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I just bought the Mountain Lion upgrade, but it's unable to complete. When I select my harddrive it says:

Some features of OS X Mountain Lion are not supported for the disk “kollaps”.

Features such as FileVault and Recovery Mode won't be available if you install Mountain Lion on this disk. To learn more, click More Info. To continue with the installation, click Continue.

I continue the installation, but after a reboot and some minutes has passed it claims that it cannot create a recovery partition. The installation aborts.

Here are my partitions:

$ diskutil list
/dev/disk0
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *750.2 GB   disk0
   1:                        EFI                         209.7 MB   disk0s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS kollaps                 498.6 GB   disk0s2
   3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s3
   4:                  Apple_HFS Blank                   250.6 GB   disk0s4

And here's my GUID partition table:

$ sudo gpt -r show disk0
       start        size  index  contents
           0           1         PMBR
           1           1         Pri GPT header
           2          32         Pri GPT table
          34           6         
          40      409600      1  GPT part - C12A7328-F81F-11D2-BA4B-00A0C93EC93B
      409640   973843192      2  GPT part - 48465300-0000-11AA-AA11-00306543ECAC
   974252832     1269528      3  GPT part - 426F6F74-0000-11AA-AA11-00306543ECAC
   975522360   489364624      4  GPT part - 48465300-0000-11AA-AA11-00306543ECAC
  1464886984      262151         
  1465149135          32         Sec GPT table
  1465149167           1         Sec GPT header

My existing Recovery HD works just fine. I have verified all partitions, and cleaned up file system permissions. In addition I have resized my main partition slightly to make sure the EFI has been recreated (in case it had problems).

Still no go. Do I really have to reinstall the full HD?

WORKAROUND: When I selected the partition "Blank" (disk0s4) as my upgrade partition, the warning dialogue didn't appear. It installed a fresh OSX Mountain Lion on it, and I used the Migration Assistant to copy settings, programs and users from the primary partition. This means that the Recovery HD was not at fault even though the installer claimed that, but I guess something was "wrong" with my primary partition. This solution still isn't a very good one.

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Just an idea: if you ever try this again, when the installation aborts, have a look at the installer log file, accessible via File > Show Log (see support.apple.com/kb/TS1394)... it might contain a bit more information... –  Ashley May 18 '13 at 20:46
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1 Answer

From what I've been able to gather, this issue occurred because of the existence of partition 4. A default install of OS X, as of Lion, involves three partitions: EFI, your OS X boot volume, and the recover partition.

Features such as Recovery Mode and FileVault require original partitioning schemes in many cases - especially when FileVault is already in use on a partition, as it the partition scheme has been converted to a CoreStorage group. This makes things much messier to try installing without an original layout.

This seems to be the most likely cause of your error. Since I have no logs, dumps, or other material to go by, I can only speculate and apply my knowledge and experience to the matter. However, seeing as OS X installed just fine to the 4th partition, which was blank, it seems to me that the partition scheme itself was to blame, as I stated above. Sorry about the inconvenience.

Good luck and happy upgrading!

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