13 Replies Latest reply: Jul 13, 2014 12:08 PM by stefcho
LPBassman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I recently had to reformat and re-install Snow Leopard from the original installation disks on my daughter's MBP (15" early 2011). I completed that installation after a complete reformat and updated OSX up tp 10.6.8. I then went to her App Store account to upgrade to Mavericks (which she previously installed and ran successfully on the same MBP). After downloading the 5+GB installer, the Mavericks installation failed and greeted me with the following message:

 

  • "Install Failed: OS X could not be installed on your computer. OS X can't be installed on the disk because a recovery system can't be created. Visit www.apple.com/support/no-recovery to learn more"

 

When I go to www.apple.com/support/no-recovery it redirects to http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4649. Eventually further down in the article I get pointed to http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3926 for my specific failure message.

 

Here is the problem though. The fix in TS3926 has to do with installing Lion and BootCamp. I do not have BootCamp or Lion installed. I reformatted the hard drive to a single partition of MacIntosh HD with Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system. I have looked at many posts and many recommend that I start back over and do once again exactly what I did. Format the drive, Install from disks, update OSX to 10.6.8 and then Install Mavericks. Nothing seems to directly address the situation I have or perhaps I haven't searched for the right thing.

 

I must not have a recovery partition since when I boot into Recovery the MBP goes directly to Internet Recovery. I am more of a WIndows person myslef so some of the OSX methods don't make sense to me and perhaps I have mis-read something. I would appreciate it if someone can point me in the right direction with some clear instructions on what to do next. I don't want tp  go back through the same multi-hour process I have been through only to end up at the same place again.

 

Thanks for all your help.


MacBook Pro, OS X Mavericks (10.9), Slow response
  • Drew Reece Level 5 Level 5 (4,410 points)

    You seem to be following the right steps, FYI 10.6 didn't have a recovery partition, but the 10.9 installer should be able to create it. I assume the currently booted installer is preventing the partition table changes.

     

    I think it's worth trying to boot the installer from a USB stick so that the internal disk can be completely erased & reformatted from the 10.9 installer.

     

    http://osxdaily.com/2011/07/08/make-a-bootable-mac-os-x-10-7-lion-installer-from-a-usb-flash-drive/ or

    http://liondiskmaker.com/

     

    You probably need to download the installer again from the store, avoid clicking the 'reboot to install' button & the installer should be available in the Applications folder for you to clone to a USB stick. An 8GB or larger stick should be enough, it will be erased by the process of creating a bootable drive. Use the fastest thumbdrive you have (or a partiton on another disk) - it speeds the install process.

     

    Hold down alt at startup to select the USB stick for booting from. Use Disk Utility to erase the disk before you install - this is assuming you have no important data on the internal disk.

     

    Good luck

  • LPBassman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Drew,

     

    Thanks for the response. At this point there is no iimportant data on teh internal HDD. It only has Snow Leopard 10.6.8 and standard Applications installed. Before I do anything else I will make a Time Machine backup any way.

     

    Two quick questions.

     

    1). If I have access to another MBP that is already running Mavericks can I build a bootable USB installer from that computer rather than having to download the full 5+GB Mavericks installer?

     

    2). If the Mavericks installer can build the recover partition when booted from a USB drive why can't it build it when installed from the App Store download? Is this because the installer is located on the same physical drive that needs to be partitioned? Just seems a little odd that you  have to bring the installer to an external boot device when the same installer fails on the local HDD.

     

    Thanks. Just trying to understand options and the "whys".

  • keg55 Level 5 Level 5 (6,890 points)

    LPBassman wrote:

     

    Two quick questions.

     

    1). If I have access to another MBP that is already running Mavericks can I build a bootable USB installer from that computer rather than having to download the full 5+GB Mavericks installer?

     

    2). If the Mavericks installer can build the recover partition when booted from a USB drive why can't it build it when installed from the App Store download? Is this because the installer is located on the same physical drive that needs to be partitioned? Just seems a little odd that you  have to bring the installer to an external boot device when the same installer fails on the local HDD.

     

    Thanks. Just trying to understand options and the "whys".

    1. You have to have the downloaded Install OS X Mavericks.app file in order to create a bootable USB thumb drive installer of OS X Mavericks. So, from your other Mac you can download Mavericks and when presented with the install screen to Continue, QUIT the installer. The app file will be in the /Applications folder.

     

    2. You're right, the App Store download should have created the Recovery HD and updated SL to Mavericks. There should not be an issue with the installer on the same physical drive.

     

    To me, it appears something is screwy with the partitioning of the Mac with SL. Sometimes deleting all partitions and starting over with 1 partition fixes stuff like this.

     

    Here is what I would try first before going through downloading the install app again and before creating a Mavericks installer.

     

    • Download the OS X Recovery Disk Assistant from your Mac running OS X Mavericks. At the bottom under Additional Information is the link to download the Assistant app.
    • Have a formated USB thumb drive available. Formated as Mac OS X Extended-Journaled with the GUID partition table. You only need 1GB so a 4GB thumb drive would work great.
    • Run the Recovery Disk Assistant and point to your USB thumb drive. This will create a Mavericks Recovery HD onto the thumb drive from the Recovery HD on your Mac running Mavericks.
    • Boot your Mac with SL from the USB thumb drive.
    • Launch Disk Utility and delete all partitions on the SL drive. Add a single partition formated as Mac OS X Extended-Journaled with the GUID partition table.
    • Close Disk Utility and at the OS X Utilities Menu, select the Reinstall OS X which should be for Mavericks. This will download OS X Mavericks from Apple (just like the App Store). You should see a logo with an X to the left of the Reinstall OS X selection.

