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Just upgraded HDD to SSD Everything booted fine and recovery mode has opened

However before installing the SSD i've made it a bootable device with clean Install HighSierra app so i don't have to rely on my poor internet speed to reinstall everything.

Now when clicking the osx Install option in recovery mode I'm greeted with an error - that this device cannot be used to install OSX, i'm guessing it's because the system reads it as bootable device...

After this i went on and tried to erase the SSD in order to format it clean but it runs into error of PID 539 using the drive.

Tried force unmount commands in the Terminal that resulted a stubborn PID 0 not letting to do it after killing the 539 one.

Seems like the system needs at least one drive to be connected. Tried adding my previous HDD via SATA to USB cord but the system doesn't read it.

My questions are:

  1. Can i avoid disassembling to take out the ssd and format it?
  2. Can i use my MacBook Pro to connect to the iMac so that it can read the macbook volume as an additional one helping me erase the SSD without disassembling? If yes then how?
  3. What format should i format the SSD with considering i am planning to run osx High Sierra or Catalina & Windows 10 bootcamp.
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  • A mid-2011 iMac is capable of having an internal HDD, SSD and optical drive simultaneously. (This is not true for the education-only Late 2011 iMac.) Assuming you have a mid-2011 iMac, I would not have removed the HDD. Sep 24 at 8:06
  • Thanks for the input, however to avoid space management issues to retain both of the drives I've opted to completely remove the HDD since there isnt really a need to proceed with it further for me. With all the above stated my main issues still persist.
    – Wwvvr12
    Sep 24 at 8:32
  • 1
    If you have to take the Mac apart again, consider replacing the battery. Sep 24 at 10:06
  • Any particular reason to change the battery btw? I am planning to take it apart in the future for cpu upgrade.
    – Wwvvr12
    Sep 25 at 9:11
  • No particular reason. Sep 25 at 20:04

1 Answer 1

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  • Can I avoid disassembling to take out the SSD and format it?

    Yes. You could try booting to High Sierra Internet Recovery. If successful, you could use the Disk Utility perform operations (such as formatting) on the internal SSD. You may also be able to use another Mac to create a bootable installer for macOS High Sierra on a USB flash drive. You could boot from this flash drive and use the Disk Utility the same as booting from High Sierra Internet Recovery.

  • Can I use my MacBook Pro to connect to the iMac so that it can read the MacBook volume as an additional one helping me erase the SSD without disassembling? If yes, then how?

    The reason you can not unmount all the volumes on the internal SSD is because the Mac has booted from one of the volumes on this SSD. Enabling the Mac to read a MacBook Pro volume would not solve this problem.

  • What format should I format the SSD with considering I am planning to run macOS High Sierra or Catalina and Windows 10 Boot Camp.

    First of all, Apple does not support Catalina on 2011 iMacs. If you are going to install macOS High Sierra on a SSD, then the installation partition should be APFS formatted. (Although, I believe if the partition on a SSD is Mac OS Extended (Journaled) formatted, the format will automatically be converted to APFS, when installing macOS High Sierra.) Second of all, Apple does not support Windows 10 on 2011 iMacs. However, I have done a clean install of a BIOS booting 64 bit Windows 10 Pro and BIOS booting 64 bit Windows 11 Pro on an iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2011). The macOS High Sierra version of the Boot Camp Assistant was only used to download the Windows Support Software.


Additional Comments

  • I have found that when trying to connect a 3.5" SATA HDD to a Mac's USB port, an externally powered SATA to USB drive enclosure is required. This may be why your SATA to USB cord did not work.

  • Since the Install macOS High Sierra volume is mounted read only, you can clone this volume from the internal SSD to a flash drive, then boot from the flash drive to install High Sierra on the internal SSD.

    For example, one could insert a 16 GB drive and format the drive by selecting the Erase button after making the selections shown below.

    Next, one could clone the Install macOS High Sierra volume to the flash drive by selecting the Restore button after making the selections shown below.

    When finished, one could restart the Mac, boot from the flash drive and format the internal SSD by selecting the Erase button after making the selections shown below.

    Finally, one could install macOS High Sierra on the internal SSD.

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