Updated fix for “Still waiting for root device” on OS X 10.8.3 Mountain Lion

Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion update to 10.8.3 has yet again modified the IOAHCIFamily.kext, resulting in a failed boot with the “Still waiting for root device” for only a small fraction of users compared to almost everyone with the 10.8.2 version. Most probably Apple techs have increased the enumeration delay, allowing for more devices to register properly. If you are one of these that are unable to boot properly after updating to OS X 10.8.3, check first if you still have /System/Library/Extensions/IOAHCIFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/IOAHCIBlockStorage.kext (it was missing on one of our machines after updating to the 10.8.3). There is also a known firmware incompatibility for Intel X25-M SSD owners, so if you own one and your system boots from it, you’ll need to update your SSD firmware. Otherwise, apply the patch listed below.

WARNING: Don’t copy-paste everything into the Terminal at once, do it one line at a time. Pasting the whole code at once will result in the second half of the commands being used as your password at the first sudo command.

The following commands place a backup of the unmodified binary before patching it.

cd /System/Library/Extensions/IOAHCIFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/IOAHCIBlockStorage.kext/Contents/MacOS
sudo mv IOAHCIBlockStorage IOAHCIBlockStorage.orig
sudo cp IOAHCIBlockStorage.orig IOAHCIBlockStorage
sudo /usr/bin/perl -pi -e 's|\xcb\x57\x00\x00\xee\x03|\xcb\x57\x00\x00\xea\x01|g' IOAHCIBlockStorage
sudo /usr/bin/perl -pi -e 's|\x74\x0e\x48\x8d\x3d\x72\x94\x00\x00|\xbf\xc8\x00\x00\x00\x90\x90\x90\x90|g' IOAHCIBlockStorage
sudo touch /System/Library/Extensions

This fix has been made possible due to countless hours spent by bcc9 from InsanelyMac forums reverse-engineering Apple’s work and his original script.

14 thoughts on “Updated fix for “Still waiting for root device” on OS X 10.8.3 Mountain Lion

  1. Pingback: Updated fix for “Still waiting for root device” on OS X 10.8.2 Mountain Lion | Vahan's Blog

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  4. Hi Vahan,
    first, thank you very much for your Blog, it’s really helpful.

    Since the 10.8.3 Update i also have the problem “Still waiting for root device”. I’m only able to boot in safe mode. To fix the problem i started with your description above, but the problem is, that my /System/Library/Extensions folder ist totally empty. So what can i do so far? It looking forward for your reply and i thank you very much for your assistance!

    • This is very strange that SLE is empty, is this an installation media? All the system drivers should be there, perhaps you’re looking on a wrong volume. Are you able to boot with boot caches disabled?

  5. Oh dear, it’s so disappointing. I already deleted the whole HD to reinstall as a clean install. Befor i made an ML Installation Stick with a fresh 10.8.3. Now my problem is that i start with the ML Stick and click to install but i can’t choose the internal HD!!! I can’t see it. Only when i boot with an external HD, i see the internal HD via disk utility. That was the way how i deleted the internal one. But what’s wrong now? Thanks in advance!

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  7. You are awesome man!

    Thanks a lot for saving my time. I was searching to solve this error and #2nd link was of your website and it does solve the problem very easily.

    Once again thanks for this.


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