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A friend's MacBook (mid 2009 model) was stuck at the boot screen and I have discovered that the HDD was failing, so I've replaced the failing regular 320GB HDD with a Samsung 860 evo 500GB SSD.

I cloned the disk with ddrescue and before reinstalling via the recovery partition, I aligned the partitions (EFI, Macintosh HD and Recovery HD) with GParted.

Something went wrong, and when reinstalling El Capitan was complaining that

some features of macOS are not supported for the disk [...] you can't use FileVault, set up a firmware password, or use Disk Utility to repair the disk

I didn't want to give back the MacBook with this problem, so I tried different ways to align the partitions. I even installed El Capitan by using a removable USB stick so I could format the SSD, but the newly created partitions were again not MB aligned.

My last attempt was by using the trial version of the Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac, but it failed. It seems that the partitions couldn't be moved and enlarged (so after the recovery partition I still have ~200GB of unallocated space that I can't use).

Any clues on how could I align the partitions and finally return the Mac to my friend?

Note that I have a backup of all the data, so I can format again the SSD. I would just like to preserve/recreate the Recovery partition in the process. And, obviously, allocate all the SSD's space.

  • If you do have copies of the data, then in the recovery partition wipe the whole disk (not the partition). Then run the macOS installer, which will repair the recovery partition. Finally, clone the data back onto Macintosh HD. Newer Macs have built in recovery partitions that work over the internet for emergencies, I'm unsure how it works on computers that aren't like this. – Ezekiel Elin Jul 12 '18 at 21:38
  • No, I don't have Internet Recovery, the Mac is too old, but this isn't the problem. The recovery partition is present and it works. If I align the partitions with GParted, it doesn't work anymore. Paragon doesn't work either. If I wipe the disk and recreate the partition with the MacOS installer, the installer won't align the partitions properly. I want to align the partitions in a proper manner for an SSD, but everything that I've tried so far failed miserably :D – user1527576 Jul 12 '18 at 21:48
  • you're probably getting the "you can't use these features with this disk error" because it's not an apple disk – theuhdirector Jul 12 '18 at 22:58
  • After that message I cloned again the original disk image on the ssd and reinstalled without touchong the alignment. I didn't got the message, but my partitions are still misaligned. Do you know how to align them and enlarge the main partition? – user1527576 Jul 13 '18 at 4:40
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So, I've solved my problem in a destructive way: I've connected the SSD to my Linux machine, launched GParted, deleted the Macintosh HD and the recovery partition and created a new Macintosh HD partition, aligning it to the MiB.

After that I've put the SSD back in the macbook, launched disk utility and formatted the partition as HFS+ journaled, then launched the installer from an USB stick and reinstalled MacOS.

The installer had recreated the Recovery partition while keeping the Macintosh HD alignment to the MiB.

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