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MacBook Pro early 2011 model with El Capitan (10.11.1 - edit - just noticed there's an update. Not sure if relevant but I'm running it now). I can boot fine into OS X and log in. But I'm trying to boot into Recovery Mode (Apple Key + R on boot) but it always gives me the Prohibited symbol. I can boot into Internet Recovery (Apple Key + Options + R) just fine. I can open Disk Utility while logged in with my user, so I ran the First Aid on the disk with no problems found.

The only thing I can see an issue with is there is an old bootcamp partition on the drive. I didn't put it there, it's just always been there but I've never used it.

The reason I want to boot into Recovery Mode so I can restore my current HDD to an SSD I will connect via USB then swap them out. I just did this on my other (exact model) Macbook yesterday without a problem.

  • It's not my mac but a friends (married couple, they each have one). The wife's had the bootcamp partition. I was just making sure there was enough information in the post to help someone who wanted to contribute and actually help with my issue. – drpcken Jan 15 '16 at 21:47
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This is exactly the type of convoluted situation that calls for having a 3rd party software cloning utility in your toolset. If you need to transfer Apps, system settings & one or more user profiles to the replacement SSD then using a cloning tool would be ideal. It would enable you to clone just the boot partition to the SSD after which you would need to reinstall the OS from an internet restore session so as to get a functional local restore partition on the SSD as well. This can be done without harming the data that already exists on the drive.

If you want to reuse the original drive for backups as an example, then once you can successfully boot from the SSD you can reconnect the old drive & use Disk Utility to repartition it so you have access to its entire storage volume.

  • I was about to answer my own question, but you hinted on what I did to fix it myself. I actually booted into Internet Recovery. It allowed me to use Disk Utility, then I was able to successfully restore the HDD to the SDD. Booted up SSD, enabled trim, works great. Thanks so much! – drpcken Jan 18 '16 at 17:43

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