So to set the scene, I have a 250GB SSD and a 2TB SSD in my Mac Pro 2019. I wasn't using the 2TB SSD, so OS and files were all on 250GB which filled up rather rapidly, so I decided to use the 2TB drive for files only. I decided to try move my home folder to the 2TB SSD via the system settings...bad idea...dead OS.

So then I did Command + R to get into recovery mode and erased the OS drive. For some reason I couldn't get the 2TB drive to mount, so I restarted...

That went from bad to worse!...now I have that flashing folder icon.

I've tried:

  • Command + R (wireless)

  • Command + R (wired)

  • Command + R (different keyboard)

  • Command + option + R (wireless)

  • Command + option + R (wired)

  • Command + option + R (different keyboard)

  • Command + option + shift + R (wireless)

  • Command + option + shift + R (wired)

  • Command + option + shift + R (different keyboard)

  • Command + option + P + R (wireless)

  • Command + option + P + R (wired)

  • Command + option + P + R (different keyboard)

  • Booting from a Ventura Bootable USB...still nothing.

What on Earth do I do now?

  • 1
    Are you saying that Command R doesn't actually boot to Recovery anymore? Did you erase the ENTIRE SSD, rather than just the Data volume?
    – benwiggy
    Jul 27, 2023 at 12:22
  • 1
    What are the results of each of your tests? Unless you enabled boot from external devices, you're probably also stuck on this - support.apple.com/en-us/HT208198
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 27, 2023 at 12:26
  • @benwiggy Possibly the entire SSD. There was a recovery volume as well, but that appeared in the disk utility as a separate volume, so my assumption was that this was separate to the SSD itself (i.e. something built into the firmware, although I have not investigated this in depth) Jul 27, 2023 at 12:37
  • @Tetsujin I can't even get into the recovery console to be able to see what options are/aren't available, however I'm pretty sure that before this started, external boot was enabled. For reference, I've been able to boot and recover from USB before on this machine. Jul 27, 2023 at 12:38
  • 1
    “Recovery console”? When you boot Internet Recovery (4th-9th key combo in your question), you should download a minimal version of macOS GUI specifically for installation tasks. What are you seeing? It’s not clear from comments or the question.
    – Allan
    Jul 27, 2023 at 13:18

1 Answer 1


If you erased the entire SSD, then you will have deleted the Recovery Partition, and the Preboot volume.
"Don't do this."

Modern Macs also have security settings that prohibit booting from external volumes by default. https://support.apple.com/HT208198

It's unlikely that moving the home folder would cause a 'dead' OS. At worst, it would boot into a brand new user account.

If you don't have a second Mac, which you can connect to the Mac Pro and run Apple Configurator on, then you'll have to take it to an Apple Store or other authorised Apple repair shop.

They will also be able to determine whether there's an underlying fault that caused the dead OS.


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