Erase and install…..3 options?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by noahs mom, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. noahs mom, Apr 20, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019

    noahs mom macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    #1
    I want to completely erase an iMac. I believe it to be an early 2008. I will know tomorrow when I get to the location. It was my brother-in-laws, who passed away suddenly a few years ago. It’s been sitting since. The family are Windows users so they asked me it get it to factory settings so they can learn to use it. It was his business computer so I’m sure it's packed with stuff, but they need none of it. It’s been years since I’ve done an erase and install so I asked for help. I’m getting 3 answers for the correct start up key…..command R, C, and option. Which is it? I've also been told to use NO key at start up and just let the installer ask the questions. I will most likely be installing Snow Leopard from a DVD that was purchased. My son has that installed on his 2008 and it runs flawlessly. Better than my horrible, problematic 2014! If I find it’s not a 2008 and/or it already has Snow Leopard installed and/or it’s partitioned, I may need other instructions as well. Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Lee_Bo macrumors regular

    Lee_Bo

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
  3. noahs mom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    #3
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    PRINT OUT this reply for reference.

    A 2008 cannot do internet recovery at all. Don't bother trying.

    The "recovery partition" may (or may not) be present.
    To see if it is, try this:
    1. Machine should be powered OFF
    2. Press power on button
    3. Immediately hold down "command-R" and keep holding it down.
    4. Do you get there?
    5. If you do, you can then erase the internal drive and "start fresh". BUT BE CAREFUL. You could possibly erase the drive, run into trouble, and be left with a non-booting old Mac. For this reason, I would create a bootable cloned backup of the internal drive first, using either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper (both are free to download and use for 30 days).

    If that doesn't work...
    Boot up the machine "as it is".
    You need to ascertain WHAT VERSION of the OS is currently installed.
    Go to "About this Mac" under the Apple menu and it should tell you.
    WRITE THE VERSION DOWN

    Now you can explore "where to go next".

    I would suggest OS 10.11 (El Capitan) for an old iMac.
    It's "relatively recent", even though it's not receiving updates any more.
    It will still run "well enough" on an old Mac.

    You can get it here:
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT206886
    https://itunes.apple.com/app/os-x-el-capitan/id1147835434?mt=12
    (the installer app usually downloads into the Applications folder, just for reference)

    Once you have the installer, you can use DiskMaker X to create a BOOTABLE USB flash drive installer (you need a USB flashdrive 8gb or larger to make this). Here is the correct version to use for El Cap:
    http://diskmakerx.com/downloads/DiskMaker_X_6rc5.dmg

    Now, take the USB installer to the iMac. Connect it and press the power on button, and then IMMEDIATELY hold down the option key and KEEP HOLDING IT DOWN until the startup manager appears.
    Select the USB installer with the pointer and hit return.
    That should get you booted to it.
    Remember to erase the internal drive first to "Mac OS extended with journaling enabled, GUID partition format".
    Then run the installer on the internal drive.
    When done, you should see the login display, "just like new".
     
  5. noahs mom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    #5
    Thank you so much for the information, but what does "internet recovery" mean? Also, my son has the same iMac and Apple told me it won’t run El Capitan…? My son's runs Snow Leopard very well. The best running computer in our house! And it didn’t run that great before we installed it. I was just going to use the same Snow DVD that I used for his, in my in-laws. Apple also told me I should be able to just insert the DVD without pressing any keys. Just choose erase from disk utility. I’m back to being confused.
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    "Thank you so much for the information, but what does "internet recovery" mean?"

    For a 2008 iMac, it literally "means nothing", because you can't use it.
    Actually, for 2010 and later Macs, it provides a way of booting a non-booting Mac using an internet connection.

    A 2008 iMac MOST CERTAINLY CAN use El Cap.
    You were given misinformation.

    You can try the Snow Leopard DVD installer if you wish.
    It may or MAY NOT work.
    Snow Leopard was a nice version of the OS, but it's getting way too old to use -- Safari won't work properly any more (you could use either Firefox, Opera, or iCab instead).
     
  7. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #7
    I miss Snow Leopard. Yeah it's missing a few new things, but my 2009 MBP on Snow Leopard was the smoothest running and trouble free Mac I ever owned.
     
  8. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Sillie Con Valley
    #8
    You don’t need any utilities, free or otherwise, except Disk Utility from Apple. Ignore the knee-jerk recommendation for CCC as you aren’t preserving the old data.

    You do need an 8GB USB drive or an external drive connected via usb— either will work.

    OS 10.11 is the latest Mac OS that will run on this machine. It still works for most tasks. My daughter still runs hers and won’t let me get her something newer.

    Download the 10.11 full installer from Apple. When it tries to install, quit. This leaves it in the Applications folder which is where you want it.

    If you have an external drive, run the installer and install El Capitan on the external. When done, copy the installer onto your external. Holding the Option key, boot into the external. Now run the installer again. Use Disk Utility to erase the internal, then install El Cap. When done, set up the “new” iMac as you please.

    If you do not have an external drive, you can make an installer from most 8G USB drive (some of the newer el cheapo thumb drives do not work but most will). Go to the following link, scroll down to
    Making the installer drive
    https://www.macworld.com/article/29...le-os-x-10-11-el-capitan-installer-drive.html

    Follow the instructions on naming the drive. The installer file must be in the Applications folder as I mentioned earlier. Copy and paste the terminal command and it will work. I did this yesterday on an early 2009 and it worked perfectly as expected.


    .
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    Mike wrote:
    "You don’t need any utilities, free or otherwise, except Disk Utility from Apple. Ignore the knee-jerk recommendation for CCC as you aren’t preserving the old data."

    Mike, you sometimes assume that everyone has the same considerable knowledge and skills that you do. But... they don't. I'm not saying they're dumb, but rather that there are ways to success that don't require such things as the terminal, which can be frustrating to someone who's unfamiliar with it.

    That's why I made 2 specific suggestions above:
    1. Create a cloned backup of the internal drive before nuking it, if possible.
    That way, if the erase goes through but there's a problem with the install, the OP will still have a way to at least boot to the finder. The iMac will still be bootable.

    2. The recommendation to use DiskMaker X instead of the terminal to create the bootable USB flashdrive.
    This requires no use of the terminal (particularly the proper entry of the target drive name) -- just a couple of clicks of the mouse, and its done. DiskMaker even erases the USB drive for the user.
    Far easier than the terminal -- again, that's the reason for the suggestion.
     
  10. noahs mom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    #10
    Thanks!!
     
  11. noahs mom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    #11
    Both my husband and son are running it. My son’s 2008 iMac is the best running in the house and my husbands 2010 MBP is running flawlessly. I'm jealous. My 2014 iMac is running Mojave. Mojave actually has been the first OS that has improved its performance, but it's been a real stinker from day one. Apple offered to replace it in the beginning, but I didn’t want the bother. I wish I had. After it goes, I may actually consider….gulp….a Windows computer, unless someone can convince me I just got a lemon and Apple hasn’t gone down hill.
     
  12. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #12
    noah's mom wrote:
    "Mojave actually has been the first OS that has improved its performance, but it's been a real stinker from day one. Apple offered to replace it in the beginning, but I didn’t want the bother. I wish I had."

    What kind of DRIVE is in the 2014 iMac?
    This makes a HUGE difference regarding overall performance.

    IF it's just a platter-based hard drive, you can plug in an external SSD (512gb or even 256gb -- cheap), set that up to become the boot drive, and then you'll see far FAR better performance.
    The speed increase will SHOCK you.

    This is easy and ANYONE can do it.
     

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11 April 20, 2019