Is it possible to upgrade the OS on a Mac that won't boot fully?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by cameronjpu, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. cameronjpu, Aug 8, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013

    cameronjpu macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    #1
    I have a weird problem - a Mac that won't boot, but the drive was in good enough shape that I could clone it over to a new drive. So now I know the hard drive is fine, but it still won't boot. I have 10.7 on the system, and it just spins forever while booting. I tried a safe boot, no dice. Swapped the RAM, no help. I figure, what if I could just upgrade the OS? I have 10.8 on a bootable drive and could certainly install it, but I have a lot of settings and programs that I don't want to restore. Is there any solution? When I told it to install 10.8, it told me that the target drive was not Journaled, and that i should enable that in disk utility. I see no way to do that without reformatting. Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

    Edit: I also know it would be easy to do this if I had a TM backup - I could install 10.8 clean and then restore from the TM backup. But I don't have that. Is there a way to use the existing HD as if it was a TM backup in that way? I've always found it weird that Apple would allow the TM backup to be so useful while the actual HD is less so.
     
  2. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #2
    You want to rule out a hardware fault.

    Secondly, Mac drives are HFS+ journalled by default, so you need to work out why yours isn't.

    If you have all your data on another drive, then reformat journalled and a clean install of Mountain Lion. If that doesn't work, you have a hardware problem.

    PS. Make sure you always have two copies of your data.
     
  3. cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    #3
    Unfortunately, none of that is helpful.

    I have rules out a hardware fault to the degree possible already.

    Knowing why the drive is not formatted the way it should be by default will not help me solve the problem I actually have.

    Installing 10.8 clean is of no help, I already know I could do that, and that's my last option with a poor prognosis.

    As I already cloned the drive, I do already have two copies of my data.

    Does anyone know of a way to re-import an existing installation into a clean install, so as to accomplish a virtual "upgrade" in reverse?
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    "When I told it to install 10.8, it told me that the target drive was not Journaled, and that i should enable that in disk utility. I see no way to do that without reformatting. Any suggestions?"

    Here's mine:

    You said you have a bootable version of 10.8? On an external drive, correct?
    Do you also have your apps and user data backed up? You said that you do.

    I would do this:
    1. Connect the bootable 10.8 drive to the problem Mac. Boot from the external drive.
    2. Use Disk Utility to re-initialize the internal drive. Make sure its HFS+ with journaling enabled.
    3. Use CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to clone the contents of the 10.8 drive to the Mac in question
    4. Now, disconnect the 10.8 drive and see if you can reboot the problem Mac
    5. If the reboot is successful, and you get a "good boot to the finder", now it's time to work on getting your data back over.
    6. Connect the drive that has your data on it (if it's a different drive than the bootable 10.8)
    7. Use Migration Assitant to "migrate" your apps, user accounts, and other user data from the backup clone to the newly-initialized drive.

    This should get you to where you want to be.
     
  5. cameronjpu, Aug 9, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013

    cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    #5
    Ah.... sounds very good. I just got to the transfer information to this Mac screen, actually, so I will see if it can access the external (old) HD and see if the computer can use it. That's exactly the process I was hoping existed. Nice! Thanks!

    Edit: Hm... neither hard drive (the original old, or the cloned copy of the old) show up in "Select the source" :(

    Edit2: I went ahead without importing data, and then did the migration assistant from within the OS. When I plugged in the drive it told me that it was damaged but I could copy data. I imagine this is why the initial migration assistant couldn't find it. Data copy in process now.
     

Share This Page