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Install a new hard drive in a Mac

Install a new hard drive in a Mac

So, after some heart ache over at ARRRGGGGGGGHHHHH, my Mac won’t boot into anything! I thought the only thing left was to try another hard drive.

This is for High Sierra, I can’t guarantee that it will work for you. By doing this all your files will be deleted. If you can try and take a back up first.

I took the hard drive that was in the Mac out, I had just literally bought a new external hard drive that I am going to be using for back up purposes. The original hard drive in the Mac was a 500GB drive. The hard drive I am going to use for this check is a WD 2TB hard drive.

First of all, the hard drive I had came with an NTFS partition. We need to make this so it is accessible on the Mac. Two ways of doing this, all depends on what macOS you are using.

Normally, the ideal way of dealing with this is to use installation media, you can download a copy on the App Store, but if you don’t have that, don’t worry, I am going to use Internet recovery, hold down Command, alt/option and R when booting, when you hear the chime release.

For some reason, I couldn’t do this on the Mac that isn’t working, so I had to plug it into my personal machine. Open disk utility and select the drive.

Disk utilities – MacBook Pro

Click on erase. Give the drive a name, the format is Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and scheme is GUID partition map.

Erase – Mackbook Pro

Click on erase.

I still couldn’t get the thing to install. I was getting the error:

you may not install to this volume because the computer is missing a firmware partition

This is what it looked like:

MacBook – Firmware issue

So I went back to the macOS utilities and decided to try and install it using the time machine.

macOS utilities

Select the time machine:

Restore Time Machine

Then the backup:

Time Machine Restore Point

Select the target drive, in this case Paddy:

Time Machine – Target Drive

The restore process will start

Time Machine – restore

After 6 hours, I tried to boot, nothing.

Hmmm, I put the original drive back in, initially it wouldn’t boot. So I thought I would try something different. I held down the alt/option button down and selected the Macintosh HD, this time I got this.

A surprise development with with the original hard drive.

I selected United Kingdom as the location.

Then the keyboard layout:

Select Keyboard

Select my network and stick the password in.

I now get:

macOS installation

For now, I’m not going to transfer any information.

Sign in with your Apple ID:

iCloud login

You’ll be logged in, for now, I’m not going to enable two factor authentication. Click continue:

Two factor authentication one

I decided not to upgrade to two factor authentication.

Two factor authentication two

Agree to the terms and conditions.

Install T&Cs

Now we need create an account, this case admin

Install T&Cs agree

The account will be created and iCloud will be set up.

Create account

I don’t want to set up the keychain yet

iCloud keychain

When you get to express set up, continue.

Install, Express set up

I don’t want the files on the Mac in the iCloud, continue

Disk encryption

I don’t want to set encryption up yet, continue. The Mac will now set up.

Eventually it will reboot. But it won’t boot, still. So I forced reboot holding the alt/option button down and select the hard drive.

It still gets stuck on the Apple screen and shuts down.

To be continued….

Arrrggggggghhhhh, my Mac won’t boot, into anything

Arrrggggggghhhhh, my Mac won’t boot, into anything

Well, a bit of a fib, it’s not my Mac, it’s someone else’s. He’s had several issues with the same machine over the last year or so, mainly with GPU AMD failure.

So, what did I do to fix it? It was a long winded process. Initially I thought the hard drive or the motherboard had failed. Basically when I booted the machine up it just went to a white screen.

WARNING – these worked for me, they may not work for you. The only way this will work fully, your Time Machine is needed. The author of will not be held liable for loss of data or broken machines. Do not perform these tasks if you are a novice.

Initially, the GPU AMD had failed again, so I followed the instructions on GPU AMD failure – method 1. The machine wouldn’t boot into Verbose, safe or recovery mode. I had a few issues with the single user mode, but finally managed to get in. It didn’t look normal, but it did the job. In this instance when I typed in:

nvram fa4ce28d-b62f-4c99-9cc3-6815686e30f9:gpu-power-prefs=%01%00%00%00

When I got to the = part, it decided to process the command that I hadn’t finished writing yet. I hit enter and I was able to write the full command in without issue.

I was then able to turn verbose on.

Type in reboot. This time I was able to get the Apple symbol:

MacBook Pro with Apple symbol

But it failed, it just shut down.

I thought is it a hardware issue. I went into diagnostic mode and did a full test. To get into diagnostic mode when you turn the machine on hold down the D key. When running the diagnostic it will look something like this:

MacBook Pro, diagnostic screen

As you can see with this, the screen is not entirely clear, that was due to teh GPU AMD failure, again.

