MAC Recovery Partition Gone...

etronics6
etronics6 used Ask the Experts™
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I have a MacBook Pro 2012 I am working on for a client... I grabbed all data & just copied it to a external hard drive... I did NOT do a time machine backup - it wanted to take 6hrs... so I opted not to do... I know first mistake...

I went into disk utility & had an issue erasing the Macintosh HD, it finally went but then it didn't show the drive so I partitioned the drive... I think at this point maybe I somehow deleted the recovery partition...

Now I CANNOT get back into the recovery options, where it says to Reinstall OSX - El Capitan... I was going to do a FRESH Install & then drop all her data back in & rebuild ONLY the programs she needed...

What Can I do... I have another MAC, is there any way to copy the recovery utilities over from my MAC to her MAC??  

I have an OLD install disc Mac OSX Install Disc 1, will this get me where I need to go?

How do I get back the recovery partition??

I need to finish by tomorrow Morning... OMGOSHHHH I AM STRESSED!!!  I hope there is something you guys can do to point me in the right direction!!

Thanks for ur help!
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All you have to of to get the recovery partition back is to go into the App Store, go to Purchased Items and redownload and reinstall the operating system. The installer wiil automatically create a new recovery partition.

Author

Commented:
I cannot get to the app, I have a machine that will NOT boot up & will NOT get me into the recovery partition to do a Reinstall of OSX...

One more thing to mention, when I boot up, I hold down the command R until the apple icon & then release, it goes through for a while & then screen goes off for a second & then it looks like it is starting the process with the apple icon & a little bit of status bar & the whole laptop shuts OFF....

Author

Commented:
Also I tried the Install Disc for OSX older version from disc & that halts the system with a BLACK screen & then a bunch of white letters... kind of like the BSOD for windows...
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If both Macs have firewire ports, you can connect them using a firewire cable and boot the non-functioning Mac into Firewire Target Disk Mode, which will make it appear as external hard drive on the functioning Mac. You can then download the El Capitan installer to the functioning Mac and install El Capitan on the non-functioning Mac.

Use disk utility from the functioning Mac to format the non-functioning Mac's drive as one partition, Apple Extended Format (Journalled) and make sure the partition map is GUID.

If both computers have Thunderbolt ports, you can do the same with a thunderbolt cable.

If one has Thunderbolt and the other has Firewire, you need a Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter.
See:  https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7110766

https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT201462
You can't boot a Mac from an OS older than the one it shipped with, or from an OEM DVD from a different model Mac.
By the way, next time you try this, clone the drive rather than moving the data. You can make a bootable clone on an external USB drive using Disk Utility from the recovery partition, or a third party tool like SuperDuper or CarbonCopyCloner.

You can then boot from the external, reformat the internal and clone everything back.

Author

Commented:
OK I can try the thunderbolt method... Do u know if Best Buy or staples carries the thunderbolt cable?  & is it Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt right?  They both look like they have the thunderbolt icon...

Author

Commented:
WOW on the cloning... U ROCK!! Wish I would have talked to you befored I started this job!!
I would think you could get thuderbolt cables at BestBuy. You can at the Canadian Best Buy:

http://www.bestbuy.ca/Search/SearchResults.aspx?path=ca77b9b4beca91fe414314b86bb581f8en20&query=thunderbolt+cable

Author

Commented:
OK so I was able to get the Thunderbolt Cable from Staples... yay!!  I am home beginning with ur instructions...

The guy @ staples mentioned going into Safe Mode & Installing El Capitan from there with a USB copy of ElCapitan.dmg file, would that work??  I am still going to do ur way, just curious what u thought of that...

I don't even know how to get into safe mode or whether it would let me in anyway, since I seemed to have wiped all those kind of tools out...

Let me  know ur thoughts... & if I have quesitons, Ill post here.... hopefully can get through it... thank u so much for ur help!!
On the working Mac, click on the desktop to make sure you are in Finder, then pull down the Finder menu to Preferences. Make sure all the boxes are ticked under the General Tab, on in the Sidebar Tab, make sure "External Disks" is checked.
Just connect the two computers with the Thunderbolt cable, then boot the bad computer while holding down the T key.

