I just wiped the hard drive on a 2010 mac pro using the recovery mode partition, but now when I try to reinstall (Sierra) I discover that it can't connect to apple because it has to go through the corporate proxy (because reinstalling the OS is obviously something that no-one in a corporate network would ever do…?).

I tried using networksetup in a terminal, but it doesn't seem to have it: I just get

-bash networksetup: command not found

when I try it.

I tried using a hotspot on my phone, but it still didn't connect so plan C is ruled out too.

What are my other options (Apart from doing the sensible thing and installing Linux)?

  • Can you access another Mac that can reach the App Store? – David Anderson Sep 20 '18 at 11:07
  • It is utterly ridiculous that you cannot re-install macOS behind a corporate proxy. Even when using a USB installer, it still has to connect to the internet to verify model/license info. The Terminal in Recovery Mode has limited commands and does not have networksetup to set a proxy. I don't understand why they didn't include proxy settings in the Recovery wifi manager. – wisbucky Aug 23 '19 at 23:48

(I know the phone hotspot didn't work for you, but it worked for me, so I'm posting it as an answer for others' benefit.)

Background: Macs need to connect to the internet when installing macOS, even if you have a USB bootable installer. It needs to download info from apple.com. The problem is that it doesn't work when behind a proxy.

The workaround is to use your phone's wifi hotspot for the initial verification step. If you use a USB bootable installer, then it won't need to download the 5+ GB through your phone's wifi hotspot.

  1. Create a USB bootable installer. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372

  2. Unplug any ethernet cables to your mac. Otherwise, even if you connect to your phone's wifi hotspot, it will use the ethernet adapter, which will fail in the corporate network.

  3. Boot to the USB. Before you click on "Install macOS", choose the wifi network (your phone's hotspot).

  4. Then continue the rest of the installation steps. If the wifi works, then you should see the License Agreement screen pretty quickly (less than 1 minute). If it's hanging more than 1 minute, it probably can't get through to the internet.

If you're using the USB bootable installer, you can turn off your phone hotspot after the install process has done a few reboots and is in the "Estimated time remaining..." phase.

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