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Model A1311 / Mid 2011 / 2.5 & 2.7 GHz Core i5 or 2.8 GHz Core i7 Processor

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Trying to fresh install after new SSD fit?

Hi again all,

Got a 2011 21.5” iMac which I’ve just fitted an SSD into and now I’m trying to get any OS on it not just Lion which it is trying to get from Apple.

I only get the message unable to download all the nescessary files. I’ve had a look around the net and alot of people are saying set the clock back. tried this via terminal and set it back to just before and just after build date to no avail.

I have tried internet restore with WiFi and Ethernet-no joy! I only have windows PC to get other software! any ideas people…….please!

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i honestly dont know, but what i did when i installed a new ssd in my 2014 21 inch iMac i just made a macos Big Sur butable USB wich is easy to do you just need another mac to do it with, the notable USB can be of any os that you want to use or that your mac supports even apple has an article on how to do this after you have the USB drive just hold the option key after pressing the power button and then select the USB then eras and format the SSD in disk utility and then go back and click reinstall macOS and then all you need to do is wait, I would look up a youtube video on how to do this, it's not that hard so yeah hopefully I can help you out. lol, this is the first question I answer.

link to how to creat a bootable USB drive:

The link I use to get the macOS download which you need to make the USB bootable drive( this is to gest older macOS like Catalina, Yosemite, or el Capitan):

Have a nice day :D


Thanks Apple,


Hopefully I could help when I sent the message I didn’t realize someone had already replied to your question so yeah, have a nice day


Hi Apple, thank you for your message, yes Dan has been really helpful but i appreciate anybodys input!


Ah ok haha no prob then, happy late Valentine’s Day ?


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Sounds like you still have a working HDD which you took out is that correct?

If you do we can get you going but you need a SATA to USB adapter which offers power for the 3.5" HDD you took out. Or... You need to put the HDD back into your system and then get a 2.5" SATA to USB adapter.

Once you have the drives setup you should be able to then boot up under your HDD to then download a newer version of MacOS. I strongly recommend you stick with Sierra (10.12.x) as its the best one for your system. Download the OS from here How to get old versions of macOS You’ll then need to create a bootable USB Thumb drive OS installer. First format the USB Thumb drive to GUID with a jounaled file system and then follow this guide How to create a bootable macOS Sierra installer drive.

Once done you can swap the drive again so you have the SSD installed. You may want to consider adding the drive Vs swapping it! Your system offers a spare SATA port which you can use to connect your SSD as a second drive Installing iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2428 Dual Drive Kit. I strongly recommend that if your HDD is still running. Then you can gain the speed of the SSD as your boot drive and holding your apps, and still have all of the storage you currently have on the HDD for your media and other stuff.

Universal Drive Adapter Image


Universal Drive Adapter


2.5" Hard Drive Enclosure with USB 3.0 Cable Image


2.5" Hard Drive Enclosure with USB 3.0 Cable


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Hi Dan, thank you for your advice. Re the original HDD, i dont want to re-use it as it was unstable when i got the machine and i had exactly the same problem getting it to accept an internet reload, hence the upgrade to an SSD. I would be interested to know why the internet restore option wont work. Is it down to the lack of support from apple for this OS or is it the date/time issue.


Hi again Dan, following on from my earlier response i have managed to get the old HDD in an enclosure and attached to iMac and have managed to get it formatted via MAC OS X utilities. So basically i have an SSD installed in the machine and the HDD in an enclosure external to the IMac. Neither will accept an internet load and keep returning the same "cannot download the required components to load OS X". This is clearly a apple server issue with my iMacs' age i'm thinking.


@aerobob - Tell me you didn't format the HDD !! I wanted you to leverage it to setup the USB Thumb drive.

Forget Internet recovery!! We need to use the 100% workable solution Apple has not maintained the older OS's on their Internet recovery servers which is why you are encountering a problem.

Here's the basic issue: If you've got an old macOS install image, it will probably stop working today

So lets get the USB OS installer setup!


Are you refering to the comment by Big Dan?


Do i need to back date the system clock as Dan has suggested first?


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