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#37932 - 12/22/15 01:22 AM Backup drive not visible with Option key
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
I have an OWC 500GB OTG-S 7200RPM Firewire drive for my Super Duper backup and it has always appeared as a choice for the startup drive using the Option key after a start or restart…..until this past week.

A week ago I used used TechTool Pro 6 to do a directory rebuild which took much longer then normal….nearly an hour. (I usually use Disk Warrior and the job is always over in about 15 minutes. Lesson learned…TechTool won't be used ever again.)

Anyway, I tired everything including a complete erasure of the backup drive (using Disk Tool) and a fresh recording of the backup using Super Duper. To erase I had to try a couple of times as the dialogue box said it could not unmount the drive.

On the first reboot the Option Key showed everything - Main Drive, Super Duper Backup Drive, Recovery Volume and Time Machine Drive. Since then, I see only the Main Drive and the Recovery Volume.

If I click on the Recovery Volume and get rid of the OSX Tools dialogue box, I get a restart dialogue box that offers the Main Drive and the Super Duper Backup Drive.

So, my machine is able to see the Super Duper Backup….but it doesn't want to see it when I use the Option Key at startup. Why would that be?


Edited by ryck (12/22/15 01:26 AM)
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ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS Mojave 10.14.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 1TB LaCie USB-C
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#37933 - 12/22/15 02:09 AM Re: Backup drive not visible with Option key [Re: ryck]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Startup disk info is stored in NVRAM (PRAM). You didn't mention resetting it. In case you don't know how, read How to Reset NVRAM on your Mac.

Another point: Can you boot successfully from the SD backup?
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.14.6, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#37935 - 12/22/15 06:14 AM Re: Backup drive not visible with Option key [Re: jchuzi]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: jchuzi
Startup disk info is stored in NVRAM (PRAM). You didn't mention resetting it.

Ah, the one thing I didn't do….however now have. Here's what I did.

1. Shut down and cleared PRAM on restart.

2. Allowed restart to complete and turned on the backup drive. It appeared on the desktop.

3. Did a restart (assuming that would make sure the Mac knew the backup drive existed and was connected)

4. Shut down and restarted with the Option key depressed.

Unfortunately I still just got the main drive and the recovery volume.

Originally Posted By: jchuzi
Another point: Can you boot successfully from the SD backup?

Yes. I just can't get the iMac to understand, during startup, that it exists.
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS Mojave 10.14.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 1TB LaCie USB-C
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#37938 - 12/22/15 06:44 AM Re: Backup drive not visible with Option key [Re: ryck]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Additional information:

It appears the iMac now may think the Super Duper Backup Drive is the main drive. With the SD Backup on the desktop I located a folder, created a new folder inside it, and stored some files. However, when I returned to the new folder, it was not on my main drive. It was on the Super Duper Backup drive.

And, yes, I went to the folder by first double-clicking the main drive icon on the desktop.


Edited by ryck (12/22/15 06:48 AM)
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ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS Mojave 10.14.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 1TB LaCie USB-C
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#37942 - 12/22/15 08:12 AM Re: Backup drive not visible with Option key [Re: ryck]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: ryck
Anyway, I tired everything including a complete erasure of the backup drive (using Disk Tool) and a fresh recording of the backup using Super Duper. To erase I had to try a couple of times as the dialogue box said it could not unmount the drive.

  1. Did you erase the drive or the volume on the drive? The way to erase the drive is to repartition the drive which in addition to rebuilding the file directories also rebuilds the GUID partition table.
  2. The fact TechTool took so long would lead me to suspect it was having problems reading some disk sectors an indication of a disk headed toward complete failure. Since you have TechTool Pro….
    1. run the TechTool S.M.A.R.T. test — it is far more informative than the SMART test in Disk Utility and most other utilities as it reports the individual tests and not just the aggregate results.
    2. run a full surface scan. It takes a l-o-n-g time but it is the best indicator of impending drive failure.
  3. For reasons I was never able to deduce I went through a spell where option booting only indicated the normal boot drive unless I did a cold boot (full shut down and then restart). Aggravatingly enough that "fixed" itself after a couple of months. You might try that

Originally Posted By: ryck
It appears the iMac now may think the Super Duper Backup Drive is the main drive. With the SD Backup on the desktop I located a folder, created a new folder inside it, and stored some files. However, when I returned to the new folder, it was not on my main drive. It was on the Super Duper Backup drive.

