How to Restore One OS Version Back

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by gcortes, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

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    Redwood City, California
    #1
    I reformatted my 2011 Mac Mini that came with OS X Lion and want to reinstall the OS. When I select "Reinstall OS X" in OS X Utilities panel, my only choice is Mountain Lion for which it wants my Apple ID. I'm giving the Mac Mini to my nephew and understand I can't transfer ownership of the OS upgrade I purchased. How do I install Lion?

    Thanks
     
  2. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #2
    Your problem is the installer wants to install the same version as the Recovery HD. So you now have a Mountain Lion Recovery HD partition, and that will only let you install Mountain Lion (which needs your AppleID). You need to boot off an external drive to get rid of the Mountain Lion Recovery HD partition to get back to Lion.

    Here is what you do. Download this utility from Apple and use it with a 1GB (or larger) USB key to make a recovery key. Now shutdown the machine then restart with the USB key in and hold the option key as it boots. Select the USB key as the boot source.

    Once it starts launch Disk Utility and erase the entire disk by selecting the disk name (like 1TB Seagate or whatever) and NOT Macintosh HD and erasing/formatting to Mac OS Extended. By erasing from the disk name and not just the Mac HD partition, you are getting rid of the Mountain Lion Recovery HD partition.

    Once it is erases, quit the recovery console, pull out the USB key, and restart.

    This will take you to Internet recovery that starts from the system firmware (EFI). This will connect to Apple's servers and reinstall the OS that came with the machine, in your case Lion.
     
  3. Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #3
    Or just reboot with Cmd-Opt-R at the chime.

    Cmd-R will restore the current OS, but Cmd-Opt-R will restore the factory OS.
     
  4. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

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    #4
    command-option-r will go to Internet recovery only if no valid Recovery HD partition is available locally (on the drive). At least that has been my experience. Have you been able to go to Lion Internet recovery with a valid Mountain Lion Recovery HD partition available on the HD? I have not.
     
  5. Moderator

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    Staff Member

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    #5
    Hmm, I've had it work on two different machines.
     
  6. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

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    #6
    On machines with a ML Recovery HD present?

    On my 2012 MBA (came with Lion and now has ML) a cmd-opt-r goes right to the ML Recovery HD. Maybe it varies by year/model?

    I kind of quit telling forum members to even try cmd-opt-r, because it does seem inconsistent. I remember reading in this overview of recovery they had the same inconsistent results with it. Who knows. :confused:
     
  7. Moderator

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    Staff Member

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    #7
    Odd. 2011 MBP and 2011 Mini. It wouldn't surprise me if Apple's changed it with the later machines since they seem to hate people using older OS versions.

    Well, in any case, advice for the OP:

    Try Cmd-Opt-R first. If you get a picture of a globe then proceed. If it starts up from the hard drive then you'll need to follow Weaselboy's steps.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    Cmd-Opt-R did the trick. OS X Lion is now loading.

    Thanks both of you for the help.

    P. S. Odd: my wired network is locked up with the OS down load, but wireless is working fine.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    So close yet so far. The down load appeared to go fine and the Mac Mini restarted. When it came back up, it said it was installing and had 26 minutes to go. At about 18 minutes a gray 'curtain' would come down. Instructions in five languages said to power off and back on again. I tried this about five times each time restarting with 26 minutes left and stopping around 18. I'm trying the whole process all over again by doing cmd-opt-R at the chime. Any idea what the problem might be?
     
  10. macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
    #10
    yeah kernel panic. it won't work the way you are doing it.here is my advice put ml back on it. then clone ml to an external hdd. boot the external hdd and then erase the internal.


    then stand the mini alone with a net connect only then do cmd r


    when it comes up go to recover go to utility from the net and format the internal hdd then recover l to it.
     
  11. Moderator

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    Staff Member

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    #11
    Did you wipe the drive after booting into Internet Recovery? I'm guessing that the 10.8 recovery partition is still on there and confusing it.
     
  12. gcortes, Jan 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013

    thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    I reformatted the Macintosh HD before I even started. Are you saying when Internet Recovery gets to the Utilities screen, reformat the drive before installing Lion?

    It failed again as before after the second download. I restarted with cmd-R and got the Mac OS X Utilities with Lion as the OS of choice to install this time. I'll try to see if it works from there, but I'm not optimistic.
     
  13. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

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    #13
    Yes, but just formatting Macintosh HD will not get rid of the ML recovery partition like you need to. You need to click the drive name itself like 1TB Seagate for example.... then format.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    I erased the entire drive and did cmd-R on restart to try again. That didn't work either. It hung up as before. I started a complete reload, entering cmd-opt-R, but it stalled around 13 hours download time left. I've downloaded in about 40 minutes the last few times.
     
  15. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

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    #15
    I still think this is because you have a ML recovery partition. Try the process I explained in my original post.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors member

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    #16
    I did what you said after the last failure. I created the USB image using my new Mac Mini and boot to it on my old one. I erased the entire drive, Toshiba IRC. It died in the same place. I'm going to be in Palo Alto today so I'm going to take it in to the store to see what they have to say. If I can't anywhere with them, I'm going to try to reinstall Mountain Lion just to be sure at least that works.

    Also, in addition to the Thoshiba drive, there's a recovery HD in the disk utility. I pretty sure it wasn't the USB stick. I don't have time to check now, but maybe I should try to erase it.
     
  17. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

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    #17
    If you erased by selecting the Toshiba drive name, the Recovery HD partition on the HDD should be gone. I suspect you were seeing the one on the USB drive you booted from.

    One other idea... at the start of the install process the installer runs a disk error check. How about booting from the external USB you made and erase the Toshiba drive again then from the same USB drive, run disk repair in Disk Util and see what you get?

    It sounds like you are doing everything correctly.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors member

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    #18
    I went back in after I wrote the previous response. The option to erase the Recovery HD was grayed out. I did reverify the drive after reformatting it earlier and it was clean. When I tried to boot from the USB after the crash, it gave me a dump report from the previous attempt. It must have written it to the USB. The dump didn't say anything about a hardware failure not that it means there was one.

    When I took it into the Apple store today, they said they would re-image it free of charge. I'm taking it back later today to get it done. Hopefully, they have better luck than I did.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors member

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    #19
    While waiting for my appointment, I tried reinstalling Mountain Lion. It got to the same point as the Lion install and halted with a dialog box saying there was a disk error that couldn't be fixed. For the hell of it, I restarted and it went to completion. I restarted again and the OS came up.

    Then I took it took the Apple store. They had issues with the hard drive and wanted $200 for a new one. I passed. Two different employees in two different stores said there was no problem giving away the Mac Mini with OS upgrade I bought through the App Store. My reading of the software agreement indicates otherwise.

    When I got home, it still booted to Mountain Lion so I'm going to leave it on since I'm giving it to my nephew. He's kind of trustworthy ;) I also ran the disk utility and it didn't find any errors.
     
  20. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #20
    Like you said, although technically it violates the license, realistically... I don't think they really care or intend to try and enforce one off licensing issues like this.

    It does kind of sound like a drive with problems.
     

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