Then open Disk Utility on the good Mac and use it to erase and reformat the bad Mac's disk as Apple Extended Format (Journalled). Set the Partition to One partition and under Options select GUID.

Once it is formatted, go the App store and download El Capitan. Run the  installer (which you should find in the Applications Folder) and when it asks you where to install it, select the drive on what I have been calling the Bad Mac.

Author

Commented:
it looks like I am in the thunderbolt/firewire mode on the bad mac & the good mac is not recognizing it... shows no action... I did make sure to show external disks, like u said above....
That is probably because the disk won't mount as it is not properly formatted.

Open Disk Utility and see if Disk Utility recognizes it. If so, erase and format it.

Author

Commented:
no it does not see it in disk utility... :(
Try rebooting the good computer.

Author

Commented:
ok i will turn both off then back on good one first... I have to wait for 13min I am still downloading el capitan... don't want to start that over... thank u for hanging with me...
Here is another option.

After you have downloaded the El Capitan installer, make a copy of it onto your desktop by dragging the installer to the desktop while holding down the option key.

The reason is that when you run the installer it deletes itself. So this will give you an extra copy so you don't have to downloaded it again later. (You will need it later)

When you copied the data to an external, was it a Mac formatted external?

If you have a Mac formatted external, you can install El Capitan onto the external.

Once you have done so, copy the El Capitan installer copy from your desktop to the applications folder in the external.

Then plug the external into the Bad Mac and boot the Bad Mac while holding down the option key. This should bring up the boot picker which will allow you to boot from the external.

Once you are booted from the external, use disk utility to reformat the internal, and use the El Capitan installer to install onto the internal.

Author

Commented:
so it still does NOT show up on the good mac... so r u saying the above stuff is a work around to the thunderbolt... ?

Author

Commented:
yes it was a brand new drive - mac ready, so I was able to use it out of the box... I am in the process of starting the install onto the external hard drive.... that will NOT erase my data right?  Do I have to create a partition? or just install right onto the drive
Yes. The external needs to be formatted as Apple Extended Format (Journalled). So if it isn't, you will have to move the data off it and erase and reformat it as Apple Extended Format (Journalled).

The instructions above will make the external into a bootable drive. You can then boot the Bad Mac from the external , and then use it to reformat the internal and install El Capitan on it.
If the drive is already formatted as a Mac drive, you can just install the OS on it and will not erase the data.
Booting will be much slower from an external, than from the internal, by the way.

Author

Commented:
Ok, I was able to copy data right to it from the bad mac & also I used it on my Good mac first where I did a time machine backup on my good mac... i did not do the time machine on the bad mac... it was going to take 4-5hrs...

so u think I can just install it on to the external drive?  if it did a time machine, I think it would have had to be formatted corrrectly for that... right??
You can check to see how the external is formatted by right-clicking its icon on the desktop and selecting Get Info.

Author

Commented:
yea shoot it won't let me do it because it says this drive has been used for time machine backups.... omgoshhhh

Author

Commented:
yea it says mac os extended (case-sensitive, Journaled)

Author

Commented:
ok so I am going to copy all my bad computer data to my hard drive on my good mac & format to apple extended format journaled
You do not want it to be case sensitive.

Author

Commented:
yea i have NO idea where that came from... just the way everything has  been going... thank u so much for all ur input... don't know what time it is by u, but I hope u are around for a little while... :)
I am just sitting here watching the Rangers v. Blue Jays game.

Author

Commented:
ok kool!!  Gooo Blue Jays?  I hope ur team wins!!
Me too. They have been disappointing so far in the series. Up 2-0 at the moment, though.

Author

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kool!!  I am trying to see if I can find it to watch too...

Author

Commented:
found it!! :)

Author

Commented:
still copying.. she had 100gb of data

Author

Commented:
OK so I am installing El Capitan onto the External Hard Drive now...
By the way, why did you copy her data off the hard drive in the first place? What was the problem?