If you look in System Preferences > Startup Disk, what does it think the startup drive is?
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#37950 - 12/22/15 08:54 AM Re: Backup drive not visible with Option key [Re: joemikeb]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: joemikeb

Did you erase the drive or the volume on the drive? The way to erase the drive is to repartition the drive which in addition to rebuilding the file directories also rebuilds the GUID partition table.

I don't recall. I can do it again, however it'll have to be tonight as a full SuperDuper backup takes a couple of hours….which I don't have today.

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
The fact TechTool took so long would lead me to suspect it was having problems reading some disk sectors an indication of a disk headed toward complete failure. Since you have TechTool Pro….

run the TechTool S.M.A.R.T. test — it is far more informative than the SMART test in Disk Utility and most other utilities as it reports the individual tests and not just the aggregate results.

I did that at the time and again this morning. Both times it passed in all categories.

Note: I'm not hearing any kind of noise that I might think would indicate impending failure. However, if failure is a possibility, all the more reason to get the Super Duper drive recognizable.

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
The fact TechTool took so long would lead me to suspect it was having problems reading some disk sectors an indication of a disk headed toward complete failure.

run a full surface scan. It takes a l-o-n-g time but it is the best indicator of impending drive failure.

Again, anything that takes a l-o-n-g time will have to wait until tonight.

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
If you look in System Preferences > Startup Disk, what does it think the startup drive is?

System Prefs shows both drives although I'm not sure which it thinks is the startup drive. If that's determined by placement in the window, the startup drive is on the left.


Edited by ryck (12/22/15 08:58 AM)
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS Mojave 10.14.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 1TB LaCie USB-C
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#37954 - 12/22/15 09:30 AM Re: Backup drive not visible with Option key [Re: ryck]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: ryck

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
If you look in System Preferences > Startup Disk, what does it think the startup drive is?

System Prefs shows both drives although I'm not sure which it thinks is the startup drive. If that's determined by placement in the window, the startup drive is on the left.

It should show all bootable drives except the Recovery Drive. I don't remember for sure in OS X 10.8 the selected boot drive is on the left or is highlighted. (In El Capitan the currently selected boot drive name is highlighted and the position on the list is immaterial.)

HINT: When I create a clone or alternate boot drive, the first thing I do is change the desktop picture on the clone. That gives me a glaringly obvious visual clue I am not booted from the regular boot drive. It does mean a clone is not an exact and complete duplicate, but that condition is ephemeral at best.


Edited by joemikeb (12/22/15 09:33 AM)
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#37962 - 12/22/15 07:30 PM Re: Backup drive not visible with Option key [Re: joemikeb]
honestone Offline
Banned

Registered: 11/13/15
Loc: Seattle, WA (up in God's Count...
Things have changed in El Capitan. Ignoring TechToll Pro's eDrive for a moment, when one boots up their machine from their primary drive, that is what shows up, to the right, in System Preferences. Any other bootable drives show up to the left (except the eDrive), and they are not highlighted. In order to select one of those drives to start from, you must first click the lock icon, enter your admin password, and then all such drives will be highlighted. For example, I have a 1 TB external drive attached to my Mac, with 3 partitions. Two of those partitions contain SuperDuper! backups of my Mac Mini and MacBook Air respectively. Both of those do show up in System Preferences, but not highlighted.

