5 Replies Latest reply: Feb 18, 2014 11:10 PM by Graham Perrin
Pascal Lessard Level 1 Level 1

Here's what I did, in minute details to help those who feel uneasy :


  1. You will need an 8 GB USB flash drive, the OS X Mavericks installer file (you can redownload it from the App Store if you haven't kept a local copy), DiskMaker X. All this on another Mac you'll have to temporarily borrow to create a USB-based Mavericks Installer.
  2. Using DiskMaker X, create a USB-based Mavericks Installer on the 8 GB USB flash drive, following the simple instructions. Aside from having to tell DiskMaker X where is the USB flash drive you want to use and where is the OS X Mavericks installer file (if it isn't on the Mac's boot partition), you don't have anything else to do except to wait for your USB-based Mavericks Installer to be ready.
  3. Insert your USB flash drive (containing the Mavericks Installer) in a USB port of the problematic Mac.
  4. While keeping the option (alt) key depressed, restart your Mac and keep the key pressed until you see an array of possible startup disks on screen.
  5. Select the USB flash drive (containing the Mavericks Installer) in the list, and click on the arrow underneath to launch the Mac from the USB flash drive
  6. You will be greeted with the usual Recovery disk interface
  7. Select Disk Utility in the list
  8. Select the problematic drive (and not the partitions on that drive) in Disk Utility
  9. Select repair (for me, everything was repaired and was just fine at this point)
  10. Select repair again and repeat until no further repairs are necessary
  11. Check the partitions, to be sure.
  12. Quit Disk Utility
  13. In the Apple Menu, select Startup disk
  14. Select your usual startup disk on your Mac (the one that was broken) and restart
  15. When you hear the chime, you can remove the USB key
  16. To be sure, I restarted again in Recovery Mode (Command-R), but this time from the main drive, and everything was fine in Disk Utility
  17. Restart your Mac normally and be happy.
  18. Make a backup of all your file immediately afterwards, just in case this is an impending doom warning...

MacBook Pro, OS X Mavericks (10.9), 15" late 2008
  • MaxPowerBE Level 1 Level 1

    I had the exact issue. Followed instructions. Worked perfectly

    Thanks for taking the time to post this!!!

  • audreyneedshelp Level 1 Level 1

    Hi, thanks for this. I have found it helpful.


    I bought a 8GB USB for this purpose and downloaded the Mavericks installer onto my laptop (which is needing the help).


    But when I tried to install Mavericks using the Diskmaker X, it said that the USB is not GUID ready. It asked me to reformat it via Disk Utility's Partition tool...


    Which I have done, but now I am unable to use the 8GB USB drive because apaprently I need another 1.26GB more on the drive.


    Why do you specify that Mavericks installer needs to be downloaded on another Mac? Why would it matter? I downloaded it to the problematic Mac and then tried to install on the 8GB USB drive I just bought...


    Would appreciate some help. Thanks!


  • Pascal Lessard Level 1 Level 1

    a) About reformating :

    1. open Disk Utility
    2. Insert your 8 GB USB drive
    3. Click on the physical drive's icon of your USB drive in the list on the left (not the partition's icon : the drive icon usually has a technical name)
    4. Click on the Partition tab in the right area (if you don't see a Partition tab, it's because you've selected the logical disk's icon (a partition) not the physical drive's icon
    5. In the pop-up menu above the disk, select the option "1 Partition"
    6. Click on the Options... button underneath and select the GUID partition scheme
    7. Finally, on the right, select the format of the partition you are about to create : choose Mac OS extended (journalized)
    8. The size of the partition should me maxed already (and read something like 8,02 GB), but if you want to make sure, write a ludicrous number (like 9 GB, impossible of course on a 8 GB drive !) and the maximum possible will be written instead.
    9. Click on Apply
    10. You should be all set ! Goto step 2 of the first post !


    b) About the Mavericks download on another Mac :

    Of course you can do all this on the sick Mac, but the problem is that if the partition is indeed malfunctioning, there is a risk that all changes you do on your disk may overwrite some of your data. Which isn't a good idea ! The moment one learns that one of his/her computer disk isn't working correctly, one should stop making changes to it as soon as possible, only to resume when the anomaly has been repaired.


    Another reason to avoid working on the sick Mac is that anything written on the malfunctioning partition could be written with errors as OS X is working with information about the drive that isn't true. Although an internal integrity check is made when creating the USB Mavericks Installer drive, so the risk is minimized in this situation : if there is, indeed, some file corruption, you'll be told it on the spot, during the creation of the USB Mavericks installer.


    Now that you have downloaded it already, however, don't erase it ! Any damage that could be done has been done already (if any). From now on, you can work from the sick Mac disk anyway. Unless you are told the disk image your downloaded is corrupt, of course. In that case, find yourself another Mac ASAP and forbid yourself from continuing to use the sick Mac ! (Because the problem is likely very serious if file corruption occurs.)

  • herschelw Level 1 Level 1

    i take most advice with a grain of salt.  this is no exception.  i found a "simpler" fix.  it worked for me for the "live file....not supported" problem.


    Resetting the PRAM

    You reset the PRAM by rebooting a Mac and then immediately hold down the Command+Option+P+R keys, you will then hear the Mac reboot sound again, signifying your PRAM has been reset. You must hit the key combination before the grey screen appears otherwise it won’t work.

    The PRAM has been reset only if you hear the Mac reboot sound a total of two times – once for the initial reboot and again when the PRAM has been reset

    Resetting the SMC

    1. 1.    Shut down the computer.
    2. 2.    Plug in the MagSafe power adapter to a power source, connecting it to the Mac if its not already connected.
    3. 3.    On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.
    4. 4.    Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.
    5. 5.    Press the power button to turn on the computer.
      : The LED on the MagSafe power adapter may change states or temporarily turn off when you reset the SMC.

    good luck.

  • Graham Perrin Level 2 Level 2

    Simply, sadly:


    • Apple documentation for developers and for customers is outdated and incomplete.


    Using Disk Utility to verify or repair disks (2012-08-14)


    … If you try to verify a non-journaled disk, Disk Utility will display this message: "ERROR: could not freeze volume (Operation not supported)." …

    Disk Utility no longer displays that message. Instead, Disk Utiliity in Mavericks will present, as an error:


    Live file system repair is not supported


    – and for an attempt to verify (not repair), the message is naturally confusing.


    To any user of Mavericks who finds that message in Disk Utility: use Console to browse




    – expect to find "could not freeze volume" amongst the messages.


    Critically: if you did not knowingly disable the journal of the affected HFS Plus volume, then please send feedback to Apple.




    The simplest solution should be just one step:


    • use Disk Utility to enable journaling for the affected volume.


    If it's not that simple, then consider the possibility of a corruption that can not be detected by Disk Utility (in a number of ways, it's seriously outdated); and be aware that reformatting may mask but not solve a problem with a disk.