2

Basically what the title says. I have a 2009 MacBook Pro and recently wiped the disk to be able to start new. After wiping, I went to redownload Yosemite and of course got the "This item is temporarily unavailable" error after entering my Apple ID.

I did some internet searches and read that a lot of people have gotten past this error by restarting, clicking on Get Help Online, going to icloud.com and logging in with their own Apple ID. After trying again usually they were successful.

I've tried this multiple times in recovery mode and regularly, and every time it says Safari cannot open this page. 100% connected to my own WiFi, yet I don't know how to login and eventually get past this part because I can never open the web page.

11
  • 1
    Your Mac support El Capitan. Have you an another Mac to create an install key? I f yes, you can see here : support.apple.com/en-us/HT211683
    – user415185
    Nov 25 '21 at 8:05
  • Hi Kay - Welcome to the community, though sorry to hear you are joining with so serious a problem!
    – TechnoCat
    Nov 25 '21 at 8:56
  • 1
    Kay, when I have started a new Mac afresh, I usually download the new operating system to an thumb drive (to create a bootable drive) before wiping the disk. Do you have access to a friend's Mac that would allow you to create a bootable drive? This may put you on a better path than the method you are trying at present.
    – TechnoCat
    Nov 25 '21 at 8:59
  • There was this problem with high sierra. Some solution here
    – Ptit Xav
    Nov 25 '21 at 17:59
  • 1
    If you still have the original OSX CD delivered with the Mac you can try to restore from it, then upgrade to newer OSX version.
    – Ptit Xav
    Nov 25 '21 at 21:56
4

The simplest way forward is to use another Mac to download OS X El Capitan. Use safari and this link.

Then from that download, create a bootable USB drive that will install the OS. (This also has links to the download steps)

You don’t need to sign into iCloud or use an Apple ID to download os installers, so it’s not clear why you’re seeing that error in your symptoms unless the machine has a clock issue where the date and time are so off that the web server encryption fails to negotiate a secure web page.

3

Since you can boot to OS X Yosemite Recovery, you can install Yosemite without the aid of a DVD, flash drive or another Mac. You will need to download free installation files. One download is the installer for a third party disk partitioning tool called "GPT fdisk". The two other downloads are OS X installers from Apple. Basically, you first install Mountain Lion on a new (clean) volume, then use Mountain Lion to install Yosemite on a different new (clean) volume. Finally, the Mountain Lion boot and recovery volumes are converted to free space and the Yosemite volume is expanded to reclaim this free space.

I realize this is a rather lengthly installation procedure. The answer posted by bmike is far simpler and more practice, if your Mac can boot OS X installers from a flash drive and you have another Mac that can install the "Install OS X El Capitan" application from the InstallMacOSX.dmg file downloaded from Apple.

Below are the steps to install Yosemite on your Mac.

Before following the steps posted below, you probably should post the output from the diskutil list disk0 command so your question. This would allow me to confirm this solution will work with your Mac.

  1. Install gdisk to your EFI partition. See Install gdisk from macOS Recovery in this answer. This will require the use of Safari. If you get a popup shown below, select the Cancel button.

    login popup

  2. Divide partition on the drive where OS X used to reside into two partitions of equal size. Normally, the Disk Utility or diskutil command would be used to make the changes. However, since you are booted from the recovery volume on the same drive, neither the Disk Utility or diskutil command can be used to successfully make the changes. The procedure given in this step does use the diskutil command, but not to make changes to the this drive. Other commands are used to make the changes.

    Start by enter the command below to get a list of partitions.

    diskutil list disk0
    

    Below is the output from my test environment. I assume you would get similar output with different sizes.

    -bash-3.2# diskutil list disk0
    /dev/disk0
       #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
       0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        +268.4 GB   disk0
       1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk0s1
       2:                  Apple_HFS Macintosh HD            267.6 GB   disk0s2
       3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s3
    

    For this procedure to work, the Macintosh HD volume (disk0s2) needs to be replaced by two volumes of equal size. Eventually, one of the volumes will be converted to free space and the other will be expand to fill this free space. To determine the size of the two new volumes, the following command needs to be entered to get the sizes pertaining to the current volume.

    diskutil info disk0s2 | grep Size
    

    Below is my output from entering the above command.

    -bash-3.2# diskutil info disk0s2 | grep Size
       Disk Size:                267.6 GB (267575697408 Bytes) (exactly 522608784 512-Byte-Units)
       Device Block Size:        512 Bytes
       Allocation Block Size:    4096 Bytes
    

    The equation below can be used to compute the size of the new partitions in sectors.

    Partition Size in Sectors = Disk Size in 512-Byte-Units/16*(4096/Device Block Size)
    

    This equation can be evaluated by entering the command given below. You will need to replace the values of 522608784 and 512 with your values for Disk Size in 512-Byte-Units and Device Block Size, respectively.

    echo "Partition Size in Sectors = $((522608784/16*(4096/512)))"
    

    Below is my output from entering the above command.

