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I have formatted a usb drive guid partition and installed Yosemite from another mac. When booting, the USB is showing as an option to install yosemite. When I select this and try to install I immediately get a prohibited sign. I also booted normally (el capitan) and selected the usb from the desktop and was given an error "the copy of the install os x application to old to be opened on this os x. Any ideas on how to erase el capitan and install yosemite??

Mac that I'm attempting install on.. -started with el capitan on it -el capitan has been updated once

  • No, I meant to type mac..sorry – nvidiaburner May 18 '16 at 20:48
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If the Mac in question shipped with OS X 10.11.x on it, it likely will not be able to run a previous version of OS X (like OS X Yosemite.) This is because as Apple updates hardware, they build the drivers for the new hardware into the OS that the Mac comes with and also into later versions of OS X.

A version of OS X which was released before that Mac model won't have the correct hardware drivers for that Mac. Apple's pretty upfront about it and states Avoid using versions of OS X that are older than what came with your Mac.

Apple maintains a knowledgebase article that shows which versions of OS X shipped with which hardware. It's available via the link below:

OS X versions and builds included with Mac computers

For more information on this issue, please see the link below:

Use the version of OS X that came with your Mac, or a compatible newer version

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If it was shipped with El Capitan, most likely you can't go back to Yosemite.

  • Even if I erase the hard drive and then try installing yosemite? I found a link with a different approach to uninstalling El Capitan but I think it's saying I can only do this IF I had previously had Yosemite installed before igeeksblog.com/… – nvidiaburner May 19 '16 at 12:05

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