Resolved Problem: New MacBook Pro with Lion starts up with “Mac OS X Utilities”.

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by tom4green, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. tom4green, Aug 29, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011

    tom4green macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #1
    New MacBook Pro with Lion starts up with “Mac OS X Utilities”.
    To get my login mask I need to set the “Startup Disk…” in the Apple menu and restart my Mac.
    This behaviour is reproducable!
    What do I have to do to solve this problem?

    Here is the complete description of the issue:
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Some days ago I bought a new 13’’ MacBook Pro 2.3 GHz with Mac OS X Lion.
    I migrated my data from an old MacBook 2.0 GHz mid 2007 with Max OS X Snow Leopard using the Migration Assistant.
    In the Migration Assistant I selected “From another Mac”
    and then “Use FireWire”.
    I connected the new and old Mac with a FreWire 800/400 cable (9-pin to 6-pin).
    I started the old MacBook while pressing and holding the “T” key in FireWire target disk mode
    and followed the steps as described in Apple’s article “How to use Migration Assistant to transfer files from another Mac”
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4413
    When asked for selecting items to migrate in step 8 I marked all checkboxes to migrate Users, Applications, Settings and Other files and folders.
    After a long while (many pictures and songs) the migration assistant finished with the pop up “Your information has been transferred successfully”.

    Then I quit the migration assistant and restarted the new MacBook Pro.
    Everything was fine.

    The next day I started the MacBook Pro and worked with iPhoto (upgrading old photos from iPhoto 8.1.2 of iLife ’09, importing some photos), iTunes, Safari, Mail, OpenOffice.
    Everything was fine again.

    Today when I started the MacBook Pro the “Mac OS X Utilities” screen has come up.
    My options are “Restore from Backup”, “Reinstall Mac OS X”, “Get help Online”, “Disk Utility”.

    I tried Disk Utility and repaired the disk. No errors were found.
    When I restarted the MacBook Pro the “Mac OS X Utilities” screen came up again.

    This time I tried to Reinstall Mac OS X while keeping the user accounts. It worked well.
    Afterwards the usual startup screen came up. I logged in. Fine.
    Then I restarted the MacBook Pro and the “Mac OS X Utilities” screen came up again.

    As a last possibility I erased the disk using Disk Utility.
    Thereafter I reinstalled Mac OS X.
    Then I restarted the MacBook Pro and it worked fine!!

    This time I migrated the data from my old MacBook by using a Time Machine backup.
    I followed the steps as described in section “Time Machine backup or other disk” in Apple’s article “How to use Migration Assistant to transfer files from another Mac”
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4413
    When asked for selecting items to migrate in steps 7 and 8 I marked all checkboxes to migrate Users, Applications, Settings and Other files and folders.
    After a long while the migration assistant finished with the pop up “Your information has been transferred successfully”.

    Then I restarted the MacBook Pro. No problem! Everything went fine!

    Before doing the next steps I made a Time Machine backup of my new MacBook Pro.

    After the backup I restarted the MacBook Pro.
    And, guess what. The “Mac OS X Utilities” screen came up again. :-(

    As a last resort I set the startup disk to the Macintosh HD.
    It was the only one but it was not selected.
    Could it be that this was the problem?
    Afterwards I rebooted the MacBook Pro without problems.

    Now I had to reinstall iLife ’11.
    This is described here
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4718

    Reinstalling iLife went without problems.

    Thereafter I restarted the MacBook Pro. Same issue again!!!

    So again I set the startup disk to Macintosh HD.
    It was selected but nevertheless I selected it and restarted the MacBook Pro.
    It rebooted without problems!

    So each time I start my MacBook Pro I have to go throught this restart procedure!!
    What do I have to do to solve this problem?
     
  2. Hugh macrumors 6502a

    Hugh

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Location:
    Erie, PA
    #2
    It does like it keeps forgetting which partition to boot from. You have a few options to do. You could reset the NVRAM (Do Intel models have NVRAM?), PMU or, take it to an Apple store to look at it. Maybe return it, to get a another one.

    Hugh

    EDIT: Someone could correct me on this, but to reset the PMU. Turn the machine off, on the keyboard hold down the P and R at the same time. Then turn on the computer holding down those keys until you here the restart chime a second time.
     
  3. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    #3
    To reset PRAM hold down Command-Option-P-R while rebooting. Release when you hear the second boot chime.

    Before doing that, go into System Preferences and select Startup Disk. Make sure that your boot drive is selected. Then click the "Reset..." button. While it is rebooting do the PRAM reset.
     
  4. Hugh macrumors 6502a

    Hugh

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Location:
    Erie, PA
    #4
    I knew I didn't have that right! :( I had the P and R right so I was close.

    Hugh
     
  5. tom4green thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #5
    Yesterday I talked to an Apple contact.
    First he asked me to startup the MacBook Pro while holding down the option key.
    Two startup systems were indicated rEFIt and Recovery HD. No Macintosh HD!
    As I had already erased the disk before and reinstalled Mac OS X Lion from scratch we were transferred to his superior.
    He told me to restart the MacBok Pro. Then click on the Finder menu entry Go and then on Computer.
    Open folder Macintosh HD.
    There was a subfolder EFI. He told me to rename that to e.g. EFI_1.
    Then I shut down the MacBook Pro and started it again after a while. It worked fine!
    Since then everything is perfect! :)

    So the problem was that rEFIt was installed on my MacBook Pro. How did it get on my MacBook Pro?
    Then I remembered that a friend installed “something” on my old MacBook which changed the login behaviour. This was four years ago. I had forgotten that completely. When I migrated the data from my old MacBook to my new MacBook Pro I obviously migrated rEFIt, too. And it did not get along with OS X Lion. :mad:

    After all it was my own fault.
    Thanks, Hugh and Taz Mangus, for your hints!
     

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