I can't re-install Lion on my MacBook.

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Hello, all.

Okay here is the deal

I own a secondhand (from eBay) early 2008 13" white MacBook. It was running Mac OS X Lion. I went into the options at one point and completely screwed something up. Now whenever I power my machine on, it goes to the gray screen with the "Utilities" box listing four options.

1. Restore from Time Machine backup
2. Reinstall Mac OS X
3. Get help online
4. Disk Utility

Being as that I bought this machine used off of eBay, I don't have a recovery disk, so I have tried option 2 countless times and it keeps flashing the message: "This item is temporarily unavailable, try again later." Guess what? That's right, it's always unavailable (I read somewhere online that this could be due to something regarding a firmware password, I don't know anything about this).

I try to explain this to people and they always come back telling me to try re-installing again (option 2), and Apple has made it obvious to me that it would be too easy to do things that way so they keep denying me access to the download. Option 2 isn't an option.

Below I have posted a screenshot of the screen that I get after I try to re-install Lion online from the Utilities program:

(Notice it says that the Recovery HD disk is locked)
KDyFSI.jpg


Here I posted a short video of me powering on my MacBook and all of the steps that I go through to come to this error message.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4A818okR_Lg

Does anyone know of a way around this? Is it at all possible for me to fix this problem and re-install the operating system with a recovery disk while the Recovery HD is locked (without having to drive really far from where I live to visit people who call themselves "genius")?

This machine is really stressing me out, nothing with it is easy. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you for your time.
 

pigoo3

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...I don't have a recovery disk...

There weren't any recovery disks. Mac OS Lion was the first OS version without disks.

If you needed or wanted to try using a disk of some sort...then you would want to purchase an OS 10.6 Snow Leopard OS install disk:

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard - Apple Store (U.S.)

...(I read somewhere online that this could be due to something regarding a firmware password, I don't know anything about this).

Yes...firmware passwords can be a BIG pain in the butt! Did you purchase the computer recently? If so, maybe you can still contact the seller to see if they can give you the password. Hopefully you purchased it from the computers actual previous owner...and not someone who sells these by the dozen (because this type of seller will have no idea).

I'm also assuming that you did some internet searchs regarding Apple computers & firmware passwords.

A firmware password is very possibly what you are dealing with.

- Nick
 
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There weren't any recovery disks. Mac OS Lion was the first OS version without disks.

If you needed or wanted to try using a disk of some sort...then you would want to purchase an OS 10.6 Snow Leopard OS install disk:

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard - Apple Store (U.S.)



Yes...firmware passwords can be a BIG pain in the butt! Did you purchase the computer recently? If so, maybe you can still contact the seller to see if they can give you the password. Hopefully you purchased it from the computers actual previous owner...and not someone who sells these by the dozen (because this type of seller will have no idea).

I'm also assuming that you did some internet searchs regarding Apple computers & firmware passwords.

A firmware password is very possibly what you are dealing with.

- Nick


Thanks for the response, Nick.

Yeah, unfortunately I purchased it from one of those computers-are-us guys who sells tons of used machines that he obtains (and it was also back in April of this year, so I'm screwed).

I guess I should probably sell it as a non-working machine for parts at a cheap price just to rid it from my life. It is old anyways, I just thought I'd give it a shot.
 

chscag

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It's not a firmware password problem. You couldn't even get into Recovery without that password. As you can see, getting into Recovery is not a problem.

I believe the reason Lion is unavailable is because the original owner installed Lion under his Apple ID and the App store "sees" your computer as belonging to the original owner's Apple ID. When you type in yours (as the YouTube shows) it is rejected. You have two choices to install Lion:

1. Take the MacBook to an Apple store, pay for Lion and let them install it for you.

2. Do as Nick suggested: Buy Snow Leopard from Apple and then use the disk to wipe the hard drive and install Snow Leopard. After that you can use your Apple ID to download and install Lion - but you will have to pay for the copy. Lion is not free.
 
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It's not a firmware password problem. You couldn't even get into Recovery without that password. As you can see, getting into Recovery is not a problem.

I believe the reason Lion is unavailable is because the original owner installed Lion under his Apple ID and the App store "sees" your computer as belonging to the original owner's Apple ID. When you type in yours (as the YouTube shows) it is rejected. You have two choices to install Lion:

1. Take the MacBook to an Apple store, pay for Lion and let them install it for you.

2. Do as Nick suggested: Buy Snow Leopard from Apple and then use the disk to wipe the hard drive and install Snow Leopard. After that you can use your Apple ID to download and install Lion - but you will have to pay for the copy. Lion is not free.

These are good ideas, thank you.

I have a question, though. Since the HD Recovery drive is locked, will that create a problem while installing the Snow Leopard disk, or will the disk itself adjust all of the settings for the re-install to take place, so I wont have to do anything further?
 

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I believe the reason Lion is unavailable is because the original owner installed Lion under his Apple ID and the App store "sees" your computer as belonging to the original owner's Apple ID.

Great idea Charlie...I wasn't thinking of that!:)

I've purchased used computers before...and I was able to access the Recovery Partition. But I've also discovered recently...that when I install Lion onto a new used computer that I've purchased (just did last Monday)...that a person can choose (or not choose) to associate their Apple ID with the computer.

