Unable to restore my iMac to factory standard

StarShot

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 31, 2014
917
341
I wanted to reset my iMac cira 2013 running Sierra. I did a fresh start holding the Command/R key.

When the macOS Utilites menu came up, I went to the Disk Utility option. I then selected the erase my hard drive which then took me back the macOS Utilities menu. I don't have a Time Machine backup. I selected "Reinstall macOS" which brings up the next screen "macOS Sierra" with instructions "To set up the installation of macOS Sierra, click continue.

That brings up a popup "To downloud and restore macOS, your computer's eligibility will have to be verfied with Apple." If I choose continue, the computer doesn't do anything.

Did I brick my iMac and if so, is there any way to fix this?
 

Isamilis

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2012
608
98
You need to get bootable usb of Mac OS installer. You can download from App Store. Get the latest version should be fine.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,534
2,303
Delaware
If you do not need to restore anything, and you only want to erase the boot drive, and reinstall macOS...

Download the full installer for your desired macOS system.
For Sierra, you can go to this link: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/macos-sierra/id1127487414?mt=12
Then, make a bootable USB installer from that app.
Easy method from an Apple support page: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372

Then, boot to your new bootable installer. Erase the drive again. In Disk Utility, choose your device (with the part number for your device, not the volume name), and erase. That will remove all extra partitions, leaving only one.
And, reinstall macOS.
 
Last edited:

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,190
5,542
OP --

For the "erase" you described in post 1, did you use
- the recovery partition (command-R)
or
- internet recovery (command-OPTION-R)

???
 

StarShot

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 31, 2014
917
341
You need to get bootable usb of Mac OS installer. You can download from App Store. Get the latest version should be fine.
How do I download the maxOS installer. I can see it at the App Store when using my MBA, but when I attempt to install it, I think it wants to upgrade my MBA.

I assume the way this would work would be to get the install on a USB drive and then use that to boot my iMac. Assuming I was able to get the install on a USB drive and inserting it into my iMac, is there some command to force the iMac to boot off of the USB drive containing the Installer.

Thanks for the help. The reason I got into this mirky field is that I wanted to cleanup my iMac and then give it to my nephew as I no longer need the iMac, but didn't want to pass it along with my personal data.

Today I think I'm going to take the iMac to my nearest Apple store and see if they will reload Sierra on it. I was just on eBay where I see several USB macOS installer USBs, all for around 10 bucks. So there's that option as well.
 
Last edited:

StarShot

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 31, 2014
917
341
OP --

For the "erase" you described in post 1, did you use
- the recovery partition (command-R)
or
- internet recovery (command-OPTION-R)

???
Grasping at straws, I did both, first CMD-R where I think I erased the iMac.
 

RyanXM

macrumors 6502
Jul 7, 2012
329
352
DFW, TX
Use Forced Internet Recovery....

Option + CMD + R

By booting to the Recovery Partition, you cannot delete the GUID Partition Table to get back to a bare drive.
 
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DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,534
2,303
Delaware
How do I download the maxOS installer. I can see it at the App Store when using my MBA, but when I attempt to install it, I think it wants to upgrade my MBA.
Yes, that's right...
The installer has to download first, so let it download that installer app. When the download is complete, the installer will launch. And, just quit the installer at that time. (It won't force you to upgrade your MBAir, unless you choose to do the upgrade) Copy that installer app to some other drive (so it is safe).
Follow the steps to create a USB bootable installer. (That's the whole point of downloading the installer, so you can use it :cool: )
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,600
390
The Sillie Con Valley
You will not be able to download the Sierra installer on the MBA since your sig shows it is running Mojave.
Correct. You can't just download it from the App Store like you used to.

It's probably still in the App Store but you have to know where it's hidden. My links are not working (High Sierra, yes but on 10.12).

I have it zipped if you need a copy. FTP, GoogleDrive or a large enough Dropbox account will get it done as it's nearly 6GB. If you get stuck, let me know.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,190
5,542
"Grasping at straws, I did both, first CMD-R where I think I erased the iMac"

Command-R (booting from the recovery partition) WILL NOT "erase the entire drive".
It will erase ONLY the "main partition" that you boot and run from.

If you want to erase the ENTIRE drive, you MUST use internet recovery:
Command-OPTION-R.

I suggest you boot to internet recovery, and THEN use disk utility to erase the drive.
Choose the "topmost line" the represents the PHYSICAL drive.

Do this, then open the OS installer and try again.
 
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StarShot

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 31, 2014
917
341
"Grasping at straws, I did both, first CMD-R where I think I erased the iMac"

Command-R (booting from the recovery partition) WILL NOT "erase the entire drive".
It will erase ONLY the "main partition" that you boot and run from.

If you want to erase the ENTIRE drive, you MUST use internet recovery:
Command-OPTION-R.

I suggest you boot to internet recovery, and THEN use disk utility to erase the drive.
Choose the "topmost line" the represents the PHYSICAL drive.

Do this, then open the OS installer and try again.
I gave up and took the iPad to the Apple Store where they reinstalled Sierra. I also found out that my iMac is TOO old to upgrade to Mojave and future OS as well.
[doublepost=1560985548][/doublepost]Thanks to all for your attempts to help me bring my iMac back to life. I gave up and took it to my nearby Apple store where they reinstalled Sierra.