Mac mini recovery questions

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by idntknw, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. idntknw, Jan 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015

    idntknw macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2012
    I have a 2012 Mac mini with a SSD as the boot drive with all my programs and use the drive that came in it as storage. I installed a program which required a restart and when it did I got the grey screen with a circle and line thru it. I did a disk repair and it said it was no longer a fusion drive? So I said fix.

    Now I get a folder with a question mark at startup. I have a external drive that I made a clone copy of the current setup before all this mess but I can't login into it either. I put my password in and it says and error occurred.

    I'm in the middle of Internet recovery to reinstall the os. Is there anyway at all to get things back to the way they were without losing any data or is it too late?

    Sorry I'm not super computer savy but would appreciate any ideas and options.

    Thank you

    edit: I have the os installed but now my SSD drive doesn't show up in disk utility. It has internal drive and Macintosh HD. the SSD drive is 128 GB I think and both drives are saying over 600 GB. So I guess it has combined the SDD drive with the HD? Is there anyway to get them separated as I had it before? Or just leave as a fusion drive? Sorry again for my lack of knowledge on all of this.
  2. justperry, Jan 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015

    justperry macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    Which program did you install?

    The first problem was probably fixed fairly easily, the stop sign when you booted up tells me there was a non signed Extension installed, OS X Extensions are signed now, since 10.10 Yosemite.
    You probably installed Trim Enabler, the bad news is that the system will be unbootable but it could have been easily fixed.
    Right now I think you have a bigger problem.
    Your External backup also has a problem, you can't sign in you say, I think this is because the disks got un-fusion-ed, if you home folder was on the HDD so will be your keychain, then, the system is looking in the ~/Library/Keychain Folder but can't find it, so, you get an error.

    Edit: Shame you fixed the disk, it got you into more trouble, sadly.


  3. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote above:
    [[ I installed a program which required a restart and when it did I got the grey screen with a circle and line thru it. I did a disk repair and it said it was no longer a fusion drive? So I said fix. ]]

    Oops, bad mistake.
    But this is more Apple's fault than it is yours, so don't blame yourself.

    What happened is this:
    For some reason, Apple has set up Disk Utility so that if you boot through the recovery partition with BOTH an HDD -and- an SSD installed, DU "assumes" that the two drives are supposed to be a "fusion" drive and automatically attempts to "re-meld" them into one.

    So DU installed "CORE storage" between the two drives and now what you have is a new "fusion drive", with nothing on it.

    In other words, everything that you previously had on your two drives is gone.

    Do you have any kind of backup at all?

    I see two ways for you to proceed from this point:

    Accept the fusion drive and restore from your backups to the new fusion volume.

    Manually "split apart" the fusion drive by disabling CORE storage, and use data recovery software to try to get your data back.

    Shame on Apple for not explaining the concept of CORE storage and the consequences of "fixing" a drive this way more clearly....
  4. idntknw thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2012
    Thanks for the replies.

    I have everything up and going with the drives fused now and fresh install of Yosemite. I have an external drive cloned with the setup I have now and can use it to boot up into. I tried after the backup.

    Is there any benefit to separating them again? Would it be more trouble than its worth? I use the machine a lot for photo work, photoshop, ect.

    Thanks again
  5. Celerondon macrumors 6502a


    Oct 17, 2013
    Southern Cal
    I vote for you to leave them fused. Some may encourage you to split them so that you can determine where everything is stored. If you leave the drive fused then the hard part is over. I say that you should let the system manage your files while you simply use the computer. This way you only have to ensure that you maintain a Time Machine backup of your new Fusion Drive.
  6. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    May 1, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    The usual reason is that that with Fusion, one bad drive wipes out everything.
    Leaving them separate at least leaves you with one working drive after a failure.
  7. Celerondon macrumors 6502a


    Oct 17, 2013
    Southern Cal
    I Agree, That Reason is Often Given

    Right! If a computer has only one drive then the same thing happens. If you loose that one drive then everything is gone. Time Machine is insurance against that possibility and several others.

    Despite this perception about the risk of a multi-drive volume, I have noticed a trend on these forums. Have you observed that tales of woe that involve horrible Fusion Drive crashes that cost data loss are not that common? On the other hand, folks who have storage media failures without proper backup solutions suffer grim fates. It doesn't matter whether they use HDD, SDD, or a Fusion Drive, the pain comes because of the lack of backup rather than the storage system.
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Feb 20, 2009
    If the OP doesn't mind managing two volumes instead of one, I'd suggest "splitting" the fusion drive.

    Let the 128gb SSD serve as a boot drive with apps and accounts (may not be able to store large photo, music, or movie files on it).

    Partition the 1tb HDD into at least two pieces. Make the first partition 128gb and then use CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to clone the contents of the SSD to that partition.
    When set up this way, there is ALWAYS a second boot source immediately available.

    This doesn't exclude having an "external" backup as well. But if one gets into an "I can't boot!" moment there is that second boot volume "right there", a restart away.

    I normally keep and manage no less than SEVEN volume icons on my desktop as a minimum. Sometimes more...
  9. idntknw thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2012
    Actually this does't sound like a bad idea. before this incident happen that I had to restore, I had the SSD as the boot and the HDD for storage. And last time I moved the Home Directory folder to the HDD but later was told that may not be the best config.

    So what is the most common way to setup the SSD for boot and programs, and use HDD for storage as far as moving folders like the photos ect.


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