When I start up TechTool Pro, and then via the Tools menu select "Restart eDrive", it runs some sort of test first, then launches System Preferences - Start Up Disk", and then the eDrive appears all the way to the left (again not highlighted), the other two external SuperDuper! partitions I mentioned above (again not highlighted), and my primary internal boot partition (highlighted). I click on the lock icon, enter my admin password, and then I can select the eDrive to restart my machine from. After I do all my TechTool Pro tasks and want to restart my machine from my primary internal drive, afterI click on System Preferences - Start Up Disk, as above, all 4 of the drives/partitions show up, but only the eDrive one is highlighted. So, once again I need to click on the lock icon, enter my admin password, and then I can select my internal drive for the machine to re-boot from.
_________________________
Using Macs since 1984
Current Systems:
Mid 2013 13" MacBook Air with 251 gig Samsung SSD
Late 2012 Mac Mini with 256 gig Samsung 840 Pro SSD
Using OS 10.11.5 on both
Make SuperDuper! backups for both machines
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#37968 - 12/23/15 06:56 AM Re: Backup drive not visible with Option key [Re: joemikeb]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Did you erase the drive or the volume on the drive? The way to erase the drive is to repartition the drive which in addition to rebuilding the file directories also rebuilds the GUID partition table.

I did another erasure, this time making sure I erased the drive, followed by a complete Super Duper backup. It made no difference.

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
run a full surface scan. It takes a l-o-n-g time but it is the best indicator of impending drive failure.

I've done that as well (although it didn't take too long, probably a couple of hours) and the drive passed with flying colours - not one problem sector.


Additional information: I also sent a note to Dave Nanian at Shirt Pocket and he suggested:

1. Power off.
2. Disconnect the drive.
3. Hold down Option, get to the boot menu.
4. Then attach the drive. Does it appear?

The Super Duper drive did appear, but only once. On subsequent restarts with Option button down, it did not appear.


Grasping at a straw: My mind keeps coming back to the fact that everything was okay until I did a directory rebuild with TechTool - and that it took so long. Could the rebuild have affected the SuperDuper software on my main drive? If so, could that generate a communication problem between the drive and the Mac?


Edited by ryck (12/23/15 07:02 AM)
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS Mojave 10.14.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 1TB LaCie USB-C
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#37969 - 12/23/15 07:02 AM Re: Backup drive not visible with Option key [Re: joemikeb]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: ryck
System Prefs shows both drives although I'm not sure which it thinks is the startup drive. If that's determined by placement in the window, the startup drive is on the left.

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
HINT: When I create a clone or alternate boot drive, the first thing I do is change the desktop picture on the clone.

My system still does that automatically. The Backup drive is always orange with the Firewire symbol and the Time Machine drive is always green with the clock hands surrounded by the counterclockwise arrow.
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS Mojave 10.14.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 1TB LaCie USB-C
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#37973 - 12/23/15 02:48 PM Re: Backup drive not visible with Option key [Re: ryck]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: ryck
Additional information: I also sent a note to Dave Nanian at Shirt Pocket and he suggested:

1. Power off.
2. Disconnect the drive.
3. Hold down Option, get to the boot menu.
4. Then attach the drive. Does it appear?

The Super Duper drive did appear, but only once. On subsequent restarts with Option button down, it did not appear.


Dave beat me to the suggestion, but were your subsequent "restarts" cold boots as Dave suggested or did you click on "Restart" in the Apple menu? They are NOT the same! I went through a period with a beta version where I could only boot the Recovery drive using a cold boot.

Originally Posted By: ryck
Grasping at a straw: My mind keeps coming back to the fact that everything was okay until I did a directory rebuild with TechTool - and that it took so long. Could the rebuild have affected the SuperDuper software on my main drive? If so, could that generate a communication problem between the drive and the Mac?

Anything is possible but that is extremely unlikely. TechTool Pro goes through extensive beta testing before each release and that is a behavior I would expect to show up if it exists.

Originally Posted By: ryck
My system still does that automatically. The Backup drive is always orange with the Firewire symbol and the Time Machine drive is always green with the clock hands surrounded by the counterclockwise arrow.

