iMac running off Cloned Drive not completing Start-Up


Geggsy125

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I have a Late 2012 iMac running El Capitan 10.11.6. Some time ago the internal HHD died but I had cloned the drive so fired the iMac up from the clone (an External HDD - Seagate USB3.0) and that is how my iMac runs. My first job after this event was to buy another drive and create a clone of that (which is regularly updated via CCC).



I am now running off that clone as my external HDD (as mentioned above) will not complete the start up process. I have tried all I can think of. It started as White Screen which I seem to have resolved with entering the tools on start-up. That then became Black Screen with cursor which I managed to briefly get past after removing log-in items in Single User Mode. I have full access to the HDD when started up from the other HDD so have performed Diskwarrior rebuild and Disk First Aid but to no avail. I can access all files on the drive which appears to be working fine bar for not starting up the OS.



Anyone have any suggestions as to how I can get this to start again? Is it possible to instal the OS again without affecting everything that is already in place on the drive and not being able to start from the drive?



Any help or suggestions appreciated
 
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honestone

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Your post is somewhat confusing.

You stated "I am now running off that clone as my external HDD (as mentioned above) will not complete the start up process.". For the clone, what device are you running that from? And is that one functioning fine, and you can access/run all your apps from it?

If you have purchased the other drive and having trouble with it, you might want to try and do the following (I have done this twice successfully recently for both of my Macs, from my SuperDuper! backups for each machine):

1. As you have already done, run your iMac from the "good" clone.

2. Assuming you have the file "Install MacOS "whatever"" on your clone, and with the new drive connected (I assume it appears on the clone's desktop), run Disk Utility form the clone to Erase and Format the new drive.

3. Launch the file "Install MacOS "whatever"" from the clone, and perform a fresh, clean, "virgin" installation of it onto the new drive.

4. When that completes, you'll be offered the opportunity, via Migration Assistant, to "migrate"/copy needed "stuff" from the clone to the new HFD. Do that.

5. Restart your Mac from that new drive.

As I mentioned, I did almost the exact same thing recently for both of my Macs (a late 2012 Mac Mini, and a mid 2013 13" MacBook Air), but the "target" drive was the internal SSD on each of my Macs. And I did this with installing the latest version of Sierra, OS 10.12.4. It worked flawlessly in both instances.
 
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Geggsy125

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Thanks honestone. I couldn't see what you meant originally but on re-reading I have to say that is an excellent suggestion. I will need to download the OS from Apple (it's El Capitan) and then take it from there.

My drive that won't start is all set up as I like it and it's uncomfortable having to start from scratch again. Even iTunes has to be reset :)

Really appreciate the input and a massive thank you for taking the time out to help. I'll post again in a few days to provide an update.

G
 

honestone

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Just to make sure my advice is correct/accurate:

1. Your external "original"/cloned drive (stuff on it via Carbon Copy Cloner) works fine, and you can boot up your iMac from it. Correct?

2. You "populated" your new drive with items, but it will not boot up your iMac. Correct? (By the way, how did you populate that drive?)

Given that you used OS 10.11.6, did you originally download El Capitan, V10.11.x, from the App Store? If you did, then you should see that within your Purchases "tab".
 

Geggsy125

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Hello again honestone,

I am writing this message from my old original OS working on my new drive :) Your suggestion worked a treat.

There seems to be a few glitches such as iMessage but so far so good. My desktop is all in one piece and some apps started up in the state in which they were when the crash happened.

To answer your questions:

1: Yes. I had been using the clone for about 2 years. The internal HDD was long dead

2: I always clone my drive when my iMac is new and keep it updated. Preparing for eventual disaster.

I used a version 10.11.4 and need now to update that via Software Update

To elaborate on the answers:

The clone I had was the one I made when my iMac was very young and I would regularly update it (basically the same as Time Machine I suppose). I preferred that over Time Machine as I had total control of when I did my back ups. CCC would only back up what was needed so didn't take long.

Eventually the internal iMac HDD died (I've had that happen so often) so when that did I had the clone. A freak accident caused my screen to crack which meant that I needed to replace the screen to replace the drive (it would disintegrate when removed to change the drive). They are not available in the UK so replacing the internal HDD was not possible. I was quite happy running the iMac from the clone as the drive was quite responsive and barely any lag.

Last weekend I returned home late and was watching a video when the movie was going glitchy. Eventually it froze so I went for the Force Quit and the whole thing froze. I powered down via switch and it wouldn't restart. My obsession with back ups meant that my clone had a clone and that's what I was then running with since the weekend. I had last updated the clone at end of March so I was about 2 to 3 weeks out of date. I also keep most of my projects and files on external HDDs so when the crash happened there was no real loss of essential stuff only whatever I had on the iMac which (in this case) I was able to access it as the drive was showing up as a HDD when I was running from the clone.