Author

Commented:
its a mid 2012 macbook pro & it was running dog slow... so I had the brilliant idea to do a fresh install of el capitan & copy her data back... I didn't do the time machine, 1 because it was going to take so lone, 2 because if I did use it, my thought is that just brings all the crap back.. the slowness and all.  So when I went into the disk utility, somehow I must have deleted the partition... I did it on my own macbook air which is the (good computer) we have been talking about with NO issues... worked like a charge... fresh install of el capitan & transfer data back... I really don't use my macbook air a ton & alot of my data is in onedrive & dropbox... sooooo I wasn't tooo nervouse about it... with my friends ... this is her one & only... so I hope I can get through it & get back to her tomorrow morning... she is going on vacation too, we probaby should have waited til she got back... felt kinda rushed today... oh welll ... hope what we are doing works!!

WOOHOO 3 run Home Run!!! Yay BLUE JAYS!!
For future reference, if you want to do a clean re-insall, the way to do it is this:

Get a copy of Carbon Copy Cloner:  http://www.bombich.com

CCC will allow you to clone from the boot drive.

Clone the boot drive to a Mac formatted external.

Reboot from the external and use it to reformat the internal and install a new OS on the internal. As above make an extra copy of the installer for later.

Then reboot from the internal while the external is connected. It will ask you have any data you want transferred. Select the external and it will copy your data and settings back.

Check and see if you have a recovery partition. If not, then do a second install of the OS, this time from the boot drive using the extra copy of the installer. This should force the creation of a recovery partition.

Author

Commented:
ok so it came up & it looks like it is a new el capitan install & asking for language, etc... do I turn off my good mac & reboot & then copy the el capitan installer into the applications folder?  then boot to that external drive on the bad computer?
Finish the El Capitan installation first. Then reboot the Good Mac and copy the El Capitan installer from the desktop to the Applications folder of the external.

Then shut down. Connect the external to the Bad Mac. Boot the Bad Mac while holding down the Option key and choose the external drive when the boot picker comes up. The Bad mac should then boot from the external drive and you can then format the internal and do an El Capitan install to the internal.

Author

Commented:
it finished... it was like opening a new mac out of the box, where it wanted to get u to login to ur icloud, etc.  so i shut down & pulled the drive... rebooted & then copied the el capitan to the applications folder, now I was going to run on bad mac & get into disk utility & reformat drive...

I don't see a second recovery so u want me to boot on my good mac & then install a second time to the external hard drive?? that should create a recovery partition?
The install to the internal may create a recovery partition all by itself. After you have installed El Capitan to the internal, first boot normally to make sure it will. Then see if it will boot into the recovery partition. If not, then you will have to do the second install while booted from the internal.

Author

Commented:
ok so i plugged in the external hd to bad computer, booted up & holding the option key, I see macintosh hd / my external hd / recovery 10.11, so does that mean it has done the recovery partition?

so I want to choose my external hd & then go into disk utility & format the macintosh hd, & then install onto the macintosh hd with a copied el capitan to the desktop & choose macintosh hd?
I am not sure whether the recovery partition you see is on the internal drive or the external. I am surprised the the internal shows up on the boot picker. That would suggest the internal is bootable.

In any case, at this point,  you can boot to the external and reformat the internal and instal a system on it.

Author

Commented:
This is where I messed up... I'm gonna attach the photos... The main drive is 750gb, the hd is 740gb & hd2 is 10gb

I know I messed up & I was trying to partition so that all the space was on the main drive macintosh hd
Can I do that?  Some how combine them... That's what happened I was trying to combine them & somehow messed them up.. Pics to follow
I am not sure exactly what you did. Normally Disk Utility does not show the recovery partition.

What you need to do now is simply to click on Toshiba etc, then on Partition. Then under Partition Layout, change "Current" to "One partition". Set it to Apple Extended Format (Journalled) and erase.

This should leave you with one partition and no recovery partition.

Then install the OS. It may automatically create a recovery partition. If not, then you will have to do an re-install while booted from the internal hard drive.

Author

Commented:
yea that is where it goes awry, it doesn't let me partition to one drive?  don't know why, that is why I ended up doing the hd2... I am just going to leave hd2 alone & just install on the hd one & do like u said...
So what happens when you click on the partition tab? Is there a popup under "Partition Layout" that says "Current Layout"?
What happens when you click on "Current Layout"? Does it not give you an option for One Partition?

Author

Commented:
Congrats on ur WIN!!  Yay Blue Jays!!

Author

Commented:
no it just shows a pie chart & u can add a partition, but there is NO current layout or One Partition??  i was looking online & it looks like el capitan may have changed that layout... i was seeing what u r talking about in previous versions...

Author

Commented:
i installed el capitan on the 740gb hd... in the process now
Looks like DU in El Capitan is a bit different. Here is how to remove the second partition in El Capitan:

http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-delete-a-hard-drive-partition-on-a-mac/
Re above, I am not on El Capitan myself yet, so didn't know until I saw the article above that the Disk Utility interface had changed.

Author

Commented:
yea no problem... i only learned that today as i was looking for solutions... i have installed el capitan on the hd & left the hd2 in tact, can i go in and repartitian later or do i need to delete the hd2 if it will let me ... then go back & install el capitan on the hd...

then install a 2nd time onto the same internal drive so it will create a recovery partition??

Author

Commented:
that cnet article helped repartitioning... i was just missing the pie by a little bit, finally i clicked in the right spot & it let me "-" the hd2 & it reallocated the space!! yay now i have only 1 hd

Author

Commented:
side note, i have my own computer biz in california & do alot of pc, not as much mac, so u were amazing today stepping up & helping me, I really appreciate ur help!  I am still hoping I can get through the rest, but I think I am understanding the path anyway...

Not real sure about the recovery partition, but i will re-look through all ur notes above to hopefully get that installed too..
I think when you install the OS from an external, it may create the recovery partition on the external. Maybe not. Might install it on the internal. You will be able to tell once you have completed the install and have booted from the internal. Once you do that, go to the Startup disk preference panel in the system preferences. If there is a recovery partition, it will give you the option of booting from it. If there is no recovery partition, that option won't be there.

If there  is no recovery partition, the just copy the El Capitan installer back into the Applications folder of the Mac (from the desktop of your other Mac) and run it. That should automatically add a recovery partition.

Bedtime for me in Hamilton, Ontario, I am afraid. Quite a bit earlier for you in California. Good luck. Let me know how it goes.

Author

Commented:
Ok great thank u so much for alllllllllll ur help!!! u were amazing!!  I will close out ticket later!!  U ROCKED IT!! Congrats on ur BlueJay win too!

Sleep well!

Author

Commented:
Hey There!! Good Morning!!  

Well I got through everything by 1am last night & got EVERYTHING working properly... I would not have been able to do this job without you!!  U ROCK!!

If I could give u a million POINTS I would, u were that good!  Just the comfort of u being on the other end was priceless.. I have had my computer biz for 11yrs & been paying for Experts Exchange & this one made all the money I paid so worthwile!  So Thank u so much!!  If there is something I can do for you in these forums, just let me know!!

I am going to follow you & if I run into MAC questions, u r my extended tech.  

It's always nice to know that u r not alone!!  So Thank U SO MUCH!! :)  

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Thank you for your kind comments. It is always nice to feel appreciated.

Author

Commented:
Yes it is & I totally get it!! Have an awesome Monday!!

Author

Commented:
Hey There!! Good Morning!!  

Well I got through everything by 1am last night & got EVERYTHING working properly... I would not have been able to do this job without you!!  U ROCK!!

If I could give u a million POINTS I would, u were that good!  Just the comfort of u being on the other end was priceless.. I have had my computer biz for 11yrs & been paying for Experts Exchange & this one made all the money I paid so worthwile!  So Thank u so much!!  If there is something I can do for you in these forums, just let me know!!

I am going to follow you & if I run into MAC questions, u r my extended tech.  

It's always nice to know that u r not alone!!  So Thank U SO MUCH!! :)
I will. It is a holiday in Canada. This is our thanksgiving weekend. We hold it earlier because our harvest is earlier. Still recovering from yesterday's turkey.

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