Home > How to Tips

What to Do When No Disk Showing to Install macOS

Updated on Friday, June 14, 2024

iBoysoft author Amanda Wong

Written by

Amanda Wong
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee

English Français Deutsch やまと Español Português

Summary: You are asked to select the disk where to install macOS during the installation process, however, it is blank or not showing. iBoysoft provides proven methods in this post to fix no disk showing to reinstall macOS. You can use iBoysoft Data Recovery to save your files from not showing disks on Mac.

select the disk where to install macos blank

Mac users may want to update to the latest macOS Ventura for better performance, reinstall macOS to fix system errors, downgrade macOS for incompatibility issues, etc. During installation, it guides you to a "Select the disk where to install macOS" screen.

Generally, the internal drive and connected external drive should appear and you need to select the desired disk you want to install macOS onto it, then follow the onscreen guide to complete the installation. Unexpectedly, select the disk where to install macOS blank, no disk appears on the screen.

select the disk where to install macos blank

To continue to install macOS, you need to fix the select disk where to install macOS not showing issue, stay tuned to know more! 

Share the post about fixing the select disk error on your social media!


Why select the disk where to install macOS blank

The "select the disk where to install macOS" blank issue may occur to the virtual machine, physical MacBook, internal disk, and external disk. Thus the triggers behind the problem vary from these aspects, all of them are suspicious.

To be specific, when you encounter the no disk showing to install macOS error, the causes could be a problematic virtual machine, corruption on the hard drive, unpartitioned Apple SSD, incorrect file format, defective USB cable for external HDD, etc.

Share this informative post with more people!


Proven fixes for no disk showing to install macOS

It is annoying to see "Select the disk where to install macOS" blank, the internal drives as well as the external drives don't appear, no disk to select, let alone install macOS to the target volume. Therefore, we conclude some proven methods to fix the select the disk where to install macOS not showing issue. Apply them one by one until the problem gets solved.

Check connection for external drive

When the connected external disks don't show up on the select disk window, you should first check whether the drive is plugged correctly. The involved parts such as the USB port, the USB cable, and the hub all should be in good condition, otherwise, the external hard drive not showing up on Mac

external drive mac

Check the file format of the drive

The incorrect file format of the target volume makes it compatible with the installed macOS, and thus it won't show up to let you select. To make sure whether the incompatibility is the culprit, you can check the info in Disk Utility, macOS' built-in disk management tool.

  1. Open Disk Utility from Finder > Applications > Utilities.
  2. Click the View button and select Show All Devices.
  3. Select the desired volume where you want to install macOS from the left list.
  4. Check the info including the partition map and file system in the right column.

check disk file format

To install macOS onto a drive, the partition scheme should be GUID Partition Map and the file system should be Mac OS Extended for macOS Sierra and earlier, or APFS for macOS High Sierra and later. Thus, if the internal drive is in other formats such as FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, etc., it can't be used to install macOS. You can change a drive or format the drive for Mac.

Repair the drive with Disk Utility

Once you encounter drive-related errors on Mac, you can try Disk Utility's First Aid feature to check and repair the drive. Sometimes, there is corruption, bad sectors, or other errors on volumes, causing them not to show up when it asks to select a disk to install macOS. 

  1. Reboot Mac into macOS Recovery Mode.
  2. Select Disk Utility from the Utilities screen.
  3. Tap the View button > Show All Devices.
  4. Choose the unshown volumes where you want to install macOS.
  5. Click the First Aid bottom on Disk Utility's toolbar.
  6. Click Run when asked to confirm the operation.
  7. Click Continue.
  8. Try to install macOS again.

first aid disk in recovery mode

Create a partition under the drive

Some Mac users found that there is no volume under the internal physical disk or the AppkeAPFSMedia is uninitialized when they check the drive info in Disk Utility. Such a situation could also occur on an external drive. If so, partitioning the hard drive on Mac could make it available to install macOS.

  1. Head to the Disk Utility from macOS Recovery Mode.
  2. Click View > Show All Devices to display all drives on the left.
  3. Select the drive and choose Partition.
  4. Choose the partition scheme as GUID Partition Map, and select the file system as Mac OS Extended/APFS.
  5. Follow the onscreen guide to complete the partitioning.

Reformat the problematic drive

To fix the incompatibility between the drive format and the macOS installer, you will need to format the disk. Besides, if some severe errors cannot be repaired by Disk Utility's First Aid, you can also try reformatting to eliminate all logical errors on the drive.

If you have important files stored on the drive, you'd better back up them with Time Machine so that you can restore them later. If any data loss on the drive, you can try iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac to restore them back before you proceed to reformat it, erasing all the contents.

  1. Enter macOS Recovery Mode and access Disk Utility.
  2. Click View > Show All Devices.
  3. Select the desired drive and click Erase in the toolbar.
  4. Similarly, select GUID partition map and Mac OS Extended/APFS.
  5. Click Erase to start reformatting.
  6. Wait for the process to complete.

If any method helps to fix select the volume where to install macOS blank, share it!


Final words

Perhaps the drive is physically damaged and can not be detected by the system so it doesn't appear on the "Select the volume where to install macOS" screen. Then, you can send it to a local repair for further help or consider a replacement.