I have been lucky and very fortunate to have had the good fortune of being given your wisdom which I am extremely grateful for. I also am very happy that I am obsessive about Backing-Up ha

Thank you so much and I will post again when this new set-up has settled. This is the first thing I have done since getting it up and running.

Thanks again
 

honestone

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OK, thanks for the explanation. To confirm, from what you stated, it is the "old" clone, on your older HDD, that has issues. You already had a newer external HDD, and thus already had a bootable clone (via CCC, I assume) on it. But, for some reason, the "system" on that older external HDD had issues. Hence, that is where you want to replace "everything", correct?

Now, regarding El Capitan, OS 10.11.x. You mentioned you have been running OS 10.11.4. Did you originally download that from the App Store? Believe it or not, that is a critical distinction, as Apple has a bizarre philosophy regarding an attempt to retrieve either an older OS, or the one you want. Given that Sierra, OS 10.12.x, has been out for about 7 months, getting El Capitan could possibly be an issue. If you did download OS 10.11.4 from the App Store, then it still should be within your Purchases. Whether that is the case or not, what would be better is if you have the file entitled "Install MacOS El Capitan" saved somewhere on your backup/clone.. That should be OS 10.11.4. If you do have that file, or if you need to re-download it from the App Store (again, within your Purchases), it is actually easier to upgrade to OS 10.11.6 by downloading and applying thew OS 10.11.6 Combo Updater, available from here:

https://support.apple.com/kb/dl1885?locale=en_US

What I am unsure of is if you re-download El Capitan from the App Store (again, within your Purchases), what version it will be. If it is OS 10.11.6, then you would have the last version of El Capitan, and thus would not need the Combo Updater.

Regarding that "Install MacOS "whatever"" file, I always keep two copies of it, so that I do not have to re-download it. In fact, on both of my Macs, I have two copies of the file "Install macOS Sierra", and they are both for the latest version of Sierra, OS 10.12.4. There are times, for some "in between" Mac OS updates, where I just download and install (and of course save) the applicable Combo Updater file.

I certainly understand your wise decision about backups! I am actually somewhat more "paranoid" than you are! First, I use SuperDuper! for cloning/backing up both of my Macs to two separate external drives (actually SSDs). SuperDuper! is very similar to Carbon Copy Cloner, with two notable differences:

1. In US Dollars, SuperDuper! costs $27.95, whereas Carbon Copy Cloner costs $39.95.

2. Carbon Copy Cloner backs up the (hidden) Recovery HD partition, whereas SuperDuper! does not. That is not an issue for me, as 1) it can be re-created a couple of different ways, 2) if I want to run Disk Utility to "check/operate" on my internal SSD, I would first start up the respective Mac from the SuperDuper! backup, and run Disk Utility from there, 3) I have a much more robust disk cleanup/maintenance/repair program than Disk Utility, TechTool Pro, and 4) if I first Erase and re-Format the internal SSD, and then do a fresh, clean, "virgin" installation of the Mac OS, that hidden Recovery HD partition gets re-created anyway.

I do not use either of my machines in a "production" manner, and thus I only make SuperDuper! backups once a week. Like CCC, though, SuperDuper! can do scheduled backups. For me, it's just not necessary. About the only apps I frequently update are 1) Outlook for the EMials, and 2) Quicken for recording transactions.

In any event, the SuperDuper! backups are actually the third step in my weekly 3 step maintenance/backup processing. My routine is :

1. Every day, I am doing some disk cleanup (permanently getting rid of no longer needed EMails, removing no longer needed prior updates of apps, etc.).

2. For my weekly routine (typically on Saturdays), I first run the excellent freeware program entitled Onyx, for doing some additional (and useful) disk cleanup. That program also can Repair Permissions, something that Apple removed from Disk Utility ever since El Capitan came out.

3. Next, I run TechTool Pro, and I use a number if its useful features to do some more disk cleanup, disk maintenance, and when needed (which is extremely rare), disk repair.

4. I then finally run SuperDuper! and do my two backups for each of my Macs.

Doing all that results in my Macs being "lean, mean, and clean", and I rarely, if ever, have issues.

Finally, our oldest son lives in Richmond, and we were just there last month. In actuality, our time was "split up" in London: spent the first 4 days there, then the next 9 days in the Canary Islands (only Lanzerote), and then 5 days back in London. We had a good time, but I still prefer Seattle over London (and in fact to just about any of the other places we have visited, both in the US and abroad in Europe and Asia).

In any event, hope things work out good for you. Oh, and by the way, what are you using for a monitor (unless you replaced the one in the iMac)?
 
