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  1. #1
    Replaced HHD with SSD , Flashing Question Mark ?
    Hello ,

    I just finished replacing a dead HDD in a mid 2011 21.5" iMac , with a SSD kit .
    now that I have the machine all together , I am getting the flashing question mark ( I believe this is telling me that the machine is not recognizing the SSD .

    Was I supposed to format and install the OS installer on the new hard-drive before I put it in the computer ( I am thinking , yes ! )

    I don't have any files on this computer that I have to worry about , my main computer has everything and is backed up on Time Machine . I was going to restore from
    Time Machine , but it seems that Time Machine will only work with the same model of computer .

    Is there a way to do this in Disk Utility ?

    I am booting the OS for a flash drive now , hoping that I will be able to perform a recovery in Disk Utility.

    Thanks for any help you can give.
    John

  2. #2
    Replaced HHD with SSD , Flashing Question Mark ?
    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Do you have a Snow Leopard OS X.6.7 disc, or a thumb drive with an operating system installed on it?

    If so pop into the machine, reboot and hold down Option and then go to Disk utility, format Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and Partition as GUID.

    Back to Installer and install the operating system.

    If you don't have these, Apple sells thew Snow Leopard DVD at Apple Online for $20.00. Newer operating systems are available at the App Store, but you will need to set up an Apple ID to access these.
    Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  3. #3
    Harry ,

    I am doing that as I type this . I was able to format the new drive and partition as GUID , and I am installing High Sierra for a thumb drive now .

    Wish me luck . I really don't want to open the iMac again . lol

  4. #4
    Replaced HHD with SSD , Flashing Question Mark ?
    pm-r's Avatar
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    The Flashing Question Mark ? usually indicates that there isn't a "blessed" Operating System for the Mac to boot from.

    Whether the new drive was/is formatted properly for Mac OS use is another question you need to discover.

    Did you not read up on doing the procedure before you even started???

    I hope and assume you do have a current backup or clone of your original HDD drive??? Yes???? Oh. right, you already said so. Sorry.

    I have no idea what you mean by your remark, but that is NOT true AFAIK!!
    Time Machine , but it seems that Time Machine will only work with the same model of computer .





    - Patrick
    ======

  5. #5
    I tried to use Time Machine to recover the Mid 2011 iMac . I have an external drive connected to my iMac 2017 .

    I plugged in the external into my 2011 and when I tried to restore using Time Machine I got an error message saying that I could not use a Time Machine back up from a different model computer.


    As far as reading up on it , I did , but I got so caught up with the hardware portion that I didn't even think about the other half.

    Worse case , I take the machine apart and do it over . plus , I will never make that mistake again ! ( I hope ... lol )

  6. #6
    Replaced HHD with SSD , Flashing Question Mark ?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessorChaos View Post
    Hello ,

    I just finished replacing a dead HDD in a mid 2011 21.5" iMac , with a SSD kit .
    now that I have the machine all together , I am getting the flashing question mark ( I believe this is telling me that the machine is not recognizing the SSD .
    Not that it isn't recognizing the drive, but that there is no operating system on the drive to boot from.

    Was I supposed to format and install the OS installer on the new hard-drive before I put it in the computer ( I am thinking , yes ! )
    Well, you should have formatted the drive and installed the operating system (not the installer, but the system itself) on the drive. But that water is over the dam at this point.

    I don't have any files on this computer that I have to worry about , my main computer has everything and is backed up on Time Machine . I was going to restore from
    Time Machine , but it seems that Time Machine will only work with the same model of computer .
    Like Patrick, I am pretty sure that is not true. But you don't have a working copy of TimeMachine on the SSD, so you can't get the files out of that backup until you do. And if the internal HD failed, you have zero files on the system until you put them there.

    Is there a way to do this in Disk Utility ?
    Do what? Run Time Machine? No. Install the OS? No. Format the drive? Yes

    I am booting the OS for a flash drive now , hoping that I will be able to perform a recovery in Disk Utility.
    That sentence is very confusing. What does "booting the OS for a flash drive" mean? Did you mean "from a flash drive?" If so, does that flash drive have the installer files on it? If not, about all you will be able to do is to format the SSD to prepare it for an installation from a bootable installer.