    -bash-3.2# echo "Partition Size in Sectors = $((522608784/16*(4096/512)))"
    Partition Size in Sectors = 261304392
    

    These next commands will prevent the partition (disk0s2) containing the existing volume from mounting. Also, the new partitions created later will not be able to mount until after being formatted. You will need to replace the values of 261304392 and 512 with your values for Partition Size in Sectors and Device Block Size, respectively.

    diskutil unmount disk0s2
    dd if=/dev/zero count=100 bs=512 of=/dev/disk0s2
    dd if=/dev/zero count=100 bs=512 seek=261304392 of=/dev/disk0s2 
    

    Below is my output from entering the above commands.

    -bash-3.2# diskutil unmount disk0s2
    Volume Macintosh HD on disk0s2 unmounted
    -bash-3.2# dd if=/dev/zero count=100 bs=512 of=/dev/disk0s2
    100+0 records in
    100+0 records out
    51200 bytes transferred in 0.024378 secs (2100249 bytes/sec)
    -bash-3.2# dd if=/dev/zero count=100 bs=512 seek=261304392 of=/dev/disk0s2
    100+0 records in
    100+0 records out
    51200 bytes transferred in 0.050295 secs (1017996 bytes/sec)
    

    Use the gdisk command to divide partition where OS X used to reside into two partitions of equal size. Here, I assume your EFI partition (/dev/disk0s1) is still mounted on /Volumes/EFI. If not, enter the command below.

    diskutil mount disk0s1
    

    The command below can be used to execute gdisk.

    /Volumes/EFI/gdisk /dev/disk0
    

    The above command is interactive. The table below lists the required entries. The commands and data need to be entered in the order given in the table.

    Note: Read each comment and any applicable footnote carefully before making an entry.

    Entries for
    512 Byte
    Device
    Block Size
    Entries for
    4096 Byte
    Device
    Block Size
    Comments
     
     
    x x Enter the experts' menu
    l l Change the sector alignment value
    8 1 New sector alignment value
    m m Return to main menu
    p p Display basic partition summary
    d d Delete a partition
    2 2 Partiton to delete
    n n Create a new partition
    2 2 Partition to create†
    409640 76806 Starting sector†
    +261304392 +32663049 Size in sectors*
    AF00 AF00 Hex code for HFS+ partition†
    n n Create a new partition
    4 4 Partition to create†
    261714032 32739855 Starting sector‡
    +261304392 +32663049 Size in sectors*
    AF00 AF00 Hex code for HFS+ partition†
    s s Sort partition entries
    p p Display basic partition summary
    w w Write GPT to disk and exit
    y y Yes proceed to write and exit

    *You should enter the Partition Size in Sectors that you calculated earilier instead of the value shown. Note, the + character is significant and should not be omitted.

    †This should be the default value.

    ‡This should be the default value. However, the value you see will not be the same as shown in the table. The value you see will be the new second partition's starting sector plus size in sectors.

    Below is my output from using the gdisk command. The default values were used when appropriate.

    -bash-3.2# gdisk /dev/disk0
    GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 1.0.8
    
    Warning: Devices opened with shared lock will not have their
    partition table automatically reloaded!
    Partition table scan:
      MBR: protective
      BSD: not present
      APM: not present
      GPT: present
    
    Found valid GPT with protective MBR; using GPT.
    
    Command (? for help): x
    
    Expert command (? for help): l
    Enter the sector alignment value (1-65536, default = 2048): 8
    
    Expert command (? for help): m
    
    Command (? for help): p
    Disk /dev/disk0: 524288000 sectors, 250.0 GiB
    Sector size (logical): 512 bytes
    Disk identifier (GUID): D32269E7-0718-4BCC-A2BD-24ACA171AE82
    Partition table holds up to 128 entries
    Main partition table begins at sector 2 and ends at sector 33
    First usable sector is 34, last usable sector is 524287966
    Partitions will be aligned on 8-sector boundaries
    Total free space is 13 sectors (6.5 KiB)
    
    Number  Start (sector)    End (sector)  Size       Code  Name
       1              40          409639   200.0 MiB   EF00  EFI System Partition
       2          409640       523018423   249.2 GiB   AF00  Apple HFS/HFS+
       3       523018424       524287959   619.9 MiB   AB00  Recovery HD
    
    Command (? for help): d
    Partition number (1-3): 2
    
    Command (? for help): n
    Partition number (2-128, default 2): 
    First sector (34-524287966, default = 409640) or {+-}size{KMGTP}: 
    Last sector (409640-523018423, default = 523018423) or {+-}size{KMGTP}: +261304392
    Current type is AF00 (Apple HFS/HFS+)
    Hex code or GUID (L to show codes, Enter = AF00): 
    Changed type of partition to 'Apple HFS/HFS+'
    
    Command (? for help): n
    Partition number (4-128, default 4): 
    First sector (34-524287966, default = 261714032) or {+-}size{KMGTP}: 
    Last sector (261714032-523018423, default = 523018423) or {+-}size{KMGTP}: +261304392
    Current type is AF00 (Apple HFS/HFS+)
    Hex code or GUID (L to show codes, Enter = AF00): 
    Changed type of partition to 'Apple HFS/HFS+'
    
    Command (? for help): s
    You may need to edit /etc/fstab and/or your boot loader configuration!
    
