Archive for October, 2017

Fresh Install of MacOS Corrupted??

Guess what, its actually NOT corrupted! I was installing an SSD drive on a clients computer, a mid-2010 Macbook. They didn’t remember their password and just wanted a nice fresh install. “No problem,” I replied. PROBLEM.

This guide is not for a newbie to installing an OS. You should be familiar with using USB drives and the concept of how they become a bootable medium. That being said, its a great learning experience.

Step 1: Get MacOS

Unless you have an Apple Mac somewhere that also has the app store, you are in for a nightmare. Luckily, I know a guy where I was able to get into his app store where he happened to have upgraded his Mac over the years and had access to the older version of MacOS. If you don’t have access to an official Macbook, you are in for a world of pain because nobody has the .app file you need… like anywhere. Macdrug has it but they use a download site that limits you so I wouldn’t have the complete file for 2 DAYS!!! No thank you, I want this done now.

This site has great instructions on getting the .app file you need once you get access to a Mac. Lesson here, just get access to a Mac.

Step 2: Burn to USB drive as Bootable Installer

Lots of time wasted here because of later reasons, but Apple Support has a great document of how to create your own recovery media. Just follow the directions to a T and you will have your own recovery media on a flash drive in no time. However, what I recommend for simplicity is just going ahead and renaming your mounted USB drive to “MyVolume” (without the quotes). That way you can simply copy and paste their command line right into your terminal window and it work right away, no editing required.

Step 3: Remove the Installed SSD Because You Already Forgot a Step

Solid state drives (SSD’s) are sent without being “initialized”, meaning they have nothing on them. Not even a file system. So if you installed the SSD without first connecting it to a working computer, you made your life harder. Connect the SSD to an existing drive (I used this docking station to connect the SSD to the working Mac and formatted it to Mac OS Journaled thingy. When you put the SSD in the docking station and connect it to the Mac, it immediately prompts you to initialize it, so do it. Then after its all done, eject the SSD properly, and put it back in the non-working Mac.

Step 4: Boot non-working Mac to USB Drive

When you turn on the Macbook, immediately push the “Option” button and hold it. Eventually a screen will appear with a prompt to boot from the USB drive, do it. You will then be presented with an option to install Mac OS X as a fresh copy. Do it. You then may receive a message that prompted this blog entry:


WHAT?!?! I downloaded it DIRECTLY from the Apple App Store. HOW THE F%^ IS IT CORRUPTED??

Cool down, try the latest one, Mac OS High Sierra. SAME

Try just Sierra… oh wait, Apple doesn’t list that yet.

Redo the USB drive, maybe that will fix it?? No. New USB drive? No. Burn to a DVD? Where is a DVD? Ugh, no.

WHYYYYYY??? [hours go by of repeating above decision processes and retrying all of them]


Of course, a web search combined with calming down and actually reading and thinking about the situation. If the client didn’t know their password, then it has been a long time since they used the Mac. It has probably been dead for a LONG time. Also, I replaced the battery (did I mention that? The client dropped the Mac previously and the battery was expanding out of its shell and I was too scared to plug it in, so I replaced the battery).

In doing so and with the knowledge that the Mac was sitting idle for a long time… THE INTERNAL CLOCK WAS WRONG. The system clock was set to the year 2000. Mac OS X El Capitan was released in 2015. The Macbook was protecting itself from installing software that “hadn’t yet been” invented!!

This website saved my sanity:

I connected the Macbook to my wireless, updated the clock using the terminal command prompts as described, and now it is installing Mac OS X El Capitan… just like it should.

That was super annoying to learn and took a lot of hours out of my life (and probably shortened it because of the stress and raging against the name of Apple). But… problem solved.

Fix your clocks.




Categories: Computers