Fix Could not create a Pre-Boot Volume for APFS install

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Pre-boot volume is a space for the operating system prior to installation. The volume acts as a space or a medium of communication for installation between macOS version like Big Sur, Catalina, High Sierra and the new APFS (Apple File System).

Could not create Pre-Boot Volume for APFS install

The error “Could not create a Pre-Boot volume for APFS install” occurs when a Mac user tries to erase their existing macOS and reinstall macOS High Sierra due to various reasons like up-gradation etc.

If you find the error on the screen saying “Could not create a Pre-Boot volume for APFS install” during the reinstallation process of High Sierra, it is important to know that this error not only affects the reinstallation but also the data present in the volume. During this reinstallation scenario, your data present on macOS is inaccessible.

Firstly, let us understand why high sierra installation is stopped, and how to fix this error.

What is the error about?

The error “Could not create a Pre-Boot volume for APFS install” emphasizes that APFS is not recognizing the Pre-Boot volume which is required to initiate the re-installation process.

Fix "Could not create a Pre-Boot volume for APFS install"

In order to fix the error and successfully install High Sierra. Follow the below procedures to fix the error. But in any of these situations, your data existing on the drive is prone to loss as the inevitable solutions involve erasing of Mac volume.

Why can't macOS create a pre-boot volume for APFS install?

The Pre-Boot System will not be able to install macOS Big Surr, High Sierra due to the APFS, this usually happens because the Apple File System fails to synchronize with the Pre-boot volume which is the medium for installation (Pre-Boot Execution Environment). This causes a scenario called Block Non-Synchronization.
Due to this, the macOS High Sierra fails to reinstall and the error is shown “Could not create a Pre-Boot volume for APFS install”. This error affects the data present in your Mac volume. All the data present in the volume is lost or beyond access.

Deletion of volume and Reinstallation of macOS High Sierra

Deletion of the volume and reinstallation could solve the problem of the " Could not create a Pre-Boot volume for APFS install" error

  • Enter recovery mode: Restart your Mac and while the system is rebooting you can keep pressing CMD+R, until an Apple logo is seen.
Could not create Pre-Boot Volume for APFS install
  • After the logo is seen, the user will be able to see the utility menu. Mac will show you certain volumes, select disk utility in all drives on mac. Then select the internal drive and click erase to delete the drive. Post deletion, close the utility.
Could not create Pre-Boot Volume for APFS install
  • ost following Step 2. The user will have two options. Follow either of the methodologies to reinstall High Sierra.
  • Re-open Disk Utility, select the internal drive usually named as and format it as "Mac OS Extended". Then you can reinstall macOS.
  • Or you may turn off the Mac, then reboot it by holding down the Option/ALT + Command + R keys to enter Internet Recovery mode. Select Disk Utility. If you see a drive, reformat it as Mac OS Extended and name it Macintosh HD. If not, create a drive and format it as "Mac OS Extended". After that, you can exit Disk Utility and click Reinstall macOS.

By deleting the drive, you remove the APFS system which is causing the error so that you are able to reinstall macOS. If the method above doesn't work, try the next one.

Have you lost important files due to the deletion and reinstallation of the macOS High Sierra? Remo Recover can easily recover data, SSD, USB, external, SD, and removable drives.

Directly enter Internet recovery mode (Online software solution by Mac)

  • When your Mac OS is rebooting press the CMD+R+ALT option to put it into Internet recovery mode.
  • Then select Wi-Fi and enter the utility menu. Click “Reinstall macOS” This option will install the original operating system on your Mac. If you still need High Sierra, then you can go to the Apple store and update the OS.

Additional Information: Sometimes your APFS formatted disk could face issues due to corruption. However, you can recover data and fix the APFS disk on your computer. Click on the given link to know more.

Recover Data lost during couldn't Pre-Boot Volume for APFS error:

Deletion of volume results in the deletion of your data present in the macOS. Both the above methodologies can fix the error "Could not create a Pre-Boot volume for APFS install". However, if the user doesn’t have a backup of the existing data on Cloud or a backup drive, then the data existing on your Mac hard drive is lost due to the re-installation process.

You can easily recover your lost data with the Remo Recover Mac tool. The data can be recovered with a few clicks with Remo Recover because the data that is inaccessible or lost is not completely erased and still resides on the logical memory until the respective place is overwritten.

Note - If you are wondering how to recover files from macOS Big Sur, click on the given link here to learn more

Remo Recover can recover more than 500 File types. Remo has a very simple user interface which will make a novice user comfortable with the application. Compatible with all mac file systems like HFS, HFS+, HFSX, and APFS.


The above article "Could not create a Pre-Boot volume for APFS install" emphasizes the solution for the error and the appropriate data recovery methodologies through which any novice Mac user can approach this scenario. However, take a backup prior to performing the re-installation of the macOS. If you happen to not have a backup, Remo Recover comes in handy for data recovery.

About the Author: John Harris

With a decade of experience in data recovery, John Harris, Senior Editor at Remo Software, is your go-to specialist. His focus includes partition management, Windows solutions, and data troubleshooting, delivering insightful content that serves both users and search engines. John's expertise shines through in illuminating blog posts, untangling data loss intricacies across diverse storage platforms.…