You misunderstand what I meant. You are referring to the drive ICON I was referring to the DESKTOP [oicture — the image that appears on your screen behind all the icons, the dock, and below the menu bar. Right now my desktop picture on my regular boot drive is a photograph I took on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Rail Road last October and the desktop picture on my clone is a picture of Agatha Heterodyne, Girl Genius.


Edited by joemikeb (12/23/15 02:50 PM)
Edit Reason: punctuation error
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#37980 - 12/23/15 07:36 PM Re: Backup drive not visible with Option key [Re: joemikeb]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Dave beat me to the suggestion, but were your subsequent "restarts" cold boots as Dave suggested or did you click on "Restart" in the Apple menu?

They were cold starts, from shutdowns.

I've now also checked the cables, swapping out with the firewire cable on my Time Machine drive. An interesting thing happened. Whenever a cable was swapped, I could get the Super Duper backup drive once, using the Option key at startup.

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Right now my desktop picture on my regular boot drive is a photograph I took on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Rail Road last October....

Thanks for the link. I forwarded it to a friend who's very big on trains. He's in a group that has built four working hand-crafted steam locomotives from drawings, patterns and castings. They were machined, fabricated, and welded into finely detailed 1/8 scale miniatures of the full-sized prototype and now serve in a park to take folks for rides on scale rolling stock.

Update: My friend writes:

"Thanks for the link. I’ve heard many good things about this railroad. The Americans are quite fortunate in that they have a number of abandoned short line railroads that have been bought up with private funds and have been able to restore many old steamers and coaches and make a real go of it running tourist rail trips. Sadly, here in Canada there isn’t quite enough population base to make more of it possible."


Edited by ryck (12/23/15 10:08 PM)
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS Mojave 10.14.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 1TB LaCie USB-C
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#37984 - 12/24/15 07:04 AM Re: Backup drive not visible with Option key [Re: ryck]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: ryck
I've now also checked the cables, swapping out with the firewire cable on my Time Machine drive. An interesting thing happened. Whenever a cable was swapped, I could get the Super Duper backup drive once, using the Option key at startup.

I wish Apple would make the diagnostics used at the Genius Desk available to the general public. Maybe they would reveal something, or maybe that is a hint for you to visit a Genius Desk.

A couple of thoughts:
  1. If there were bad sectors on the disk the first time you ran TTP those would have been remapped to spare sectors on the drive. That would account for the slowness of that first test and since those sectors have been remapped a subsequent surface scan would not "see" any bad data sectors. They key is not in how many bad sectors rather in finding NEW bad sectors. I would watch the drive closely for new bad sectors.
  2. Super Duper has been reliable and I can find no reason to suspect it (or TTP for that matter) of being the culprit, but you might repartition the drive — to rebuild the GUID partition table and install a fresh copy of OS X and see if it shows up in subsequent option boots or in System Preferences > Startup Disk. (Admittedly, I am fishing for a solution at this point.)

OFF TOPIC Please excuse the excursion.

Originally Posted By: ryck
Thanks for the link. I forwarded it to a friend who's very big on trains. He's in a group that has built four working hand-crafted steam locomotives from drawings, patterns and castings. They were machined, fabricated, and welded into finely detailed 1/8 scale miniatures of the full-sized prototype and now serve in a park to take folks for rides on scale rolling stock.

Update: My friend writes:

"Thanks for the link. I’ve heard many good things about this railroad. The Americans are quite fortunate in that they have a number of abandoned short line railroads that have been bought up with private funds and have been able to restore many old steamers and coaches and make a real go of it running tourist rail trips. Sadly, here in Canada there isn’t quite enough population base to make more of it possible."

Tell your friend if he would like to put his skills to work on a 60 mile long historic narrow gauge railroad the Friends of the Cumbres and Toltec have lots of opportunities available to work on restoration and maintenance projects in Chama, NM, Antonito, CO all summer long and in Colorado Springs, CO almost year round. Just go to the Volunteer link on the web site for more information. We would love to have him come and spend six weeks (or more) rebuilding/refurbishing rolling stock, painting mile posts on the right of way, and even building various car types from scratch.
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