As you recommended..."ChilledGreen" may only need to erase, reformat, and reinstall the OS.:)

- Nick
 

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I guess I should probably sell it as a non-working machine for parts at a cheap price just to rid it from my life. It is old anyways, I just thought I'd give it a shot.

Don't give up! If you are not dealing with a firmware password...then we should be able to get things working for you!:)

- Nick
 

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These are good ideas, thank you.

I have a question, though. Since the HD Recovery drive is locked, will that create a problem while installing the Snow Leopard disk, or will the disk itself adjust all of the settings for the re-install to take place, so I wont have to do anything further?

Shouldn't be a problem because you'll be booting with the Snow Leopard disk and using Disk Utility direct. It should allow you to wipe the drive and install SL. You'll first have to remove the recovery partition before wiping and formatting the drive - so don't forget that step.
 
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Shouldn't be a problem because you'll be booting with the Snow Leopard disk and using Disk Utility direct. It should allow you to wipe the drive and install SL. You'll first have to remove the recovery partition before wiping and formatting the drive - so don't forget that step.

Yeah, I don't understand any of those things because I am new to Apple. All of my Windows machines required me to hold one of the "F" keys at boot up and it did the rest as far as restoring the machine to factory default. As much as I hate to do this, my best bet will probably be to go to the Apple store with my tail between my legs lol. I don't want to further screw up the machine if I have a chance at saving it. Plus, if I have them do it I'll just get Lion then.

Thanks for all of the help, again.
 

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Hey, not a problem. The friendly folks at your local Apple store will take good care of you. I'm sorry that we were not able to get things going for you. By the way, learning how things are on your Mac and with OS X is really very easy. Much easier than Windows. Most of us, myself included, are well seasoned Windows users for many years so we understand your frustration. Let us know how it all turns out.
 
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Hey, not a problem. The friendly folks at your local Apple store will take good care of you. I'm sorry that we were not able to get things going for you. By the way, learning how things are on your Mac and with OS X is really very easy. Much easier than Windows. Most of us, myself included, are well seasoned Windows users for many years so we understand your frustration. Let us know how it all turns out.


Will do.

So do I make an appointment with the Apple store, or should I just walk in with machine in hand?
 

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Will do.

So do I make an appointment with the Apple store, or should I just walk in with machine in hand?

Make an appointment would be best. If it's a busy day/evening...all the appointment slots will be filled...and you won't get any help.

Think of it like going to a dentist or a doctor's office with no appointment...and expecting to get "serviced" right then. They're going to look at you like you had 3-eyes!;)

It actually wouldn't be as bad at the Apple Store (the 3-eye's part);)...they simply may help you make an appointment for another day.:)

- Nick
 
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Wow, you guys are really great here and super helpful. Again, thanks for being so nice to me even though I am probably asking the most common questions.

I'll be sure to bookmark this forum in the future.
 
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See the discussion here and my post about "This item is temporarily unavailable, try again later." The reason you are asked to enter an Apple ID is so that it can be determined that you actually purchased Lion. Are you willing to spend US$20 to try it out, or will you visit the Apple Store?
 
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See the discussion here and my post about "This item is temporarily unavailable, try again later." The reason you are asked to enter an Apple ID is so that it can be determined that you actually purchased Lion. Are you willing to spend US$20 to try it out, or will you visit the Apple Store?


Yeah, I enter my e-mail and password and it doesn't work because I am not the original owner. I left it off with I will bring it to the Apple store and have them put it on for me, because if I purchase it and it still doesn't work then I'll be disgusted. So yeah, hopefully the guys and girls at the Apple store will be able to sort it out for me.
 
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Yeah, I enter my e-mail and password and it doesn't work because I am not the original owner. I left it off with I will bring it to the Apple store and have them put it on for me, because if I purchase it and it still doesn't work then I'll be disgusted. So yeah, hopefully the guys and girls at the Apple store will be able to sort it out for me.

Sounds like a good plan. But so you know, entering an AppleID and password there has nothing to do with the original owner. It only has to do with it being a valid AppleID and that it has rights to install Lion.
 

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Sounds like a good plan. But so you know, entering an AppleID and password there has nothing to do with the original owner. It only has to do with it being a valid AppleID and that it has rights to install Lion.

The problem is that the machine and the version of Lion what was on it is associated with the original owner's Apple ID and Password which is why he's unable to reinstall Lion. The folks at the Apple store will sort it out for him.
 
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The problem is that the machine and the version of Lion what was on it is associated with the original owner's Apple ID and Password which is why he's unable to reinstall Lion.

Sorry, chscag, that is not correct.

[edited]
... or it is at least misleading.

The reason the OP is unable to reinstall Lion is because their AppleID doesn't have valid rights to a Lion install either by buying a copy of Lion or from a hardware purchase containing Lion. Whoever had the machine before and their AppleID has nothing to do with why the OP's AppleID doesn't work.
 
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Ohh dear.

That is precisely correct. The OP needs to download Lion via their own Apple ID otherwise it will never update.

Edited : chscag's comment that is perfectly correct in case of misunderstandings!
 
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