Wiping drive and reinstalling Lion

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My '08 iMac came with Leopard which I upgraded to S.L. then later upgraded to Lion by download. A while ago I started with screen freezes,pinwheels and black screens, sometimes 6 times a day. I want to wipe the drive and reinstall Lion. I tried to reboot and reinstall but I get the "unavailable screen" as described by others. I have changed used ID and passwords over the years, so that may be the problem. Is Lion still available on disk? Should I do this or go for a later OS? Will my TM backed up data be restored to a later OS?
 

chscag

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Your Mac's Specs
2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, Numerous iPods, Monterey
It sounds like the hard drive failed in your 2008 iMac. Lion does not come on disk, it has to be downloaded from the Mac App Store. However, if your hard drive has failed, you need to replace that before doing anything else. If you have a current Time Machine backup you can restore your data to the new hard drive.
 

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