Fix an er­ror when in­stalling a new copy OS X

Ro­man Loyola re­veals what to do when you see: ‘this copy of the in­stall OS X ap­pli­ca­tion can­not be ver­i­fied’

Macworld - - Contents -

The other day a co­worker needed to bor­row a Mac, so I grabbed an older MacBook Air from stor­age. I de­cided to wipe out the lap­top’s flash stor­age and in­stall a fresh ver­sion of OS X. I cre­ated a bootable USB flash drive in­staller, plugged it into the lap­top, pressed the Op­tion key as the ma­chine booted, and then se­lected the USB drive as the boot disk.

I then ran Disk Util­ity to re­for­mat the drive and ran the OS X in­staller. It looked like things were mov­ing along, un­til an er­ror mes­sage ap­peared. I there­fore cre­ated an­other boot disk us­ing a dif­fer­ent stor­age drive, in case it was a hard­ware prob­lem, though I got the same er­ror. I fig­ured that the lap­top be­ing in stor­age for a while could have some­thing to do with it, and it did.

This should work with Mav­er­icks and El Cap­i­tan. It also worked for me with the macOS Sierra Pub­lic Beta, which showed a dif­fer­ent er­ror mes­sage – ‘The in­staller pay­load failed sig­na­ture check’ popped up near the end of the in­stal­la­tion.

Fix the prob­lem

The in­staller checks the date on the com­puter. If the date isn’t cur­rent, you get the er­ror shown on

the pre­vi­ous page. The fix in­volves cor­rect­ing the date on your Mac.

If you have an older OS on the Mac

If you have a com­plete OS on the Mac al­ready, boot into it. Fix the date in the Date & Time sys­tem pref­er­ence (Ap­ple menu → Sys­tem Pref­er­ences). Re­boot us­ing the USB boot disk, and you should be able to pro­ceed with the in­stal­la­tion.

If you don’t have an OS on the Mac

If you are in a sit­u­a­tion like I was, and you don’t have a com­plete OS on your disk (you re­for­mat­ted it), you’ll find that there’s no way to ac­cess the Date & Time sys­tem pref­er­ence when you use an ex­ter­nal USB boot in­staller drive. The Ap­ple menu doesn’t give you ac­cess to Sys­tem

Pref­er­ences. You have to use the Ter­mi­nal to set the date and time.

If you use an ex­ter­nal boot disk, your Mac starts up into OS X Disk Util­i­ties. You can ac­cess the Ter­mi­nal by click­ing on the Util­i­ties menu and select­ing Ter­mi­nal. Once the Ter­mi­nal has launched, fol­low these steps:

At the prompt, type date to see the date that’s on the Mac. For ex­am­ple, here’s the date of the MacBook Air I worked on

If your Mac is con­nected to the In­ter­net, you can tell your Mac to check on­line for the cur­rent date and time. You can do this by typ­ing at the prompt nt­p­date -u time. ap­ple.com and then press­ing Re­turn

Your Mac should now have the cur­rent date and time. If you en­ter date again (as I did in the pre­vi­ous screen­shot) the in­for­ma­tion that ap­pears will be cur­rent. You can now run the OS in­staller.

If you don’t have an in­ter­net con­nec­tion

You can still use Ter­mi­nal to set the date. Go into the Ter­mi­nal as de­scribed ear­lier, then fol­low these steps:

At the prompt, type date to see the date that’s on the Mac Fig­ure out the nu­mer­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the date and time. The pat­tern you need to fol­low:

Month: in two-digit for­mat. For ex­am­ple, July is 07. Day: in two-digit for­mat. For ex­am­ple, the 7th is 07. Time: in mil­i­tary for­mat of hours and min­utes. For ex­am­ple, 2pm is 14:00 Year: Last two dig­its.

In my ex­am­ple, the nu­mer­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tion is 0719140016. This stands for July (07) 19, (19), 2pm (1400), 2016 (16). At the prompt, type date [nu­mer­i­cal], with [nu­mer­i­cal] be­ing the rep­re­sen­ta­tion you fig­ured out. In my ex­am­ple, I typed date 0719140016. Then press Re­turn

The date should be set. You can check the date again by typ­ing date at the prompt. You can now run the in­staller.

This is the er­ror mes­sage I got while try­ing to in­stall OS X from a USB in­stal­la­tion disk

How to ac­cess the Ter­mi­nal when you boot from an ex­ter­nal boot drive in­staller

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