Mac OS X Reinstall

The other day I was asked to wipe the data off a second hand mac. There was already a user account on it, but it was password protected, and no one knew the password. So I decided to give it a crack

So I did a quick search on the easiest way to do a reinstall. There was various ways depending on your model, the first being to hold “Option” while it booted up and selecting the “Recovery Drive”, this mac didn’t have that. So on to Method 2.

Method 2 was suppose to be the easiest and most automated process. Hold “Command + R” while the Mac boots up, and simply select the “Reinstall OS X Lion” option. So off I went. Loaded up into the Mac’s OS X Utilities, everything seemed fine, wiped the drives using the the Disk Utilities feature, and fired up the Reinstall option. Then it asked for an apple ID, which was no issue, since the client already gave me their Apple ID Details. Inserted the details, waiting for it to verify some things…

“This Item is Temporarily Unavailable”  Oh….Okay then. At first I thought it was an issue with trying to download an older OS Version. But upon some Google searches, it appears that this occurs when the Apple ID doesn’t own the OS. The OS is tied to the Original ID, not the machine. Well Great.

So now I was stuck with an empty drive and an Internet Recovery that wants me to pay up to continue. But through more searches it appeared there was a way around all this. Firstly I had to download a Free OS X. I used Mavericks in this instance, as it was uploaded to a fast source and it is quite a large file (5GB). Then I had to make a way for the Mac to recognize my USB format. TransMac came in handy here. It allowed me to “Restore Image with Disk Image” which extracted the .dmg file and format the USB to a recognizable one.

Once this was all done, it was back to the Mac. Relaunched the OS X Utilities and launched Disk Utilities. Formatted the drives again and removed all partitions just to be safe. Then I made 2 partitions, One that will contain the installation media, and one that it will be installed on, since it didn’t let me install from the USB, or install on the same partition that contained the installation files. I Restored the first Partition with files off the USB and rebooted normally.

Went through all the installation Stuff, agree and such to terms, and selected which drive to install to, there was only 1.


It worked! Now I just had to wait it out and see if it fails towards the end.

After waiting about 30 minutes I was finally asked to create an account, And then moment of truth…..


It all worked fine. So I updated everything, made sure it worked after a couple reboots and didn’t crash or do anything weird , then shutdown and It was all done.

Leave a Reply