I overwrote mac OSX with linux and I can't change it back to OSX because I cannot boot to the apple recovery mode it only boots to linux so I am not able to reinstall Mac OSX or windows.

  • Which Mac do you have? (model, year, etc.)
    – jksoegaard
    Commented Apr 20, 2019 at 23:28
  • iMac from 2001 I think but I can't be sure because I cant get to OSX to check.
    – Owen Smith
    Commented Apr 20, 2019 at 23:28
  • Try comparing it to pictures found online of the various iMac model years.
    – jksoegaard
    Commented Apr 20, 2019 at 23:50
  • Note, serial number is sent in the clear. "A serial number is a unique, identifying number or group of numbers and letters assigned to an individual piece of hardware or software." appleserialnumberinfo.com/Desktop/index.php Commented Apr 21, 2019 at 0:16
  • 2
    If it is from 2001 it definitely won’t boot Windows. It also probably shipped with OS 9 on a CD.
    – dwightk
    Commented Apr 21, 2019 at 0:16

2 Answers 2


Since your Mac is from 2001, It most certainly won't run anything past Leopard (10.5) and may not even run Leopard (If it doesn't, then it would run Tiger (10.4). Regardless, you will need an installation disc for this appropriate version. Follow the instructions that come with the installer to install from the disc.

Recovery mode is persistent on newer Macs, but can be erased on older ones.

  • It's worth noting that a circa-2001 iMac will not have a Recovery Mode on the HDD at all. The Cmd-R Recovery Mode feature did not come along until Mid 2010 iMac hardware. Commented Jun 2, 2019 at 21:05

A circa 2001 iMac can run OS X Tiger 10.4.11 at the latest. You'll need installation media to boot the system. As well, the Linux installation will have partitioned and formatted the HDD in a fashion that OS X will not be able to use. As such, the very first step after booting to the installation media will be to run Disk Utility to remove and re-create the partition on the HDD. Once that is done, format the HDD as HFS+. After the HDD is successfully partitioned and formatted, the OS X installer will find a suitable installation target and your installation should proceed as normal.

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