If you have no backup, and the installer has damaged the disk I'd seriously suggest Disk Warrior.
Obviously try Disk Utility from the recovery partition or another Mac. If it cannot fix it Disk Warrior can usually read the file system & re-create the disk catalog. It has saved my bacon more times than Disk Utility.
It has a preview mode that allows you view the changes, personally I used this mode to make a copy of the important files before I altered the disk.
I know it sound like an advert, but it really is very good. The $100 may seem steep but it will help the next time Apple ruin your disk structure (they have done this twice to me personally). I have also fixed other freinds machines with it too.
Okay, are you ready for this drama?
I tried installing 10.9 a week ago this past Wednesday. I got the message about how the operating system could not be installed and that I should try again. I did, three times, and then I took my Mac mini back to where I bought it, since it was only three weeks old. They took it overnight, and I picked it up Thursday afternoon at about 1 o’clock. By 1:30 I had the computer up and running. I used it for a while, then I had to go out. When I came back and it was still running. I messed around on the Internet. Then I had to go out again. When I came back this time, the mini was off. When I turned it on, I got the opening chime, along with the Apple logo. Then I got a progress bar, as if firmware was being updated. About halfway through, the computer shut off again. I took it back. I had the mini for exactly four hours.
On Friday, I went in and the lady who was working on my machine said that she was having an awful time installing Mavericks and that she was going to try again, after she put Mountain Lion on, and I should come back in Saturday. I did, and she had gotten nowhere. I said that it was time for a new hard drive. She agreed, But said that she couldn’t do that because Apple wouldn’t authorize one because, once the hard drive was reformatted it wasn’t showing any errors (duh!). I went back home. Then I called the store and I got my computer’s serial number. I Was going to get a new hard drive no matter what. I called Applecare myself.
As it turned out, this was pretty easy. It took me about eight minutes to get a supervisor, and when I did, it didn’t take him long to size up the situation and agree that, yes, I needed a new hard drive. Unfortunately, this happened after the store was closed for the weekend. But when the Apple supervisor called me back, he said that he had left a message on their answering machine to change the hard drive on Monday.
I went in on Monday and there was somebody else playing technician. When he came to talk to me, he said that Mavericks was a bear to put on, but he had finally done it. This sounded as if I did not get a new hard drive. So I asked. He said that he couldn't because apple wouldn’t approve it. I told him that I had already gotten Apple to agree. He didn’t like my answer and he said that he didn’t take orders from customers. It was on! This guy was pretty big and I am in wheelchair so I think he thought that he could intimidate me. He had another thing coming. It Finally got to the point where he said that he was going to call the police and have me arrested. I said go right ahead. When he figured out that I wasn’t going to be bullied, he went back to his office and looked up my serial number in the database and saw that, oh my God!, Apple had approved a new hard drive for me. We made nice after that.
But, wait, that isn't the best part. I had given the store my time machine backup so they could put my data back on my computer for me. The only problem with this is that they tried beating 10.9 and my data onto my old hard drive so many times (I think six altogether) that it killed by backup. As of that time, I thought I had lost everything.
It was left that the new hard drive would be installed Tuesday morning. When I went in, that had happened and my computer was hooked up to Apple and was going through diagnosis. As for my backup, my new friend had it in a new enclosure and was trying to rescue my data from it. At that point he wasn’t getting anywhere.
Late Wednesday afternoon I was able to pick up my Mac Mini. Fortunately, the lady who had originally worked on the mini remembered that she had copied my home folder to one of their machines. That gave me 90% of what I used to have. Which Is lucky, considering.
The Apple supervisor told me to call him back when I had my mini back. I did, and I told him this story. We was not happy, and he told me that he was going to investigate what happened. I think that the store is going to get in trouble.
There is one thing that I wanted to share. When the big bad technician said that he had finally gotten Mavericks on to my old hard drive, he said that, for some reason, Mavericks was making two rescue partitions, and that was probably the reason why it wasn’t installing. Maybe that will help somebody out.
By the way, my Mac Mini is one month old today.
OK, for step 1, in the good computer, I plugged in the external disk, and clicked on applications/utilities/Disk Utility. From there, you click on the drive in the left window on the tool (not one of the partitions below the drive and indented), then if it has data you have to click on the erase tab, and select for Format MAC OS Extended (Journaled). Once you've done that, click on erase.
