I have already ask this question before but I had no answers and I didn't explain many details on it. I will tell you everything about this problem.

I got a MacBook (Model A1342) 2009, I thought it was a great idea to delete everything on the Mac and now I'm stuck with the 4 utilities every time I boot up my MacBook.

I tried installing OS X (El Capitan) but then it says "Require download" something like that, I tried to change the date I was able to continue then I can't go further because I need to log in to my AppleID to continue, I did that but then it says "This item is temporarily unavailable".

I searched on Google why this happens and it seems like Apple doesn't support the service anymore to let us install the OS X in the App Store.
So I needed to make a bootable USB, I downloaded the latest version of El Capitan from the official website of Apple "InstallMacOSX.dmg" (5,78GB), Since I have only one MacBook I tried to make the bootable USB in Windows using a program called "TransMac".

I did format the volume to GUID on my MacBook, I did unplug my USB and did go back to plug it in Windows. I did send the .dmg to TransMac to my USB which made it decompress to a .pkg and made a folder "Install OS X".
Everything must be good right? Well no, I plugged it in my MacBook, I did boot it up by pressing the Option key and it did bring me to the Boot Manager, it doesn't show my bootable USB.

Although, when I go to the 4 utilities > Disk Utility, the MacBook recognizes the bootable USB but doesn't show my bootable USB on the Boot Manager? I used a USB 16GB to do this method, normally everything should be alright, I do not understand, that's why I need help.

  • This is a wall of text and hard to read. If you have asked this before then it is better to edit your original question. I suspect after trying to read this that it to was too difficult to read for people to be bothered to work out what you are asking
    – mmmmmm
    Oct 27, 2021 at 12:28
  • @mmmmmm oh sorry, i deleted the original post but i'll try to edit this one
    – Stephanoi
    Oct 27, 2021 at 12:30
  • I'm not sure that the format of the olds Mac os x versions is recognized by Transmac. For information and from a more recent Mac that is not compatible with these old versions, here is the procedure to create a bootable key : apple.stackexchange.com/a/420325/415185 I've never use TransMac.. Good luck. ;-)
    – user415185
    Oct 27, 2021 at 13:12
  • @Jean_JD Doesn't this method only work when you have an OS X? That's impossible to do it when you're stuck on the 4 utilities
    – Stephanoi
    Oct 27, 2021 at 13:29
  • You mean in the terminal in Recovery mode? You find the terminal on top menu bar in Utility. If you can open a terminal, it would be nice to have the system version of this Recovery by the command sw_vers
    – user415185
    Oct 27, 2021 at 15:32

2 Answers 2


How create an El Capitan installation key from Recovery mode without another running Mac.

Start by downloading El Capitan installer from Windows or Linux from this page: https://support.apple.com/fr-fr/HT211683

Copy this installer to an exFat formatted key (go beyond the 4 GB limit and readable under Mac os x) and named DMG for convenience.

Start the Mac in Recovery mode, then through the terminal:

  1. Create a working partition

List the disk configuration:

diskutil list
  1. Then locate the internal disk, usually disk0

If the structure is ok, we should find a partition named "Macintosh HD" or other with an index disk0s2

If so, create a 50 GB working partition by subtracting those 50 GB from the size of the original partition: example on a 250 GB disk this will give 200 GB for the main partition and 50 GB for the installation one:

diskutil resizevolume disk0s2 200g jhfs+ work 0b

This will create the work partition of approximately 50 GB.

  1. Then plug in the key and copy the dmg file to the new partition:

    cp /Volumes/DMG/InstallMacOSX.dmg /Volumes/work

It should take a few minutes and if ok, no terminal feedback.

  1. Then go to the working directory:

    cd /Volumes/work

and mount the disk image:

hdiutil attach InstallMacOSX.dmg

Some lines of info should follow which should end with: /Volumes/Install OS X

  1. Then recover from the disk image mounted above, the InstallMacOSX.pkg file:

    cp -v /Volumes/"Install OS X"/InstallMacOSX.pkg .

