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Accidentally deleted the Macintosh HD volume when resetting Mac

I inadvertently deleted the main Macintosh HD volume using the ( - ) icon when trying to reset my MacBook Pro 2016. Now, it boots to a folder with a question mark. I also can't reinstall macOS from Recovery Mode and the startup disk shows as "Update." How can I get my Mac running again?

Best Answered by

iBoysoft author Jenny Zeng

Jenny Zeng

Answered on Monday, February 19, 2024

The false deletion of the Macintosh HD volume has messed up your Mac's drive structure. You need to format the startup disk properly to correct the structure before reinstalling macOS. Take these steps:

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Press the power button, then immediately press and hold Option + Command + R.
  3. Release the keys when you see the spinning globe.
  4. Open Disk Utility.
  5. Click View > Show All Devices.
  6. Select the physical disk of your internal hard drive. (Usually labeled similarly to Apple SSD SM0612L.)
  7. Click Erase.
  8. Name it Macintosh HD.
  9. Choose APFS as the format.
  10. Set GUID Partition Map as the scheme.
  11. Click Erase.
  12. Close Disk Utility and reinstall macOS.

After the macOS installation finishes, your Mac will be up and running again.

Tips: If you need to recover data on the deleted Macintosh HD volume, you can use data recovery software in Recovery Mode.

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