Sierra was fine but now I can't boot from external drives as usual

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by ilandmac, May 14, 2017.

  1. ilandmac macrumors member

    ilandmac

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Location:
    Remote island
    #1
    Hi,

    nMacPro running Sierra 10.12.4

    I have 2 external boot drives as spares (+ TM) which I clone using CCC. About 2 weeks ago, things went south as I cannot boot from these spares as usual by selecting them from the startup disk menu in system preferences (I can select them, but they do not work) nor do I see them booting with the option key where I only see my internal drive.

    The web gave me a few hints, a somewhat successful tip from CCC recommended unplugging the Tbolt connection from theses drives at the Option key boot menu and re-plugging them. That worked but is hardly practical. Plus the next boot will revert to the internal drive.

    The Option+Shift+Command+Period keys at the startup manager window showed no results.

    I also tried this with no joy :

    "Some third-party external devices use Option ROM firmware. To enhance system security, Mac computers with up-to-date software don’t automatically load Option ROM firmware. As a result, your Mac doesn't see devices that have Option ROM firmware until you load the firmware by pressing Option-Shift-Command-Period at the Startup Manager window. Do this each time you want to start up from the device or from a startup disk connected to it.
    If you're using an Early 2015 (or older) Mac model, you can disable this security feature and allow your Mac to load Option ROM firmware automatically. This removes an important protection against potential unauthorized access to your Mac by other people with physical access to it.
    1. Open the Terminal app, which is in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
    2. Type sudo nvram enable-legacy-orom-behavior=1, then press Return.
To undo this command, enter sudo nvram -d enable-legacy-orom-behavior."


    I'm stuck here. The only change I did (that I recall) was installing BitDefender which I uninstalled since I was getting crazy CPU usage from BDCoreissues. Got a ticket from BD but looks like Macs are not a priority.

    Any help appreciated
    Ilandmac
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    "The web gave me a few hints, a somewhat successful tip from CCC recommended unplugging the Tbolt connection from theses drives at the Option key boot menu and re-plugging them. That worked but is hardly practical. Plus the next boot will revert to the internal drive."

    Even though the above routine may be troublesome, sometimes one just has to do, what one has to do, to make things work.

    Did you experience such problems BEFORE you installed Sierra?
    If the answer is "no", have you considered "going back" to El Capitan?

    Again, one must go with "what works".

    Just wondering -- did you completely uninstall BitDefender?
    Could any "pieces of it" be left around?
    Good way to check:
    1. Download "EasyFind" -- it's free
    2. Use EasyFind to search (I'd use the strings "bitdefender" and also a string for the name of the publisher)
    3. If EasyFind presents you with a list of items "still there", try deleting them one-by-one. You -might- have to choose the option to "reveal in finder", and you -might- need to enter your password to force-delete some components.

    I don't care for "live" virus protection utilities.
    I use MalwareBytes Anti-Malware, and that's it.

    Final thought:
    Do the external drives have a USB3 connection option as well as Tbolt?
    If they do, have you tried that?
     
  3. ilandmac, May 16, 2017
    Last edited: May 16, 2017

    ilandmac thread starter macrumors member

    ilandmac

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Location:
    Remote island
    #3
    Hi Fish,

    Thanks for the "EasyFind" tip. Took out 4 more files BD left even though I used the Uninstall BD app.

    To your questions :

    - I've used Sierra since it was available with no problems, as I said it came way later. An update may be...
    - my (main) boot drive is pretty lean at 55,53 gigs (mail being about 20 G of that) most of the stuff that
    takes space is on external Raid drives (Itunes, Photos Library, dropbox etc..)
    - My spare boot drives are on OWC thunderbay boxes that only have Tbolt connectors.
    - I have also tried a spare on a direct USB to Sata cable, no luck.
    - I do see all of them in system Preferences/Startup Disks.....

    I could go back a notch down to El Capitan, I'm just hoping that an elusive fix is coming.
    I guess the easiest way is to unplug all the external drives, go back to El Capitan and then
    connect a spare cloned drive and check if the system "sees" it.

    Update.

    Went back to Sierra 10.12.4 and it all works ;-)

    Not saying it's Sierra's fault. I more than likely did something stupid in between.
    But Man ! That's a lot of emails to reorganize if I want to push on....

    ilandmac
     
  4. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #4
    Did you mean to say you went back to Sierra 10.12.3?

    There's another thread here where the OP has a problem similar to yours. I suspect the problem is with 10.12.4. So if you did go back to 10.12.3 and the problem disappeared, no, I don't think you did something stupid - if 10.12.4 is the problem then it's the programmers and the QA department at Apple that did something stupid. They just released 10.12.5 yesterday. It may be that the 10.12.4 problem was not widespread but I don't think it was rare either.

    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/trying-to-create-a-bootable-backup.2045484/#post-24580101
     
  5. ilandmac thread starter macrumors member

    ilandmac

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Location:
    Remote island
    #5
    Hi,

    Nope, I did go back to 10.12.4 and it all went away. I can now see and choose my boot options just pressing the option key
    or select a boot drive from the Preferences app. None of that worked before.

    Best
    ilandmac
     
  6. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #6
    That's interesting. The OP in the other post tried 3 different methods of reinstalling 10.12.4 and it didn't work. If you don't mind me asking, how did you do your re-install - previously used installer, App Store, Recovery Partition, or some other method?
     
  7. ilandmac thread starter macrumors member

    ilandmac

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Location:
    Remote island
    #7
    Just hooked up a not so old CCC backup of 10.12.4 on a USB connection. I was kind of amazed when the system let me boot with it !
     
  8. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #8
    So unlike your other disks, you were able to boot from the USB CCC backup disk - is that correct?
     
  9. ilandmac thread starter macrumors member

    ilandmac

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Location:
    Remote island
    #9
    Yes that's it. The only difference was that I used a USB connection and not Tbolt
    with a drive that's not permanently attached that I backup to before doing an
    update (usually).

    From there just a slow process of erasing TM and bringing the other backups to
    this working config and yes, reprocessing a ton of emails.
     
  10. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #10
    Thanks for providing the information even after your problem looks like it's fixed. I'm interested in what's happening because this problem is not typical (it's happening before the OS is actually loaded) and as I mentioned before, not likely a user-induced issue.
     

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