Factory reset iMac 20-inch, Early 2008

skivington

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 9, 2016
6
2
Scotland
Hi

I am trying to clean up my old iMac to sell and after a few days of trying I am still not able to boot the machine onto recovery mode to scrub the HDD and put on a clean install.

Am running Mavericks with 4G of Ram, using a windows logitech keyboard.

I have tried and retried all the advice on line to get by restarting holding option R, option alone, option command P and R, and any other sequence of key presses I have seen on line to try and get into the recovery screen so I can erase the HDD and reinstall an OS.

Any help greatly appreciated as I am not able to recycle the mac otherwise.

Cheers

Dan
 

CoastalOR

macrumors 68030
Jan 19, 2015
2,697
990
Oregon, USA
I have tried and retried all the advice on line to get by restarting holding option R, option alone, option command P and R, and any other sequence of key presses I have seen on line to try and get into the recovery screen so I can erase the HDD and reinstall an OS.
Incomplete information on what you have tried, so my reply/recommendation may include things you have already tried.

You did not mention booting to the Recovery Partition (CMD+R), which is the recommended process. If that does not work then boot using the gray Install DVD that shipped with your iMac.
 

skivington

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 9, 2016
6
2
Scotland
Hi, yes I have tried booting with CMD+R which does not work. Also in desperation I have tried all combinations of Option, CMD, R and P - I spent the best part of a day trying and re-trying all boot sequences.
I purchased the iMac second hand about 7 years ago and it did not come with any discs, I was hoping to create a bootable flash drive but first need to boot it into recovery mode (if that is what is it called?)
I have tried to find a recovery disc to buy but with no luck.
 

CoastalOR

macrumors 68030
Jan 19, 2015
2,697
990
Oregon, USA
Hi, yes I have tried booting with CMD+R which does not work. Also in desperation I have tried all combinations of Option, CMD, R and P - I spent the best part of a day trying and re-trying all boot sequences.
I purchased the iMac second hand about 7 years ago and it did not come with any discs, I was hoping to create a bootable flash drive but first need to boot it into recovery mode (if that is what is it called?)
I have tried to find a recovery disc to buy but with no luck.
I know of no way to create a bootable flash drive in Recovery mode. To create a bootable USB installer you need a to boot from the installed OS, download a copy of the OS Install app ("Install OS X Mavericks" approx. 5.3 GB) and a USB flash drive formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled) of 8 GB or greater.
http://osxdaily.com/2013/06/12/make-boot-os-x-mavericks-usb-install-drive/

I have seen bootable USB Mavericks installers that can be purchased from Amazon or eBay. They are not "official" from Apple, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get things working.
Search for: "Mavericks USB Installer" on those sites.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,338
2,736
Delaware
You have a windows keyboard, so two of the boot keys (windows and alt) will be reversed from what you might expect.
For booting to the recovery system, using a windows keyboard, you should correctly choose Windows+r, as the equivalent to Command+r on an Apple keyboard.
Assuming the recovery system is present, shut your iMac off completely.
Press and release the power button, immediately press and hold Windows + r
That should work to boot to the recovery system, and you can erase the drive with Disk Utility.
If it does not (and you boot to your normal system), then try again using Alt + r
Those are the only two combinations that can possible work to boot to the recovery system

BTW - Internet Recovery would be a great solution, as you just need an internet connection to boot to Apple's server, and allow you to erase everything on your hard drive, including the recovery system. BUT, your 2008 iMac is too old for Internet Recovery.
Windows keyboard? Use Windows + r to boot to the Recovery system on the HDD.
 

skivington

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 9, 2016
6
2
Scotland
I know of no way to create a bootable flash drive in Recovery mode. To create a bootable USB installer you need a to boot from the installed OS, download a copy of the OS Install app ("Install OS X Mavericks" approx. 5.3 GB) and a USB flash drive formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled) of 8 GB or greater.
http://osxdaily.com/2013/06/12/make-boot-os-x-mavericks-usb-install-drive/

I have seen bootable USB Mavericks installers that can be purchased from Amazon or eBay. They are not "official" from Apple, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get things working.
Search for: "Mavericks USB Installer" on those sites.
Mavericks is not available in the App Store in UK. I had considered installing Sierra and then using that to instigate a clean install but by machine is not compatible with this new OS. Have looked and identified a USB installed from an internet auction, I am going to give that a go.
Thanks for the advice.
 
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CoastalOR

macrumors 68030
Jan 19, 2015
2,697
990
Oregon, USA
Mavericks is not available in the App Store in UK. I had considered installing Sierra and then using that to instigate a clean install but by machine is not compatible with this new OS. Have looked and identified a USB installed from an internet auction, I am going to give that a go.
Thanks for the advice.
If you previously "purchased" (downloaded from the App Store) Mavericks using your Apple ID, then Mavericks should be available for you to download from the App Store under the "Purchased" section.

Another possibility is downloading OS 10.11.6 from Apple. Here is a link that should work for you since you can not run Sierra (check the "How to get El Capitan" section):
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT206886
 
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