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Still Waiting For Root Device Error


Still waiting for root device error occured because the appropriate Sata/Pata driver isn’t being loaded. This error usually appears  before OSX86 DVD can boot and in some cases it occurs after installation. Actually this error means that the OS is set to boot from a drive and partition that does not exist or your bootloader is not able to discover the partition. Lets get started to troubleshoot the problem in the first phase we discuss the “Still Waiting For Root Device Error” which appears while installing the OSX86 on your computer.


Step 1 Jumper Settings : If your system contains IDE hard disk or DVD RW then you need to play with your jumper settings. If the following settings are not working for you try vice versa. if you have Sata Hard Disk and DVD RW skip to step 2.

  • Your rom/writer must be set as Primary Master.
  • Your hard-disk must be set as Primary Slave .

Step 2 Tweaking the BIOS : If you satisfies step 1 then time is to play with BIOS settings. Open your BIOS settings by pressing DEL or F2 key continuosly as you starts your PC. Once the BIOS screen appears try to find and change following options if they are available.

  • ATA/IDE Mode : Native
  • Configure SATA as : AHCI
  • S.M.A.R.T. : Enabled

Step 3 Download Another Distribution : This is the most effective there are many OSX86 distro in the wild but you have to choose select one for your hardware configuration. For selecting the right one search on Wiki.OSX86project.org and forum.insanelymac.com if you find anyone who posted a success message with his details then you are lucky otherwise download the various flavours and try them.


Still Waiting For Root Device Error After Installing The OSX86

iClairified Guide :

  1. Boot up using the LeoV3 DVD as if you are going to install Mac OS X again.
  2. Select Terminal from the Installer’s Utility Menu.
  3. Now we are going to copy all the the ATA kexts from the install DVD to your hard drive. To do this enter a command like this:

cp -pr /Volumes/Leo4allv3/System/Library/Extensions/*ATA* /Volumes/MacHD/System/Library/Extensions/.

NOTE*: Replace Leo4allv3 with the name of your install dvd and replace MacHD with the name of your hard drive volume.

4. Now we need to set the permissions for those kexts we copied

chown -R root:wheel /Volumes/MacHD/System/Library/Extensions/*ATA*
chmod -R 755 /Volumes/MacHD/System/Library/Extensions/*ATA*

NOTE*: Replace MacHD with the name of your hard drive volume.

5. To remove the kextcache execute the following:

rm -rf /Volumes/MacHD/System/Library/Extensions.*

Note* Replace MacHD with the name of your drive volume.

You may now restart your computer. I would suggest pressing F8 while booting and then entering -f as a boot option to force reloading of the kexts.


Apple2PC Guide :

If you know the number of your Hard Drive then at the Darwin prompt (after boot press F8) write: rd=DiskX where X is the number of your OSX hard drive.

For instance if your hard drive is 0 (zero is the first hard drive) then write:
if you do not know your hard drive then there is a try and error method of trying all the disk possibilities on your computer starting with: rd=disk0 then rd=disk1 then rd=disk2 then rd=disk3 etc. another good option is to disconnect other HD and leave the OSX HD as first and write disk0.
How to set the RD for every boot :
once you succeed and don’t want to write the rd parameter every boot, then write it in your boot plist file.this is a file that configure the system boot parameters. The file can be found at:/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration
The file name is: com.apple.Boot.plist and you edit it as root and change the Kernel Flags value and add to it the rd parameter like this:
  1. Open terminal
  2. Write: sudo -s and press enter
  3. Enter your password when asked and press enter
  4. Write: vi /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.Boot.plist and press enter
  5. In the vi editor use the arrow keys on the keyboard and navigate the cursor to the tag: after the <key>Kernel Flags< /key > line.
  6. The string tag might be empty or not, if it is not empty then add space and then write: rd=diskX where X is your hard drive number.
  7. Press keyboard button Esc (in order to exit insert mode)
  8. Write: :wq and press enter (notice the : sign)
  9. Then reboot and thats it


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Comments ( 11 )

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  1. Littifus August 14, 2010 Reply

    An excellent guide and clearly set out. Thanks Vinay

    I used the iClairified Guide to reset the ATA kexts on a Leo4allv3 install on a Dell E521. I was getting the ‘still waiting for root device’ but the instructions solved that.

    One thing to watch is the spaces between the commands and the file locations/names. It caught me out. I had a working system, rebooted it and got other errors which prevented the system from booting. The permissions hadn’t been changed! Hint: If you get any command parameters returned after the lines you have entered you haven’t done it correctly.

    A reinstall and re-enter of the commands with the appropriate spaces sorted that.

    Now for sorting the video and sound drivers out!

  2. gomsay August 13, 2010 Reply

    Hey thanks for your very helpful article. I have managed to install IDeneb v1.4 10.5.6 on my Dell Inspiron 1564. But when I try and boot I get the apple screen with the stop sign, or if I type – v, “I get still waiting for root device”.

    any suggestions pls…help me.

  3. Jonathan Taufer May 12, 2010 Reply


    I tried everything on this list including manually replacing the files. Now my osx system is messed up because of this sites reccomendation that ideneb 10.5.7 update could upgrade any 10.5.x system such as my 10.5.4.

    Whatever you do, avoid ideneb like the plague. Everyone on insanelymac forums has had way to many issues with it as well.

  4. David February 13, 2010 Reply

    Wow .. great solution.. :=)

  5. Diya December 25, 2009 Reply

    I didn’t find Volumes/iATKOSv7/System/Library/Extensions/
    it give me no directory
    there is only Volumes/iATKOSv7/System/Library/Extensions.mkext

    Please where may I find *ATA* file

  6. Dylan November 16, 2009 Reply

    Thanks a bunch for this…jumper settings it was

  7. Max October 23, 2009 Reply

    i tried to install the regular jaS Os 10.5.4 and i got the Still Waiting For Root Device Error.

    i dont understand hardly any of what you have typed up at the top, so could you please say an noobier and easier way for me please cause its really frustrating to have it waiting the whole time

    thanks for your time tho


  8. Boris August 7, 2009 Reply

    Yayyy it worked! I have been pulling my hair out for hours, thank you so much!

  9. Peter July 29, 2009 Reply

    Hey thanks for your very helpful article. I have managed to install iATKOS 10.5.7 on my custom desktop PC. But when I try and boot I get the apple screen with the stop sign, or if I type – v, “I get still waiting for root device”.

    I understand that the steps you have laid out will prevent this. In step 2 you say about changing the bios settings (if they are there). On my bio’s I do not have any of these options except for the S.M.A.R.T option! So what should I do to get it working? Is there a way around this? Please get back to me as you seem to know what you are talking about and not many people are willing to help on the forums 🙁 If it helps I have a Gigabyte 650i ds4.

    Thanks very much buddy for your time spent creating this article and helping everybody out. Pete

  10. Strix9 June 15, 2009 Reply

    Method 3 worked for me. I transfered the *ATA* Files from my Kalyway 10.5.2 disc. Much thanks to you

  11. fred May 31, 2009 Reply

    I tried to install iDeneb ended with this error then i disabled the Lan in my BIOS and installed successfully..

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