Please help me reset my laptop!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by swilson.56, Dec 28, 2018.

  1. swilson.56 macrumors newbie


    Dec 28, 2018
    Okay so I just bought a slightly used MacBook Pro from a friend of mine for Christmas & I'm having a hard time factory resetting it. This is the first time I've EVER used any Apple device so I need someone to please tell me what to do & also HOW to do it. Step by step. I tried looking around online but I'm still having trouble. Do I need to create an Apple ID before I try to factory reset the laptop? I don't have any installation discs either but alot of sites said I didnt need them. When I open the "About Mac" window it says:

    MacBook Pro - El Captain
    Version - 10.11.6
    Processor - 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    Memory - 4GB 1067 MHz DDR3
    Start Up Disk - hard drive
    Serial Number - *********** (I didn't know if I should put the actual Serial Number here.)

    Can someone please help me with how to completely wipe this laptop so its like brand new to me? Thank you in advance :)
  2. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I think holding down Command and R should get you into the menu to reset.
  3. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    It can help if you tell us which MacBook Pro you have.
    If you go to About this Mac window, then click on the "System Report..." button --- System Information will launch.
    You should be in System Overview.
    Second item on the list should be "Model Identifier". That's what we need :cool:
    If you have a "MacBookPro7,1" --- then it would have originally shipped with some version of Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6.x)
    But, you don't need that old system to reset everything.
    If you can boot and mostly use the system NOW, you can go online and download the full installer for your system.
    You should be able to go to this link, and get the El Capitan installer app. DON'T install that after downloading that app. It will auto-launch after downloading, so quit the app. Then, create a bootable installer from that app. Apple has a support page with steps for making a bootable USB.
    If you are not comfortable with using the terminal to do that - you can download a dedicated app that will make a bootable USB installer for you. DiskmakerX is a good app that makes that simple:
  4. swilson.56 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Dec 28, 2018
    Okay it says Model Identifier: MacBook Pro5, 1
    Could you please explain how to do those things? Go online & download what from where? & Do I need to create an Apple ID first? & Should I do those things before factory resetting or after? Also, I am able to access & use the MacBook for the most part but it's not my account. It's the previous owners admin account which is unlocked.
    Like I said I've never used any kind of Apple device before & I know very little about any computers in general. Lol. I appreciate you bearing with me as I try to understand. I just dont want to do something wrong & screw up the computer. Hopefully with the new information I've provided, you'll be able to help me with what I need to do next. Thank you so much for your help & your time! :) Happy Holidays!
  5. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    OK - you have a MacBook Pro, 15-inch screen, Late 2008 model.
    You are limited to OS X 10.11.6 (known as El Capitan)
    There are several links in my post #3 above. Follow the links to get the full installer for El Capitan, as you will need that if you want to erase and start from scratch. You DON'T need to have an AppleID until you want to get that. One of those times will be when you erase and completely reinstall the system. You go through a short new user setup, and you will enter your authentication for your AppleID account - but, you can create your new AppleID at that time! The setup will walk you through that, too.
    Don't erase your hard drive until you have downloaded your OS X installer, and also created a bootable installer of some kind. Again, I provided some tips on doing that in the above post.

    So, assuming that you have that bootable drive with the OS X installer on it ---
    Boot to that drive: Shut off your MBPro. insert the USB installer drive, then press and release the power button. Hold the Option key immediately. Wait for a few moments for a screen to appear, showing your boot drives.
    Choose the installer, then press enter to boot from that drive. You will boot to a menu screen.
    Choose Disk utility, where you can erase the hard drive. You can name the drive whatever you like. Quit Disk Utility when the erase is complete (should take only a few seconds)
    You will then be back to the main menu screen.
    Choose Reinstall OS X, then select your newly erased hard drive as the destination for the install, and click Install (or Continue, or whatever that button says to continue with the install.
    And, it will copy some file, then automatically restart to complete the system install.
    Your Mac will restart a couple of times, then finally take you to the new user setup screens. One of those will ask for your AppleID, where you can make a new account (if you don't already have one)
    This will all take quite a while, maybe an hour, before you can start using your "new" MacBook Pro.
    You WILL find that your Mac can be quite slow. There can be a dramatic improvement with a couple of upgrades: Max the RAM memory: up to 8GB can be installed on your model.
    The OTHER thing you can do, which you could choose to NOT add more RAM if you do this, instead: Replace the internal hard drive with a new SSD. Prices on SSDs continue to go down.
  6. swilson.56 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Dec 28, 2018
    Hi DeltaMac, I had some family emergency come up that I had to take some time to deal with so I had to put my laptop away to fix for another day.. Well now today is that day. I was reading our previous conversation & saw this in your post:

    "Don't erase your hard drive until you have downloaded your OS X installer, and also created a bootable installer of some kind. Again, I provided some tips on doing that in the above post."

