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  1. #1


    Member Since
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    Problems with Lion Recovery USB
    Dear reader,

    I am trying to prepare an older MBP for sale, which is currently running OS X 10.8.4.

    To wipe the drive I created a separate recovery disk on a USB using the image available at support.apple.com/kb/DL1433.

    When I use the recovery USB at the boot screen on my older MBP the status cog spins a while and then a symbol - a circle with a line through it - shows and nothing else happens. I know that the problem is not the USB as I have used others and have run repair and verification operations through Disk Utility.

    Booting off the recovery partition native to the hard drive did not work as it was unable to gain access to the rest of the drive in order to perform the wipe - I presume this needs to happen off a USB so I am keen to find a solution to this problem.

    Have any helpful thoughts?

    With thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    rabbitjetta's Avatar
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    Can you download a new copy of lion from the Mac App Store?

  3. #3


    Member Since
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    Early 2013 13" MBPro Retina, 3GHz Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536MB, 768GB Flash
    Yes of course I still have access to my purchase, but re-downloading it isn't going to help me wipe the drive!

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
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    Booting off the recovery partition native to the hard drive did not work as it was unable to gain access to the rest of the drive in order to perform the wipe - I presume this needs to happen off a USB so I am keen to find a solution to this problem.
    No, that procedure should have worked since booting to recovery dismounts the OS X partition. You should have been able to wipe it from recovery. That leads me to believe there is a problem with your hard drive or perhaps the installation of Mountain Lion is corrupt.

    Do you have any other OS X disk on hand? You may be able to wipe the drive with a USB installer version of Mountain Lion but that would mean re-downloading it again and then creating the USB installer. It may be easier to obtain a Snow Leopard DVD ($19.99 from Apple), boot from it and wipe the drive that way.

    However, either way that you choose, be sure to verify your hard drive for errors first.

  5. #5


    Member Since
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    Early 2013 13" MBPro Retina, 3GHz Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536MB, 768GB Flash
    I am NOT able to wipe the drive using USB recovery. I have no issue doing things that way but, even if there were problems with the hard drive, I fail to see why that would present problems with the USB.(?)

    I have run the verify/repair functions in Disk Utility on the main hard drive and it presented no problems.

    Humph. Well, I will try to see if I have my older OS discs around...

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Dec 13, 2011
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    Early 2013 13" MBPro Retina, 3GHz Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536MB, 768GB Flash
    Tried to boot from Snow Leopard disc, got to 'Install Mac OS X' stage but when I click 'Macintosh HD' it reads 'Mac OS X cannot start up from this disk' and I cannot run the installation any further.

  7. #7


    Member Since
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    Early 2013 13" MBPro Retina, 3GHz Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536MB, 768GB Flash
    I want to double check something.

    I have been using this guide to perform the wipe: How to securely erase your mac hard drive before selling it. | MacTip.net

    Here it seems to suggest that, rather than erase the main partition, we are actually seeking to erase the WHOLE drive (top left in grey). This is what I have been trying to do. Is this correct?
    http://www.mactip.net/wp-content/upl...lity_erase.jpg

  8. #8


    Member Since
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    Early 2013 13" MBPro Retina, 3GHz Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536MB, 768GB Flash

  9. #9

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    2 issues - wiping the drive and installing the OS back onto the drive.

    The Snow Leopard disc you tried would give that error if it was a disc that shipped with some other Mac or if using the retail version, the Mac is newer than Snow Leopard.

    Without: a) the original disc that shipped with this particular Mac, b) a retail copy of 10.6 available from Apple for $20 - assuming this Mac is old enough to use 10.6, or c) re-downloading Mountain Lion and creating a USB installation disk, you're not going to get the OS re-installed onto the machine to sell it.

    Don't really know for sure exactly what you've tried since all you've told us is that it's not working, but, personally, would re-download ML, create a USB flash installation disk using Lion Diskmaker (a quick google will find this tool), then boot to that disk (by holding the option key at startup) to erase, format and reinstall the OS.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  10. #10


    Member Since
    Dec 13, 2011
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    The Snow Leopard disc is a retail copy which I bought from Apple some years back. The mac in question is a late 2008 build.

  11. #11


    Member Since
    Dec 13, 2011
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    Early 2013 13" MBPro Retina, 3GHz Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536MB, 768GB Flash
    I tried resizing the partition ever-so-slightly, which didn't help, but now I cannot expand it back! These problems just go on!

  12. #12

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    Boot from the SL disk - once booted - go to the menu bar - Utilities - Disk Utility
    Highlight the drive on the left - "not the partition"
    Select the Erase tab
    Should already be set to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) as default
    Select the Security Options button and pick your poison - the more times you pick the longer it will take - if you have no high security stuff on the machine, I only pick once - if you do, would suggest you remove the drive, manually destroy it and put a new drive in it.
    Back to the main screen, click the Erase button.

    If the above does not work, then I would try another Verify and Repair of the drive.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

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