I have a MacBook Pro Early 2011 and I had it with High Sierra OS, as I'm going to sell it I tried to revert to factory settings via recovery... the thing is that it shows an error and didn't install it.

I was touching stuff in Terminal following some guides I found online and I made things worse, the thing is that now the Mac only boots to Internet recovery, and when i try to install macOS Lion (the only option I have in recovery) it shows an error and doesn't download.

I tried to make an bootable USB from Windows with Sierra but the Mac doesn't see it (I used Transmac because i don't have access to another Mac to make it from there).

The other thing that I don't understand is that when I use Disk Utility to erase the disk it doesn't show "HFS Extended Journaled", just "macOS Plus Case Sensitive, Encrypted", etc.

I'm truly desperate, I don't know what to do.

  • 1
    Your Mac should supports Internet Recovery . When doing IR, hold Cmd-Opt-R (it sounds like you're holding Shift as well; don't!). It will attempt to install the latest version of macOS that's compatible with your Mac.
    – Allan
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 18:28

2 Answers 2


i managed to get it back up, i downloaded mac os lion 10.7.5 and i used transmac software to make a bootable USB drive with lion 10.7.5.dmg inside from my Windows 10 machine. Steps (on windows 10): 1- get MacOS Lion (in my case) 10.7.5 (not older, because if its older you wont be abble to update it to Sierra) 2- get transmac trial software (15 day trial) 3- open transmac as administrator 4- plug in USB drive (8GB or more) 5- on transmac locate the USB drive, click right mouse button and click "format disk for mac" 6-click "yes" 7-when it finishes formatting, click right mouse button again on the USB drive and click "restore with disk image" 8- search and select the Macos Lion.dmg file 9- click "yes" and wait until it finishes (it may take a while)

when i booted from the mac with the USB drive (push the power button on the mac and righ after push "cmd") it gave me another error and refused to install... after a lot of searching i found that reseting NVRAM may help, so it did (turn on the mac holding option (alt)+cmd+P+R), and after the long install process i was on MacOS Lion, and from there i updated to Sierra, and after that High Sierra.

Thanks to all for trying to help me and i hope my experience can help someone in the future.

Sorry for my english


You won't be able to install anything except Catilina from Apple servers.

Your Mac 2011 does not come with a bootable install CD either.

You might find on the market old universal install CD for Mac OS X Lion. It is really old now and nearly useless.

If your machine is not compatible with Catilina you need to clone another startup disk with whatever version it has. El Capitan is still good.

Don't you have a backup?

  • "You won't be able to install anything except Catilina from Apple servers. " No to this! You may want to review this Apple Support Document: support.apple.com/en-us/HT204904
    – Allan
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 21:20
  • I have tried to upgrade my Macbook pro 2011 to High Sierra a few weeks ago. There is misleading information even on Apple site. At the last moment it fails and many other people have met the difficulty. This needs to be cleared, I am interested too. The OP's Mac is not compatible with Catilina so until Apple change their policy or he fiinds another Mac to clone, it is bound to its present condition. Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 21:43
  • This is some kind of commercial pressure to make you buy a new Mac or keep your old machine with outdated software. If it goes on I will switch to Linux, Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 21:47
  • This is not correct. I was able to get Lion on my iMac. Tested just two weeks ago
    – Allan
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 21:48
  • With the install CD? Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 21:49

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