Repair guides and support for 27" Intel iMacs by Apple.

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unformatted HD replacement how to formatt

How do I get the new hard drive formatted after replacement?

I don't have an OS disc.

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Can you give us the model as Apple has a few different versions of systems and need different methods.

To help you look at the bottom of the stand foot for a cable with the systems S/N. Once you have it plug it into this site lookup: EveryMac - Lookup. Once you know the exact system plug in the URL of your system in your question so we know as well.


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You need to know the year/model to know specifics about the OS versions that work with it, as only earlier models were shipped with disks. The later models (2012 and later in the iMac range) were not shipped with disk sets.

If you have an iMac that is 2011 or earlier, you need either an install disk, an OS on an 8GB USB stick (which you can create on a different computer) or a different mac with a suitable firewire or thunderbolt connection (to use target disk mode to connect the two machines together)

If you have a later model (2012 or later), then its straight forward. Instead of using disk sets, apple shipped them with built in firmware on the logic board that allows them to boot via the network to restore the drive.

You can get to this by either holding the 'N' key on the keyboard at startup while connected to the internet via ethernet, or you can go to the disk selection screen by holding the left alt key down, then type in your wifi password in the menu, and a new network recovery icon will appear. Select that and it will allow you to erase and reformat the drive, then install a clean OS.

I hope this helps.

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