    Thanks for any help you can give.
    John
    Here is Apple's directions on creating a bootable installer: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372

    You can make this installer on your "main computer" if it is a Mac.
    Jake

  7. #7
    Replaced HHD with SSD , Flashing Question Mark ?
    pm-r's Avatar
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    In hindsight, this suggestion may not be very useful now, but may be two others attempting the same thing, and that is to always have an up to date current bootable clone using Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper or similar software.

    Anyway, the existing Time Machine should be invaluable for restoring all the User data when using Migration Assistant, and do so when first asked when the new Operating System has been installed and first booted.





    - Patrick
    ======

  8. #8
    ok , I am up and running .. sort of ! lol

    This is what I did ( Thanks to the help of all you kind folks )

    I created a bootable thumb drive ( funny it was for High Sierra , but it installed lion ? , maybe that is another thread . )
    after I booted from the thumb drive I was able to format my new SSD , and then I was able to install Lion ( WTF ?? ) on my computer.

    I am installing High Sierra so , all seems well for now ..

    About the Time Machine back up . I have a theory why I was not able to .

    The Time Machine back up that I have is on my 2017 iMac running Mojave 10.14.3
    and Mojave is not supported on My mid 2011 iMac .
    You think this is why I was getting an error when trying to restore from the Time Machine ?

  9. #9
    Replaced HHD with SSD , Flashing Question Mark ?
    pm-r's Avatar
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    You think this is why I was getting an error when trying to restore from the Time Machine ?

    Could be, but all I know right now is your username is very adept, but maybe put the emphasis on Chaos!!!

    Good luck.





    - Patrick
    ======

  10. #10
    Replaced HHD with SSD , Flashing Question Mark ?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    And you probably got Lion installed because instead of booting to the USB stick, you ended up doing an internet installation. Here is how to do that when you want to, instead of just stumbling through the chaos to get it done: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204904#macosrecovery
    Jake

  11. #11
    Replaced HHD with SSD , Flashing Question Mark ?
    Rod's Avatar
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    Replaced HHD with SSD , Flashing Question Mark ?
    Phew! Well, glad you got there in the end. (I think)
    Honestly for the small price of a dedicated external HD that you can leave connected and Carbon Copy Cloner set to perform regular updates you could have avoided all that effort.
    My wife had a 2011 MBP with the above arrangement. The HDD died.
    She rebooted holding the option key and chose the CCC clone to boot from. She was able to continue using the MBP like this albeit a bit laggy thanks to USB speeds. I ordered I new SSD and one week later installed it. Booted her MBP from the clone, launched the CCC app and selecting the clone as the source and the new SSD as the target copied the clone to the new internal drive. Took some time (500Gb) data but by the end of the day she was up and running. No formatting, no need to re register software, no need to reset system preferences, no nothing to do but wait till CCC did its job.
    Honestly I cannot recommend a clone like CCC or Super Duper highly enough.


    Sent from my ageing iPad Mini iOS 9.3.5 Mac-Forums
    I used to be conceited but now I'm perfect.

  12. #12
    Replaced HHD with SSD , Flashing Question Mark ?
    Slydude's Avatar
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    I've had a similar experience Rod. Some time in late 2009 the spinner hard drive in my Mac Pro (2006 era) failed mid week. Given the age of the machine at thhe time I was fully prepated for some type of major malfunction. Booting from a clone I'd made a few days before allowed the machine to run fine albiet a bit slower. I ran like that for several days before having time to diagnose the problem.

    Over the following weekend I did enough testing to convince myself the hard drive had died. Thanks to Apple Care a replacement was cross-shipped to me. I used CCC to transfer everything from the clone to the new hard drive and I was back up and running. The nice thing about the recent versions of CCC is that I can be doing other things on my Mac while the clone is being made.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

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