    Command (? for help): p
    Disk /dev/disk0: 524288000 sectors, 250.0 GiB
    Sector size (logical): 512 bytes
    Disk identifier (GUID): D32269E7-0718-4BCC-A2BD-24ACA171AE82
    Partition table holds up to 128 entries
    Main partition table begins at sector 2 and ends at sector 33
    First usable sector is 34, last usable sector is 524287966
    Partitions will be aligned on 8-sector boundaries
    Total free space is 13 sectors (6.5 KiB)
    
    Number  Start (sector)    End (sector)  Size       Code  Name
       1              40          409639   200.0 MiB   EF00  EFI System Partition
       2          409640       261714031   124.6 GiB   AF00  Apple HFS/HFS+
       3       261714032       523018423   124.6 GiB   AF00  Apple HFS/HFS+
       4       523018424       524287959   619.9 MiB   AB00  Recovery HD
    
    Command (? for help): w
    
    Final checks complete. About to write GPT data. THIS WILL OVERWRITE EXISTING
    PARTITIONS!!
    
    Do you want to proceed? (Y/N): y
    OK; writing new GUID partition table (GPT) to /dev/disk0.
    Warning: Devices opened with shared lock will not have their
    partition table automatically reloaded!
    Warning: The kernel may continue to use old or deleted partitions.
    You should reboot or remove the drive.
    The operation has completed successfully.
    
    

    Enter the following command to get the identifiers for the two new Apple_HFS type partitions.

    diskutil list disk0
    

    Below is my output from entering the above command.

    Note: The output is still showing the Macintosh HD as the name of disk0s2. This name will be updated later, when the diskutil is used to mount disk0s2.

    -bash-3.2# diskutil list disk0
    /dev/disk0
       #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
       0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        +268.4 GB   disk0
       1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk0s1
       2:                  Apple_HFS Macintosh HD            133.8 GB   disk0s2
       3:                  Apple_HFS                         133.8 GB   disk0s5
       4:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s3
    

    Enter the following command to format, mount and list the two new partitions. If your two new partitions have identifiers which differ from disk0s2 or disk0s5, then make the appropriate substitutions.

    newfs_hfs -J -v Upper /dev/disk0s2
    newfs_hfs -J -v Lower /dev/disk0s5
    diskutil mount disk0s2
    diskutil mount disk0s5
    diskutil list disk0
    

    Below is my output from entering the above commands.

    -bash-3.2# newfs_hfs -J -v Upper /dev/disk0s2
    Initialized /dev/rdisk0s2 as a 125 GB case-insensitive HFS Plus volume with a 16384k journal
    -bash-3.2# newfs_hfs -J -v Lower /dev/disk0s5
    Initialized /dev/rdisk0s5 as a 125 GB case-insensitive HFS Plus volume with a 16384k journal
    -bash-3.2# diskutil mount disk0s2
    Volume Upper on disk0s2 mounted
    -bash-3.2# diskutil mount disk0s5
    Volume Lower on disk0s5 mounted
    -bash-3.2# diskutil list disk0
    /dev/disk0
       #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
       0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        +268.4 GB   disk0
       1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk0s1
       2:                  Apple_HFS Upper                   133.8 GB   disk0s2
       3:                  Apple_HFS Lower                   133.8 GB   disk0s5
       4:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s3
    

    Quit the Terminal application.

  3. Open Safari by selecting "Get Help Online". Under Safari Preferences, set "File download location:" to the Lower device, as shown below.

    Safari preferences

    Next, goto https://support.apple.com/kb/DL2076. If you are using a newer version of Safari, then a Download button will appear, as shown below. If the button appears then select the button, download the InstallMacOSX.dmg file to /Volumes/Lower and proceed to the next step. Otherwise, complete the rest of this step.

    with button

    Most likely, the Download button will not appear, as shown below.

    without button

    From menu bar, select FileSave As…, then set the format to Page Source, as shown below. When finished, select the Save button, the quit Safari.

    save page source

    From the menu bar, select UtilitiesTerminal to open a Terminal window and enter the command below. This will output text containing the URL assigned to the missing Download button.

    grep updates /Volumes/Lower/Mac\ OS X\ Mountain\ Lion\ Installer.html
    

    When I run the above command, the following was output.

