Install Mojave WITHOUT Recovery Partition: about to throw in the towel

kha0s

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 23, 2009
40
0
Hey guys,

Need some help here. Going straight for the elephant in the room, you might be wondering why the heck do I want to install Mojave without a Recovery Partition in the first place. Well, the official reason is that I'm currently trying to triple-boot my MBP with Mojave, Windows 10 and Gentoo Linux and the less partitions I have in the mix the better! The whole thing is already tricky enough without having to deal with an extra (and in my use case pointless) Recovery Partition. The real reason though, is that I already had a time-tested algorithm to install macOS without a Recovery Partition that worked flawlessly until Sierra. Unfortunately, it stopped working with High Sierra and Mojave. The whole thing is kind of personal now and it's driving me nuts!

In a nutshell, as described here and here, the trick was to restore straight from the "BaseSystem.dmg" image, delete the "/System/Installation/Packages" alias and manually copy the "Packages" folder from the "InstallESD.dmg" image. As mentioned here, this workaround prevents the creation of any kind of Recovery Partition from the get-go. For my dismay, when I tried it with High Sierra and Mojave, the following error message always appeared:

"macOS could not be installed on your computer. The installer resources were not found. Quit the installer to restart your computer and try again"

I know it's perfectly possible to triple-boot without having to delete the Recovery Partition but, like I said above, it became personal. That said, I'm about to throw in the towel on this one and bite the "createinstallmedia" bullet so, if someone out there knows how to crack this sucker, by all means don't hold back!


Thanks in advance!
 

Honza1

macrumors 6502a
Nov 30, 2013
561
208
US
This may not be what you want to do, but I would install on separate disk (external one to make it easy) and then used CCC or some other method to move just the system partition to the drive partition I want to use. Bonus: perfectly good backup of fresh install with recovery partition, just in case ;-)
 

treekram

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2015
1,849
405
Honolulu HI
An important question would be if you use APFS or not.

With APFS, Recovery isn't in a partition, it's in a volume in the APFS container where the OS is. A big difference is that because it's a volume in the container, it won't show in the boot manager as a bootable partition.

I think that once you have the OS installed, you may be able to just delete the Recovery Volume. I haven't tried and I don't see anything on the Internet (cursory search) on this. Again because it's not a partition, if you can delete the volume, the space may be freed without having to do anything else because of the way APFS works - you would have to do some work to find out if that's the case.

If you are dead set on finding a way to not create a Recovery volume as part of the install and if it's become personal, keep on your quest. Some who do this become the subject of a novel (Don Quixote) and become immortal. Mostly, people who do this are forgotten.

This may not be what you want to do, but I would install on separate disk (external one to make it easy) and then used CCC or some other method to move just the system partition to the drive partition I want to use. Bonus: perfectly good backup of fresh install with recovery partition, just in case ;-)
This may not work with CCC because my reading of what CCC does (I was looking to see if would create a Recovery volume) is that it will automatically create the Recovery volume on a destination volume if it's not there. That's just my impression based on what I've seen - I don't know what happens in actual practice since that would mean delete the Volume to see if it would be re-created and I'm not on this particular quest.

Quoting from the dialog that comes up when you press the "Recovery HD..." button in CCC:
"APFS volumes require special 'Preboot' and 'Recovery' helper partitions to function as a startup disk. Because these helper partitions are required, CCC automatically archives them on source APFS volumes and automatically creates and populates them on destination APFS volumes.

"You don't need to do anything here, CCC will take care of the technical details when you run your backup task."
 
Last edited:

oatman13

macrumors regular
Feb 14, 2013
228
60
Please do not delete the Recovery Volume; especially on T2 based Macs. It's there for a reason...
 

danallen

macrumors member
Oct 8, 2018
55
30
Houston
Hey guys,

Need some help here. Going straight for the elephant in the room, you might be wondering why the heck do I want to install Mojave without a Recovery Partition in the first place. Well, the official reason is that I'm currently trying to triple-boot my MBP with Mojave, Windows 10 and Gentoo Linux and the less partitions I have in the mix the better! The whole thing is already tricky enough without having to deal with an extra (and in my use case pointless) Recovery Partition. The real reason though, is that I already had a time-tested algorithm to install macOS without a Recovery Partition that worked flawlessly until Sierra. Unfortunately, it stopped working with High Sierra and Mojave. The whole thing is kind of personal now and it's driving me nuts!

In a nutshell, as described here and here, the trick was to restore straight from the "BaseSystem.dmg" image, delete the "/System/Installation/Packages" alias and manually copy the "Packages" folder from the "InstallESD.dmg" image. As mentioned here, this workaround prevents the creation of any kind of Recovery Partition from the get-go. For my dismay, when I tried it with High Sierra and Mojave, the following error message always appeared:

"macOS could not be installed on your computer. The installer resources were not found. Quit the installer to restart your computer and try again"

I know it's perfectly possible to triple-boot without having to delete the Recovery Partition but, like I said above, it became personal. That said, I'm about to throw in the towel on this one and bite the "createinstallmedia" bullet so, if someone out there knows how to crack this sucker, by all means don't hold back!


Thanks in advance!
Ahhh.. The ol' playing games with OS installation trick, eh? It's awesome when it works, and there is nothing quite like the agony in my gut, feeling so alone and useless that comes with failure.

The main benefit of getting the triple boot able system without the Recovery partition is... pride? I don't get why the recovery partition would always be useless.

I wish I could help you. I put way too much time into tech objectives I feel compelled to accomplish but which should be dropped for the sake of the time I put into them. A lot of the satisfaction of putting systems together is I can do what I want. I hate surrendering. But surrender I must, and I keep fighting it. He who turns and runs away will live to fight another day.
 

danallen

macrumors member
Oct 8, 2018
55
30
Houston
If you are dead set on finding a way to not create a Recovery volume as part of the install and if it's become personal, keep on your quest. Some who do this become the subject of a novel (Don Quixote) and become immortal. Mostly, people who do this are forgotten.
And I know,
If I'll only be true,
To this glorious quest,
That my my heart,
Will lie peaceful and strong,
When I'm laid to my rest.

And the world,
Will be better for this.
That one man,
Scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove with his last ounce of courage,
To reach, the unreachable stars!


Or in your case...

... Still strove with his last ounce of courage,
To triple boot without a Recovery Partition
For one of the OSs!

 
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