11 Replies Latest reply: Jul 24, 2011 8:51 AM by Pondini
jrosenblum Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

After my troubles upgrading to Lion (see Cannot login after Lion Update), I decided to try a restore to 10.6.8 on my TimeMachine.

 

I inserted the 10.6 upgrade DVD, booted off of it, and restored to a TM backup dated before I even purchased / downloaded Lion. That restore took a few hours and appeared to proceed without a hitch. When trying to reboot, though, I'm never able to get past the initial grey screen with the Apple logo and the spinning gear. I never see the login screen. I've left it in this state for about 5 minutes with no visible progress.

 

I'm concerned that somehow the 10.7 install's secret hidden restore partition is preventing a TimeMachine restore, which is _very_ concerning.

 

I have successfully used the method above (booting off 10.6 DVD and restoring) before on this machine (e.g. when upgrading the hard drive). So I have some evidence that this was successful before the Lion install.

 

Needless to say (and I'm apparently not alone), the Lion upgrade appears to have not only made my system unusable but unrestorable.

 

Has anyone else encountered this sort of situation? Is there some different procedure I need to use for this kind of a restore?

 

Is anyone at Apple aware of testing the scenario of restoring to 10.6.8 from 10.7? It would seem important to be sure that TimeMachine worked to restore to a point before the upgrade.

 

Thanks.


MacBook, Mac OS X (10.7)
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    jrosenblum wrote:

    . . .

    I'm concerned that somehow the 10.7 install's secret hidden restore partition is preventing a TimeMachine restore, which is _very_ concerning.

    No.  The restore erased it.

     

    Try installing a fresh copy of OSX from your Snow Leopard Install disc; that won't affect anything else.

  • jrosenblum Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Pondini wrote:

     

    jrosenblum wrote:

    . . .

    I'm concerned that somehow the 10.7 install's secret hidden restore partition is preventing a TimeMachine restore, which is _very_ concerning.

    No.  The restore erased it.

     

    Try installing a fresh copy of OSX from your Snow Leopard Install disc; that won't affect anything else.

    Thanks for this suggestion. I actually did attempt to re-install 10.6. While that install went fine and I was able to boot into the fresh OS after that, when I attempted to then do a TimeMachine restore I wound up in the same situation (spinning gear on grey screen at reboot forever).

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    jrosenblum wrote:

    . . .

    Thanks for this suggestion. I actually did attempt to re-install 10.6. While that install went fine and I was able to boot into the fresh OS after that, when I attempted to then do a TimeMachine restore I wound up in the same situation (spinning gear on grey screen at reboot forever).

    I'm a bit confused as to exactly what you did.

     

    Did you do a full system restore from them, via your Snow Leopard Install disk and using the Restore System From Backups option, per #14 in Time Machine - Frequently Asked Questions?  If so, and it won't boot, just install OSX from the Install disk (that won't affect anything else).

  • keyser.söze Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)

    I agree with Pondini. I would make a fresh install form the SL disk and then install again from scratch all applications and move manually docs, pictures, movies, songs, etc. It's a PITA, I know, but I would feel somehow more confident about the computer's behavior.

     

    Cheers

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    keyser.söze wrote:

     

    I agree with Pondini. I would make a fresh install form the SL disk and then install again from scratch all applications and move manually docs, pictures, movies, songs, etc.

    No, not if there are Snow Leopard backups -- just do a full system restore from them.  If it won't boot, just install a fresh copy of OSX.

  • Thebestplacehere Level 3 Level 3 (705 points)

    So the problem in when you try restore a time machine back up isn't it?

    I shall say that after get my 2011 imac and in the first boot choose restore from a time machine back up i remember something like can't be finish .. ANyway after log in i find a document in my desktop sayng something a bout back up restore eroor but almost all the files was restore to the correct places so i am no sure how it works..

    Oh the external drive was a cheap one to time capsule so may my fault..

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    Thebestplacehere wrote:

     

    So the problem in when you try restore a time machine back up isn't it?

    I shall say that after get my 2011 imac and in the first boot choose restore from a time machine back up

    That's Setup Assistant, not a full system restore. 

     

    something like can't be finish .. ANyway after log in i find a document in my desktop sayng something a bout back up restore eroor but almost all the files was restore to the correct places so i am no sure how it works..

    It sounds like there may have been a damaged/corrupted file that couldn't be copied.

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,785 points)

    I would always include a bootable backup of OS X before attempting to upgrade or install a new OS.

     

    The hidden (no secret) partition can be viewed from Lion Disk Utility after enabling the feature to show all hidden partitions.

     

    Hopefully you kept the Lion installer not that you can't redownload, just 40minutes and 4GB of bandwidth.

     

    Your backup clone can after a clean install of Lion be used just fine with Setup Assistant.

     

    From Lion Recovery:

     

    OS X Lion includes a new feature called Lion Recovery that includes all of the tools you need to reinstall Lion, repair your disk, and even restore from a Time Machine backup without the need for optical discs.

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4718

     

    Sounds to me like you can boot from Recovery partition and restore from your TimeMachine backup if you want.

  • keyser.söze Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)

    Ah, ok. Sorry. I thought you mean a totally clean install.

     

    Cheers

  • jrosenblum Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the responses. To clarify, I have done just about everything I could imagine to do a clean install and have now spoken with AppleCare for over four hours following their suggestions. This includes:

     

    1. Booting from the 10.6 install disk, repartitioning the HD with a single partition (to attempt to remove any evidence of the Lion recovery partition from the borked Lion install), and, using the "Restore From Time Machine" option when booting off the 10.6 DVD, restoring a backup
    2. Booting from the 10.6 install disk, repartitioning the HD, doing a clean install of OS X 10.6. This brings me to a clean install; any attempt to at this point do a Migration using either the Migration Manager or again booting off the 10.6 DVD and restoring a backup returns me to the same non-functional scenario (spinning gear forever on system startup)
    3. Booting from the 10.6 install disk, repartitioning the HD, doing a clean install of OS X 10.6, attempting to copy files from my TM images by hand; not really going to result in a usable system state, esp. when it comes to things in ~/Library/Application Support.

     

    This is not an issue of not doing a clean install as far as I can see. Unless every backup on my drive is bad for the last month, this is not an issue of a bad backup, since I've now tried many of them. (The less pleasant scenario is that FV / TM backups are silently writing unrestorable backups). Unless the reparitioning does not remove the Lion recovery partition, it is not a question of the Lion recovery partition lying around. I have asked several folks about whether the Lion QA process included attempting to restore a 10.6 OS. I have no answer on that; I would be disturbed if it didn't include such a step; making sure you can return to a previous known good state after an install is pretty fundamental.

     

    I'm at a bit of a loss at this point. I've tried everything I can think of to get back to a known good system state after following best practices on backups and suggestions from AppleCare. As far as I can see, my TM backups are unrestorable and there's been no indication of this the entire time I've been relying on TM as a safety net.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    I think you're doing too much here.

     

    What should work is:

     

    Start from your Snow Leopard Install disc and do a full restore from a Snow Leopard backup.

     

    If your Mac won't start up, or kernel panics, just install a fresh copy of Snow Leopard; do not erase anything, do not do another full restore.  

     

    Your Mac should then start normally.

     

    Then download and install the "combo" update, per  Installing the ''combo'' update and/or Reinstalling OSX.