According to this article, holding down the "D" key while my MacBookPro11,3 boots should bring up "Apple Diagnostics". However, "Apple Hardware Test" comes up instead. When I try to run in, it fails, saying my hardware is not supported.

How do I replace the "Apple Hardware Test" firmware program with the "Apple Diagnostics" firmware program?

Some more background: This is a new macbook pro, and I copied the hard drive from my old one using disk utility. After the transfer, the laptop worked fine, but would not boot into recovery mode-- holding down option at startup and selecting the recovery drive yielded a grey screen with a white, cross-out circle in the middle. Re-downloading and re-installing Mavericks fixed this problem. I can now boot into recovery mode, but I still have the problem described above.

Please do not answer this question if you don't understand the difference between "Apple Hardware Test" and "Apple Diagnostics." Linking me to Apple support and pointing out that "Apple Diagnostics" replaced "Apple Hardware Test" in mid-2013 (as the 2 current answers have done) does not answer my question.

  • 1
    Although I'm not sure this will work, it sounds like your install was messed up by the copying over of old data to your new disk. To fix this, I would open disk utility on startup, and reformat the entire SSD (deleting all previous versions of everything). Then go back and reinstall Mavericks. Like I said, I'm totally uncertain of whether this will work or not.
    – wrossmck
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 21:18
  • @Ross McKinley I suspect this is what I'm going to have to do. I'll let you know the results when I do.
    – Zach
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 13:13
  • From where are you getting a Apple Diagnostic firmware in the first place if your Mac didn't ship with that? Unless Apple ships a firmware update (or simply corrects the documentation to list what they shipped) what package are you hoping to run?
    – bmike
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 20:13
  • @bmike That's the crazy part. My mac definitely didn't ship with it, but I somehow installed it when trying to copy over my old drive.
    – Zach
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 21:12

4 Answers 4


The original AHT file is somewhat hidden.

The AHT is stuffed into an AHTxx.dmg file and found on the Recovery HD volume that is also hidden.

First you have to make the hidden partitions visible

To enable the see all partitions in Disk Utility (the Debug Menu)

defaults write com.apple.DiskUtility DUDebugMenuEnabled 1

In Disk utility now there will be a tab called Debug.

Use it to show hidden partition.

You will now see the Hidden partition called Recovery and EFI.

Mount the Recovery to see the files in finder and find the AHTxx.dmg

Delete it since it does not work anyway and it is a left over.

Now you can Disable the see all partitions in Disk utility (remove the Debug from the Tabs)

defaults write com.apple.DiskUtility DUDebugMenuEnabled 0

To Show all hidden files

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE && killall Finder

When done replace the TRUE with FALSE to hide hidden files.

Try the Diagnostic mode.

Since you do not have one anymore, the Internet version should come up automagicaly.

  • Thanks. I deleted /com.apple.recovery.boot/.diagnostics on my recovery partition and replaced it with the /com.apple.recovery.boot/.diagnostics folder from a friend's retina MPB (same model). It now works perfectly, thank you for helping me fix my problem.
    – Zach
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 15:39

So you didn't write this much in your original post but I am going out on a limb and gonna say that the AHT that boots doesn't work on your Retina MBP.

The only way to get the file back is reinstall the OS via internet recovery but if the /System/Library/CoreServices/.diagnostics folder is there then I would wager a small bet that internet recovery won't put Apple Diagnostics on the drive.

You can test this by deleting the current folder on your MacBook Pro and then trying internet recovery. OR (I'd first recommend this) you could start your computer into Internet Recovery and reinstall the OS on an external drive. Once the install is done just copy over the aforementioned .diagnostics folder and then move it onto your MacBook Pro's internal drive.

All the best and much fun ahead! (Please give internet recovery 1-2 hours depending on your internet connection and ethernet is highly encouraged)

  • You are correct, the AHT that boots does not work. I don't seem to have a /System/Library/CoreServices/.diagnostics folder... which is odd, because AHT does boot, but does not run (saying my hardware is not supported). I'll try copying that folder from a fresh install.
    – Zach
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 19:21
  • The folder is invisible but you can access it when you use shift + cmd + G and then you can go to the folder. I've got my eyes on that bounty so don't let me down ;)
    – Andrew U.
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 9:14
  • I've got my finder setup so invisible folders are visible. For future reference, the folder I need to delete (and replace) turned out to be on the MBP's recovery partition, under /com.apple.recovery.boot/.diagnostics.
    – Zach
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 15:41
  • Also, not to be pedantic, but my original post stated "When I try to run in, it fails, saying my hardware is not supported" in the original sentence-- I'm sorry if I wasn't clear.
    – Zach
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 19:50

You may want to look at the help provided here on identifying and downloading a new copy of AHT for your specific hardware.

Once you have AHT back in the .diagnostics folder (you may find you don't even have a .diagnostics folder now) you should be able to run AHT using the 'd' key on startup.

  • I'm actually looking to go the other way, and replace AHT with "Apple Diagnostics." I ended up copying it over from another machbook (same model and system). That's a really useful link though, I'll keep it around for reference for my older machines.
    – Zach
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 12:46

For me (according to this page http://support.apple.com/kb/PH11342) it sounds like Apple called the same feature "Apple Hardware Test" on Macs before mid-2013 and "Apple Diagnostics" after mid-2013. But I'm not sure on that. I really never heard the word "Apple Diagnostics" before I read your question.

  • This answer is almost identical to the previous one, and does not add any information to the discussion.
    – Zach
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 13:16
  • But it;s key to the whole matter,
    – Zo219
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 2:35

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