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  1. #16
    El Capitan on Early 2009 MBP and other stuff
    krs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacBrad View Post
    So, I guess that the best choice would be to create a bootable thumb drive, install the new drive, use the thumb drive to boot then install the new OS on the new drive while installed in the MBP?
    Seems to me you have the wrong installer.

    After I downloaded the macOS 10.11 installer per my previous post, you should be able to install on the external drive directly, no need to make a bootable thumb drive unless you want to install El Capitan on another Mac and don't want to have to download the OS again.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by MacBrad View Post
    So, I guess that the best choice would be to create a bootable thumb drive, install the new drive, use the thumb drive to boot then install the new OS on the new drive while installed in the MBP?
    Seems to me you have the wrong installer.

    After I downloaded the macOS 10.11 installer per my previous post, you should be able to install on the external drive directly, no need to make a bootable thumb drive unless you want to install El Capitan on another Mac and don't want to have to download the OS again.

  2. #17
    El Capitan on Early 2009 MBP and other stuff
    krs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MBAmtloin View Post
    anytime i needed to make a bootable thumb drive, this source was the easiest and very thorough- osx daily saved my bacon many times!
    There is really no need to go the terminal route.

    I used Disk Creator to make a bootable thumb drive - it's free and does everything for you.

    There is also DiskMaker X which some prefer, also free but for me it needed to run in an admin session so I used Disk Creator instead.
    Works fine.

  3. #18
    El Capitan on Early 2009 MBP and other stuff

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    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP Early 2009 with 8mb ram and 250gb SSD, iPad Air, and many Macs in the past 36 years.
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    krs, wow, you're fast. And thank you for getting it and doing all of that. When I downloaded from Apple, a file called "Install MacOSX.dmg" file ended up in my "Downloads" folder. I open that and it mounts "InstallMacOSX.pkg". When I open that, I get an installer, but it doesn't look like yours. I moved it to my Applications folder and tried again with the same result. The file is 6.2gb. When I click it gives the standard install window and states that the package will run a program to determine compatibility. When asking for destination, it shows my internal HD, my external SSD and the installer file itself. The installer steps stall at the second step stating that the SSD can't be installed to because it doesn't have OSX installed. It will allow me to install over Lion and doesn't even see the formatted USB Thumb Drive.
    I don't know, maybe I need to re-download it and make sure it ends up in the "Applications" folder?

  4. #19
    El Capitan on Early 2009 MBP and other stuff

    Member Since
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    Oh, thank you, I saw your last response after I posted #18. When I create a bootable drive, does it have all of the software of a normal install, or is it stripped down to the essentials just to get running?

    I may just have a variation of the installer which doesn't allow the other drive as a destination?
    Could you post the link for the version you downloaded?
    Thank you!

  5. #20
    El Capitan on Early 2009 MBP and other stuff
    krs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacBrad View Post
    krs, wow, you're fast. And thank you for getting it and doing all of that. When I downloaded from Apple, a file called "Install MacOSX.dmg" file ended up in my "Downloads" folder. I open that and it mounts "InstallMacOSX.pkg". When I open that, I get an installer, but it doesn't look like yours. I moved it to my Applications folder and tried again with the same result. The file is 6.2gb. When I click it gives the standard install window and states that the package will run a program to determine compatibility. When asking for destination, it shows my internal HD, my external SSD and the installer file itself. The installer steps stall at the second step stating that the SSD can't be installed to because it doesn't have OSX installed. It will allow me to install over Lion and doesn't even see the formatted USB Thumb Drive.
    I don't know, maybe I need to re-download it and make sure it ends up in the "Applications" folder?
    When you go to the app store and check under "purchased" - do you see a list of applications you downloaded over time?
    There should be one called OS X El Capitan.

    I don't really understand what you actually have and why it doesn't show which macOS it actually is.
    All mine show OS X and then the name Apple gave that OS

    And I think the download should end up in the Applications folder automatically, not the download folder

  6. #21
    El Capitan on Early 2009 MBP and other stuff

    Member Since
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    That may be it. I didn't DL from the app store, but from Apple Support. It might be different somehow? I'll check on it now.

    I can't log in to the App Store. I will probably need to create a new account. My login for the computer no longer works at the app store (I didn't create the account, it's an old computer I bought from my brother).

