Unable to reformat 2012 iMac - Disk1 is unmountable

Discussion in 'iMac' started by WordsPending, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. WordsPending, Mar 11, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015

    WordsPending macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2015
    Update - Problem fixed!

    Hi, everyone! I browsed the forums to try and make sure, but if this is the wrong place to post this, please feel free to move it/have me post elsewhere!

    I purchased a barely used 500gb 2012 iMac today from my uncle's neighbor. She is an elderly woman who used the computer to store about 300 pictures and read her emails over the last few years. The computer works great! However, when I go to reformat, I am given the following error:

    Disk Erase Failed
    Disk Erased failed eith the error:
    Couldn't unmount disk.

    With that in mind, I began to research how to dismount this disk. Nothing is mounted as far as I can tell. I turned off TimeMachine so that did not interfere, but I am still having the same issue. I attempted several ejections in Terminal and all failed. Here's an Imgur album with three pictures to show you what I'm seeing and what commands I've tried so far:


    So what's the issue? What am I doing wrong here? The computer works really well otherwise - I just cant reformat it so I can make it my own. Am I going to be stuck on this lady's profile for the duration of using this iMac? Thanks so much for your help!!
  2. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    You can't format the disk you are logged on to (sort of like sawing off a tree branch while you are sitting on it).

    You need to boot to the recovery mode, then start Disk Utility from there and you will be able to format your main disk, and then restore the OS X installation from there. When done, it will be like a brand new out-of-the-box experience for you and you can register the computer with Apple and set up your own desktop.


    Good luck and enjoy your new iMac ... :)

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