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Installed a new hard drive on a iMac 2011 27": old drive would not boot (node errors which FSK cannot fix). This faulty drive was running High Sierra before it stopped booting.

Removed the old drive and installed in an external powered enclosure.

  1. Installed new HDD -- but remote install of OSX limited to Lion (10.7), as Apple remote recovery only reinstalls original OSX imac came with.

  2. I cannot find any way to find the recovery partition on the old drive.

  3. Tried to update OSX from app store but my account purchase list does not show any OSX (lots of my apps though)

  4. Cannot check my Apple App store account settings as "To make changes to your payment information, you need to upgrade your Mac to the latest version of macOS."(Which is what I am trying to do!!)

  5. Tried to download El Capitan from the great Apple page set up for this, but on clicking 'Get' it says Paypal will send me a text to confirm the account, but that was over a day ago.

  6. Also worked out how to use terminal (fsck_hfs -r /dev/disk1s2) to try to rebuild catalogue on the now connected external enclosure with old drive. Says it can't be verified after executing command.

My question: So how can I upgrade OS, when I can't access app store or Apple App store account, or find the recovery partition on what is now the external drive, and I can't get a CD with OS?

Even if I could find the recovery partition, I cant see any information on how to use apart from starting the external disk in target disk mode perhaps? (which will not work as it won't boot)

Running out of options...thank you good folk in advance.

The best thing I can think of is to fond some way to copy the recovery partition from the old drive to the new drive (as I can read the old disk), but where is the partition?

Stefan Melbourne Australia

marked as duplicate by Allan, nohillside Jan 15 at 11:54

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  • You used a PayPal link to get El Capitan? Sounds fraudulent. See this answer on how to obtain legitimately. – Allan Jan 15 at 11:28
  • Also, you have a 2011 iMac. Replacing the HDD is super easy as the glass is held on with magnets and once removed, you can easily remove the LCD as those are held in with Torx screws. Once that's out, replace the hard drive with an SSD. iFixit has a guide you can follow – Allan Jan 15 at 12:16
  • I'd really appreciate it you read the post before making incorrect claims about fraud. I have paid for all my software. I never use illegal software (or even music). On clicking Get on the Apple store, I see the prompt "Before you can make purchases, PayPal must send an SMS code to your phone 4••••-6881 in order to verify your account." It never arrives. Also, my post describes (point. 1) how I have already installed a new HDD. – Stefan Jan 16 at 1:07
  • What I used: Command (⌘)-R= Install the latest macOS that was installed on your Mac. What I should have used: Option-⌘-R Upgrade to the latest macOS compatible with your Mac. Shift-Option-⌘-R Install the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available. – Stefan Jan 16 at 4:30
  • 1
    Stefan, I'm glad you've sorted this out - that's great! :) I just wanted to add I think you've misinterpreted the comment by @Allan - what he was trying to say is that you may have been the victim of fraud, not that you're guilty of fraud. Basically, Apple doesn't charge for El Capitan, so if you were being asked for your Pay Pal account details for payment then that'd be a bad sign. However, it could simply be a case of your account payment method needing confirmation before being able to proceed, even though there was no charge. Regardless, I'm glad it's all sorted now! :) – Monomeeth Jan 16 at 5:12

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