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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > Lion restarts to installer wtf

Lion restarts to installer wtf
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Uncle Skeleton
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Aug 18, 2011, 11:20 AM
 
Every other time I restart in Lion, instead of the OS I get the OS installer (2 out of 4 restarts so far). Also it takes FOREVER to get booted, as if it's booting from a DVD, yet there is no DVD in my drive. What is going on? How do I stop it, and what is it even booting from? I don't see any recovery partitions in Disk Utility, so I guess it's built in to the installed OS? But why would that ever be needed?

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Big Mac
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Aug 18, 2011, 11:47 AM
 
Sounds like a botched install, assuming you've made sure you have your boot drive selected in the Startup Disk pane.

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Uncle Skeleton  (op)
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Aug 18, 2011, 12:16 PM
 
If so it's probably similar to the "first run" intro movie, meaning I should be able to find the installer and remove it. Any idea what it would be called?
     
Art Vandelay
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Aug 18, 2011, 12:23 PM
 
If you're getting the installer, you're booting to your recovery partition. The long delay implies that your install is botched, hence why it's falling back to the recovery partition.
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Uncle Skeleton  (op)
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Aug 18, 2011, 12:28 PM
 
I should specify: on the times when it boots into Lion, it's fast as normal. Only when it ends up in the installer is it slow to boot.

Can you see the recovery partition? I checked for one in Disk Utility and I didn't see any disks with 2 partitions (there are 4 in the Mac Pro, a 10.5, 10.6, 10.7 and FAT32).

I guess, the times when I hit the installer are when I reboot from 10.5. Then I reboot from the 10.7 installer and I end up in 10.7 proper. Is there something wrong with the 10.5 startup disk chooser that doesn't play well with 10.7 disks or something?
     
Uncle Skeleton  (op)
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Aug 18, 2011, 07:36 PM
 
Maybe the slow boot is about checking the disk, or all the disks, or a disk image? Is there something like that in the restore volume's feature set?
     
CharlesS
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Aug 18, 2011, 07:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Can you see the recovery partition? I checked for one in Disk Utility and I didn't see any disks with 2 partitions (there are 4 in the Mac Pro, a 10.5, 10.6, 10.7 and FAT32).
The recovery partition is invisible in Disk Utility, so you wouldn't see it there. You can, however, see it by typing this in the Terminal:

diskutil list

I suppose it's possible that the firmware could have somehow become set to boot from the recovery partition. I'd go to the Startup Disk pane, set it to something else, and then set it back to your hard drive and see if that makes this behavior go away.

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Uncle Skeleton  (op)
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Aug 18, 2011, 07:51 PM
 
Thanks Charles. I'll check when I get home.

Do you mean set Startup Disk to something else, reboot, then set it back? Or just click-click-done?
     
CharlesS
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Aug 18, 2011, 08:26 PM
 
Click, click, done. The only reason I suggest changing it to something else first is so that it has to change the setting, rather than just going "oh, he clicked on the thing that was already selected, we can just leave it alone."

If you don't have an alternate boot disk, you could probably get the same effect by zapping the PRAM and then setting the startup disk. Given the circumstances, that might not be a bad idea anyway.

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Uncle Skeleton  (op)
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Aug 18, 2011, 09:22 PM
 
Well I'm spending most of my time in 10.5 anyways, so by necessity I have already been changing the setting before each boot to 10.7. But it might be that the 10.5 version of Startup Disk is incompatible with 10.7 and its new-fangled recovery partition...
     
CharlesS
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Aug 18, 2011, 09:44 PM
 
I doubt that. The recovery partition is just a partition — there's nothing all that special about it except that Apple seems to have coded several of their tools not to see it.

Maybe zapping the PRAM would be worth a try anyway. After all, your boot settings are stored in the PRAM, and if they were messed up, it could possibly cause you to boot to the wrong partition (i.e. the recovery partition).

BTW, there's no need to change the startup disk setting just to boot into an infrequently used OS. All you need to do for that is to hold down the Option key at startup to boot once from a partition other than the default.

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Uncle Skeleton  (op)
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Aug 18, 2011, 10:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Maybe zapping the PRAM would be worth a try anyway. After all, your boot settings are stored in the PRAM, and if they were messed up, it could possibly cause you to boot to the wrong partition (i.e. the recovery partition).
I'll give it a try

BTW, there's no need to change the startup disk setting just to boot into an infrequently used OS. All you need to do for that is to hold down the Option key at startup to boot once from a partition other than the default.
Ideally not; maybe I have ADHD, but I don't like to sit in front of the computer and watch while it reboots.
     
CharlesS
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Aug 18, 2011, 10:30 PM
 
You don't have to watch it reboot. The boot selector pops up immediately, you choose the disk, and then you can go get a cup of coffee as usual.

It probably takes less time than digging into the system prefs to change the default boot disk, really.

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