I'm trying to clean install macOS 11.5.1 via a bootable USB. But I couldn't find the internal SSD through the onscreen installation steps. I searched Google, trying fixing this problem, and found this command: diskutil zerodisk force disk0. So I tried this in the command line. Now I realize I really shouldn't do that. I think after this, the partition map becomes corrupt. When later found and execute the diskutil apfs delteContainer disk0s2, it returned the error:

Couldn't read partition map.

Here are the result of the command: gpt -r show disk0 and diskutil list. I couldn't get the text to another computer, so it's an screenshot. Sorry for the inconvenience.

If more information is needed, please tell me.

disk0 and disk1 is the internal SSD. I don't know why there're two identifiers for it. disk2 is the bootable USB installer.

disk partition info

  • were you on macOS 11.5.1 before or are you upgrading? Do you have a backup? What Mac model is this?
    – X_841
    Jul 30, 2021 at 12:51
  • I was on macOS 11.4. Now all data on the internal SSD has been erased (backup not needed) but the installer can't find the internal SSD. I'm on 2013 model Macbook Pro.
    – jonah_w
    Jul 30, 2021 at 12:53
  • Well the output from diskutil list indicates that maybe the contents were erased but not the drive itself. Others will probably have more sophisticated methods, but if you boot into recovery mode and go to disk utility make sure to select "show all devices" and delete the top drive. From there you can start fresh.
    – X_841
    Jul 30, 2021 at 13:21
  • jonah_w: I feel silly asking this question. After booting from the USB, did you using the Disk Utility to erase the entire drive using a format of "APFS" and scheme of "GUID Partition Map", before proceeding to install macOS? Note: To see the entire drive in the Disk Utility, press the ⌘2 key combination. Jul 30, 2021 at 20:04
  • X_841: I think that did it. Thanks. I really hope "show all devices" is on by default. It could've save a lot of trouble, with less confusion.
    – jonah_w
    Jul 31, 2021 at 5:51

1 Answer 1


If you want to erase your internal ssd, and prepare it for reinstall, the right command is:

diskutil erasedisk apfs "Macintosh HD" disk0

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