Please Help, El Capitain installation damaged my home volume

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by ash06, May 25, 2016.

  1. ash06, May 25, 2016
    Last edited: May 28, 2016

    ash06 macrumors member


    Dec 13, 2007

    I'm seeking some help from anyone that can lend their expertise,

    I had El Capitain 10.11 GM beta installed on my system and no longer received updates from the Mac AppStore, I found a solution to this was to install the proper (App store version) of El Capitain, so I downloaded the installed from the App Store and after selecting my drive, it began installing.

    However, after the first restart, the installer informed me I had insufficient space on my target drive and to select a new one to restart.

    I intended to restart and clear space on my Home Drive, but it does not boot into OS X anymore, a look into the drive shows the volume is now 'messed up' with system folders and application folders in 'Recovered Items'.

    Please anyone, help.

    I have since used OS X installed onto a SD card to clear space on the Home drive to continue the installer, but El Captain installed does not detect the drive as one with an OS on it anymore...

    This is my main machine, so any help is appreciated.

  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Reformat the drive, reinstall OS X, restore your data from a backup. If you don't have a backup, copy your data from the Users folder to an external drive and then reformat/reinstall.
  3. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    Alternatively you might want to consider:

    1. Clone the drive to another drive, especially if you are using software outside of App Store.
    2. Format the drive, install OS and restore data / install software.

    Next time it would prudent to clone the drive before installing OS X update. Needless to say using beta OS on a main Mac isn't necessarily the smartest move...
  4. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Cloning a drive is NEVER a good idea. OS updates often install firmware updates along the way. If you use a cloned drive after that, there is a chance that your OS version and the firmware version will be mismatched. Which can lead to all kind of subtle bugs and undefined behavior. Properly reinstalling the system is the safest way to go.

    P.S. I always install beta OS releases on my production machines. Then again, it takes about 40-60minutes to completely reinstall the machine and restore all the data in case something goes wrong. Other people of course have different setups and usage scenarios.
  5. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    I'm curious why Disk Utility includes restore function if using it would cause problems?
  6. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    Because restorations can be problem-free.
  7. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    So far, I don't recall any official Apple document or reply where they recommend to use volume restore function to restore he system volume. Instead, they always say to reinstall using internet recovery and then restore from time machine. But then again, I don't presume to have read all the available info :) I just remember some people here reporting that they have some weird issues with restored cloned disks, so that's why I am recommending caution.

    To your comment: the restore function in Disk Utility has many other uses like archiving volumes, writing data to usb sticks etc. System volume restoration is a bit more complicated.
  8. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    Sometimes true. Sometimes it can be quicker, and problem-free, to do a block-level copy without attention to the file system.
  9. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    In this case, we are talking about restoring from 10.11.5 to 10.11 GM, with who knows how many potential firmware updates in-between. If you know what you are doing — use any tool at your disposal. For most users, a more careful approach (like: following the restore procedures Apple describes and recommends), might be a better idea.

    P.S. I might have misunderstood what Ebenezum means with his cloning suggestion. After re-reading his post I am not really sure what he means. I am talking strictly only about restoring cloned system volumes when the cloned volume and the target machine might have incompatible firmware version. Sorry if I have misunderstood something and derailed the tread.
  10. AlteMac macrumors regular


    Jul 21, 2011
    New York suburb
    What I have done successfully is use a cloned drive to restore a failed drive, and then immediately reinstall the OS from Recovery.
  11. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    I meant making clone before installing minor 10.11.x update. I didn't mean doing so between major OS upgrades which would be risky. I would hope Apple would improve support documents regarding this kind of situations.
  12. ash06 thread starter macrumors member


    Dec 13, 2007
    Hi guys!

    Thank you for the prompt responses in my time of need.
    I had woke up to 2 replies in a matter of hours and can also see some discussion happening now. A huge thank you to all above. As with your input I've been able to restore back to a backup of my sytem, and it is 'right where I left off'.

    In the end I installed OS X 10.11.5 on the main drive and used the Migration Assistant to restore from a Time Machine backup from the 25th of May. After the next boot, it quite literally opened up to where I was, including apps, windows, folders etc. I guess this is part of the magic here...

    *It didn't even occur to me at the time that I had a Time Machine backup enabled, but luckily I had a USB drive attached to my Router for the purpose. I had completley forgotten about!

    All in all, I'm a happy Mac user, and a lesson learnt. Do not use GM releases on your main machine!
  13. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I think the lesson is rather "do backups, that stuff works!" :)
  14. m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020


    Nov 2, 2011
    The Netherlands

    Save a copy of ALL OSX major releases and .x combo updates on USB/Seperate (detachtable) drives that OSX can't mess with (change release version when OSX installer is found)!

    That way you can always restore to ANY OSX version (.upate) you prefer!


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