    "metaUrl": "https://updates.cdn-apple.com/2021/macos/031-0627-20210614-90D11F33-1A65-42DD-BBEA-E1D9F43A6B3F/InstallMacOSX.dmg",
    

    From which, the following URL can be extracted.

    https://updates.cdn-apple.com/2021/macos/031-0627-20210614-90D11F33-1A65-42DD-BBEA-E1D9F43A6B3F/InstallMacOSX.dmg
    

    From your output, copy the Url, quit Terminal, open Safari and paste the URL as the location to open. This should download the InstallMacOSX.dmg file to /Volumes/Lower.

  4. Quit Safari and open Terminal. Enter the following commands to replace the Upper volume with with a bootable Mountain Lion installer.

    cd /Volumes/Lower
    hdiutil attach InstallMacOSX.dmg
    pkgutil --expand-full /Volumes/Install\ Mac\ OS\ X/InstallMacOSX.pkg full
    diskutil eject /Volumes/Install\ Mac\ OS\ X
    asr --source full/InstallMacOSX.pkg/InstallESD.dmg --target /Volumes/Upper --erase
    
  5. From menu bar, select Starup Disk…, then select OS X, 10.8.5 on the disk “Mac OS X Install ESD”, as shown below. Next, select the Restart… button, then confirm the restart.

    startup disk for ML

    Let the Mac boot to the Mountain Lion Installer.

  6. Prepare a volume for the installation of Mountain Lion.

    A some point, the original Yosemite recovery partition will be removed. Making a backup of this partition is optional. If all goes well, you will not need to use the backup. You can choose one of the two options below. Do not choose both.

    • Option that removes the original Yosemite recovery partition.

      Use the Disk Utility to erase the Lower volume. Select the Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format and enter Macintosh HD name. When finished, quit the Disk Utility.

    • Option that backups the original Yosemite recovery partition.

      Open a Terminal window and enter the commands given below.

      diskutil unmount disk0s3
      newfs_hfs -J -v "Mountain Lion" /dev/disk0s3
      diskutil mount disk0s3
      dd if=/dev/disk0s4 of=/Volumes/Mountain\ Lion/YosemiteRecovery.bin bs=1m
      

      When finished, quit the Terminal application.

  7. Select Reinstall OS X and install OS X Mountain Lion on the Mountain Lion volume. Proceed and install Mountain Lion. When asked to enter an Apple ID, I chose to skip. Also, when asked to register this device, I chose to skip.

  8. Open Safari and goto "How to get old versions of macOS" (https://support.apple.com/HT211683). Under the section "Use Safari to download macOS on your Mac", select the OS X Yosemite 10.10 link to download InstallMacOSX.dmg to your Downloads folder. When finished, quit Safari.

  9. Use the InstallMacOSX.dmg file in your Downloads folder to install the "Install OS X Yosemite" application to the /Applications folder. When finished, use the Finder to eject the Install OS X volume.

  10. Prepare a volume for the installation of Yosemite. Use the Disk Utility to erase the Mac OS X Install ESD volume. Select the Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format and enter Macintosh HD name. When finished, quit the Disk Utility.

    A some point, the Mountain Lion volume will be removed. If you previously made a backup YosemiteRecovery.bin file on this volume, then use the Finder to copy the YosemiteRecovery.bin file from Mountain Lion volume to the Macintosh HD volume. Making this copy is optional. If all goes well, you will not need to use this copy.

  11. Use the "Install OS X Yosemite" application to install Yosemite to the Macintosh HD volume.

  12. Remove Mountain Lion and reclaim the space back to the Macintosh HD volume by choosing one of the two options below. Do not choose both.

    • From Yosemite, use the Disk Utility to remove the Mountain Lion partition. Next, quit the Disk Utility and then open the Disk Utility. Finally, use the Disk Utility to resize the the "Macintosh HD" partition to maximum size. When finished, quit the Disk Utility.
    • Open the Terminal and enter the following commands to remove the Mountain Lion volume and add the free space to the Macintosh HD volume.
      diskutil erasevolume free none "Mountain Lion"
      diskutil resizevolume "Macintosh HD" R
      
      When finished, quit the Terminal application.

Other References

Create a Bootable DVD Copy of OS X Lion Installer

2
  • 1
    This is such an amazing answer - my hat is off to you, again, for such precise and comprehensive solutions to keep old hardware running.
    – bmike
    Dec 5 '21 at 22:47
  • 1
    I couldn't agree more. Only last week one of my neighbours popped around with an old MacBook Pro needing me to sort out a problem. The point being that people still have and use old devices, so preserving these types of answers can be a godsend for people. :)
    – Monomeeth
    Dec 6 '21 at 3:31

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