College Library - Reimaging Loaner Mac Laptops with a Provisioner Drive and Common Associated Problems

Instructions for reimaging a Mac laptop once it is in circulation through the InfoLabs and how to troubleshoot common problems.

Imaging a Mac Laptop

  1. Plug a Mac Provisioner flash drive into the computer
  2. Hold Option (⌥) while powering the Mac on until the Apple logo disappears
    • If you see an option to boot to "Install macOS Big Sur", choose that and press enter (see image below).
    • If no options appear, then press Command-R to boot into Recovery Mode.
  3. Notes: 
    • At this point in the process you may encounter a language picker. Choose English and continue.
    • At this point in the process you may a firmware update dialogue, choose update and wait for restart.
  4. Once in recovery mode, navigate to the top bar > Utilities > Terminal to open the terminal window (see image below).
  5. In the terminal window, type the below command and press Enter:
    • /Volumes/auto_restore/
  6. The Mac will stay in recovery mode for roughly 5 minutes before restarting and entering the general imaging state. You may remove the USB after the computer restarts.

Changing the language in Recovery

If you find you are stuck in another language. There are a few ways to resolve this.

  • Choose the third menu from the left, which is labeled File when in English, and pick the first option, which is labeled Change Language in English. You should be able to select the language you want.
  • Launch Terminal, which is in the fifth menu from the left, labeled Utilities in English. The apps have icons next to them, and Terminal is a little rectangle with a prompt in it. After Terminal launches, type sudo languagesetup and press Return. You can then select the language to use.
  • If you have a Keyboard menu at the far right of the screen, you can select the one with a tiny U.S. flag to switch to English.
  • If all else fails, you can reinstall macOS by restarting your Mac and then holding down Command-Option-R. This will re-download installation files and prompt you for a language choice, while also upgrading the Recovery partition. It won’t overwrite your hard drive, but installs in place the latest version of macOS that works on your computer.

Call the LTG Help Desk (608-262-8880) for additional guidance if none of the above work.

Option BootOption Boot

Recovery Terminal Menu ItemTerminal in Recovery Menu 


Keywords:Apple, Mac, computer labs, loaner, InfoLabs, MacBook, Air imaging provisioner language erase   Doc ID:113533
Owner:Reina W.Group:InfoLabs
Created:2021-09-08 13:29 CDTUpdated:2022-04-05 09:56 CDT
Sites:General Library System, InfoLabs
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