StevenMichaud
Contributor
Contributor

Can't boot into recovery partition on macOS 11 (Big Sur)

Jump to solution

I've installed macOS 11 beta clients on a VMware Fusion 12.0.0 host (running on the latest macOS 10.15.7) in a couple of different ways. But in none of them have I ever been able to boot into the recovery partition. I follow the standard procedure (press Cmd-R as the virtual machine is restarting). But then I see a series of aborted attempts to launch the recovery app that lasts as long as I hold the Cmd-R keys. When I let the keys go, I get a "normal" boot.

I'm sure I can't be the only one who's seen this, but so far I haven't seen any bug reports. So here we go πŸ™‚

I've installed macOS 11 beta clients both as an upgrade from macOS 10.15.7 and directly (by dragging the "Install macOS Big Sur Beta" app onto the "Select the Installation Method" window). This bug happens with both kinds of client. Cmd-R does boot into the recovery partition when used from a macOS 11 beta installation on actual hardware. So I know this isn't a bug in macOS 11 itself, or not only a bug in macOS 11. I assume macOS 11 has changed how the recovery partition works, and Fusion hasn't yet caught up with these changes.

I did my initial client installations of macOS 11 using the Beta 6 (build 20A5364e) "Install macOS Big Sur Beta" app. Since then I've been upgrading them from within the client.

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
bfan
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Thanks for reporting the problem. It's a known issue, we are working on fixing now. 

View solution in original post

24 Replies
bfan
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Thanks for reporting the problem. It's a known issue, we are working on fixing now. 

View solution in original post

Steven_Michaud
Contributor
Contributor

This problem isn't fixed by Fusion 12.1.0, which I just installed.

I tried reinstalling VMWare tools, and even uninstalling it and reinstalling it. This made no difference.

Any idea when this is going to get fixed?

(Note: Thanks to weirdness during recent changes to communities.vmware.com, I was forced to choose a new "name" -- "Steven_Michaud" instead of "StevenMichaud". I'm still the same person, though.)

 

Peterqwerty
Contributor
Contributor

Yes please fix this

bernuli
Contributor
Contributor

Also would like to see a workaround or fix. 

AlessandroDN
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Do you have any ETA for the fix?

As of today, Fusion 12.1 and Big Sur 11.1 boot mode still doesn’t work.

Thanks.

nojkepop
Contributor
Contributor

Any update on this issue?

Challis2
Contributor
Contributor

It's been two months, is there a solution?

I am running Catalina 10.15.7 and Vmware 11.5.7. I am unable to boot into recover mode. 

Please update us.

0 Kudos
Challis2
Contributor
Contributor

"working on fixing now" 2+ months ago does not equal a "solution". Can you please update those of us with this ongoing, unacceptable issue?

0 Kudos
Steven_Michaud
Contributor
Contributor

I agree that this problem should no longer be considered resolved. It's been too long, and nobody's given us an ETA for when it will be fixed. I looked for a way to "unresolve" it, but I wasn't able to find one.

0 Kudos
chrisleat
Contributor
Contributor

OK... I think I managed to boot into recovery mode. It's not quick though.

  1. In VMWare 12 create a new hard disk of at least 12GB and attach to the guest macOS VM.
  2. Boot the macOS VM and format the new hard disk in the guest macOS VM as HFS+ (not apfs).
  3. Download the Install Big Sur application from the App Store.
  4. Create a bootable recovery disk using the instructions here on the new hard disk.
  5. Shutdown the guest macOS VM.
  6. From the VM settings -> Startup Disk -> Select the new hard disk from Step 1 and reboot

Steven_Michaud
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks! This works like a charm, at least for my purposes. While booted into the recovery partition I can use csrutil to turn SIP off or on, and my changes take effect once I reboot into the "original" partition. Once SIP is turned off, I can even turn it on partially -- for example csrutil enable --without kext. This turns SIP on except for its protection against loading non-signed third-party kernel extensions.

VMWare should still fix this bug. But waiting for the fix is now a lot less painful, at least for me.

0 Kudos
Steven_Michaud
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks! This works like a charm, at least for my purposes. I'm able to turn SIP off or on (using csrutil) while booted into the Recovery Partition. Then the changes take effect when I reboot into the "original" partition. Once SIP is turned off, I can even turn it back on partially -- for example by using csrutil enable --without kext, which turns on all of SIP except its protection against loading unsigned third-party kernel extensions.

VMWare should still fix this bug. But waiting for the fix is now a lot less painful, at least for me.

bernuli
Contributor
Contributor

Nice workaround!  Works in VMware Fusion 11.  I was going to try something like that but did not think disabling SIP would stick to the main VM.

Not expecting a fix for VMware Fusion 11, this workaround is fine.

But a fix for VMware Fusion 12 is needed if possible.

 

 

 

 

0 Kudos
wolfferine
Contributor
Contributor

Hi,

I just want to add my suggestion which (imho) is much easier. See screenshots below!

Boot VMware Fusion in to "Firmware Setup":

See "Power on to Firmware" in the menubar:

VMware Fusion Menu #1VMware Fusion Menu #1

Now choose  option "Virtual Machine", and go to "Power On To Firmware":

VMware Fusion Menu #2VMware Fusion Menu #2

This will boot you guest into Firmware Setup!:

Select "Setup"Select "Setup"

Select "Enter Setup"

Select Boot from a FileSelect Boot from a File

Select Boot from a File

Select Recovery,[…]Select Recovery,[…]

Select Recovery,[…]

Select <[…]>Select <[…]>

Select <[…]>

Select boot.efiSelect boot.efi

Select "boot.efi"

 

This should now boot your maCOS straight into the Recovery mode!

 

Regards 

0 Kudos
chrisleat
Contributor
Contributor

Which is a great solution but I think the boot to firmware option only exists on VMware Fusion Pro. 

0 Kudos
Steven_Michaud
Contributor
Contributor

Your "boot to firmware" steps don't work for me. I have Fusion Pro 12.1, which does have the "boot to firmware" option. But at the last step there isn't a "boot.efi" file. There are many files (far more than you list) with similar names (like "boot.efi.j214kap.im4m" and "bootbase.efi.j152fap.im4m"), but I can't boot from any of them.

I've installed macOS 11 (into a VM) directly, and as an upgrade from macOS 10.15. It's the same story for both VMs.

I assume you also upgraded your VM to macOS 11. What version of macOS did you start from? What was the first version of macOS that you installed in your VM?

mpericks
Contributor
Contributor

Doesn't work for me in VMWare 12 with a Big Sur VM. There is no boot.efi file. A long, long list of various files, none of which take me to recovery.

0 Kudos
Challis2
Contributor
Contributor

@bfan  you last posted on 10-15, can we please have an update? I appreciate the clever workarounds proposed by @chrisleat and @wolfferine however I am not clever enough to implement them and I don't think I should have to put in the time to try something that may or may not work for my configuration when this is a known issue for you. Please give us an update. 

bob999999991
Contributor
Contributor

How to enter macOS Recovery Mode on VMware Fusion on Big Sur:
- create a second dummy macOS VM
- drag and drop the macOS installer app into the πŸ§™β€β™‚οΈ
- immediately shutdown the new VM when it boots
- on the real VM go to: Virtual Machine > Settings > Add Device > Existing Hard Disk

- navigate to the dummy VM and select the disk 'Temporary Installation Source Disk.vmdk'
- select the 'Take this disk away from the virtual machine currently using it' option and click 'Open'
- delete the dummy VM

- on the real VM go to: Virtual Machine > Power On To Firmware
- boot from the Hard Drive ending in (2.0)

€€€

0 Kudos