So I am installing a new 1tb hard drive in my late 08 uni. This is a fresh install of both the hd and OS - I'll port any files I need at a later date. I'm running El Capitan on my current hard drive.

I need to create a bootable installer to first load onto the new hd so I can then install the OS.

I'm instructed to download the "macOS installer app" from the App Store, but this app cannot be found. Nothing comes up in this search. At all.

I'm at an impasse at this moment. Does anyone see a solution or know the problem?

  • Where are you instructed?
    – mmmmmm
    Dec 21, 2016 at 20:14

2 Answers 2


"macOS installer app" is Sierra, all prior OSes were "OS X".

A unibody can't run Sierra [macOS].

You need El Capitan [OS X], which can be downloaded from the App Store [though it's difficult to actually search for], especially kept live by Apple because of the 'break' in OS support that happened at Sierra.

See Apple KB: Upgrade to OS X El Capitan which gives links that will open the correct location in the App Store app.

...or try this direct link

  • This worked - though I'm getting Volume contains an OS X installation which may be corrupt error that I'm working through. My expectation was to find an actual installer app and not a 6gb El Capitan download. Along with the hidden nature of the file it made this process a little more difficult. Dec 22, 2016 at 18:14
  • The app will be called 'Install [OS Name]' & will be quite visible in Applications once the download is complete. Before that it will be buried deep in usr/
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 22, 2016 at 18:18

The macOS installer on the Mac App Store is called the name of the OS. Therefore, for the current OS, search for "macOS Sierra", or use this link: http://appstore.com/mac/macossierra.

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