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I see that the instructions for booting into Recovery Mode is to press ⌘ CommandR after reboot https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314

How to start up from macOS Recovery Turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold these two keys: Command (⌘) and R. Need help? Release the keys when you see an Apple logo, spinning globe, or other startup screen.

I have tried those instructions repeatedly - and have not been able to get into Recovery Mode. I had been able to do so in the past - to do

  sudo csrutil enable

I now want to get out of SIP but can not because the Recovery Mode will not start.

Update Responding to @bmike 's comment . For the following screen - I have tried the following:

  • Press and hold ⌘ CommandR before it appeared [and until the normal boot/logon screen shows up]
  • Press and hold ⌘ CommandR before anything appears [and until the normal boot/logon screen shows up]
  • Press and release ⌘ CommandR repeatedly from after reboot

enter image description here

None of these affect the boot sequence: I end up in normal logon screen in normal boot mode.

Second update Here is the result of sudo diskutil list


$sudo diskutil list
Password:
/dev/disk0 (internal, physical):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *1.0 TB     disk0
   1:                        EFI EFI                     314.6 MB   disk0s1
   2:                 Apple_APFS Container disk1         1.0 TB     disk0s2

/dev/disk1 (synthesized):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      APFS Container Scheme -                      +1.0 TB     disk1
                                 Physical Store disk0s2
   1:                APFS Volume Macintosh HD            10.8 GB    disk1s1
   2:                APFS Volume Macintosh HD - Data     553.6 GB   disk1s2
   3:                APFS Volume Preboot                 81.7 MB    disk1s3
   4:                APFS Volume Recovery                535.6 MB   disk1s4
   5:                APFS Volume VM                      1.1 GB     disk1s5

This is a 2020 MacBook Pro.

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  • Which of the three screens do you see in step 2 of the linked article when you hold command and R? – bmike Nov 1 '20 at 14:09
  • We need to see your internal disk partitions / volumes. Boot normally and open Terminal. Issue the command "diskutil list" and copy / paste the results to your question. If you cannot boot, create a bootable installer USB for Catalina and boot with that by holding Option key. Then mount the internal disk, run a first aid in Disk Utility on the internal disk. Copy / Paste the diskutil info. Suspect recovery mode partition is damaged or missing. – James Brickley Nov 1 '20 at 15:03
  • @JamesBrickley Added the diskutil list: I had actually looked at it previously and it seems normal – WestCoastProjects Nov 1 '20 at 16:47
  • @bmike I updated the question. lmk is that the info you were requesting – WestCoastProjects Nov 1 '20 at 16:47
  • Which Mac (model and year) are you using? If you have a 2010 or later Mac, try Internet Recovery - press Cmd-Opt-R – Allan Nov 1 '20 at 16:51
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I would get a backup and not worry about the recovery partition until you have time for an erase install or some processes that can take an hour (or more if you don’t have the Catalina installer up to date and downloaded).

Your disk layout is generally good - no issues that are easy to diagnose and fix. In the mean time make sure all your data / backups are current. When you’re ready, you will want to get an external drive and erase the drive completely (not just erasing a volume, but complete erase per this page)

Many people will select Macintosh HD and erase it, rather than erasing the container, so be sure you follow the “How to erase your disk” part and not “How to erase a volume on your disk” portion.

Then run the installer to install on the blank drive - once that is done, you can hold the option key to test things boot, migrate data in from backup and make the call if and when you do the erase on the internal drive.


If you wanted to try a half measure, delete any old installers you have (including stand alone bootable installers) and get a copy of Catalina fresh from the App Store and run that installer one time. It might fix the built in recovery partition, but I really don’t like messing with things at this point. Yes, we could fix your one issue - but it shouldn’t have broken and what else might be broken as well that you don’t know about. Better to erase IMO.

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