MBA 2010 - OSX Installation

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by toiday, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. toiday macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2011
    I'm considering purchase a used MBA 2010 and want to do a fresh OS install. I don't want to upgrade from the existing OS because it's belong to someone else. I want a clean installation. What is the highest version of OSX I can use on this version of MBA. Also, what is the process of install fresh (not upgrade) OSX on MBA?

    Thanks everyone in advance.
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    You can install the latest version of OS X Mountain Lion on that machine. It likely has Snow Leopard on it, which supports the App Store. Go to the App Store application and purchase then download Mountain Lion, but DO NOT install it. This will leave the 4.7GB installer in your Applications folder.

    Get yourself a 8GB USB thumb drive and use this free app to make yourself a USB key OS X installer.

    After the USB installer is made, plug it into a USB port on the MBA and reboot while holding the option key. Select the USB key to boot from. This will give you the Mountain Lion installer.

    Select Disk Utility and reformat Macintosh HD to erase everything on the drive. Then go ahead with the Mountain Lion install.

    This will give a machine with nothing but a new install of the OS on board.
  3. jnachbar macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2010
    I tried this..

    Howver my 2010 MBA won't boot from the usb flash drive. I know the flash drive was done properly because it boots my 2011 mini just fine. Anybody know why this won't work. I also posted on the Mountain Lion section on this as well
  4. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    you may need this also
  5. jnachbar macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2010
    Recovery Assistant suggestion

    I could do what you suggest, but an external recovery drive, even if it worked and booted, is not a full install. It just gets you to a place where you can download the installer of ML again. While this is an option it doesn't give me the full install and I'm dependent on download speeds.

    I'd really like to create a thumb drive with a full install that is bootable. That way I can do a clean install on my MBA + have the thumb drive handy in case of future problems.

    The thumb drive I created works fine on my mini...I guess I just hope to find out why it won't boot my Air. Is that a function of my MBA not able to do this, or is there something else I can do??
  6. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    That computer initially came with a thumb drive with Snow Leopard on it - your Lion USB that you made is probably missing something that is required for that particular laptop.
  7. JonLa macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2009
    I have a 2010 Air and made a Lion (not ML) recovery USB which worked fine. Tempted to do the same for ML at some point, though I wonder if the "clean install" idea is over-rated...
  8. jnachbar macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2010
    Figured out the solution...

    I didn't try the recovery USB approach, I was working on a full install USB

    This was definitely a snow leopard and OSX Instal disk issue....I decided to go ahead and boot from a CCC cloned snow leopard I had on a usb hard drive that never had a problem booting, wipe the MBA hard drive with disk utility and then run the installer I also put on a different partition.

    After everything installed, I thought I'd check and see if I could boot from the various install drives I made and what do you know now it booted fine.

    It seemed that under snow leopard the boot started up then auto started the install OSX application which then hung up...

    Why all this occurs is way above my ability to comprehend. But my experience says

    You cannot boot properly from a "bootable OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion USB drive" on a 2010 MBA running snow leopard. Once Mountain Lion is installed this problem goes away.

    This will just have to be another mystery to me!!

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