#20 Allow booting to RAID volumes


I installed refit 0.8 on a Mac Pro RAID 0 volume with
OSX 10.4.7. After running enable.sh and rebooting,
nothing changed. It still boots staright into the RAID
0 Volume without first displaying the refit menu.

It would be great if this could be fixed!



  • Matthew Geier
    Matthew Geier

    Logged In: YES
    Originator: NO

    Me too :-)
    rEFIt doesn't recognise the RAID paritions - unknown type.

    rEFIt does work if you boot it off CD , which is how I got it to say 'unknown partition type'.

  • Logged In: YES
    Originator: NO

    I guess the 'unknown partition type' message you're referring to is from the "Partitioning Tool" a.k.a. gptsync. I recently added support for the Apple RAID GPT type to gptsync, that will be in the next release.

    However, it's not clear to me at this point how booting Mac OS X from a RAID volume works. There may be an additional small non-RAID boot volume that's usually hidden. If so, rEFIt should be installed on that volume instead, or on the (also hidden) EFI System Partition. Unfortunately, I don't have access to a Mac Pro with internal RAID, so automatic support for this scenario will have to wait.

    • labels: --> rEFIt Functional
    • milestone: --> rEFIt 1.0 (Next Major Release)
    • priority: 5 --> 3
  • Brendan

    I am having the same problem. There is a linux box I installed that I can't get to.

    All you need to set up a RAID system on a mac is an external drive. You can map the external drive with your own drive to make a mirrored raid system. You will have to back up your information before you do this (move it onto a third drive) as it will be erased.

    in .12 This is still an issue. It says it installs, but it does not do anything on startup. Same boot process.

  • I'm using .13 here on a Mac Pro with two drives on RAID 0, and I have the same problem. I even tried to install refit using the manual method. No errors are showed, but once I restart, I can't see the refit menu. And pressing Alt just brings me the Apple's boot device selector menu. Is there any way to make it work?

  • This is the output of the Partition Inspector tool:

    *** Report for internal hard disk ***

    Current GPT partition table:
    # Start LBA End LBA Type
    1 40 409639 EFI System (FAT)
    2 409640 976510983 Mac OS X HFS+

    Current MBR partition table:
    # A Start LBA End LBA Type
    1 1 976773167 ee EFI Protective

    MBR contents:
    Boot Code: None

    Partition at LBA 40:
    Boot Code: None (Non-system disk message)
    File System: FAT32
    Listed in GPT as partition 1, type EFI System (FAT)

    Partition at LBA 409640:
    Boot Code: None
    File System: HFS Extended (HFS+)
    Listed in GPT as partition 2, type Mac OS X HFS+

  • Comment has been marked as spam. 

    You can see all pending comments posted by this user  here


    Hello Chris,

    I know that this topic is inactive since 2007, but I have a Mac Pro with a software RAID here. I'd be glad to help you out if you need a tester or system infos.

    I would use rEFIt to boot to a third HDD that as Windows. Pressing Alt-options on each boot-up is a pain.

  • Joe van Tunen
    Joe van Tunen

    RAID partitions cannot be booted directly. You cannot boot Mac OS X or rEFIt or whatever from the RAID partition.

    Use "diskutil list" command to see your partitions.

    RAID partitions have type Apple_RAID and no name. Each disk with a RAID partition also has a partition of type Apple_Boot with name Boot OS X. The Apple_Boot partitions are HFS partitions that have efi boot files that know how to boot Mac OS X from the RAID partition. Booting from any of the Boot OS X partitions will boot the same version of Mac OS X.

    Since you can't boot rEFIt from the RAID partition, you need to install it to another partition. The EFI partition would work but you have to manually make it visible in the Finder which is a hassle. It also uses a FAT file system which is for some unknown reason much slower at booting rEFIt.

    I would recommend creating a small (100 MB) HFS+ partition and manually installing rEFIt to that. Copy the efi folder that contains rEFIt to the new partition, then use the bless command to bless the refit.efi file that is on the new partition also also to set it as the default boot. See the example bless command in either the enable-always.sh file in /efi/refit/ or the rEFItBlesser file in /Library/StartupItems/rEFItBlesser.

    If you want to keep the features of the rEFItBlesser startup item, then you'll also have to edit rEFItBlesser so that it knows to use the new MOUNTPOINT where rEFIt is now located.

    I think rEFIt doesn't recognize Apple_Boot partitions. In that case you can try http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/. Install it manually like rEFIt. You can install it to another small 100 MB partition. You can also make rEFItBlesser use rEFInd instead of rEFIt.

    Another good thing about installing rEFIt or rEFInd to a different partition than OS X is that they will now appear in the Mac's Startup Manager (when you hold the option key down). They will only appear if they were properly blessed. Every EFI program that is blessed should appear in the Startup Manager. Only one EFI program per partition can be blessed.

    I created separate partitions for rEFIt, rEFInd, and the EFI Shell, copies the files to each, then blessed them. They all appear in the Startup Manager.

    I modified rEFItBlesser to add logging to a file (/Users/Shared/rEFItBlesser.log) and to work with different EFI files on different partitions which might not be mounted at shutdown (such as the EFI partition or partitions on external disks). It's at http://members.shaw.ca/joevt/rEFItBlesser. Note that rEFItBlesser doesn't work unless the permissions are correct.