How to Reinstall macOS if a Preboot Volume Cannot Be Created

The latest versions of macOS are extremely reliable and efficient, which are the main prerequisites for their widespread adoption. Nonetheless, sometimes it might be necessary to reinstall a macOS as a means of troubleshooting some fundamental performance issues or simply preparing a Mac for resale. In such cases, the reinstallation can be performed from a hidden recovery partition, which is automatically created by the system. Unfortunately, after trying to reinstall a macOS, some users discover that the reinstallation process is interrupted by the frustrating message informing them that a preboot volume for APFS install cannot be created. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the Internet Recovery Mode is also inaccessible. Instead of installing the equivalent of the factory-preloaded version of OS, their Mac shows a user the error code—3403F. Furthermore, many Mac owners complain that the members of the Apple Support Team are not capable of resolving the issue, which seems to be extremely persistent. The article details how to approach the reinstallation process in the unfortunate scenario described above.

What Should Be Done?

It is absolutely essential to start by backing up the Mac. It can be done with the help of Time Machine or the Disk Utility. After ensuring that the important data won’t be lost during the reinstallation, it is necessary to completely delete the drive. The process can be broken into seven steps:

  1. Turn off the Mac;
  2. Launch it while holding the Command + R key combination;
  3. Open the Finder and proceed to the Applications;
  4. In the Applications folder, locate and open the Disk Utility;
  5. Select all partitions except the one named macOS Recovery Drive;
  6. Click on the Erase button;
  7. After the partitions are erased, click the Done
erase mac disk

Upon removing the partitions from the Mac, reboot it while holding the Option + Command + R key combination. The Mac will enter the Internet Recovery Mode, which will make possible the installation of the previously used version of macOS. Upon the launch, a user will see the macOS Utilities.

reinstall mac os x

What needs to be done next is to select the Disk Utility and find a drive. If the utility doesn’t display the drive, it might be necessary to reboot the Mac again. After the drive is visible, it should be reformatted as Mac OS Extended, which is the older Mac file format. Once it is done, a user can initiate Internet Recovery.

Another approach to solving the issue necessitates the creation of a bootable installer. This method might be helpful for those users who cannot connect to the Internet for Internet Recovery. A user will need a USB flash drive with at least 8GB of storage space. The flash drive should be partitioned and formatted for the use with macOS. To this end:

  1. Launch the Disk Utility;
  2. Select the flash drive from the list;
  3. Click the Erase tab;
  4. Name the drive as MyVolume;
  5. Select the GUID as the partition scheme;
  6. Under the format type, select Mac OS Extended;
  7. Click the Apply button;
  8. After the drive is formatted and partitioned, click the Done button;
  9. Quite the Disk Utility.

The next step is to launch the Terminal and create the installer by using the following command: sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ –volume /Volumes/MyVolume –applicationpath /Applications/Install\macOS\ High\

Note that the use of the command is only suitable for macOS High Sierra. Those who have macOS Sierra should enter this command: sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ –volume /Volumes/MyVolume –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\

Press the Return key and enter the admin’s password.