Blessing A Mac Hard Drive

Blessing Mac Hard Drive

In the world of IT, you never know what you are going to come up against. I have seen some of the strangest stuff imaginable pop up over time, Apple and PC alike. The one thing they all have in common – an end user who can provide no details to the events leading up to the event. With that being said, here is the first of hopefully many installments of my experiences and how I fixed the impossible. Okay, definitely not impossible – just checking if you are paying attention. On we go…

Don’t care about the long story? Skip it and see the direct details!

Today I encountered two iBooks that hung on the network imaging process. Naturally, my impatience got the best of me and I decided to restart them after some time of not finishing. As it turns out, the image process completed successfully – minus being able to boot.

On first startup:

I got the dreaded folder screen, but it never showed the question mark that I have grown accustomed to seeing.

I restart holding the option key just after the Apple “Chime” noise:

This allowed me to select the drive and actually boot up the computer. It was working! Kind of…

Now, I restart the computer and it boots right back to the same folder screen with no question mark. So the only way it will boot is by holding the option key at startup and selecting the boot volume.

I decide to try to set the startup disk by going to System Preferences -> Startup Disk and the drive doesn’t show up to select. Somehow, I am booted to a drive that Startup Disk doesn’t even recognize.

Boot to CD and startup disk gives me the same thing…


1.) iBook will not boot on its own– only get Apple folder with face
2.) Can boot when hold option key and select the boot volume
3.) Hard drive does not show up in “System Preferences… -> Startup Disk” to set as the boot drive
4.) Drive show in disk utility – and verifies successfully

The Fix:

bless --folder /Volumes/YOURHARDDRIVENAME/System/Library/CoreServices --bootinfo –bootefi

I issued this command to bless (make it bootable) the system and had it rebuild the boot files needed.

Next I set the boot drive with the following command.

bless --mount /Volumes/YOURHARDDIVENAME –setBoot

NOTE: If your hard drive name has a space in it – you need to escape the space with a backslash. If your hard drive name is “Macintosh HD” the command would be the following.

bless --mount /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD –setBoot

Voila – iBook was completely fixed!


Take this experience with caution – and if you are not sure if it applies to your situation – do not attempt it. I take no responsibilities for your problems – I do that enough in my day job!

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