    I already did that on accident. So what do I do now? I have the OS X 10.11 System Repair Install/Reinstall discs. I ordered them off of Amazon. It is the El Capitan installation discs. When I press the power button on my Macbook Pro it turns on & the screen goes to the apple logo with a loading bar underneath. The disc is already in the laptop & I cant get the laptop to eject it no matter how many times I press the eject button. Have I completely ruined this laptop? Or do you have any idea on what I need to do next to fix it? Thank you in advance. Ill post a picture of the Discs I purchased from Amazon. 20190421_195042.jpg 20190421_195052.jpg
  7. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    If you want to eject that installer DVD - shut power off. You can simply hold the power button for about 5 seconds, and your MBook will shut off.
    Press and release the power button, then immediately press and hold the trackpad click-button. Keep holding that button. When you begin to see the screen light up, the DVD should eject.
    Older MacBooks can have a very stubborn/slow eject. You should hear the noise of the optical drive trying to do something, so watch carefully at the drive slot. You might see the edge of the disk poke out, then get pulled back in, or maybe just sticks out a tiny bit. I occasionally use a tool/pliers to grab the edge, but you should not really use any tool, just your fingers.
    The other tip is to hold down the Option key, until you see the hard drive icon show up on the screen. You should ALSO see the installer DVD icon. The eject key SHOULD work at that point, but, again, could be slow response, so on that "boot-picker" screen, hold the eject key until you hear the eject noise from the drive.
    If you don't get any response from the DVD drive, and the disk is still stuck in the drive --- if you really want to remove that installer DVD, you have to disassemble your MacBook, remove the DVD drive, then take the cover off the drive, so you can lift the DVD out of the drive. (Not an easy or quick job, but you can find instructions to remove the DVD drive at - if you want to try that)
  8. mikzn macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2013
    if the disc is still in the drive - did you try holding down option C while restarting?

    This would skip the option of selecting a drive and would try to start from the disc

    The DVD does not look like an apple issued DVD, but it might boot from holding down the c button?

    See this link - Boot a Mac from a CD / DVD
  9. swilson.56 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Dec 28, 2018
    Okay, thanks for those suggestions! However I don't necessarily want to just get the disc out of the disc drive. I'm trying to use it to fix my computer. But let me start from the very beginning so this doesn't get super confusing lol. This will be quite a long reply so please just try & bear with me! I do apologize for taking up so much of your time & I am very appreciative of all the help you can give me!! I got this laptop around Christmas time from my dad. He bought it from someone he works with for me as a gift. Here is all the info about it:

    Model Identifier- MacBook Pro 5,1
    Version- El Capitan 10.11.6
    Processor- 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    Memory- 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3
    Serial Number- *********** (Not sure if I should put actual serial # here)

    So when I got the laptop it worked perfectly normal. I could turn it on & use it, no problem. But it was still personalized to the original owner. I could get into the Admin profile & use it just fine because it never asked me for any type of password to login into the admin account. I didn't know what the previous owners usernames or passwords were or anything like that. So I went onto google & searched "How To Factory Reset My Macbook Pro".

    I followed the following intructions:

    Step 1: Restart Your Mac in Recovery Mode
    This is pretty simple. Go to the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen and choose Restart. As the system restarts, hold the combination of Command and R keys together — you’ll notice the Recovery Mode window.

    Step 2: Erase Mac hard drive
    1. Choose Disk Utility in the Utilities window.
    2. Click on the Continue button.
    3. Choose your startup disk.
    4. Click Erase from the buttons at the top of the Disk Utilities window.
    5. Choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) from the menu.
    6. Click Erase
    7. When the process is complete, go the Disk Utility menu in the top left corner of your screen and select Quit Disk Utility.
    Step 3: Reinstall your operating system
    Congratulations, you’ve reformatted your hard drive and now you can reinstall a clean Mac operating system. Simply click Reinstall macOS or Reinstall OS X. Confirm that you really want to do it and follow the instructions you’ll see on the screen.

    Okay so I did all those things step by step & then tried to reinstall a clean Mac operating system, but after watching a loading screen for about 20 minutes a window popped up saying that I needed to enter my apple ID & password so that it could reinstall El Capitan from my apple account. I didn't have an apple account at the time & there wasn't a "create new account" option anywhere either. So I used my phone & created a new apple ID & went back to the laptop & entered my new Apple ID & password but that still didn't work because I didn't have a copy of El Capitan on my apple account for the laptop to reinstall. This is when I figured out I needed a "bootable usb/disc" with El Capitan on it. I went onto Amazon & purchased the Mac OS X 10.11 System Repair Install/Reinstall DVD (I posted the pictures of that DVD in my previous reply). I verified it's authenticity with apple so I know that the disc works, but when I follow the instructions on the back off the DVD case it just goes to a screen with the Apple logo & a loading bar underneath (picture attached) & I wait until it loads all the way to the end but then nothing happens. It just stays on that screen for hours. I even read the link that mikzn linked above & followed those instructions which were to reboot the laptop & when it restarts hold down the 'C' key but it just went to the same loading screen & has stayed on that screen for over 15 hours now.

    IMPORTANT: Going back to the very beginning when I was still able to use the laptop before I factory reset it, I didn't log out of anything like I now know that I was supposed too. It says before you factory reset the laptop you need to de-authorize Itunes, turn off FileVault, etc. etc...
    I didn't learn about needing to do those things until after I had already factory reset the laptop. & I think that that's what my problem is. Do you know what I need to do to fix this? Or do I need to take my laptop into an Apple store somewhere & hope they can fix it?


Share This Page

8 December 28, 2018