Need help doing clean install of El Capitan

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by roma1900, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. roma1900 macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2015
    I have a 15” Macbook Pro purchased in December 2008 which is still running (believe it or not) OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard). I have finally decided to upgrade to 10.11 El Capitan (probably when the first point release ships) and would very much like to do a clean install of 10.11. I am familiar with the way a clean install could formerly be accomplished since I was able to do a clean install of Snow Leopard some years ago without any great difficulty. However, since—as with most OS X releases since Snow Leopard—El Capitan is not available on disc the clean install process—involving a USB flash stick, Terminal and other things— is now considerably more complex than it once was. I have looked at several articles on the Web regarding how to do a clean install of El Capitan and frankly they all seem incredibly complex to me. I am into my 70’s now and I’m afraid not as capable of learning new things as I once was. I was wondering if someone out there could provide me with a simple, clear, step by step process—perhaps using something called Diskmaker X. As mentioned previously, I have already looked at a number of sites-as well as several youtube videos— with articles explaining or demonstrating the process none of which was transparent enough for me to have the confidence to do a clean install myself. Maybe I could take my computer to a local Apple store and one of the Geniuses could do it for me. Don’t know. Any advice, instructions or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  2. simon lefisch, Oct 19, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015

    simon lefisch macrumors 6502a

    simon lefisch

    Sep 29, 2014
    Follow this to create the installer

    Reboot your MBP and hold Command + R to boot into recovery.

    Go into Disk Utility and wipe your Mac HD partition.

    Reboot holding the Option key and choose the installer on the thumb drive

    Select where to install El Capitan

    Let it run and boom, you're good to go.
  3. CoastalOR macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
    IMPORTANT: Keep in mind a Clean Install means erasing (formatting) your Macs internal drive so ALL data will be wiped. Is that your intention?
    If you need to save data from your current internal drive then let me know before proceeding for additional information.

    I would recommend downloading El Capitan via App Store (the full installer will be "Install OS X El Capitan" (6.08 Gb) in the Applications folder), quit it as soon as it auto launches (you will be able to Quit it after you select a language and select Continue), use an 8 Gb USB flash thumb drive to create a USB installer drive:
    Recommend you try the latest Diskmaker X 5.0.1 first (if you have a problem with that we can try the Terminal):

    Here is some more information of what we are trying to accomplish with the USB Installer (the article discusses Mevericks, but it is still good information):

    After you create the USB installer, TEST it.
    1. Plug it in to the computer
    2. Restart holding the option key
    3. Select to start up from the USB installer, be patient it takes awhile to start up because USB thumb drive is slower.
    4. After it starts, select a language.

    If you are not ready to install then at this time:
    5. After you get to a window showing things like Time Machine, Install OS, Disk Utility etc., STOP. Go to the upper left :apple: menu and select Restart. That is a successful test.
    6. Let the Mac restart normally and get to the normal desktop. Eject the USB thumb drive, remove it and save it for later.

    IMPORTANT: We will use the USB installer to format (erase) the new drive for Mac Extended (Journaled) and install the El Capitan OS.

    When you are ready to install OS X El Capitan:
    1. Make sure the MacBook Pro (MBP) is connected to a power source first.
    2. Plug in the USB installer thumb drive.
    3. Power on the MBP with the option key held down.
    4. Select to start up from the USB installer, be patient it takes awhile to start up because USB thumb drive is slower.
    5. After the USB installer starts, select a language.
    . You should see a OS X Utilities screen showing a list:
    . Restore from Time Machine Backup
    . Install OS X
    . Get Help Online
    . Disk Utility
    .. A) Select Disk Utility
    .. B) Once Disk Utility is open, select the internal drive from the list on the left. Once you have the disk selected, click on "Erase". Set the Volume Format to "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)". Name the the Volume "Macintosh HD". Once you've formatted your drive, you can close Disk Utility.
    7. Install OS X on your internal drive:
    Select "Install OS X" on the OS X Utilities screen.
    Follow the steps as they are presented to you, making sure to select your new drive (the one you just formatted in the previous step) as the install location. The installers for Mac OS X are very straightforward to use; all you need to do is follow the on-screen instructions. Once you have filled in the required information, the actual install will begin. This can take quite a while. BE PATIENT.
    Note: During the installation process, you may experience the indicator hanging at “About a second remaining” (or some other period of time) for many minutes. Do NOT cancel, just wait it out.
    Your Mac will then restart, and will wrap up the installation process in another 30 – 40 minutes. When this is done, your Mac will restart automatically (again), leaving you at the login screen of a fresh copy of Mac OS X.
  4. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    While you could certainly do a clean install I am not certain it is necessary since you have already clean installed Snow Leopard. Assuming everything works well at the moment it would be much easier just upgrade to El Capitan. First you want to make sure all software you use is compatible, check manufacturers websites. If its not you have to either wait for updates to migrate to different software. When your ready make a backup to external drive, for example with Time Machine. If you have important data I recommend doing a clone to another external drive with Disk Utility, SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner.

    After backup is ready you can upgrade your Mac by downloading installer from App store but I strongly recommend waiting until 10.11.2 or .3 is released because El Capitan currently has bugs and at this point it not certain .1 version is going to fix all of them..
  5. mikzn, Oct 20, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015

    mikzn macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2013
    Maybe the first question you should "get answers for" is how to upgrade your disk to SSD - much more than any OS upgrade upgrading from regular HD to SSD can improve the speed of you computer dramatically! ( 10 - 15 times faster)( assuming you have adequate memory)

    Once you figure that out - you can easily upgrade / clean install to El Capitan on a new SSD drive and keep the present OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) HD on an external USB enclosure. Then you can boot from that external disk to "go back" to your old system exactly as it was! ( now a back up disk)

    Your upgrade plan changes - doing a clean install is not as risky - since you can always USB boot into your previous system and move files to the new install.

    Just another option . . .

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4 October 19, 2015