Cant Fresh Install El Capitan on 2012 Air - Why?

ARK

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 20, 2008
477
66
Indianapolis, IN
I have a mid 2012 Macbook Air on Yosemite that I want to do a Fresh install of El Capitan. I created an USB flash drive with terminal and an El Capitan installer. Ive already used it on a late 2008 Pro and installed El Cap on it so I know it works fine.

However with the Air I put the USB in and restart holding the option key and choose the Installer then it boots directly into the El Capitan installer. I don't get the option for the OSX Utilites window with Disk Utility option to reformat the drive. I went under the Apple in the finder and it doesn't open. I can click back on the installer and get the language options. I click Continue it begins the installer. Any reason why I can't get to the Disk Utility option to wipe the drive?
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,273
2,700
Delaware
Boot to the El Capitan installer.
When you see the installer window, you can go to the menus at the top.
Disk Utility is in the Utilities menu.
 

ARK

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 20, 2008
477
66
Indianapolis, IN
Boot to the El Capitan installer.
When you see the installer window, you can go to the menus at the top.
Disk Utility is in the Utilities menu.
Yeah thats what Im saying. Its not there. The Apple is in the corner but clicking on it doesn't bring a menu down. Nothing.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,273
2,700
Delaware
Be patient. You will see the Language Chooser next to the Apple menu at first.
Continue to wait, should be there in a few seconds, could take a minute or more.
It's fairly slow to respond in my experience, particularly if you use a flash drive that you have used for other purposes (and you have erased it a few times.)
The main window will show the OS X installer screen, but without any choices
When you see the Continue (or Install, IIRC), then you should see a change in the menus.
You will then see the menu to the right will be "OS X Installer", and you will also see the Utilities menu then.
Walk away for 5 minutes or so. Should come up as you wait.
Or, you just have a flaky USB flash drive. Create a bootable El Cap installer on a fresh-out-of-the-pack 8GB flash drive.
I have made a lot of USB installers in the last 4 or 5 years (probably 50 or more), and the condition of the USB flash drive is everything. It will boot OK on one Mac, but go "weird" on another Mac. No way to really predict. But, trying again, or going to a different flash drive usually will be the fix.
 

ARK

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 20, 2008
477
66
Indianapolis, IN
Strange. Ok I will wait. Yeah I can click on the language option and bring up the wifi menu on the far right but never could bring down the menu under the Apple.
 
Last edited:

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,273
2,700
Delaware
The Languages choice is not to choose what gets installed, but the language used by the installer itself.
Been 48 minutes now. Still no Utilities menu.
48 minutes seems a little over the top.
Can you actually choose a language - maybe that's all you need to continue to the install.
What exactly comes up on the screen, if you don't touch anything?
Do you get a window that says OS X Installer?
If you don't get that far, and it stays on a grey or black screen, or all you see is the minimal menu for Language, then you need to try a different installer stick.

The Utilities (Disk Utility) is NOT under the Apple menu, but is about four menus to the right of the Apple menu, under the Utilities menu
Menus: Apple - OS X installer - File - Edit - View - Utilities - Help
 

ARK

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 20, 2008
477
66
Indianapolis, IN
The Languages choice is not to choose what gets installed, but the language used by the installer itself.

48 minutes seems a little over the top.
Can you actually choose a language - maybe that's all you need to continue to the install.
What exactly comes up on the screen, if you don't touch anything?
Do you get a window that says OS X Installer?
If you don't get that far, and it stays on a grey or black screen, or all you see is the minimal menu for Language, then you need to try a different installer stick.

The Utilities (Disk Utility) is NOT under the Apple menu, but is about four menus to the right of the Apple menu, under the Utilities menu
Menus: Apple - OS X installer - File - Edit - View - Utilities - Help
Screen that comes up says:

Finder at top has Apple and then only says Language Chooser
At right of top menu has US Flag, Wifi menu and battery level.
Then OS X window in center with text : To set up installation of OS X, click Continue.
To repair your disk using Disk Utility, restore your computer
from a Time Machine backup, or perform other tasks using
utilities, choose an option from the Utilities menu.
Back and Continue button

Clicking Back takes the menu off the top and choose language appears. Hitting Continue at the screen above gives option to chose where you want to install El Cap.

Im at work and don't have access to the wifi. They want to keep people off it thats not using it for work purposes. Ive never had to use Recovery Mode so just a lack of knowledge about what it does.
 
Last edited:

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,273
2,700
Delaware
OK
Click the Continue button.
Be patient some more. :)
If you are concerned about the install suddenly starting, that won't happen until you select the destination.
If you only want to erase the hard drive, as you suggested, then you still will have access to Disk Utility, which will be in the the Utilities menu now.

If you STILL don't get a Utilities menu, then you do need to try a different installer.
 

ARK

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 20, 2008
477
66
Indianapolis, IN
Yeah I got to that screen before and same thing. Just sits there. Strange. When I updated the 2008 pro it was smooth and easy. Didn't think updating the Air would be a hassle.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,273
2,700
Delaware
I always do a PRAM reset when installing OS X. Might help - won't hurt.
Do the reset until you hear the chime, then continue to hold the reset keys for two more chimes.
Release all but the Option key to choose the installer as the boot drive.

Just to restate - be sure to try a different installer drive. USB installer, on a fresh thumb drive. Or, a partition on an external hard drive, etc.
 

ARK

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 20, 2008
477
66
Indianapolis, IN
Well I wiped the same flash drive and did the terminal El Cap installer command. I booted it up off the flash again and it worked this time. Yay!

I did notice two disk images present in the Disk Utility window. Base OS X Install and some OS X ESD Installer. I couldn't get rid of those so I figured it has to do with the recovery HD. Is that the case or can I reclaim the 6+ GBs it was taking up?
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,339
10,103
California
I did notice two disk images present in the Disk Utility window. Base OS X Install and some OS X ESD Installer. I couldn't get rid of those so I figured it has to do with the recovery HD. Is that the case or can I reclaim the 6+ GBs it was taking up?
That is the recovery partition and the installer and normal. They will be gone after you restart to the OS.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,273
2,700
Delaware
That's part of the OS X install - and the fact that you are booted to the OS X installer. That boot and install process produces the extra disk images that you see.
If you remove the flash drive, then boot to your "new" install on your MBAir - go to Disk Utility, you will see that the only additional partition is for your recovery partition, which should be about 650MB, IIRC.

(weaselboy beat me to it - I type way too slow! )
 
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