I want to make a clean OS X Mavericks install on a MacBook Pro 2008 (A1278). I don't have the installation disc anymore.

Because the OS is already wiped out, I can only try (a) Recovery, (b) internet recovery or (c) bootable USB stick.

(a) and (b) throw an error message ("This is not a supported method of installing the operating system; please run install OS X Mavericks app....").

Because the OS is already wiped out I could not download Mavericks app from the app store. Therefore I got an bootable install image from the web (whick seems to be clean and official). When preparing the intallation it stucks for hours with "one second left" (until reboot) and the throws an error message "during preparation of the installation an error occured" (roughly translated). The same problem occured with 3 other bootable install images (all looking clean, from different internet sources).

Can someone help me?

  • Reformat the drive and try again. You may also benefit from resetting PRAM (magic keystroke when booting) as that solved a situation for me where my machine - after a previously interrupted installation - did not complete correctly. Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 7:57

2 Answers 2


The installer fails to bless the system folder (EG make the drive bootable). This could be an issue with boot sectors or other parts of the disk having a problem of some sort.

Thorbjørn's idea for formatting the HD might indeed work as that will rewrite parts of the disk structure and (hopefully) the part that is failing. Zapping PRAM (COMMANDOPTIONPR at startup) might also help.

Failing that you may have a disk error that is beyond the capability of Apple's Disk Utility to fix. Diskwarrior or other disk repair tool might be something to try next.


If your laptop is from 2008 it might be an idea to give it a new HDD altogether. It's been reading/writing since 2008 so it may be time to lay it to rest. Which MacBook Pro do you have specifically? A Late 2008 is the 4,1 model.

An SSD would give it a massive breath of life, and should get several more years of good use out of it, even if the rest of the hardware is getting on a bit.

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