You can also make sure that any hard drives show up on your desktop, by going to your Finder menu, then Preferences. The general tab will show you choices for what will show as icons on your desktop.
    If "Hard Disks" does not have a checkmark, just click on the box until you see a check. Your internal hard drive should appear as an icon on your desktop. Double-click that drive icon, and do what you will with the files on your drive.
     
  16. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #16
    OP wrote:
    "It seemed to go through all the usual OS set up stuff including a new user account. In the Finder under 'Devices' the 32GB icon looks like a solid disc icon and is not ejectable like a USB usually is. Does that help?
    All looks like a standard OS operating as normal (apart from it being painfully slow)"


    Yes, you have a fully-bootable volume (NOT an "installer").

    I suggest you print out my post 13 above.
    Then follow it, checking off the steps as you go.

    Try that, and get back to us.
    (I sense that if you do, you'll be very pleasantly surprised. BTW, you can get CCC here:
    Carbon Copy Cloner - Download)
     
  17. petehumble thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    #17
    Cheers Delta. What you describe is exactly my case. Thanks
    --- Post Merged, Feb 5, 2017 ---
    Great. I intend to. While I'm mostly pretty well backed up. I'm first doing a bit more fine tuning in that respect then will follow your guide.
    Will be sure to post back. Thanks a lot again.
     
  18. petehumble thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    #18
    Hi there,

    Finally ready to go and I've run into a hurdle at the first step.
    So I've booted to the flash drive & downloaded CCC.
    In Disk Utility I choose the internal drive and tried to erase but got an error message saying disk failed to mount and now the Mac HD has disappeared from devices (and Disk Utility)

    I will now re-boot and see what happens but I'm wondering when in Disk Utility, which 'level' do I select to erase? The first level shows the make of the internal drive (Toshiba blah blah). Then the level beneath that says Macintosh HD?
    Secondly, you say "one partition" Do I then go to the partition tab to do this or do I simply select the erase Tab and the fact that it says 'GUID partition' is enough to create this one partition?
     
  19. petehumble thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    #19
    OK. I'm a lot further along. Cloned the drive using CCC. Shut down then successfully option booted to internal drive. Now though the Mac HD is not showing up under devices and the usual fix (finder prefs/general/show hard discs) doesn't work. DisK Utility can see the disk though which is promising.
    Anyone?
     
  20. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #20
    "In Disk Utility I choose the internal drive and tried to erase but got an error message saying disk failed to mount and now the Mac HD has disappeared from devices (and Disk Utility)"

    First, I'd quit DU and reopen it.
    Does the drive show up yet?
    If not, try a full reboot.
    Any better?

    Once the drive shows up....
    "The first level shows the make of the internal drive (Toshiba blah blah). Then the level beneath that says Macintosh HD?"

    You want "the first level" that shows the name of the drive.
    Click it ONE TIME to select it.
    Then click the "erase" button.

    This should re-initialize the internal drive into one partition.
    You shouldn't have to do anything more.
    At this point, you can quit DU, open CCC, and "clone over" the contents of the flashdrive to the internal drive.
     
  21. petehumble thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    #21
    Check my post #19. I think I've successfully cloned. Just can't see it in the Finder
     
  22. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #22
    "Check my post #19. I think I've successfully cloned. Just can't see it in the Finder"

    1. DISCONNECT USB flash drive
    2. REBoot the Mac
    3. When you get to the finder, go to Finder/Preferences
    4. First item is "show these items on the desktop"
    5. Is there a check in "hard disks"?
    6. If not put one there
    7. Also check "external disks" and "CDs..."

    Does this help?
     
  23. petehumble thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    #23
    No. I've already done this step. Despite doing this, it still doesn't show up.
    If I select Macintosh HD from the 'New Finder window shows' drop down box the Hard drive does appear in the column view but still not in the devices section or on the desktop.
    Not sure if it matters but it does seem weird not to be able to have it there. I'd certainly prefer to have it there just because it's what I'm used to.
     
  24. petehumble, Feb 8, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017

    petehumble thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    #24
    Thanks a lot for your help. Seemed to have it all sorted now and I'm up and running.
    And the way I solved the HD not appearing under devices was by dragging it from the finder window to the far left under devices. This would only work when a hard drive was plugged in otherwise the 'devices' section was not available.
     

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