The Mavericks upgrade didn’t go smoothly for me last week. Instead of an automated download and install I got an installation failure message
“Install Failed: OS X could not be installed on your computer. OS X can’t be installed on the disk because a recovery system can’t be created. Visit www.apple.com/support/no-recovery to learn more”
Looks like it’s to do with how Mavericks deals with Recovery Partition and for whatever reason my MacBook Pro wasn’t configured as the Mavericks installer expected.
Here’s what I had to do to fix it.
Note: If you want to give it a try, ensure that you have everything backed up beforehand – making changes to drive formats and partitions has the potential to go catastrophically wrong and I wouldn’t want you to lose any data.
1) Download Mavericks and make a boot USB.
Not absolutely necessary but considering Mavericks 5.29Gb size you may as well take the opportunity of creating a boot drive in case you need it.
i) Download the Mavericks update file – don’t reboot
ii) Format USB drive as Mac OS Extended (Journaled), leaving the name as ‘Untitled’
iii) Open Terminal and enter
sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app –nointeraction
2) Remove your systems Recovery Partition and extend the Boot Partition
i) Get the recover partition identifier. Open Terminal and enter:
ii) Remove the recovery partition. In Terminal enter following (using appropriate disk identifier from previous step):
Diskutil eraseVolume HFS+ ErasedDisk /dev/disk0s4
iii) Extend the boot partition. In Terminal enter following (using appropriate identifiers)
diskutil mergePartitions HFS+ MacHD disk0s3 disk0s4
3) Reboot your Mac from the USB drive and carry out the upgrade
Even then it wasn’t 100% flawless. The Mac booted to USB carried out upgrade ok but when complete it didn’t automatically reboot so needed a manual restart.
And when it finished Mavericks went through the process of creating a new user account rather than using what was already there and letting me logon to the saved profile. Fortunately I was able to log off and then on again using the previous account. (From which I could delete the new, unwanted one).