Internet Recovery being evil; can't re-install Mavericks

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by Lennyvalentin, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. Lennyvalentin macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2011
    Ok, I'll try to make a long and horrid story as short and succinct as I can, to spare you some of my pain: I somehow accumulated spontaneous file system errors (because as most people probably know, OS X file system is ancient, outdated, unstable and awful), which broke probably several dozen of my image files, making them un-loadable/corrupted or crashed image viewer when accessed, and maybe other stuff too I dunno.

    I ran the disk tool thingy, and it said it could not fix the errors. I should re-start from the boot partition by holding such-and-such keys and re-run the repair. I did, and then surprisingly the disk tool said the disk was completely fine. I dunno if that's because the volume was encrypted or not; it did not complain about it, but I never got any prompt to unlock it by entering my password or anything like that so maybe it affected its ability to run a full scan I dunno.

    So when clicking around trying to find a way to maybe coax it into repairing my damaged volume I clicked the "partitions" tab of the interface, the program crashed, showing nothing but the spinny bathball pointer. Nothing would work, it ignored all input until I had to kill it by holding the power button.

    Upon re-booting I got the dreaded folder icon with "?" adorning it. Thanks, apple. Your disk tool died and wrecked my system drive just by me clicking on a widget in the user interface. It wasn't even scanning the disk or anything when it happened.

    Ok, fine. No problem, I got a time machine backup*, and I was planning on re-installing the OS anyway, because ever since I installed Lion on my 2011 13" MBP it has been booting up reeeally really slow (with whatever kitty was on it when I bought it, it booted fast. Snow leopard? Whatever, it doesn't matter.) I thought, maybe with a clean reinstall I'll get it working fast again.
    ...Except I don't have a Mavericks hardcopy of course, and it only wants to internet-restore Lion, and not Mavericks. And if I get a slow-booting Mavericks again after installing lion and then updating it then I gained nothing except two days wasted restoring my macbook twice over...which really isn't a gain now that I think about it.

    I googled around on the interwebs and found some threads, including a helpful one here: which didn't work for me, because no matter which key combination I hold down on bootup it always downloads/presents lion internet restore partition and not mavericks. I also tried the OS X recovery disk assistant, which supposedly is able to make a bootable mavericks USB key, except it refuses to run, saying my lion recovery partition is broken/damaged/whatever and therefore it can't proceed.......

    So before I throw my mac out the friggin window in frustration, is there anything I can do to fix this? Any help appreciated, thank you.

    *Interestingly, time machine backed up my broken image files on top of the working originals, apparantly thinking they were changed, so when restoring them back to my Mac they were still broken. The originals may still be there (I have incremental backups stretching back to 2011), but lost in a sea of thousands of files I'll never find them manually. Is there some automated way in time machine to restore the oldest version of all files from an entire folder?
  2. satcomer, Nov 18, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013

    satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    You could have a USB thumb drive 10.9 install drive by follow the steps by tywebb13 called How to make a bootable install of Mavericks on Flash USB Drive.

    Also there is another way described in the video How to Clean install Mac OSX 10.9 Mavericks and download a free copy.

    To make the USB stick the video is called How-to Create MAC OSX 10.9 Mavericks Bootable USB Disk and download a free copy

    Here is the 1 video:

    Then once you first boot into the new install go to /Applications/Utilities/Migration to transfer your Pictures/Music/Apps/ etc. But don't transfer the Network settings. Manually put the Network settings back in manually because IMHO the network stack between different versions of OS X change slightly each time.

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