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  • nightsight Level 1 Level 1


    i had the same problem and after searching for hours, i found a solution, which doesn't need to format the partitions.


    follow these two links:


    1. ry-system-cant-be-created

    2. ning-recover-hd-partition/


    the first link is not that important, it gives clues for why it may work. it also gives some other ideas. but the second link is the jewel. from the beginning, follow till the end of the three points of step two. you dont need to go further.


    i followed till the end of step two and then started installing mavericks again. works like a charm!


    TIP: be very carefule with the names of the partitions.

  • janknepper Level 1 Level 1


  • rebbibobebbi Level 1 Level 1

    My computer was doing the same thing, I took it to the apple store (after I backed it up), and they were able to add recovery & upgrade to 10.8 from which I can download mavericks and upgrade to current system. However, my computer is from 2007 and I am wary about upgrading to most recent software, 10.8 works plenty well for me! (for now...)

  • janknepper Level 1 Level 1

    The problem is that OS X Mavericks requires a larger "Recovery HD" partition than "Mountain Lion" and "Show Lepard". The size of the "Recover y HD" volume for the earlier OS X(s) was something around 550 Mb. Mavericks requires more. I think it is around 650 Mb, but I have not found a reference from Apple about this.

    Since I have come across this same problem I presume at this point that the OS X Mavericks installer tries to use the existing "Recovery HD" partition realizes that it  is too small and then simply fails and gives as reference (The reference is far from helpful!)


    Simply speaking the solution should be to size the current partition with the OS X install (usually "Macintosh HD") 1 Gb smaller and add this size  to the "Recovery HD". This is (much!) simpler said then done.

    Follow the following steps to accomplish this:

    • By default "Disk Utility" does not show the "Recovery HD" partition. To allow "Disk Utility" to show this open Terminal and execute the  following line:
      # defaults write DUDebugMenuEnabled 1
      Refer to this article for more information: titions-with-disk-utility-in-os-x/

    • Start "Disk Utility". A "Debug" menu should now be available that allows the selection for "Show Every Partition". This only partially helps as " Disk Utility" now shows all the partitions on the left under the <Harddisk>, but not in the "Partition" tab... (You can check if you want).

    • Select the "Recovery HD" partition on the left and "Erase" it. This will clear the "Recovery HD" partition and change it into a normal partition.  Now it will show in the "Partition" tab.
    • Select the <Harddisk> and go to the "Partition" tab.

    • Select the current (usually "Macintosh HD") partition. The size should show up on the right. Take this 1 Gb down and click Apply. This might take  some time. This will resize the "Macintosh HD" partition to make more room for the "Recovery HD" partition.

    • Select the "Recovery HD" partition and delete it (click "-").

    • Click the "+" and create a partition called "Recovery HD". As soon as the "+" is clicked "Disk Utility" should create a partition in the space we re "Recovery HD" used to be, but ~1 GB larger. Change the name to "Recovery HD" and click Apply.

    • Change the "Recovery HD" partition to an actual Recovery partition. Start Terminal
      # diskutil list
      (check for the /dev/disk#s# that has the label "Recovery HD")
      # asr adjust --target /dev/disk#s# --settype "Apple_Boot"

    Now retry the OS X Maverics install...

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