After that's done, click on the partition tab, under partition layout click on 2 partitions. Then click on the options button and make sure GUID Partition Table is selected, this makes sure that the partition is bootable. Click on OK. On my drive I had selected 1T for each partition, you should be able to do 250G for each partition, and then hit apply. I had used Untitled 1 and Untitled 2 for each name. Later the "Untitled 1" parititon name gets copied to the internal drive name, if you want it to be the default you should rename it to "Macintosh HD". Once you click apply, you have the two partitions created.
Hope this helps!
Well WOW! i have just finished going through your method. I am so pleased to report that it worked and i now have my IMac back again with all the files i transfered to my desktop still sitting there!
i cannot thank you enough!!!
If anyone else has another Mac machine and an external drive available to them and is still experiencing problems, then i would 100% reccomend going to check out this guy's original post.
Thanks again "bgfullerjr" and good luck to everyone else who has problems.
When I tried to upgrade to Mavericks, my system began to beachball every time I opened a Finder window, or any application accessed the drive (file save as etc)
Mavericks was a complete fail for my MacBook Pro 15 Retina.
Also, they have dropped all third paty media support in Quicktime.
I am a NASA Analyst, who worked as a developer for years.
I also am responsible for extensive media development.
I get media files from coworkers on Center and across the agency all the time.
My media library is extensive.
I used to be able to preview media files in Finder, now they all show blank white (no preview)
This makes it very hard to find the version of a particular media file when I have multiple versions etc. (pre-edit, alpha, post-edit etc.)
Yes, I am WELL aware of Apple's long standing feud with Adobe Flash and other media formats.
But I DO NOT appreciate being the pawn in the middle of their stupid feud.
Mavericks has eliminated functionality. Period.
After navigating around Mavericks' new features etc. I have come to conclusion that the old developer's mantra applies here:
Sometimes Different isn't Better, it's just Different.
I've dumped Mavericks and backed down to Mountain Lion.
The broken Quicklook/ Quicktime is infuriating, but it isn't anything to do with Apple vs Adobe. It is because Apple is migrating towards a new engine instead of Quicktime, Mavericks uses the AVFoundation framework from iOS. It supports 64Bit, but means lots of codec support is dropped.
In an attempt to tie several threads together (and avoid repeating myself) see this…
Your beachballing sounds like something installed was killing the system, either Apple messed up or third party software was loading into the system & dragging everything down. If you do go back to Mavericks use EtreCheck to generate a system report to see what is being loaded, or simply update to 10.9 via a clean install to remove the 3rd party software risk, as you reinstall apps it should become apparent what is slowing the OS.
EtreCheck reports will help others on here fix your OS.
I understand the longoing feued between Apple and Adobe.
Your statement "It is because Apple is migrating towards a new engine instead of Quicktime," can also be interepted as "Sorry consumers...we don't care what media formats you're working with...that's your problem"
The Finder cog wheel was far more agrivating.
After every cold boot Finder would cog wheel for ~20 seconds, and any application that saved files would do the same. Apple could not fix my problem, even after escalating my problem up the support scale.
I've never had a problem upgrading the OS on any Mac I've ever owned.
I easily upgraded my systems from Leopard to Snow Leopard, to Lion to Mountain Lion.
No Problems Whasoever.
Mavericks?.....virtually dead system ;(
"It is because Apple is migrating towards a new engine instead of Quicktime," can also be interepted as "Sorry consumers...we don't care what media formats you're working with...that's your problem"
You might be right markr010001,
I think they could have added a 'legacy media mode" that allows Quicktime to render previews at the cost of performance, but Apple have always looked forwards & not back.
I have noticed a pattern via EtreCheck reports.
Users tend to have a lot of out of date software that runs at a system level, some of these are /Library/StartupItems that Apple deprecated in 10.4. Others are old Kernel extensions & system level launchd jobs.
It's clear these systems were fine with the last OS, but on 10.9 the OS gets bogged down. Apple should warn users about crap they have installed, but they don't. I'm not sure it is entirely Apple's fault especially when it is applications like CleanMyMac or MacKeeper that is using all the RAM & CPU. They are basically crapware that people brought into out of the same fear that Windows users have lived under for years.
Apple have stated that 10.9 adds lots of new energy saving features that alter how background tasks work, so it's hardly surprising that things go wrong & the system grinds to a crawl when old code is trying to do things incorrectly.
If you want you can post an EtreCheck report for whatever OS, personally I used it to tidy up my 10.6.8 system. It's worth looking at if only to see what your system is doing.