So, what other options did I have? It just wouldn’t boot.

I decided to hold down the Alt/Option key on the keyboard when booting. This allows me to select the volume I want to boot into:

MacBook Pro – volume selector

I selected the hard drive and got the error:

MacBook Pro – error with update

Although this may not look good, it is fantastic news. It actually tells you what the issue is. This shows the update of the Mac was corrupt.

Two ways to resolve this, if you search for MacOS update download, you can find the official Apple image. You need the combo update.

If you download it on an Linux or Windows machine you will need to convert the image to an ISO. You can do this using dmg2img. You can then burn the image to either a USB or DVD.

In theory, you should be able reinstall the MacOS update from the disk. But for some bizarre reason when I went to the select volume screen it didn’t show the USB drive. When I put a DVD into the drive it kept getting spit out.

I was running out of ideas. What else could I try?

I plugged the time machine into the machine. I went into the select volume, voila, I could see the time machine:

MacBook Pro – volume selection – time machine

I selected the time machine, eventually I got:

MacBook Pro – time machine

In my case, I selected English, then continue. I then got this familiar screen:

MacBook Pro – macOS utilities

I could do several things here, if needed I could install a new version of the MacOS, but I wanted to restore it. So I selected the Restore from Time Machine Backup, next I got:

MacBook Pro – Restore from Time Machine

Click on continue. I got:

MacBook Pro – Select a Restore Source

Select the back up source, in this instance, Back up.

Click on continue and select the time machine back up you want to restore the machine to:

Click on continue, then select the destination:

MacBook Pro – time machine – Select a Destination

Finally, click on restore.

The time machine will restore the machine:

MacBook Pro – Restoring

It will start to erase and prepare to restore from the time machine.

MacBook Pro – Erase and Prepare

Once it has done all that, it will start to restore. With this restoration, it took close to four hours, this is what it will look like:

MacBook Pro – Restoring

Eventually, the restore will come to an end:

MacBook Pro – Finishing restore

The machine will automatically reboot. But, it still wouldn’t boot. It just shut down again.

I decided to try and boot into Safe Mode, to boot into Safe Mode, hold down the shift key when you first turn it on until you hear the chime. It booted.

MacBook Pro – after restore in safe mode.

I decided to boot the machine into normal mode. It still failed to boot correctly. So back into Safe Mode.

I tried to reset the NVRAM, you do this my holding down the Command, Option/Alt key and P and R simultaneously. Release when you hear the chime.

In this case, still no look. The next thing to try is to reset the SMC.

To reset the SMC, hold down Shift, Option/Alt, Command and the Power button simultaneously, make sure that your power supply is plugged in.

In this case, it still didn’t fix the thing. It just went to white then rebooted.

I have to say, now, I am really scratching my head. What’s wrong?

I tried to back into safe mode, no luck. I had to go back to the start and set the power preferences for the AMD GPU.

Tried to reboot in normal mode. I just get the Apple logo.

MacBook Pro stuck on Apple screen

I tried again to get into safe mode, this time it worked.

With this machine I had created an admin account the last time I did some work on it. I logged in, opened disk utility.

Clicked on first aid, then continue.

Reboot to see if it’s work……. no, still no good. I thought I would even try and to a full reset on NVRAM, to do this you hold down Command, Option/Alt key and P and R simultaneously and wait until you have heard three chimes. But this still didn’t fix the damn thing!

This is getting serious. What else could it be? I thought what the hell, why not go back to basics, don’t restore the machine, do a complete reinstallation of the macOS. Plug in your time machine, hold the alt key and select the time machine volume as explained above. When you see this select reinstall macOS.

So it went through the install process, reboot, and it booted into normal more, woohooo….. but the trackpad wasn’t working correctly.

Basically, when you move the mouse it’s fine. But when you try and click, nothing. To resolve this minor issue I went into settings then accessibility, disabled the mouse then enabled it again. It worked.

Reboot to make sure everything is working, it won’t boot again, arrrggghhhhh.

There must be something that is conflicting with the boot. But what?

First thing I checked, is the hard drive connected correctly? Checked that tried to boot, no nothing. I found some software called EtreCheck.

EtreCheck MacBook Pro

But nothing obvious when I get the report.

This is getting serious. My next thought is to format the hard drive and do a clean install. Plug in the time machine disk. When you start the machine hold down the command button until you hear the chime. Once booted head over to disk utility, erase Macintosh HD.

MacBook Pro – disk utility

Once done, close the disk utility and start the reinstall:

macOS utilities – MacBook Pro

You will get:

MacBook Pro – first install screen.

Go through the install process. In this instance I chose to migrate the information from the time machine.

After a few hours it was ready. Let’s boot. I won’t swear on here, but a few choice words came to mind, it still didn’t fscking boot!!!! But it did boot into safe mode.

To be continued…

Head over to install macOS on a new hard drive.

Change directory and folder permissions on mass

Change directory and folder permissions on mass

Recently, I was doing some work on the on a MediaWiki installation. For some reason I had all the permissions set up wrong.

Obviously, MediaWiki has thousands of files to change.

So first of all, in the shell, I ran the command from public_html directory:

find -xtype f |xargs chmod 644

That changed the the files. I then ran the following command from the public_html director:

find -xtype d | xargs   chmod 755

MacBook Pro GPU AMD Failure Method 3

MacBook Pro GPU AMD Failure Method 3

Who said Macs just work? So this is the third time a friends Mac has failed, and again, it is the GPU AMD. This time it wouldn’t boot, and it wouldn’t boot into recovery or disk selection. So what I had to do was a mix of method one and two.

WARNING – these worked for me, they may not work for you, ensure you take a full back up before performing any of these tasks, the read only disk image will be faster, but the read-write is better, it still took me two days to perform a backup for a 500GB disk. If your Time Machine is available, use that. The author of will not be held liable for loss of data or broken machines. Do not perform these tasks if you are a novice.

So first, I went into single user mode and followed the instructions over here.

I rebooted, but I still couldn’t get it to boot, it just got so far and then rebooted. I tried to start ArchLinux as detailed in method 2, but no go. So I decided to go into recovery mode.

Go to Utilities and open terminal and performed the second part of method 2.

Once in recovery mode I opened the terminal:

If you have more than one partition run the following lines, if you only have one partition you can skip this bit:

diskutil cs list (find UUID for drive)

diskutil coreStorage unlockVolume UUID

The UUID is the logical volume.

Now, we all need to do the following, run the command:

cd /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD

Now, we need to remove the AMD Kexts, first create a directory where we can stick them on the off chance you need them in the future using the line:

mkdir AMD_Kexts_BU

Now, lets move those AMD Kexts:

mv System/Library/Extensions/AMD*.* AMD_Kexts_BU/

then type in reboot:


In theory, if you have done everything correctly, you should now have a working MacBook Pro.

BUT, please have in mind, this is not a permanent fix. When you upgrade or if you need to reset the SMC or NVRAM you will get the same error and you will need to perform the tasks above again.

Resetting Windows 10 to factory reset.

Resetting Windows 10 to factory reset.

So, my Dad got a second hand laptop, it was Windows 10 one. It was an Acer one.

The previous owner hadn’t reset the machine, so I was given the job of sorting it out for him.

So the first thing I needed to do was to get into the restore screen, when booting up on the Acer screen I pressed Alt and F10. This sent me to the restore.

I was given the option of doing a complete restore or a restore, but keeping the files and software. I opted for a complete restore. This took a few hours so I left it overnight.

Finally I was able to install Windows 10 as if it was a brand new computer. My final task is more cosmetic, but the machine is filthy, so will give it a good physical clean.

Customizing Cheeky Radio Pro

Customizing Cheeky Radio Pro

So, you have downloaded Cheeky Radio Pro, you have tested it and it works. Now it’s time to customize the App for your needs.

Thankfully, most of the hard work has been taken care of, you just need get your stream(s), change the images and the links to your station App for news and your website.

First of all, you may need to download the Apple design resources. I am using GIMP, hence I needed to download the PSD files.

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Opening an iOS app from another iOS app.

Opening an iOS app from another iOS app.

In this example, I am going to create a link from one iOS app, in this example, I am going to open the Cheeky News App with Cheeky Radio Pro.

First, open the Cheeky News app in Xcode:

Open the info.plist for the app:

Right click and add a new row and select URL types:

Over the Item 0, click on the + and select URL schemes:

In the third column, give the app a unique name, in this case CheekyNews.

Run the app.

In the app you are going to link from, the link you will use is CheekyNews//

In this example, Cheeky Radio Pro this goes in the PopUpMenuViewController.swift file:

The link in this example is called by:

@IBAction func NewsButton(_ sender: UIButton) {

        if let url = URL(string: “CheekyNews://”) {




Run the app and make sure it works. Job done. Go and get a coffee, you deserve it.