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I recently acquired an early 2008 Macbook Air with a completely wiped hard drive, so there's no OS currently on the machine. It boots up into Recovery Mode I think it is, and a window comes up saying 'Mac OS X Utilities' and has the following options:

  • Restore from Time Machine Backup
  • Reinstall Mac OS X
  • Get Help Online
  • Disk Utility

Now I've purchased a copy of OS X Lion and it's attached to my iTunes account, and it was my understanding that going on the 'Reinstall Mac OS X' option would let me download Lion from my account onto the machine. However, when I click on it, I get a window saying:

To download and restore Mac OS X, your computer's eligibility will be verified with Apple.

This seems reasonable enough, and I click 'Continue' but then after loading for a few seconds, I get the following error message:

An error occurred while preparing the installation. Try running this application again.

And then it sends me back to the Mac OS X Utilities screen where I have the 4 options again.

Does anyone know how I can resolve this?


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Is your Mac during this procedure connected to the Internet (either WiFi or Ethernet)? I think checking your computer's eligibility needs a network connection. – jaume Nov 16 '12 at 14:16

Not every mac is eligible for an internet recovery:

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Please summarize the solution as the link might die. – Rob Feb 12 '14 at 15:43
OK So what is solution then? – Petr Mar 24 '15 at 19:16

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