I have a Mac Mini with a Fusion Drive. There are two instances of macOS installed on it.

One (just upgarded to 10.13) is installed on an encrypted CoreStorage logical volume that spans the SSD and part of the HDD, and the other one (10.11) is installed on the rest of the HDD:

~> diskutil list
/dev/disk0 (internal, physical):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *121.3 GB   disk0
   1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk0s1
   2:          Apple_CoreStorage Macintosh HD            121.0 GB   disk0s2
   3:                 Apple_Boot Boot OS X               134.2 MB   disk0s3

/dev/disk1 (internal, physical):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *1.0 TB     disk1
   1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk1s1
   2:          Apple_CoreStorage Macintosh HD            396.9 GB   disk1s2
   3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.1 MB   disk1s3
   4:                  Apple_HFS Macintosh HD            601.8 GB   disk1s4
   5:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk1s5

/dev/disk2 (internal, virtual):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:                  Apple_HFS XYZ                    +512.0 GB   disk2
                                 Logical Volume on disk0s2, disk1s2
                                 Unlocked Encrypted Fusion Drive

As you can there are also two recovery partitions. One holds a 10.11 recovery and the other one holds a 10.13 recovery:

~> diskutil mount disk1s3
Volume Recovery HD on disk1s3 mounted

~> grep ProductVersion -a2 /Volumes/Recovery\ HD/com.apple.recovery.boot/SystemVersion.plist

~> hdiutil mount /Volumes/Recovery\ HD/com.apple.recovery.boot/BaseSystem.dmg
/dev/disk3              GUID_partition_scheme
/dev/disk3s1            Apple_HFS                       /Volumes/OS X Base System

~> grep ProductVersion -a2 /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/System/Library/CoreServices/SystemVersion.plist

~> diskutil mount disk1s5
Volume Recovery HD on disk1s5 mounted

~> grep ProductVersion -a2 /Volumes/Recovery\ HD\ 1/com.apple.recovery.boot/SystemVersion.plist

~> hdiutil mount /Volumes/Recovery\ HD\ 1/com.apple.recovery.boot/BaseSystem.dmg
/dev/disk4              GUID_partition_scheme
/dev/disk4s1            Apple_HFS                       /Volumes/OS X Base System 1

~> grep ProductVersion -a2 /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System\ 1/System/Library/CoreServices/SystemVersion.plist

Now the thing is that I want to boot into the 10.13 recovery, but when I hold the Option key during boot I get only 3 options: XYZ, Macintosh HD and Recovery 10.11.

Is it even possible?


I have noticed when macOS 10.13 is installed in a APFS volume, the recovery partition does not appear on the Startup Manager menu. I happened to have rEFInd installed on my Mac and I found the the missing recovery partition appeared on the rEFInd menu. Although, I do not know for certain, I assume the same would work for Core Storage.

So if you have rEFInd properly installed in a EFI partition, you may be able to use the steps given below to boot your missing recovery partition.

  1. Boot to the Startup Manager. Basically, hold down the option key at startup.

  2. From the Startup Manger, select to boot rEFInd.

  3. From rEFInd, select to boot macOS 10.13 recovery.

What I would do is create a USB flash drive bootable version of rEFInd. Boot from the flash drive and see if your missing recovery partition is accessible. If so, let me know and I will add a how to properly setup rEFInd on your internal drive to appear in the Startup Manager.

Here are the current steps to create the flash drive. I assume downloads go to the ~/Downloads folder. Also, I assume the the USB flash drive is /dev/disk1.

  1. Click here to download the the files.

  2. Execute the following commands in a Terminal application window.

    cd  ~/Downloads/refind-flashdrive-0.11.2
    diskutil  unmountdisk  disk1
    sudo  dd  if=refind-flashdrive-0.11.2.img  of=/dev/disk1

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