Please note that the point at the end of the previous line is important. It designates the current directory (/Volumes/work)

  1. Then un-compact the InstallMacOSX.pkg file in a directory (Installer for example) which will be created by the following pkgutil command:

    pkgutil --expand InstallMacOSX.pkg Installer

and position yourself in the created package InstallMacOSX.pkg

cd Installer/InstallMacOSX.pkg
  1. Then un-compact the Payload file using the tar command

    tar -xvf Payload

Move the InstallESD.dmg file to the work directory :

mv -v InstallESD.dmg /Volumes/work

Then we can create the installation structure :

8)go to the working directory:

cd /Volumes/work

and clean the installer directory

rm -r Installer/*

Then continue with this :

hdiutil attach InstallESD.dmg -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_app
hdiutil convert /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg -format UDSP -o Installer/Installer
hdiutil resize -size 8g Installer/Installer.sparseimage
hdiutil attach Installer/Installer.sparseimage -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_build
rm -r /Volumes/install_build/System/Installation/Packages
cp -av /Volumes/install_app/Packages /Volumes/install_build/System/Installation/
cp -av /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.chunklist /Volumes/install_build
cp -av /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg /Volumes/install_build
hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_app
hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_build
hdiutil resize -size `hdiutil resize -limits Installer/Installer.sparseimage | tail -n 1 | awk '{print $ 1}' `b Installer/Installer.sparseimage
hdiutil convert Installer/Installer.sparseimage -format UDZO -o Installer/Installer

First of all create the installation disk partition that we will name CLE by reducing the work partition by 10 GB

diskutil resizevolume /Volumes/work 20g jhfs+ CLE 0b

If ok we then pass the creation command:

asr restore --source Installer/Installer.dmg --target /Volumes/CLE --noprompt --noverify --erase

You can now boot on the EC Installer with the Alt key at boot. The name of the Install partition will be "OS X Base System"

I'v tested this method and it's work fine.

The best way, in the "terminal session" is open a new terminal cmd+n and inside do the command :


Then you connect to the forum (in text mode...) retrieve this post and you can use the copy/paste from the forum tu the initial terminal for each command.

Good luck. ;-

  • Thank you so much. I will try this and i'll tell you if it worked.
    – Stephanoi
    Oct 27, 2021 at 18:56
  • If you have an error or a doubt along the procedure don't hesitate. :-)
    – user415185
    Oct 27, 2021 at 19:00
  • Do a 16 GB key usb is enough? and i didn't understand "and named DMG for convenience". I should paste the InstallMacOSX.dmg on the usb and i would be able to start?
    – Stephanoi
    Oct 27, 2021 at 19:34
  • No, the name DMG for the usb key as no importance it's only to facilitate the terminal commands. And nothin is terninate àa this point, you have to create the working structure etc.. All the commands are gevin
    – user415185
    Oct 27, 2021 at 19:38
  • Sorry if i'm asking you that kind of questions it's just that i do not want to fail and i want to make sure, i format the usb drive in MBR or GPT?
    – Stephanoi
    Oct 27, 2021 at 20:02

I am not sure if I will be able to help you or not but I will try my best.

I didn't understand your question. Are you saying that you completely erased your Mac including your all personal files, pre-installed apps, and even the operating system?

Your MacBook is too old. I don't think that Macs of 2009 are fit to run the latest version of macOS which we use in 2021. I would rather suggest you buy a new Mac. And you can even go to Apple Support

But if you don't want to buy a new Mac then I have a possible way. Your Mac won't become as good as the original but it will become usable.

Before you go further, make sure that your Mac meets the minimum requirements for Windows 10. Otherwise, this method won't work.

First, get a Windows PC from someone and also get a 16 GB USB. Download Windows 10 media creation tool from Microsoft.

You are going to make Windows 10 bootable USB. (For help see this video)

After you make a Windows 10 Bootable USB, try to boot your Mac from that USB. If your Mac boots then install Windows 10.

  • Hi, thanks for your answers but it doesn't help me really. First of all i erased macintosh HD, that's only what i did which made me have no OS X, and wdym by pre-installed apps? You mean terminal, disk utility, things like that? if yes then yes there is. And when you tell that my macbook is old, yes but i saw videos peoples with their macbook 2009 that are able to install by usb, it's just i think my model is not compatible, or i did not well made the bootable usb, and about windows 10, same problem, my macbook won't boot by usb, i mean i can try. I do not know...
    – Stephanoi
    Oct 27, 2021 at 13:51
  • I found out that for some mac users using transmac (it's a windows program to make bootable usb for mac) don't work for them, so i can try buying a bootable usb in ebay?
    – Stephanoi
    Oct 27, 2021 at 14:00
  • or shall i upgrade the HDD to SDD
    – Stephanoi
    Oct 27, 2021 at 14:02
  • 2
    Not sure how this answers the question. The OP wants to install El Capitan which runs perfectly fine on a Mac from 2009. The specific model is mentioned in the question so answering with "make sure that your Mac meets the minimum requirements" isn't all that helpful (we are looking for answers which are correct, not just ideas). Finally you seem to have left out the part where the OP actually can install macOS again.
    – nohillside
    Oct 27, 2021 at 17:37

You must log in to answer this question.

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