Installing macOS 10.13.4 to a new drive

Discussion in 'General macOS and Apps' started by lamski, May 2, 2018.

  1. lamski

    lamski PhilMUG Addict Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    2,679
    Likes Received:
    326
    Location:
    Makati, Philippines
    Spent the Labor Day weekend trying to install macOS 10.13.4 to an external USB drive. Hope this helps others if they encounter the “you may not install to this volume because the computer is missing a firmware partition” error message and could not select the drive to install macOS to.
    • Downloaded 10.13.4 from the App Store
    • Created a bootable installer via InstallerCreator
    • Boot the Mac using the installer stick.
    • Use Disk Utility to erase the target disk with the following settings:
      • GUID partition map
      • APFS - this is important. Otherwise, you’ll encounter the “you may not install to this volume because the computer is missing a firmware partition” error when selecting the drive.
    I always used journaled HFS+ before and didn’t realize that 10.13.4 requires APFS.
     
    VicB likes this.
  2. cybersniper

    cybersniper PhilMUG Addict Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Messages:
    3,185
    Likes Received:
    276
    Location:
    Bacoor, Cavite
    Just take note that not all Macs can run APFS. - Like iMacs with Fusion Drives.
     
  3. lamski

    lamski PhilMUG Addict Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    2,679
    Likes Received:
    326
    Location:
    Makati, Philippines
    Discovered a nifty command for possibly recovering a failing hard drive:
    Background - I usually leave my old iMac (late 2009 model) on 24/7 but it's set to sleep in the energy saver settings. I came home one day and tried to wake the mac. The login screen came up but the beach ball was taking so long. I waited for several minutes before deciding to hard reset the mac. It turns out that the latest security updates came out that day and I think I interrupted the update process on my iMac. I was having boot up problems and disk repair attempts via rescue disk/disk utility made it worse e.g. first aid tried to repair the partition and failed and rendered the disk unbootable.

    The disk could still be detected by the boot loader but attempting to use the disk would simply end in a boot loop (stuck in grey screen, 100% status).
    I wasn't worried about the data since I have multiple backups: CCC clone, time capsule backups, back blaze backups. So I tried reinstalling macOS.
    Reinstalling the OS via time capsule restore or via installer fails because it could not unmount the partitions.

    Googling around, I found some terminal commands to force unmount the entire disk (diskutil unmountDisk <disk ID>). With the disk unmounted, I decided to erase it. This rendered the disk undetectable by the boot loader. Booting to other OSes like linux would also fail to detect the disk.

    So I spent labor day installing 10.13.4 to a USB stick (see earlier post). Booting to macOS on the USB stick, I launch Disk Utility. I was surprised that it detected the internal disk! It showed that the disk is not initialized.

    Attempts to erase it fails with the message "unable to write to the last block of the device". Another round of googling and I found this gem:
    Where /dev/disk0 is the ID of the problematic disk
    Running that command in the terminal, it wrote something to the disk. I then restarted disk utility. I was finally able to erase the disk!

    Just wanted to record my findings here in case others encounter it as well.
     
    VicB likes this.

Share This Page

  • About PhilMUG

    Since the mid-1990s, PhilMUG (formerly the Philippine Macintosh Users Group) has grown to become not just the Philippines’ but one of the world’s foremost Apple user groups. Our online community brings together thousands of members from the Philippines and around the world for the latest news and discussions covering all Apple products and related hardware and software. Anyone can join PhilMUG, from newbies to experts, subject to our membership rules and guidelines.
  • Like us on Facebook

  • Buy us a beer!

    The staff works very hard to make sure that PhilMUG is running 24/7. Care to buy us a beer or help out with our hosting fees? We'd really appreciate it!

    Donate to us!