I downloaded InstallMacOSX.pkg to create a bootable USB drive and install OSX El Capitan on a separate computer. That computer was shipped with El Capitan.

So, I am not installing it on the computer that is creating the bootable USB drive. Why does it assume that the OS is being installed on the computer that is creating the bootable drive ?

So in order to create the bootable USB drive, I have to run it on a computer that is also running El Capitan, which is weird.

Is there any way around this? I'm thinking of maybe using Pacifist?

  • exact mac. Could be you are installing an earlier version of El Capitan that the computer came with. Which is no go. Check with mactracker.app to see what version of El Capitan your machine came with. Apr 11, 2020 at 21:01
  • I'm not using the computer that runs El Capitan to make the installer, I'm using another computer that has Sierra installed. The computer that was shipped with El Capitan has no OS or recovery drive installed.
    – Masu
    Apr 12, 2020 at 3:05
  • How about internet recovery mode? command (⌘) + Option (⌥) + r This key combo downloads everything off the internet. hard wiring your computer to your router is best. Wireless works too. idownloadblog.com/2016/02/25/… [ you may have missed this in the link Todd gave ] Apr 12, 2020 at 19:40

1 Answer 1


Can't you just do a reinstall of macOS on the other Mac by reinstalling OS X El Capitan that came with a Mac. This link will explain: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204904.

Also, make sure that the disk is formatted HFS or HFS+ not APFS.

Good luck!

  • Thats the dilemma I have, the computer that runs El Capitan shows the folder icon because it is missing the recovery partition and the operating system. So I can't install the app.
    – Masu
    Apr 12, 2020 at 3:03
  • You can use a bootable macOS Installer. Check this out: support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372
    – Todd
    Apr 12, 2020 at 4:00
  • Also, you can use Internet Recovery which will allow you to reinstall the original version of OS X/macOS that came with the Mac. support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/reinstall-macos-mchlp1599/mac
    – Todd
    Apr 28, 2020 at 17:37

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