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Geggsy125

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As I'm writing this I am downloading from the link you have thoughtfully provided. Yesterday I managed to get hold of a 10.11.4 and after installing it I went to Software Update and brought it up to date. It would have been much easier if I had the combo.. which I will have in a short while to keep, as you suggest, as a spare for future use. I am going to keep your last message nearby for future reference as I think the procedures you go through are indeed excellent. A few minutes a day or a week can save so much potential tragedy further down the line.

I was so interested to read your comment about Onyx. I looked at that as part of my HDD issue and closed it again as it looked like a very powerful piece of software that would have been dangerous in my inexperienced hands. having read about it in your email I will definitely read further into it and try to see if I can make use of it to help prevent further issues. I was also interested to read about Techtool. I used to use that many many years ago but have not done so in a long while. I should re-examine that as part of my protection. i have been very fortunate on this occasion. It could have been much worse.

The drive has been tested well and is passing with flying colours. The migration seems to have improved it as well as there is very few points where it lags. I amusing the new hardware also though so there are 2 variables. The drive I am now using is Seagate 2Tb Expansion Drive. So far it is really good. The clone I was running off for the 3 days prior to yesterday was WD Elements 2Tb which didn't seem to be particularly fast. Probably because it wasn't meant to be running the OS but is perfectly good as a storage drive.

I am reluctant to upgrade to Sierra as I have always been disappointed with many Apple OS updates. I get used to features that they then strip away and I miss them. I suppose in this day and age with security threats at every turn I should be more flexible and upgrade. Hopefully El Capitan with all the Security Updates will still be good enough for now.

I have to live with the cracked glass in the iMac screen unfortunately. It is a spider-web type shatter emanating from the bottom left corner. It interferes with about a fifth of the screen. I have grown use to it now. The only way to fix the issue is to buy a new iMac as the repair shops I have spoken with in the UK tell me that replacements are unavailable. I have been eagerly awaiting an announcement from Apple as to when they will be launching an upgraded design as I don't want to go to the expense only to find an upgrade announced the following week.

That was so interesting to hear about your recent trip here to the UK and to Lanzarote. I hope the UK was all you hoped and left you wanting to visit again. I am familiar with Richmond. When I was a young struggling freelance photographer I was employed for a short while working for a builder who was renovating homes in Richmond and in Kingston-Upon-Thames. It was a lovely place. I lived in London then but nowhere as scenic. I lived for a while in Hackney then Walthamstow and after several other places ended up in Brixton. Eventually i found myself back home in Wales where I now live in the Welsh Valleys on the edge of the Black Mountains. I know how you feel about Seattle as I feel the same for my home. My daughter has only recently returned from Lanzarote but has gone directly to Newcastle (in the North of England) to return to University there. Seattle is one of only a handful of places I have always yearned to visit. It is such a world famous location and so far away from here.

I often marvel at the age we live in. I had a problem, out of the blue on the weekend, and a very a kind person from the other side of the world stepped in and helped me with advice that has got me up and running again. I sometimes wonder what my grandfather would have made of all this. This technology is so amazing when it is used for each other's benefit. It still leaves me in awe.

G
 

honestone

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I need to add a couple of more comments.

You stated that you managed to get hold of a 10.11.4. Was that via a download from the App Store? If it was, the downloaded "Install MacOS El Capitan" file wound up inside your Applications folder. Given that you stated that you had installed it, to do that would have required you to launch that file. When you do that with the file inside your Applications Folder, it gets deleted after the installation is complete. So, if you did not make a copy of it somewhere else, it is gone. Again, though, you can re-download again, and either make a copy of it in another location, or just move it to a different location. Then, when you run it from that other location, it will not get deleted when the installation completes.

Now, Onyx is a good product, but it is certainly not a "complete" disk maintenance/repair tool. TechTool (and similar products like Drive Genius and Disk Warrior) is much better for that. Under the Maintenance "tab" for Onyx, it has 4 tasks:

Structure of the Disk
Permissions
Scripts
Rebuilding

When I first launch Onyx, it actually asks to Verify the Structure on my internal drive (SSD in my case), and I let it do that task right away. Hence, I only run the last 3 of those tasks. (I usually run Permissions twice, to make sure all the necessary permissions are repaired). Then, under the Cleaning "tab", I run the following 7 tasks, in the order indicated:

Trash
Misc
Logs
Fonts
Internet
User
System

Just about all those involve disk cleaning, and thus don't do any harm. But, further, more detailed, and "deeper" maintenance and repairs is best done by a product like TechTool Pro.
 
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Spawn_Dooley

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This conversation is a little lost here you should start a thread about films actors & tv shows, over at the Off-Topic Lounge forum. I personally have found the conversation very interesting & was not aware that Fargo series 3 had started. I had a look at Hinterland & love it.

Here is the new thread:

https://www.mac-help.com/threads/films-actors-tv-shows.223380/
 
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