Can't update 2009 Macbook Pro

Lamont

2[H]4U
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Oct 26, 2004
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3,901
I have a 2009 Macbook Pro and for the life of me, after wiping it, can't get it to install a fresh copy of the OS (High Sierra or Catalina).

I have tried to...
  • install from the OS's built in recovery partition.
  • use Internet Recovery.
  • install Catalina from a USB.
  • Set the date back a month after the release of each OS version (date XXXXXXXX) via terminal then install. Tried with both Catalina and High Sierra.
Error is always the same "Can't install MacOS on this computer..". Since it's not my machine, I can't just yeet the thing into the ocean. Any leads to this issue?

As always, thank you for your time.
 

Okatis

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 16, 2014
Messages
194
Have you checked that model is supported for High Sierra and higher? As when I checked for the Macbook Pro 2010 model years ago High Sierra was still supported for it but they had dropped support for anything older IIRC.
 

Lamont

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It should support, because it was running El Capitan before I wiped it, and I did the OS upgrades via the AppStore to get there.

My best best bet is to get access to the disks that came with the device and run from there methinks.
 

Okatis

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 16, 2014
Messages
194
It should support, because it was running El Capitan before I wiped it, and I did the OS upgrades via the AppStore to get there.

My best best bet is to get access to the disks that came with the device and run from there methinks.
El Cap is two versions behind High Sierra. Just checked Wikipedia for High Sierra which confirms only Macbook Pro Mid 2010 and later support both Sierra and High Sierra.
 

Lamont

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El Cap is two versions behind High Sierra. Just checked Wikipedia for High Sierra which confirms only Macbook Pro Mid 2010 and later support both Sierra and High Sierra.
You are right, I was looking at the graph backwards... had the newest to the left. So with that thinking I should install Mountain Lion, as it was what was installed when purchased, then do the Upgrade Waltz to El Capitan.

Then why in the heck does the thing try to install High Sierra, when it KNOWS it's a Macbook Pro from 2009? Like doing the Internet Recovery should pull down the correct OS...

1659878269888.png
 

Randall Stephens

[H]ard|Gawd
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Mar 3, 2017
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You are right, I was looking at the graph backwards... had the newest to the left. So with that thinking I should install Mountain Lion, as it was what was installed when purchased, then do the Upgrade Waltz to El Capitan.

Then why in the heck does the thing try to install High Sierra, when it KNOWS it's a Macbook Pro from 2009? Like doing the Internet Recovery should pull down the correct OS...

View attachment 498549
Just did a recovery on a Mac mini 2012 and the recovery put me on mountain lion which is what it came with I believe. Not sure why that one behaves differently.
 

Lamont

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 26, 2004
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I am having quite the adventure.

So as stated above I have been trying to make bootable disk images. And it looks like I have been doing them wrong from Windows using various apps. Where they DO make a disk image from the DMG correctly, that DMG is not bootable, and needs to be mounted then installed. I found out each DMG has a ..../createinstallmedia thing in the *.app itself. So using what I gleaned from the net if I have two USB drives;

MacMac = holds Install_OS_X_El_Capitan.dmg
XXX = The target for bootable media I want to create.

Then in Terminal I should do:
hdiutil attach /Volumes/MacMac/Install_OS_X_El_Capitan.dmg <---- this will mount the image to the machine.

Next, I want to browse through the *.app and make the bootable USB drive, so in Terminal:

/Volumes/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ Capitan/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ Capitan.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/XXX --applicationpath /Volumes/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ Capitan/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ Capitan.app

To let you know I am in the Terminal you get to after booting into Internet Recovery.

None of this works. I noticed sudo does not work, so I removed it, and it says no such directory for "/Volumes/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ Capitan/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ Capitan.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia".

Stuck.
 

Lamont

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Joined
Oct 26, 2004
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Ok, I think fatigue played a role, as it worked this morning first shot. The disk boots, but I get the interdiction sign. Ok, gonna pester the owner if they have the original disks around... this is bonkers and I am tired.
 

pendragon1

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 7, 2000
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42,805
do you have another mac? could build a high sierra usb installer on one, not sure if it can be done from a windows system though.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
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When I went about this to install El Cap on my 2009 Mac I kept these notes. However, I downloaded the ISO from Apple, they are still there, and used a Mac to create the bootable USB.

How To Install El Capitan to USB:

http://updates-http.cdn-apple.com/2...cf50-4516-9011-228c78eda3d2/InstallMacOSX.dmg

sudo /usr/sbin/asr imagescan --source InstallMacOSX.dmg

sudo /usr/sbin/asr restore --source InstallMacOSX.dmg --target /Volumes/untitled --erase

sudo /usr/sbin/asr restore --source Snow.dmg --target /Volumes/Untitled --erase
 

Lamont

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 26, 2004
Messages
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I got my hands on the actual OS install disk and got Mountain Lion on it. Then tried auto updates, but looks like it's too old to auto update (or even connect to AppStore), then I downloaded the DMG from Apple and had to install from the USB.

bobsuncledan - Thanks I am downloading this and the commands right now!

(Doing this again with a Mac Pro 5,1 now...)
 
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