We are an enterprise requiring a homogeneous SOE environment, currently ours is based on Mac OS X 10.8.5 running on 15" MacBook Pros.
When the new lineup of macbooks were released just a week or two ago, we could no longer buy hardware that our SOE would be supported on, but experimented with these:
- 13-inch: 2.5GHz MacBook Pro
- 15-inch: 2.0GHz with Retina display and 16Gb RAM
We placed the laptops in target disk mode and used Disk Utility to firstly create an image of the current states of the "Macintosh HD" partitions on the HDDs, then used the restore tab to copy our SOE image to the new laptops' "Macintosh HD" partitions.
This worked perfectly well on on the new 13" MBP - booted fine - works just as well as previous models - no problems.
The 15" retina model, however, does NOT boot. We simply get the folder with a question mark sign. We were expecting this though, so no surprises.
Next, we decided to put Mavericks back on by restoring the previously created backup image of "Macintosh HD" partition to the "Macintosh HD" partition of the retina 15" 's HDD using Disk Utility, however, it still wouldn't boot - same folder with a question mark sign.
This is unexpected - it obviously means Disk Utility makes some changes to other sections of the HDD instead of just the partition specified in the GUI... I'd like to know what exactly this is.
Since then we've tried all kinds to get it working, including:
- Restoring again to each "Macintosh HD" and HDD root using different image to before - one that was created in Disk Utility of the original state of the top level HDD of the 15" HDD instead of the image of the original state of the Macintosh HD partition.
- Internet Recovery (command-R) - loads for about half an hour then says: "apple.com/support Error -2101F"
- Booting from USB created on another Mavericks machine (Downloaded Mavericks from App Store, then created USB using DiskMaker X
- Truly zero'ing low level (dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/disk4) - let it go for about 600Mb, then tried USB boot again - same problem.
- Tried internet recovery again after above zeroing using dd - same -2101F error.
- Tried PRAM reset (holding down option-command-p-r when booting), then above again - same errors.
Not sure what to do next and I don't understand why previous attempts haven't worked. What hidden stuff does Apple put into Disk Utility and HDD formats, etc...? I know for one the "Recovery Partition" doesn't show up in Disk Utility - not sure how Apple implements its command-R recovery thing?
Anyone have any clues or ideas or able to offer any more information that might assist?