Resolved Internet Recovery

442Craig

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 12, 2019
18
1
Thousand Oaks, CA
Hi,

I'm in a fix! I have a mid 2011 27" Imac. Video card crapped out. I baked it, put it back together, fired
it up and got the flashing question mark folder. Rebooted and ran internet recovery. I can't get it back! Did I erase my SSD drive? I don't have a time machine back up (I know, stupid!) The disc utility shows only 1.36G of the 256. Totally confused! Did I erase my data with internet recovery? Is there a way to recover everything?

Thank you in advance!
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,596
2,352
Delaware
Hi,

I'm in a fix! I have a mid 2011 27" Imac. Video card crapped out. I baked it, put it back together, fired
it up and got the flashing question mark folder. Rebooted and ran internet recovery. I can't get it back! Did I erase my SSD drive? I don't have a time machine back up (I know, stupid!) The disc utility shows only 1.36G of the 256. Totally confused! Did I erase my data with internet recovery? Is there a way to recover everything?...
Is that 1.36 GB of space free? or 1.36 GB space used?
Did you reinstall your system from Internet Recovery? Even if you actually erased the drive, a reinstall would have needed considerable more than 1.36GB
What version of macOS were you using before your video needed help? If you were running High Sierra, with an SSD installed, then you would have an APFS format drive. Booting to internet recovery would boot to a much older OS X system, and the APFS drive would NOT be visible in any way. If that is correct (you were running High Sierra), then you should try a reinstall of THAT High Sierra system. The hard drive doesn't erase itself during a macOS install, other than perhaps a change of the format from HFS+ to APFS --- unless you chose to erase the drive using Disk Utility before you started.

ANYWAY... Assuming that you did not reinstall OS X while you were booted from internet recovery, your files may still be there. You would need to boot from another volume that has at least High Sierra installed, so you can actually see if there are any files... If you really did erase the drive (or you successfully reinstalled an older version of OS X) the files on that drive may be gone. You would then need to rely on your backup, maybe you have been using Time Machine, or some other backup method. That may be what you need now is that backup.
If you have NO backup, then,
 

442Craig

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 12, 2019
18
1
Thousand Oaks, CA
1.36G total space and 244MB free. Does it make a partition to boot from and save the previous data on another partition? I'm running Mountain Lion (I think) When I tried to reinstall OS It attempted to reinstall Lion. It froze on "analyzing drive." After rebooting, it isn't giving the option for the SSD to install. I have an internal data drive that is now the only option to install on. Anything on the disc utility for the SSD is grayed out for any action.

So, should i hook it up to another computer and use its dick utility to recover?

Thanks for your help!
 
Last edited:

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,596
2,352
Delaware
Do you have two internal drives on your iMac? (an SSD, and also a spinning HDD?)
I am guessing that you mean there is 244 GB - not 244 MB space free?
Do you have an external drive that has a bootable system, or an external that you could install a system, and boot from that?
Are you certain that you have never had a boot system newer than Mountain Lion on your iMac?
If you boot to the recovery system (Restart, holding Command+r) can you see the SSD (and try a First Aid repair on that) in the Disk Utility?
 

442Craig

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 12, 2019
18
1
Thousand Oaks, CA
Do you have two internal drives on your iMac? (an SSD, and also a spinning HDD?)
I am guessing that you mean there is 244 GB - not 244 MB space free?
Do you have an external drive that has a bootable system, or an external that you could install a system, and boot from that?
Are you certain that you have never had a boot system newer than Mountain Lion on your iMac?
If you boot to the recovery system (Restart, holding Command+r) can you see the SSD (and try a First Aid repair on that) in the Disk Utility?
No,its only showing 1.36GB total and 244 MB free. That's what's weird! The 2T internal is a secondary data drive. I am running and old OS due to preserving software, I believe it's 10.7.5 Which is Mt Lion. It's a pain in the a$$! Any of the options for repair etc. were grayed out and I couldn't perform anything on it.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,596
2,352
Delaware
Lion is 10.7.5 --- Mountain Lion is 10.8.5

How does Disk Utility identify your SSD? (I am asking what it shows in the device line in Disk Utility, which usually shows the manufacturer's model number, etc.

But, as you were working BEFORE the video issues, you might have simply disconnected, then partly re-connected the SATA data cable. Did you go back inside, and recheck all the connections? It would be a Good Thing™ to at least reseat the drive connections, even if you don't remember touching those cables.

This would also be a great opportunity to boot to an external drive, or even a bootable OS X installer drive, and try the Disk Utility while booted to a different drive.
 

442Craig

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 12, 2019
18
1
Thousand Oaks, CA
Do you have two internal drives on your iMac? (an SSD, and also a spinning HDD?)
I am guessing that you mean there is 244 GB - not 244 MB space free?
Do you have an external drive that has a bootable system, or an external that you could install a system, and boot from that?
Are you certain that you have never had a boot system newer than Mountain Lion on your iMac?
If you boot to the recovery system (Restart, holding Command+r) can you see the SSD (and try a First Aid repair on that) in the Disk Utility?
No,its only showing 1.36GB total and 244 MB free. That's what's weird! The 2T internal is a secondary data drive. I am running and old OS due to preserving software, I believe it's 10.7.5 Which is Mt Lion. It's a pain in the a$$! Any of the options for repair etc. were grayed out and I couldn't perform anything on it.
Lion is 10.7.5 --- Mountain Lion is 10.8.5

How does Disk Utility identify your SSD? (I am asking what it shows in the device line in Disk Utility, which usually shows the manufacturer's model number, etc.

