How can I download the Monterey installer?

I can’t boot my 2017 iMac at all right now (I screwed it up big-time, doing something idiotic). My attempts to restore a working version of High Sierra from its Time Machine backup failed for some reason.

I’ve decided that, rather than keep struggling with that, I might as well install Monterey on it (the Apple list says it’s compatible). I want to download a full Monterey installer, perhaps onto a flash drive, and somehow (how?) force-boot the iMac from that, and then install Monterey onto the iMac, replacing the hosed internal High Sierra boot volume.

However, the only working Mac I have right now is my 2010 Mac Pro running Mavericks. When I use that to go to the Monterey page in the Mac App Store, it won’t let me download the Monterey installer, because it says my Mac Pro is incompatible.

How can I download a full Monterey installer from Apple, either onto the Mac Pro (as an interim step) or directly onto an external drive? Thank you… (holding my breath)

This article might help. Haven’t tried it so no idea of how it would work.

Thanks for the link, but… after skimming through that article… I don’t want to install Monterey on my unsupported Mac, I want to install it on my supported Mac. And I’m not going to run some hacky patcher on my only remaining working Mac.

I just want a way to download the official full installer, nothing more complicated than that.

This site has links for the Monterey installers:

Also, you can still get the older OS versions such as High Sierra from Apple using this link if you don’t want to update yet:

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Thank you! I went to that site earlier today, but the link I clicked on just took me back to the Mac App Store (which repeatedly refused to let me download it). These links and the commentary near them look much more promising (I’m downloading it right now).

What would be my best procedure for:
(1) Using the file to make a 16GB flash drive into a bootable installer – is there some special procedure for that, or would just routine copying to the flash drive work? And…
(2) Forcing the iMac (which won’t boot normally at all, just goes black quickly) to boot off that external drive rather than the (hosed) internal startup volume?

Thanks much!

Can you not start the Recovery partition with Cmd-Option-R to install Monterey over the internet on the iMac?

Or is the recovery partition hosed?

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Probably choice 1 and the procedure is explained on the Apple site. If you have a bootable backup like a Carbon Copy Cloner one you could boot from that.

Not sure I totally understand… I didn’t think of them as two choices; I meant them as two steps both of which I have to do… I vaguely remember there used to be a special program (I forget its name) to turn a drive into an installer. Anyway I’ll experiment some more. Thanks for your help.

Possibly. I did try the Command-Option key combo while pressing the power button, and it did bring up the recovery mode, with a few choices. I chose the “restore from Time Machine backup” option, and it tried to do that… ran for hours and I finally went to sleep… and next day, the machine was black/dead again. Maybe if I had chosen the “upgrade to Monterey” option that would have worked? But it’s hard to imagine such an involved process over the internet, even though I do have a good connection (Fios). Has anyone here successfully used a restore + upgrade option live on the internet?

Yes, I have, and I’m familiar with dozens of others who have done so, many more than once.

The program you might be thinking of is Diskmaker X:

But in only works with Catalina and some previous OS. This article explains why:

The recovery mode should also work as others have mentioned. I only use CCC not Time Machine so can’t help you with that.

I used the terminal command on Apple’s support site just two weeks ago and it worked fine. You don’t need a third party app if you are indeed able to download the Monterey installer.

A couple of years ago, yes. My internet download speed is 100mbps.

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That should work, though I’d recommend reformatting the internal drive first. Just reinstalling onto a drive whose state is clearly problematic likely wouldn’t work.

In recovery mode. Choose to reinstall your current OS first. You will keep your data. I have done this many times via the internet working in mac support. If that does not work, follow @ace recommendation.

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone here for being so helpful and informative. I was finally able to boot the iMac when I remembered a couple of things that I had forgotten:
(1) I remembered that I had (about a year ago) set up an alternative internal boot volume (on the same Fusion Drive). But I still couldn’t boot into it, until…
(2) I remembered that if you’re using a Microsoft keyboard (which I am), MacOS doesn’t have a chance to swap the startup keys until fairly late in the boot process, so I had to hold down what I think of as the “Command” key rather than the “Option” key to choose a boot volume.

Now I’ve manually fixed the stupid error that started all this to begin with… and booted off both internal boot vols, and run Disk First Aid on both of them… and I’m still hosed. The iMac seems normal for a little while, then blacks out again, no matter which internal boot volume I used. I can restart as often as I like (slowly), but it always crashes/blacks out after a few seconds or minutes either way.

Then I found a High Sierra (supposedly bootable) flash drive I’d prepared a while back… and it shows up as an option in the boot process… but then the iMac blacks out again before it even gets to the Apple logo.
Then I tried to boot into Recovery Mode… and it tried to do that… but then blacked out quickly again.
The iMac behaves as though it’s losing power during the boot process, or else after booted up, but that’s not really plausible (it’s connected to a UPS with other gear on it that keeps working fine). I’ll keep experimenting, but right now I’m feeling bewildered and pretty hopeless.

Anyway thanks again for your suggestions.

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This might be overheating of the cpu. Try searching internet for “2017 imac dust removal”.

Sorry to hear you still have issues. I’m just wondering if there is a way to connect an external monitor to your computer? You say it blacks out so I’m not sure if that means the computer is doing that or the monitor. Also, I would try a PRAM reset if your computer supports that.