  7. #22
    El Capitan on Early 2009 MBP and other stuff
    krs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacBrad View Post
    Oh, thank you, I saw your last response after I posted #18. When I create a bootable drive, does it have all of the software of a normal install, or is it stripped down to the essentials just to get running?
    The bootable drive has all the software - you can use it to install the full macOS on any number of Macs.

    I may just have a variation of the installer which doesn't allow the other drive as a destination?
    Could you post the link for the version you downloaded?
    Thank you!
    I don't really have a link, it probably wouldn't work anyway because it's tied to my Apple ID.

    But there were posts on this forum with links to the various macOSs, maybe someone can remember how to find them.

  8. #23
    El Capitan on Early 2009 MBP and other stuff

    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2020
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    Your Mac's Specs
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    Thank you. I'm going out for a while. When I get home I'll do a bit of searching. I might have to open a new account. Anyway, I'll update if I find a solution in case anyone else needs a solution to the same or similar problem(s).
    Last edited by MacBrad; 01-22-2020 at 10:21 PM. Reason: clarity

  9. #24
    El Capitan on Early 2009 MBP and other stuff

    Member Since
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    Your Mac's Specs
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    OK, duh. I think I figured it out. The OSXInstaller.pkg, only installs the installer. I feel dumb. I was afraid the installer would install the OS, it just installed the installer. It is now installing on my SSD.
    You are a kind and patient bunch, the computer is restarting. I'll update when I get home.

  10. #25
    El Capitan on Early 2009 MBP and other stuff
    krs's Avatar
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    You definitely downloaded the wrong installer.

    By chance google brought this up:
    If you still need OS X El Capitan, use this link: Download OS X El Capitan. A file named InstallMacOSX.dmg will download to your Mac.
    And when I checked which website that came from, I got this - How to upgrade to OS X El Capitan:
    How to upgrade to OS X El Capitan - Apple Support

    To "upgrade" you have to have an existing macOS to start from - that explains everything you are seeing.

  11. #26
    El Capitan on Early 2009 MBP and other stuff
    krs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacBrad View Post
    OK, duh. I think I figured it out. The OSXInstaller.pkg, only installs the installer. I feel dumb. I was afraid the installer would install the OS, it just installed the installer. It is now installing on my SSD.
    You are a kind and patient bunch, the computer is restarting. I'll update when I get home.
    I don't know what you are installing now - but there is no separate installer that you need to install before you install the OS.

    For a clean install of any macOS you need to get the complete installer from the Apple store, all you have is an installer to update from an older macOS.

  12. #27
    El Capitan on Early 2009 MBP and other stuff
    MBAmtloin's Avatar
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    good we are all set, yippie!
    i would time machine your elcap back up and keep that incase something happens, and this is easier to recover instead of  store downloads in the future.
    MacBook Air 2010 4gb Mountain Lion 10.8.5 and Snow Leopard 10.6.8
    i fixed everything on the macbook my self and repaired many in the past.

  13. #28
    El Capitan on Early 2009 MBP and other stuff

    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2020
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    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP Early 2009 with 8mb ram and 250gb SSD, iPad Air, and many Macs in the past 36 years.
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    Here's the promised update. I didn't have my Apple ID/Store access set up. I found a link to DL El Capitan as stated above. I opened the .dmg file which had ended up in my DL folder. That opened a .pkg file as described above. I was concerned that when I opened the .pkg file, it had an install process which wouldn't allow me to install to the empty SSD, but would allow installation to the Mac HD. I didn't want to upgrade the Mac HD to El Capitan at that time because of concern over breaking things. I finally realized the .pkg file was an installer for the El Capitan installer. I installed to my Mac, the installer was installed to my Applications folder, and when opened looked just like what krs had posted. I opened the installer, and it allowed direct installation to the new, empty but formatted SSD in the external enclosure. I went out for the evening, leaving the Mac to do it's thing. When I got home, I was greeted by a new screen, with a set-up menu. I shut my computer off using the power button. I swapped drives, but didn't connect the old, now external drive. I booted the computer, went through the set up and now I have a fast, clean and more up to date MBP. Once set up, and after playing with the apps, etc. I connected the old now external USB drive, which loaded very quickly. I am playing with old apps and files, and seeing how things work. So far all works very well.
    Thank you all for your time and effort helping me sort this out. Thanks especially for the extra mile walked by krs, who's screen shot of the installer made me realize what was actually happening.
    I'm happy that I joined this great community.
    Have a great day!

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