I have a MacBook Pro Late 2013 running Big Sur which I want to sell. Following Apple's guidelines to wipe the drive I erased the main Volume Group in the hopes of reinstalling Big Sur. Ì understand the wipe formatted the drive as APFS. Unfortunatelly I failed to reinstall Big Sur after wiping the disk and restarted the computer. Now I can load MacOS Recovery from the Internet but it starts Mavericks recovery screen and the main drive is not listed as an option for the installation.

Right now I'm burning 2 USB sticks, one with Big Sur media and another with Catalina, hoping that booting from those drives will allow me to reinstall.

Are there any other options to reinstall the OS in this situation?

  • You could take it to an Apple store...in all seriousness, the above should work. You could try installing ubuntu to see if the HD might have an issue.
    – William
    Commented Oct 20, 2021 at 14:37
  • Thanks William. I had not thought about the Ubuntu option. Unfortunatelly Apple doesn't have stores in Mozambique right now. Commented Oct 20, 2021 at 15:31

2 Answers 2


When you erase you internal disk, Internet Recovery Mode allow you to reinstall the initial system of the Mac.

So 2 solutions :

  1. From Recovery disk utility you erase completely the insternal SSD (cmd+2 to display physical disk) and format jhfs+ schema GUID and reinstall the initial system (Mavericks for your Mac). Then upgrade the system to desired system.

  2. If possible create a install key Catalina or Big Sur from an other Mac and always from disk utility erase the SSD and format it in APFS for Catalina or Big Sur.

  • Unfortunatelly Recovery disk utility would not list the disk for formatting, but option 2 worked like a charm. Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 10:06
  • @Grasshopper Happy for you. ;-)
    – user415185
    Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 12:39

Here is what I would try based on my own experience. I would preface this by saying that there are some weird PRAM/NVRAM, and a host of other weirdness that happen as you update an older Mac with newer versions of macOS.I believe that Apple has to make some simplifying assumptions as they issue upgrades and one of those is that you bought the computer when it was a current model and dutifully upgraded it as OS changes became available.

  1. Clear your NVRAM and install Mavericks.

  2. Next, install High Sierra. This was a big upgrade for a lot of machines so there are may be some important firmware patches in that release.

  3. Clear your NVRAM and install Catalina. Lots of change in this release probably including more firmware patches.

I have had similar experiences, and if I was in your circumstances this is what I'd try. YMMV.

Afterthought: As you migrate through these OS changes, test the charging capability of the your MacBook. Reset your SMC if your MacBook is not charging as it once was.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .