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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Setting up a refurb MBP

Setting up a refurb MBP
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Thorzdad
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Oct 8, 2020, 06:52 PM
 
My wife’s boss got her a refurb 15” MacBook Pro. It’s an old 2013-ish Core i7 with Retina display. It actually has a Magsafe2 power connection. So, yeah, old. But pretty.

I went to set the thing up for her, and I’m stumped right off the bat. It’s been awhile since I had to setup a Mac, but the setup screen doesn’t look quite right somehow. The thing that is stumping me, though, is the preferred language selection. It says “English (Qatar)” Qatar? Is this what it’s supposed to be? Or is this a refurb originally sold in Qatar? There are no other language choices.
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reader50
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Oct 8, 2020, 07:58 PM
 
You need a regular copy of the installer. The included one is localized. Easiest way is to create your own USB installer - you'll need a blank USB flash drive of 16GB or larger.

What OS version did you want to install?
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Oct 8, 2020, 08:52 PM
 
She’s currently using 10.13.2 on her personal MBP, so I guess that would be ok for continuity and lower chance of surprises.
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reader50
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Oct 8, 2020, 10:58 PM
 
Apple makes it unnecessarily difficult to install older versions of macOS.

Hit the DosDude High Sierra page. Download his patcher tool. Use the patcher to download the latest version of High Sierra, and create a USB installer.

You won't actually need any of the patches for unsupported systems (and it won't try to apply any). This is just the easiest way I know of to create a USB installer with the latest version of a particular OS.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Oct 9, 2020, 07:39 AM
 
Shouldn't booting into recovery give the option to download a non-localised version of whatever the last OS to run on that Mac is?

Is she wedded to High Sierra?

There's other options, as well:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204904
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Oct 9, 2020, 07:51 AM
 
Thanks! Nifty tool.

I'm not sure how I feel about this MBP her boss got her. It's a nice looking machine, and should do just fine for her. But, man, the ports on the thing seem ancient. In addition to the MagSafe power connector, there's a couple of standard USB ports and two Thunderbolt ports. I don't think I even have a Thunderbolt cable in my Box o' Cables™, and I have a ton of cables in there (SCSI, anyone?) All of our iThings have Lightning connectors, save for her personal MBP, which is USB-C. About the only thing we have that can readily connect to this refurb is a USB thumbdrive.
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Thorzdad  (op)
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Oct 9, 2020, 11:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Is she wedded to High Sierra?
Not wedded, exactly. It's what's on her own MBP, and she's using some software that, while old, still runs great on High Sierra, so we'd just rather go with a known quantity.
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reader50
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Oct 9, 2020, 12:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Shouldn't booting into recovery give the option to download a non-localised version of whatever the last OS to run on that Mac is?
The problem with Recovery is it offers (at most) two macOS versions. Original shipped with, or latest. In Thorz case, that would be Mountain Lion, or Catalina.

Even keeping the Install macOS (name).app installers around has limited utility - Apple prevents earlier installers from running. So you can only install whatever you're already running, or later versions.

A USB installer can be made for any OS version. And kept around for fast reinstalls or troubleshooting. I keep installation flash drives around for every OS version from Snow Leopard to Catalina.
     
ghporter
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Oct 10, 2020, 10:17 AM
 
I can vouch for DosDude’s patch working well. I have Mojave running on a 2007 iMac... The patched install really goes smoothly.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Oct 10, 2020, 10:20 AM
 
I've hit a snag in the nuke-and-pave of my wife's refurb. The instructions for the installer says to reformat the target drive as MacOS Extended (Journaled). But, the refurb's drive has been formatted as AFPS, and there is no option to reformat it back to MacOS Extended (Journaled).

Options?

Nevermind. After 20 seconds of searching, I found that, yes, there's a very simple way to do this in Disk Utility itself.
( Last edited by Thorzdad; Oct 10, 2020 at 10:50 AM. )
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ghporter
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Oct 10, 2020, 03:06 PM
 
Those reformat activities always give me pause. Nuking from orbit is a “good” option, but it helps if you feel that you know what’s going on when you do it, and that you are choosing the correct options.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Oct 10, 2020, 05:52 PM
 
Once I got the AFPS thing worked out, the reformatting and install went smoothly. Next step is to migrate stuff from my wife’s MBP to the refurb. Question...When you use Migration Assistant to move apps over, does it include all the lower-level bits in Library/Application Support, etc.?
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reader50
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Oct 10, 2020, 08:45 PM
 
Thorz, a clarification on the DosDude install.

The USB flash drive used as an installer must be formatted HFS+.

The MacBook drive can be formatted either way with High Sierra.
macOS versions before High Sierra require HFS+.
macOS versions after High Sierra should use APFS. It is possible to install Mojave on HFS+, but a few things will not work. Like Software Update.
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Oct 11, 2020, 09:24 AM
 
DosDude was pretty clear about all that. Everything ended up done as HFS+.
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reader50
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Oct 11, 2020, 01:10 PM
 
DosDude's instructions assume you're installing on an unsupported machine. ie - the recovery partition must be patched also in order to boot.

When a machine is officially supported, like your 2013 MBP, patch compatibility doesn't matter. The regular rules apply - we're only using his tools as a shortcut to a USB-based installer.

That said, I use HFS+ myself for most of my High Sierra installs. It's compatible with my older disk repair utilities. I use APFS for everything after HS.
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Oct 11, 2020, 01:17 PM
 
I agree, his tool for making a bootable usb drive is pretty slick and easy. That’s a great resource.

Any thoughts on my follow-up question re:migration assistant? If I migrate an app over, does it just move the app, or will it also move any lower-level support files/folders it also needs?
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reader50
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Oct 11, 2020, 01:47 PM
 
I've had good luck with Migration Assistant. Though I've migrated everything most times. No serious testing of migrating single apps. My granular tests went the other way. Leaving out a few huge apps, in order to migrate to a smaller volume size.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Oct 11, 2020, 01:58 PM
 
I've just migrated for a number of generations now. It has occasionally failed on the first try, but worked fine when it worked at all (and it always did eventually).
     
   
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