Currently Being ModeratedNov 11, 2013 5:16 PM (in response to dmare)
Try Command + Oprion/Alt + r keys at startup and hold them down until you see a globe on the screen.
That is for the Real Online Internet Recovery system. What you booted into, using Command + r, was the built in Recovery HD partition whcih more than likely got overwritten with an older version when you image the drive.
Once the system load from over the internet, you need to connect to a WiFi network, use Disk Utility to Repartition the drive as One Partition to wipe out everything on the drive, including the old recovery HD partition.
Then reinstall OS X.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 11, 2013 5:17 PM (in response to dmare)
Ok, just got it booted again by doing this:
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.
Use Disk Utility to create a partition on it.
Restore original image of "Macintosh HD" onto newly created partition.
Now it boots into Mavericks fine.
Not marking as solved yet - still trying to figure out why previous attempts wouldn't work, i.e. what other stuff does Disk Utility do to the disks when restoring an image to a partition - obviously it doesn't limit changes to that partition? Also keen to find out how the Recover mode (command-R) works - is it an actual separate partition or is it simply a folder on the "Macintosh HD" partition? If it's an actual separate partition in the GPT table, why doesn't it show up in Disk Utility?
Next test will be to zero the disk again, create a new partition again using Disk Utility, then putting 10.8.5 image on the newly created partition again to see if it works this time after zero'ing the disk... will report on findings in case anyone is looking for similar answers.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 11, 2013 5:20 PM (in response to LowLuster)
It was saying that it was entering Internet Recovery, so I assumed that if command - R recovery failed, it defaulted over to Internet Recovery - this is what it indicated on the screen, however, my assumption might be wrong and I guess it might possibly be different to the command + option / Alt + r keys.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 11, 2013 5:22 PM (in response to dmare)
Really don't you read. Repartition the drive as one partition. Do NOT Erase, Repartition as one partition. Use the Partition tab. Select the top entery in the left panel, the drive model number and size, and One partition from the partition Layout drop down.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 11, 2013 5:32 PM (in response to LowLuster)
Yes, I did see the spinning Globe in the center of the screen as does the internet recovery tool usually show, so seems command-R fails back to internet recovery if it can't boot from recovery partition.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 11, 2013 5:36 PM (in response to dmare)
Right. Problem is with every new Mac version that comes out Apple take weeks to update the Online servers for these new models. The system is handing out its system Code to the server and if that code is not recognized you get an error.
If you plan on returning these system, because they don't work with your corp image, don't worry about doing the reinstall of OS X. Just return them. Apple will sort it out.