Recently I updated my Mac with Mojave 10.14.3 update and it keeps rebooting again and again. Here are steps I followed to troubleshoot and fix the problem. You will be shocked to know Apple warranty doesn’t cover data recovery. You must know how to recover the data and re-install MacOS on your computer…
This could happen to anyone with MacOS operating system any version. You will be shocked to know Apple warranty doesn’t cover data recovery from your computer. Considering there are not many MacOS or Mac Hardware experts your personal data and life associated with that is always at risk.
So I thought applying an important MacOS Mojave update 10.14.3 during lunch time will make my Mac safer. Even after half an hour my Mac kept on rebooting and showing error message. First I thought it will solve the problem on its own, but problem and scare kept on growing with passing time.
Some of the options that I tried on my own
Command + v for verbose mode startup so that I can see what is happening at startup in console.
Pressing shift at startup for starting Mac OS in safe mode.
None of these options helped…
Same day Late evening I made call to International Apple support through Skype
I was recommended to try recovery options by pressing
Command + R for recovery from same machine partition
Option Command + R for recovery from Internet. (It didn’t connect to internet, I’ll explain why …)
Apple support person said he can help to recover data if I’ve 1 TB external Hard Disk Drive (HDD).
I’ve to hang up that line and empty external drive for further troubleshooting on Mac.
Another day I called again to International Apple support through Skype
I was recommended to try NVRAM reset buttons – command + option + R + P
and then to start in safe mode.
Even then it kept rebooting the machine.
This person told me Data recovery is not covered in Apple warranty, so visit the Apple Store and buy data recovery service separately.
I started looking for outside options to recover the data
One of the vendor in Lokhandwala, Andheri offered Data Recovery service for the package of Rs. 8000. Actually Very nice guy – JEET.
He assured Machine will not be opened and they have software tools to transfer data to external Hard Disk.
I called up the Maple store from where I had purchased the Mac, they said the same. Data recovery is not included in warranty.
Also support in store is with appointment till 7:00pm. It is not walk in service.
Maple store person guided me how to call Apple India support as number is very confusing.
Apple India Customer Support Number is 000 800 1009009
I called Apple India Support and I was put to Alisha in Bangalore office
She assured that that she can help me to resolve this problem in every possible way.
She decoded the Internet Installation failure error message -2002F. This is for DNS failure.
Now I figured out there was no DNS numbers in DHCP setting of my router.
Most of the OS and devices worked perfectly without DNS numbers for 2 years, but Apple Mac OS recovery had problem with this. May be recovery OS is light weight and doesn’t do everything.
After fixing DNS in router MacOS recovery through internet started working. But still it was rebooting during the Mojave installation.
I came across command +S option at startup, to go to terminal in single user mode. With Linux commands I was able to see my disk and my files. This was bit of relief.
By this time I understood the recovery process and created High Sierra bootable disk from another Mac.
I was able to boot from External HDD with High Sierra and transfer my data files.
Next day I couldn’t reach to Alisha and Apple Support call was picked up by Mounica.
She suggested if I could create the bootable in the same way with Mojave 10.14.1 or 2, it will work.
I went to my friend who has Mac with Mojave 10.14.2 installation. I created the bootable installation on external HDD.
To do this I’ve to wipe out the backup of my files done so far. This is because finally I wanted Mojave on my machine so that projects work correctly.
Unfortunately Even this installation didn’t work. This is because while creating the Bootable installation Apple asked to give WiFi password for OS verification.
With WiFi access apple didn’t create 10.14.2 installation but upgraded installation to 10.14.3. This was anyway not working.
She also recommended to do fresh download of Mojave and make bootable flash drive to install.
I even tried that fresh installation of MacOS Mojave failed with reboot during the installation.
So far It was understood that there is a bug in Mojave installation and Mounica will escalate this to Apple Development Team.
Next day Alisha from Apple Support called back with good news
She could find out authorised Apple support centre from Goregaon who can visit the site for installation.
On the phone call person from Goregaon Apple centre recommended to press option D for hardware diagnosis where he will also get the report.
Hardware Diagnosis report was all fine.
Though I had lost the hope in Mojave, but then I said let’s try this for last time. If that fails I’ll shift my Mac to High Sierra version.
I created the MacOS High Sierra external bootable disk and took backup of data with that.
Next day Dezmond from PCSS (Authorised Apple Centre) came to fix the problem
As backup was already taken he tried to boot the Mac with his external installation of Mojave which failed.
Booting with High Sierra MacOS worked but he was unable to format the HDD. Error message from terminal said ownership required on Macintosh HD.
Dezmond initially thought the Disk has corrupted and it may require opening the Mac and replacing SSD and HDD parts of fusion drive.
We tried to boot with my installation of High Sierra. I thought this may work as I am logged in with the same user and owner of internal disk. It didn’t work.
Later own he tried to boot Mac from recovery installation by pressing command +R and formatting the HDD with APFS. It didn’t work either.
Then he tried High Sierra version of commands to reset the fusion drive from terminal. Here are set of commands that finally resolved the issue.
diskutil cs list (This command always failed)
diskutil cs create Macintosh\ HD disk0 disk1
diskutil cs list
(Now it showed the cs partition)
diskutil cs create Logicalvolume (Logicalvolumegroup) jhfs+ Macintosh\ HD 100%
After this My Mac could boot with Mojave installation and do rest of the installation.
It took almost a week for me to figure out the core problem and fix that.
I guess the reason there was no CS partition as I have been moving my data using timemachine backup and never did complete format.
Not formatting was fine till 10.14.2 but it started failing after Mojave 10.14.3 update.
I know this writeup is cryptic, but I am sure when there is a problem you’ll be very attentive to read each and every detail.
Hope this will help to some of the people who would like to do self troubleshooting of MacOS installation.