But, as you were working BEFORE the video issues, you might have simply disconnected, then partly re-connected the SATA data cable. Did you go back inside, and recheck all the connections? It would be a Good Thing™ to at least reseat the drive connections, even if you don't remember touching those cables.

This would also be a great opportunity to boot to an external drive, or even a bootable OS X installer drive, and try the Disk Utility while booted to a different drive.
I am not in front of the mac right now but it was "disc 4" with a sub folder (recovery) (cant remember what it said at the moment)

Yeah, I think I will open her up again and check connections. I was doing this with tired eyes last night!

I'm a little fuzzy on the "boot to an external drive, or even a bootable OS X installer drive" I have another I mac (newer) do you mean link them and use the disk utility from the other mac to identify it? (sorry for my ignorance)

I have an old version CD of Lepard and tried to install it last night figuring I could at least start with that OS It gave me a bunch of gobbly gook and then prompted me to reboot. Is Leopard too old?
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,596
2,352
Delaware
Leopard is too old. Your 2011 would have originally shipped with Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6.6 or 10.6.7)

"Boot to an external drive": External USB drive, with a compatible version of OS X - anything from OS X 10.7 to macOS 10.13.6 - installed to make the volume bootable. Connect the drive, and restart your Mac while holding the Option key. The bootable drive will appear, along with any other possible boot system drive, on a boot screen. Choose the bootable volume, and press Enter. Your Mac will boot to any compatible system, assuming it is properly installed on that external drive. You can actually make your own bootable drive very easily, as you can already boot to the Internet Recovery system. Connect your external drive, boot the internet recovery. Start "Reinstall OS X" from the menu, and choose to install with the external drive as the destination for the install. It can take quite a while to complete (maybe 30 minutes to an hour), but will eventually boot to the external drive, which you can set up any way you like. You can run Disk Utility while booted then, and check your internal SSD to see if it will run "First Aid" then. If you don't find anything by checking the internal connections, and it continues to show the incorrect size on the drive, then you should assume that the drive has failed. You fix THAT problem by replacing the SSD.
 

442Craig

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 12, 2019
18
1
Thousand Oaks, CA
Do you have two internal drives on your iMac? (an SSD, and also a spinning HDD?)
I am guessing that you mean there is 244 GB - not 244 MB space free?
Do you have an external drive that has a bootable system, or an external that you could install a system, and boot from that?
Are you certain that you have never had a boot system newer than Mountain Lion on your iMac?
If you boot to the recovery system (Restart, holding Command+r) can you see the SSD (and try a First Aid repair on that) in the Disk Utility?
No,its only showing 1.36GB total and 244 MB free. That's what's weird! The 2T internal is a secondary data drive. I am running and old OS due to preserving software, I believe it's 10.7.5 Which is Mt Lion. It's a pain in the a$$! Any of the options for repair etc. were grayed out and I couldn't perform anything on it.
Lion is 10.7.5 --- Mountain Lion is 10.8.5

How does Disk Utility identify your SSD? (I am asking what it shows in the device line in Disk Utility, which usually shows the manufacturer's model number, etc.

But, as you were working BEFORE the video issues, you might have simply disconnected, then partly re-connected the SATA data cable. Did you go back inside, and recheck all the connections? It would be a Good Thing™ to at least reseat the drive connections, even if you don't remember touching those cables.

This would also be a great opportunity to boot to an external drive, or even a bootable OS X installer drive, and try the Disk Utility while booted to a different drive.
I am not in front of the mac right now but it was "disc 4" with a sub folder (recovery) (cant remember what it said at the moment)

Yeah, I think I will open her up again and check connections. I was doing this with tired eyes last night!

I'm a little fuzzy on the "boot to an external drive, or even a bootable OS X installer drive" I have another I mac (newer) do you mean link them and use the disk utility from the other mac to identify it? (sorry for my ignorance)

I have an old version CD of Lepard and tried to install it last night figuring I could at least start with that OS It gave me a bunch of gobbly gook and then prompted me to reboot. Is Leopard too old?
Leopard is too old. Your 2011 would have originally shipped with Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6.6 or 10.6.7)

