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Downgrade from Yosemite beta to Mavericks

tl;dr Do not forget to restore the Mavericks recovery partition!

It’s safe to say that Apple’s pre-release of their upcoming Mac OS X 10.10 (codename: Yosemite) got me in an emotional roller coaster. I went through these phases:

Phase I: Excitement

Guess what happened soon after Apple’s special event in June 2014 where they announced that a beta version of Yosemite would be available for nerds like me. The upgrade went smooth and I was happy… at least first.

Phase II: Frustration

Unfortunately all the VPN connectivity did’t make it in the beta which made it pretty unusable for me. I don’t blame Apple for this since the beta tag should make it clear that thinks might break.

Luckily I did a backup with Carbon Copy Cloner a.k.a. CCC. before upgrading the system. The restore was no big deal: Just plug-in the external backup disk, boot from it and restore the whole beast. So far so good.

Phase III: Panic

After the restore followed the obligatory reboot. Very quickly the mac prompted a login screen which turned into a grey progress bar after I entered my password.

And here is the problem: The progress bar went straight to 50%… but then it got stuck.

I waited almost two weeks before I did a reset and tried another reboot (ok, the clock said it was just an hour but it definitely felt longer). In between I lost a lot of sweat and all my fingernails.

Unfortunately the reset didn’t change anything. Again… the f#!$ing progress bar (let’s just call it fancy progress bar of desperation).

Phase IV: Relief

Eventually I realized that the login screen still looked quite yosemite-ish. Hmm, but I did restore Mavericks, right?

The solution: I booted again from my backup disk and also restored the recovery partition from Mavericks via the CCC disk center.

One final reboot and my mac was fully restored to a workable state and smelled like butterflies and popcorn again. What a ride.

CCC saved my ass :-)

Thanks, Mike Bombich!

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