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I have a MacBook pro 4.1 (17 in, mid 2008), and for the life of me I can't get MacOS Yosemite or El Capitan to install. I would like to get El Capitan on the machine, as it is the newest version of MacOS that I can install on the machine per apple's website, and still seems to get modern software support.

So far, I have tried:

  1. installing snow leopard, upgrading to Yosemite/ElCap directly from snow leopard using the upgrade utility (this reboots the machine, starts the installer, then fails about 80% of the way through)
  2. installing snow leopard, upgrading to Lion, to Mountain Lion, to Mavericks, then trying to upgrade to Yosemite/ElCap using the upgrade utility (this also reboots the machine, starts the installer, then fails about 80% of the way through. Error log attached.)
  3. installing Mavericks, creating USB boot media for Yosemite/ElCap, booting to it. This yields error message "This copy of the Install OS X El Capitan application can't be verified. It may have been corrupted or tampered with during downloading". I tried every method in this thread: This copy of the Install OS X El Capitan application can't be verified. It may have been corrupted or tampered with during downloading. Using the command prompt method of forcing the installer, I get error message "Floating point exception: 8".
  4. When an install fails (methods 1 and 2 above), it seems to wipe my SSD, but installs the recovery partition for Yosemite/ElCap (whichever I was trying to install). When I try installing using the recovery partition, I get error "This item is temporarily unavailable, please try again later" from the app store sign in. Users on the apple fourms have suggested opening Safari, navegating to icloud, and signing into your apple account there, However Icloud's website will not load (likely due to certificate expiring).

I have tried the abovce using DMG files both from Apple's website directly, and from archive.org. Neither works.

to note: I do have access to another Mac running Catalina (can be downgraded to as low as Mountain Lion), and a PC.

Any suggestions welcome, please advise- Andrew

error log (too long for pastebin): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1U8fLpU9SyMTJOSmmgM1P_OdsTO-BLBja/view?usp=sharing

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  • Have you tried installing from a bootable installer drive - either USB thumb-drive or external HDD/SSD? Since you have another working Mac, you should be able to follow these instructions and give it a try. I'm sure you've visited this page at Apple Support, but maybe not.
    – IconDaemon
    May 7 at 21:39
  • @IconDaemon: If you read the OP's question and links provided by the OP, then you would find the OP visited the link you have provided. May 7 at 22:16
  • andrew: Your question does not explain how you acquired the installer application for each OS X version. Are these the most recent release of these versions or some older release you have downloaded from some non-Apple site or were saved by you years ago? I ask because I did not find your question mentioning the Apple website How to get old versions of macOS. May 7 at 22:17
  • @DavidAnderson I got my disk images for OSX Yosemite and OSX El Capitan from the official apple website you linked. I got my OSX Mavericks disk image from archive.org, as it was no longer available from apple directly. May 8 at 0:39
  • I assume the MacBookPro4,1 can not boot from a USB El Capitan installer flash drive that was created by using the other Mac. Is this correct? May 8 at 4:51

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