I see somebody already asked same question but I couldn't find a answer, so I am asking it again and will provide as detail as possible information.
The laptop is Macbook Pro , model A1278, purchased around 2010.
I can enter Disk Utility and see it has a 240G disk, and a "Apple disk Image", I assume it's the factory reinstallation image.
The harddrive was partitioned as two partitions, one for Mac and one for Windows. My friend still want to keep the Windows partition ( Bootcamp), so I will not reformat the whole disk.
I have tried following steps:
erase/reformated the partition ( the "empty" one ).
Downloaded a El Capitan ISO, created a Boot-able USB key from it ( using Windows application TransMac ). Booted machine with "Option" key pressed, selected to boot from USB ( the Kingston disk), then "Reinstall MacOS". Got exact same "This is not a supported method of installing the operating system”.
I have tried with WIFI connection and Ethernet connection, both with same error. Since it showed "High Sierra" logo, the Internet was working before it enter the real installation step.
It looks like as soon as the system start to install the OS, the network interface is disabled somehow.
I tried to entered terminal, I can see there is no IP on the en0 NIC. I even tried to use command line to configure a static IP on en0 and setup default route, then I can ping public IP like 18.104.22.168, but I couldn't get DNS configured under the terminal.
networksetup command is not available under the recovery terminal.
Now I am totally stuck. I am familiar with Windows/Linux but not a Mac guy, not sure what could be the problem. Would appreciate any suggestion.
Update: Turned out the USB disk restored by TransMac doesn't really work ( I thought I booted the system from USB, but only realized late it was the recovery partition, so no wonder it showed exact same error). But in Disk utility, it does recognize the USB disk and shows it has OS X Base installation.
Finally setup a Linux VM and used old good dd to copy the iso to USB key and it worked. I was able to boot from the USB and installed El Capitan, but then when the OS first start up, it stuck at here:
The reason I was asked to reinstall the system was it won't boot and always stuck at exact same place. Now I have re-formatted the partition, reinstalled El-Capitan, but seems went back to exactly where it was.