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Question: Install OSX onto Time Capsule to recover iMac

I have an iMac which I cannot log into after trying to install High Sierra. I don't want to wipe the hard disk as there are files I do not have backed up (FileVault is enabled)


I have tried Recovery OS to reinstall Sierra, I have tried install by using a bootable USB Key with Sierra. Nothing seems to be working.


I thought I could install Sierra onto an external drive, boot from that and then access the internal drive to recover the files. So I am trying to use a new 3TB Time Capsule for this, connected using an Ethernet cable. Booted the iMac into recovery OS to try to install Sierra , but I cannot see the new drive.


Is this because a Time Capsule cannot be used in this way, or am I doing something wrong?

VIN, iMac (27-inch Mid 2010), macOS Sierra (10.12.6), New 3TB Time Capsule

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Nov 18, 2017 9:19 AM in response to Richard Ralph In response to Richard Ralph

Not sure that I understand everything that you are trying to accomplish.


IF.....you have a recent complete Time Machine backup of the Mac in question stored on the Time Capsule, you can restore the Mac using the Time Machine backup.


But, the restore procedure will first erase the hard drive on the Mac, so you would want to make sure that the Time Machine backup has a complete copy of everything that was on the Mac.


From the support document:

How to use macOS Recovery

Hold down Command-R or one of the other macOS Recovery key combinations on your keyboard immediately after pressing the power button to turn on your Mac, or immediately after your Mac begins to restart. Continue holding until you see the Apple logo or a spinning globe. Startup is complete when you see the utilities window:

User uploaded file


If you are asking whether you can install the Mac OS on the Time Capsule and then boot directly from the Time Capsule, the answer would be no. If you have not yet backed up the Mac to the Time Capsule using Time Machine, then the Time Capsule cannot be considered as a potential solution to your issue, based on the information that you have provided so far.


The following Apple Support document might provide more information:


About macOS Recovery - Apple Support

Nov 18, 2017 9:19 AM

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Nov 18, 2017 9:22 AM in response to Bob Timmons In response to Bob Timmons

Ok thanks. No I don't have a recent back up. Thats the issue. I was trying to install Mac OS onto the Time Capsule and boot from it as an external drive and I see you said that's not possible.


Think I will try Target mode and use an Mac Book Air I have available to transfer the files off the iMac then wipe the disk and start from scratch.

Nov 18, 2017 9:22 AM

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Nov 18, 2017 9:28 AM in response to Richard Ralph In response to Richard Ralph

OK, thanks for the clarification.


Since you don't really have a Time Capsule question here, you might receive a faster and more informed answer if you post in the support forum for the operating system that the Mac is using.


Mac OS & System Software


Good luck!

Nov 18, 2017 9:28 AM

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Question: Install OSX onto Time Capsule to recover iMac