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My problem is that my Mac starts up to the "El Capitan" installer. After restarting several times, OS X is still on screen telling me that "no packages were eligible for install".

Can someone help please, and can you bear in mind that I’m not technically minded so keep instruction in simple terms.

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – bmike
    May 25, 2021 at 15:33

4 Answers 4

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As explained here, OS X 10.11 "El Capitan" fails to install because it is too old (the technical reason being that the signing certificate is no longer valid).

But you can trick the OS X installer into thinking that it is 2017 and it will happily run without any errors.

How to trick the OS X installer

  1. When the OS X installer complains that "No packages were eligible for install" and displays this window:

    enter image description here

    don't restart your Mac.

  2. Turn Wi-Fi off or unplug the Ethernet cord, depending on your configuration, to prevent your Mac from connecting to the Internet:

    enter image description here

  3. Select Utilities>Terminal:

    enter image description here

  4. Click the window that appears:

    enter image description here

    and type date 0115124517 (this will reset the date to Jan 1st 12:45 2017). After typing the command, press Enter:

    enter image description here

    Terminal will confirm that the date has been changed with a line of output that displays the new date.

  5. Quit Terminal:

    enter image description here

  6. In the OS X installer window, press Restart:

    enter image description here

  7. When your Mac comes back up, disable Wi-Fi and leave the Ethernet cord unplugged, as explained in step 2, and press Continue:

    enter image description here

  8. Read the software license agreement, press Agree to accept it and press Continue:

    enter image description here

  9. Select the disk on which you want to install "El Capitan" and press Continue (note that the icon and name of the disk will be different in your case) (there is usually only one option. If you have several options because the Time Machine drive is plugged in to your computer, make sure you select the correct drive and not the Time Machine drive):

    enter image description here

  10. The installation should now proceed without any errors:

    enter image description here

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  • I had to set the date to the current date first, to get the initial reinstall setup to download from the internet (https/ssl downloads require current date) from the recovery screen, then it failed, then change the date to the past e.g. date 0102030417 (bit easier to type), so that the package installation doesn't fail (that's when it says 24 minutes remaining (Macbook5,1)). May 25, 2021 at 15:20
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If after you set the date , the WiFi keeps automatically connecting and resetting the date to current date:

  1. Turn on WiFi then connect to 'Other' Network. Choose a any network and put in wrong password on purpose. It can't automatically reconnect to WiFi then period.

  2. Now open the terminal, set the date and reboot. When it boots back in it WiFi will be off.

  3. Follow the screens and setup will then go through normally.

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There are two options. Both require correct keyboard function with a command key and not a control key.

First is you reinstall the os. This should be feasible for someone not looking to get technical.

The second is there is a hardware issue, again feasible without technical training.

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  • Many thanks for your response. My keyboard is not Apple so has no command button unfortunately. Jun 21, 2020 at 10:52
  • On a Windows keyboard, you can use the Windows key in place of Command. But it's probably the other answer (changing the date) that will get the installer working.
    – mwfearnley
    Jul 22, 2020 at 11:01
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I just had a very similar situation here and solved it by just unplugging my router, resetting the date as described, installing and this is it!

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