Just bought a MacBook Pro from a friend but he told me the HD drive was corrupted and the battery is messed up so I replaced the HD drive with a Samsung 1 TB SSD, new 8 GB RAM and a new battery but I'm having problems installing OS X.

I made a bootable USB drive with OS X 10.11 but when I try to install the OS it says:

there is not enough free space on os x base system to install

I've tried restoring from the internet with Opt+Cmd+r but it takes me nowhere and it shows me a grey folder with and ? mark. For some reason it won't let me access the disk utilities.

EDIT: it's basically this image pops up enter image description here

  • Create a USB recovery disk using another Mac. Recovery Assistant can be downloaded from Apple's site, and is needed to do this. Dec 13, 2016 at 13:57

2 Answers 2


Coincidentally I had this exact problem on the same type of macbook yesterday.
As Tetsujin correctly states the mac is too old for internet recovery, and since the drive is probably empty, there is no recovery partition aswell

If you have the original grey install discs that came with the mac, you can boot from those by holding the "c" key during startup.

If you don't have them, you'll need an other mac and an external hdd case.
You can than connect the ssd via usb to the working mac, and then use internet recovery on that mac to install osx on the usb connected ssd.

Sources: did it myself yesterday


It seems that you are trying to install macOS into the USB bootable disk itself. Go to Disk Utility and format the SSD. Then Install macOS on that SSD. You should be able to install without any issues.

  • for some reason i cant access disk utilities
    – user214975
    Dec 13, 2016 at 5:24
  • Try to boot into Recovery mode and may be you can access Disk Utilities where you can Erase the SSD partition. And later boot from USB.
    – Pratik
    Dec 13, 2016 at 5:27
  • when i press cmd r it shows a folder with a question mark flashing
    – user214975
    Dec 13, 2016 at 5:29
  • Try Command+Option+R instead. This will try to startup from OS X Recovery via the internet.
    – Monomeeth
    Dec 13, 2016 at 5:34
  • 1
    That Mac is too old to use Internet Recovery.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 13, 2016 at 7:17

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