refit: can't boot OS X, can't format either

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by .psd, Apr 19, 2014.

  1. .psd macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #1
    I installed refit and upon boot I opened the partition tool and fixed the partition tables. It did its thing and everything worked fine through several reboots. I decided I want to start from scratch so I booted the OS X repair thing to format the drive and reinstall OS X, but it can't format the drive because it's unable to mount, and after failing to format the drive it will no longer boot OS X (it just sits on a white screen after you choose OS X in refit).

    What do I do in order to format the drive properly so I can start with a fresh install of OS X?
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    Does your Mac support Internet recovery from this list?

    If it does, do a command-option-r boot and you will see a spinning globe while the recovery utility downloads.

    Once that is done you will see this recovery screen.

    [​IMG]

    From there start Disk Utility and select your drive brand name at the very top of the list on the left. Then go to the erase tab and format to Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Then quit DU and click reinstall OS X. This will DL and install the OS that came from the factory.

    You can then update back to Mavericks or whatever you want once the original OS is running.

    If you machine does not support Internet recovery you will need a recovery USB key or a bootable backup like Time Machine to boot to and do the same process.
     
  3. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #3
    Disk may be hosed in a fashion that Disk Utility can't handle. If you can, boot up using Gparted... Not for the faint of heart, but it can rescue/reformat disks DU can't. Then proceed with recovery as if from a new disk.
     
  4. .psd, Apr 19, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014

    .psd thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #4
    I was able to reinstall OS X through the internet recovery (late 2013 iMac) and now I can boot. But I still can't wipe the drive in order to start from scratch, because when I try to erase the drive through disk utility in recovery, I get the error "couldn't unmount the drive".

    EDIT: trying to make a bootable OS X flash drive and see if I can erase from disk utility there. Are you talking about making a bootable gparted drive?

    I wonder if, now that I can boot OS X again, this is a problem caused by refit rearranging the partition tables, and maybe all I have to do is reestablish the default partition tables. I'll research that while OS X installer is downloading. If you know anything about that, let me know, it could be faster than trying to dig through help links on Google.
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #5
    If you are getting that message it sounds like you did a command-r boot to recovery (which is on the drive and hence the message). You need to make sure to do command-option-r to bypass the drive and get Internet recovery. You will know it is Internet recovery because you will see this spinning globe before the recovery screen comes up. Did you see this?

    [​IMG]

    Then you should be able to select the drive brand name at the very top in DU and erase.
     
  6. .psd, Apr 19, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014

    .psd thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #6
    I just held option, and when the drives popped up I selected the recovery partition. I will try cmd-option-r, but before I do: OS X is halfway done installing and if this doesn't work then it would suck to start the download over — my goal was to make a bootable drive, but I won't need it if the cmd-option-r works, so will the download resume upon rebooting or will I have to start over?

    Edit: ******* it, I shut down and have now booted with cmm-option-r internet recovery. It will take 8 more minutes to finish loading whatever its loading then I'll report back.
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    Jan 23, 2005
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    #7
    Not gonna work. You need to have that disk unmounted do do this. By option key booting to the recovery partition you are running on the disk itself, so you cannot fix this.

    There we go. :)

    You should be seeing the spinning globe while it downloads the 650MB recovery utility. This runs in RAM and not off the disk, so the disk is not mounted and you should be able to erase it like I described.
     
  8. .psd thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #8
    Thanks weaselboy, it worked. I erased the drive then rebooted plain, rebooted with option, and finally with command-r to ensure refit is gone, and now im using internet recovery to reinstall mavericks. I feel like you've solved (or at least contributed to) other help threads of mine over the years. You pulled through again (or maybe I'm confused). Thanks!
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Excellent! Glad we got you fixed up. :)
     

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