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So my friend has a 2011 MacBook Pro. The laptop's hard drive crashed and no longer works. He bought a new SSD as a replacement, but he doesn't have a way to install macOS on this new SSD, because he cannot create a bootable USB from his old hard drive.

I have a 2009 MacBook Pro running OS X El Capitan on it. Can I use my MacBook Pro to create a bootable USB with OS X El Capitan on it? So my friend can use this bootable USB to install OS X El Capitan on his MacBook Pro.

  • To answer your question, yes you can create a USB Installer on yours and your friend can use it. Your friends might also be able to install using Internet Recovery... "As the computer starts, hold down the Command (⌘) – Option (⌥) – R combination immediately upon hearing the startup chime. Hold the keys until the animated globe appears on the screen. “Starting Internet Recovery,” the message reads." – user3439894 Apr 2 at 17:53
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Yes, it is perfectly normal to create a macOS bootable installer USB key on one Mac and use it to install macOS on any other Mac.

The bootable installer is not customized for a particular Mac hardware, can be used to install macOS on any Mac that supports running the particular version of macOS.

You can use your 2009 MacBook Pro to download OS X El Capitan installer from this link:

After downloading the installer, you can follow the below instruction to create to create a bootable USB installer:

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