Why does the main partition of my iMac not start up?

Rusty Cohan February 3, 2012
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My iMac (250 GB drive) is partitioned with a “Fix It Mac” and the “Main Drive”. I can start up in in the “Fix It Drive” partition, but when I try to start up the main partition, I get a circle with a slash through it.

I have run both Disk Utility and Disk Warrior and both applications indicated everything to be fixed and in good shape. I even disconnected everything for the night and tried starting up in the morning with the same negative result. I do have an external LaCie drive that is set up for Time Machine.

How do I get the “main partition” to start up?

  1. Anonymous
    February 4, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Hmm... Did anything happen all the "circle-slash" error started.

    If the Time Machine restore doesn't work, you are going to have to use target mode, or a live linux cd, to backup what files you need and reinstall OS X. 

  2. Mike
    February 3, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    The "circle-slash" means that your Mac couldn't find a boot-able installation on that partition.

    Both Disk Utility and Disk Warrior only detect file permission or filesystem errors. They don't detect whether the system is functional (boot-able).

    If you were running Time Machine regularly you could boot into the Recovery (command + R) and try to restore a previous state of your Mac OS X Installation.

  3. Anonymous
    February 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    restore this machine from a TimeMachine drive?