"Boot to an external drive": External USB drive, with a compatible version of OS X - anything from OS X 10.7 to macOS 10.13.6 - installed to make the volume bootable. Connect the drive, and restart your Mac while holding the Option key. The bootable drive will appear, along with any other possible boot system drive, on a boot screen. Choose the bootable volume, and press Enter. Your Mac will boot to any compatible system, assuming it is properly installed on that external drive. You can actually make your own bootable drive very easily, as you can already boot to the Internet Recovery system. Connect your external drive, boot the internet recovery. Start "Reinstall OS X" from the menu, and choose to install with the external drive as the destination for the install. It can take quite a while to complete (maybe 30 minutes to an hour), but will eventually boot to the external drive, which you can set up any way you like. You can run Disk Utility while booted then, and check your internal SSD to see if it will run "First Aid" then. If you don't find anything by checking the internal connections, and it continues to show the incorrect size on the drive, then you should assume that the drive has failed. You fix THAT problem by replacing the SSD.
Will give it a try tonight! Thank you so much for your time!!!!!
[doublepost=1550007217][/doublepost]
Do you have two internal drives on your iMac? (an SSD, and also a spinning HDD?)
I am guessing that you mean there is 244 GB - not 244 MB space free?
Do you have an external drive that has a bootable system, or an external that you could install a system, and boot from that?
Are you certain that you have never had a boot system newer than Mountain Lion on your iMac?
If you boot to the recovery system (Restart, holding Command+r) can you see the SSD (and try a First Aid repair on that) in the Disk Utility?
No,its only showing 1.36GB total and 244 MB free. That's what's weird! The 2T internal is a secondary data drive. I am running and old OS due to preserving software, I believe it's 10.7.5 Which is Mt Lion. It's a pain in the a$$! Any of the options for repair etc. were grayed out and I couldn't perform anything on it.
Lion is 10.7.5 --- Mountain Lion is 10.8.5

How does Disk Utility identify your SSD? (I am asking what it shows in the device line in Disk Utility, which usually shows the manufacturer's model number, etc.

But, as you were working BEFORE the video issues, you might have simply disconnected, then partly re-connected the SATA data cable. Did you go back inside, and recheck all the connections? It would be a Good Thing™ to at least reseat the drive connections, even if you don't remember touching those cables.

This would also be a great opportunity to boot to an external drive, or even a bootable OS X installer drive, and try the Disk Utility while booted to a different drive.
I am not in front of the mac right now but it was "disc 4" with a sub folder (recovery) (cant remember what it said at the moment)

Yeah, I think I will open her up again and check connections. I was doing this with tired eyes last night!

I'm a little fuzzy on the "boot to an external drive, or even a bootable OS X installer drive" I have another I mac (newer) do you mean link them and use the disk utility from the other mac to identify it? (sorry for my ignorance)

I have an old version CD of Lepard and tried to install it last night figuring I could at least start with that OS It gave me a bunch of gobbly gook and then prompted me to reboot. Is Leopard too old?
Leopard is too old. Your 2011 would have originally shipped with Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6.6 or 10.6.7)

"Boot to an external drive": External USB drive, with a compatible version of OS X - anything from OS X 10.7 to macOS 10.13.6 - installed to make the volume bootable. Connect the drive, and restart your Mac while holding the Option key. The bootable drive will appear, along with any other possible boot system drive, on a boot screen. Choose the bootable volume, and press Enter. Your Mac will boot to any compatible system, assuming it is properly installed on that external drive. You can actually make your own bootable drive very easily, as you can already boot to the Internet Recovery system. Connect your external drive, boot the internet recovery. Start "Reinstall OS X" from the menu, and choose to install with the external drive as the destination for the install. It can take quite a while to complete (maybe 30 minutes to an hour), but will eventually boot to the external drive, which you can set up any way you like. You can run Disk Utility while booted then, and check your internal SSD to see if it will run "First Aid" then. If you don't find anything by checking the internal connections, and it continues to show the incorrect size on the drive, then you should assume that the drive has failed. You fix THAT problem by replacing the SSD.
Will give it a try tonight! Thank you so much for your time!!!!!

Any idea how I can download a OS on a external drive? Thanks again!
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,596
2,352
Delaware
...

Any idea how I can download a OS on a external drive? Thanks again!
One easy way to do that is to boot to internet recovery (restart, holding Option+command+r)
At the menu screen, choose "reinstall OS X", and choose your external drive as the destination for the install.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,425
5,647
Try this:

You will need an external drive (could be USB hard drive) or even a USB flash drive 32gb or larger will do the job.

Boot to internet recovery (command-option-R at boot).

Connect the EXTERNAL drive.

Open Disk Utility.

ERASE the EXTERNAL drive to Mac OS extended with journaling enabled, GUID partition format.

Quit Disk Utility and open the OS installer.

"Aim" the installer at the EXTERNAL drive (NOT at the internal drive).

See if it will install the OS onto the external drive. It may take some time and a few reboots may occur.

When done, set up the external drive with a simple account, so you can get to the finder.

Now, you should be "up and running" from the EXTERNAL drive.
You can open Disk Utility (again, from the external drive), and then "attack" the internal drive as needed.
 

442Craig

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 12, 2019
18
1
Thousand Oaks, CA
Update..
Thanks for everyones help!
So, looks like it was a unplugged cable to the SSD! Now I'm on to another problem! I mangled the pins on the display power cable port! Any idea where I can get a new one to solder in? This is why I work on cars not computers!!! HAM HANDS!!! :)

Here is a picture of my "handy work"



Thank you all again, you've been a tremendous help!
 

Attachments