     

    Since you prepared the disk and would be installing OS X Mavericks outside of the Mac's hard drive (via USB thumb drive), it should install without issue. And you shouldn't need any AppleID as OS X Mavericks is free.

  • Drew Reece Level 5 Level 5 (4,410 points)

    No problem,

     

    1.

    The other Mac can create the USB installer, but only by using the downloaded installer file. There is an 'InstallESD.dmg' inside the 10.9 download that has all the installer & setup files. A regular Mac OS doesn't keep these around (frankly I wish Apple kept the installer around for a month or so if space is available). I avoid using the install via Internet recovery so I can take a copy of the installer for these situations.

     

     

     

    2.

    I'm not sure what is happening here. The installer will copy a few files into the root of the boot disk - this contains the files required to boot & run the installer. This usually happens as you click the reboot & install option. You can probably see them (but I can't recollect what they are called )

     

    Here's my speculation…

    I assume that these files are too close to the start of the disk, and since the OS is running from them they cannot be moved. I believe the recovery partition is added right at the beginning of the disk.

     

    Mac OS can resize live partitions (I've seen it work too) so the issue is more than just an unwillingness to resize a live partition.

     

    I'm afraid the USB boot may not be the answer, but it's the best I can think of it usually works well for me.

     

    Does the 10.9 installer still exist in the 10.6 apps folder? - it usually stays in place if the install fails.

  • LPBassman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Keg55,

     

    Thanks for providing some insight. I will check out OS X Recovery Disk Assistant once I gain access to the MBP already running Mavericks to see what options that provides.

  • LPBassman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Drew,

     

    Thanks for the explanations. Yes I still have the previously downloaded OS X Mavericks (InstallESD.dmg) sitting inside the 10.9 download in the Applications folder. This obviously will speed things up. Thanks for pointing me in that direction.

     

    Will first be making a full backup of the Snow Leopard installation and will then tackle the upgrade with one of several methods. Probably won't get back for a day or two but will post back with results and any issues I encounter.

  • Drew Reece Level 5 Level 5 (4,410 points)

    Copy the installer to another disk

    & good luck

  • keg55 Level 5 Level 5 (6,890 points)

    LPBassman,

     

    You can't use the InstallESD.dmg file inside the Install OS X Mavericks.app. Mavericks is different than OS X Lion and Mountain Lion where you could use that file. You will need the actual app file that you still have. But, you can not use DiskMaker X in OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8. You will have to copy the app to the /Applications folder on the other Mac that has Mavericks on it. THEN, you can use DiskMaker X to create a Mavericks install thumb drive or use the Mavericks Bootable Disk Creation Tool to create the thumb drive.

  • Drew Reece Level 5 Level 5 (4,410 points)

    keg55 wrote:

     

    LPBassman,

     

    You can't use the InstallESD.dmg file inside the Install OS X Mavericks.app…

     

    Sorry LPBassman, that was my bad advice.

     

    This describes what is going on for 10.9…

    http://9to5mac.com/2013/06/13/how-to-create-a-bootable-os-x-mavericks-usb-flash- drive-from-original-app-store-package/

     

    I must be going senile, I recollect using Disk Utility to 'restore' a bootable 10.9 USB

  • LPBassman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks guys for the clarifications and links before I tried something that wouldn't work. I must admit for a relatively experienced Windows guy the intricacies of OS X are somewhat mind numbing. But I'll get it figured out.

     

    So if I understand correctly I will have to copy the entire OS X Mavericks download from the applications folder on teh Snow Leopard MBP to the Applications folder of the computer already running Mavericks in order to make a bootable USB drive to facilitate installation of Mavericks back on the Snow Leopard machine.

     

    As an alternative I can use the OS X Recovery Disk Assistant on the Mavericks computer to create a bootable USB stick that will allow Mavericks to download and install correctly on the Snow Leopard computer assuming I have already erased the hard disk and formatted that disk correctly.

     

    If my understanding is correct then it may just be simpler to use the second approach and download Mavericks again with the help of the OS X Recovery Disk Assistant.

  • Drew Reece Level 5 Level 5 (4,410 points)

    It depends on how quick your internet connection is - avoid wifi at all costs .

     

    Your description seems correct about both methods.

     

    The original blog seems to look simpler than what 9to5 describe…

    http://www.marekbell.com/how-to-create-a-bootable-installation-for-os-x-maverick s-10-9-and-above/

    but it does use sudo & Terminal to make the bootable installer.

     

    or there is DiskMakerX

    http://www.diskmakerx.com/

     

    Pick whichever you are most comfortable with.

    Good luck

  • keg55 Level 5 Level 5 (6,890 points)

    LPBassman,

     

    Since you already have the full installer and can copy it to your MBP running Mavericks, I would go ahead and create a USB thumb drive (8GB) from the full installer. Yes, you will have to create it on the Mavericks MBP using either DiskMaker X or the utility I gave you a link to. No need to redownload it since you have it. And no need to bother with Terminal commands.

     

    The point is to repartition the 2011 MBP from an outside source. I, personally, would remove all partitions on the 2011 MBP then add a single partition back and format it before trying to install OS X Mavericks.

     

    The OS X Recovery Disk utility app is a nice thing to have to create a simple Recover HD on a thumb drive.

  • stefcho Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Had exactly the same problem. Following the above I simply downloaded OS X Migration Assistant onto a USB from a machine already running Mavericks, then booted from this on the problem MBP and let it do the job; Perfect result!

     

    Many thanks to the contributors to this thread - most helpful.