The Installer Info on the Recovery Server Is Damaged [Solved!]

‘The Installer Info on the Recovery Server Is Damaged’ pops up on your Mac when you’re trying to reinstall macOS and something goes wrong with the system. The cause could be corrupted recovery files, network connectivity issues, or even incorrect date and time.

Fortunately, the fix isn’t half as daunting as the problem appears to be. Most of the time a simple restarting of your Mac gets things straight right away. And even if it doesn’t, you can change the date and time through the terminal or finish up the reinstalling in recovery mode, or do manual downloading to fix it.

Let’s show you each of these methods in detail, so you can get your Mac up and running smoothly again.

What Is the “Installer Information on the Recovery Server Is Damaged” Error on a MacBook?

Typically, when this error message shows up during macOS installation on your MacBook, it means the files your computer was trying to access either went missing or got corrupted.

This is because when you reinstall macOS, your Mac keeps communicating with the Apple servers to fetch the necessary system files. And if it gets interrupted during that process somehow, the installer can’t go ahead. This usually happens when:

  • There is corrupted installer information on the recovery server.
  • Your MacBook has issues accessing the received macOS installation files or you’re trying to install an incompatible version of macOS.
  • The date and time settings on your MacBook aren’t set correctly.
  • Your MacBook is having network connectivity problems during the process.
  • The macOS version has its certificate expired.

Now, there are also times when there’s nothing on your end but on Apple’s. For example, their server often gets congested and starts delivering incomplete files or stops responding altogether.

And when that happens, you have no choice but to wait until they fix their server. So, it’s a good idea to check on their System Status page to confirm if anything has gone wrong from Apple’s end. If there is a problem with any particular service, they mark it red until resolved.

System Status page

How to Fix the Installer Information on the Recovery Server Is Damaged Error on Your MacBook?

If you have confirmed that the issue isn’t from Apple’s end, here are the steps you can take to fix the error:

Restart Your MacBook

Often, a simple restart can do the tweak in the system your computer might be looking for. It can refresh the entire system and clear up temporary glitches that may be interfering with the installation process.

So, it’s definitely worth giving a try before anything else. Here’s how to restart your MacBook:

Restart Your MacBook
  • Click on the Apple menu icon in the top left corner of your screen.
  • Choose “Restart” from the dropdown menu.
  • You can also try letting your MacBook power off completely, and then turn it back on manually.

That didn’t help? Let’s move on to the next potential solution.

Adjust Date and Time

Sometimes, the MacBook’s system refuses to accept or integrate the installation files from the server if the date on your computer doesn’t match the original release date of the macOS you’re trying to install.

If you go through this thread on Reddit, you’ll see several users have commented that adjusting their MacBook’s date and time settings to the corresponding MacOS release dates had fixed their installation issues.

You’ll just have to play around and find that older date matching your OS. First, try the regular way by enabling the “Set date and time automatically”:

Adjust Date and Time
  • Open “System Preferences” from the Apple menu.
  • Click on “Date & Time.”
  • Make sure that the checkbox next to “Set date and time automatically” is checked.

If the issues persist and you suspect the date is the problem, you can also set the date manually via the Terminal app in recovery mode. To do that:

  • Restart your MacBook and enter recovery mode by holding down the Command (⌘)-R keys right after hearing the startup chime.
  • After your Mac boots into recovery mode, open Utilities and select Terminal.
Reinstall macOS in Recovery Mode
  • Once in the Terminal, disable the automatic date setting by typing `ntpdate -u`.
disable the automatic date setting
  • Then, set the date manually by typing `date mmddHHMMYYYY` (where `mm` is the month, `dd` is the day, `HH` is the hour, `MM` is the minute, and `YYYY` is the year).
set the date manually
  • After adjusting the date, attempt the installation process again.

Check Network Settings

Although changing the date and time is a proven trick that helped many, you may still end up being stuck if your internet connection isn’t stable.

Check Network Settings

So, before taking further action, make sure that your Mac is connected to a reliable internet connection. Here are a few things to try:

  • If you think your router or modem has temporary glitches that might be disrupting the connection, give it a restart.
  • Are you using a public or restricted network? That might be keeping your Mac from reaching out to the Apple server. Try switching to a private one. Using an ethernet connection is always the best choice.
  • Disable VPNs or proxy connections if you’re using them, as these can also block necessary ports and protocols needed for a smooth macOS installation.

Reinstall macOS in Recovery Mode

After checking your internet connection, you’ll want to try to reinstall your desired macOS in recovery mode. This is because this mode only allows the necessary components needed for the installation process, blocking out those that might interfere with the process.

To reinstall macOS using recovery mode, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  • Start by turning off your MacBook.
  • Press the power button to turn on your MacBook and then immediately press and hold Command (⌘)+R until the Apple logo appears. This will reinstall the macOS your Mac is currently running on.
  • If you want to upgrade to the latest compatible macOS, press Opton+Command (⌘)+R instead. And if you want to roll back macOS from when you bought the device, you’ll need to press Shift+Opton+Command (⌘)+R.
  • Release the keys when you see the Apple logo. This will boot your MacBook into macOS Recovery.
Reinstall macOS in Recovery Mode
  • Once in macOS Recovery mode, use Disk Utility to repair your startup disk if necessary.
  • After any repairs are made, go back to the macOS Utilities window and select “Reinstall macOS.”
  • Follow the onscreen instructions to reinstall the macOS operating system. You might have to enter your credentials when asked along the way.

Download and Install macOS Manually

Now, there are also times when this error message shows up simply because the version your Mac is trying to get an update to has its certificate expired.

As Apple often renews the certificates for certain MacBook models, yours won’t be able to grab the data if its certificates aren’t valid for that specific macOS version.

So, in such cases, there’s no other way than to download the macOS installation image manually. You’ll also likely have to do it using a separate Mac or PC, since the internet may not work on the stuck one showing that error message when this happens.

Also, remember that doing this will delete everything on your hard drive, so be sure to back up all important data before proceeding with this step. Here’s how you go ahead:

  • Use the MacBook App Store to download the latest version of macOS available for your MacBook model. Make sure you’re signing in with a valid Apple ID.
  • Once the download is complete, you’ll find the installer in your Applications folder. If you’re not on the Mac in question, you’ll just need to create a bootable USB drive with this installer.
  • To create the bootable installer, plug in a USB drive with at least 16GB of storage and open the Terminal app.
  • Use the `createinstallmedia` command in Terminal to create the bootable installer.
  • For example, for macOS Big Sur, you would enter something like `sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Big\ Sur. app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia –volume /Volumes/MyUSB — /Applications/Install\\ macOS\\ Big\\\`.
  • For installing other versions or if you need help creating the bootable installer, you can follow Apple’s official instructions from this link.
  • Give it some time as it will erase the drive and copy the installer files onto it which can take around 20-30 minutes depending on your USB drive speed.
  • After creating the bootable installer, connect it to your MacBook and restart the machine.
  • Hold down the Option (⌥) key immediately upon startup until you see the bootable drives option.
  • Select the drive that has the macOS installer.
  • Follow the prompts to start the installation process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have you still got questions regarding the ‘the Installer Info on the Recovery Server Is Damaged’ error on MacBook? Here, we’ve answered a few commonly asked questions that might help.

Can you recover the lost data after reinstallation?

Yes, you might be able to recover your data even if you haven’t backed them up and lost it all during the reinstallation process.

You can use the Time Machine or third-party software like Stellar Data Recovery or Tenorshare 4DDiG to do it. However, you must act quickly before they get overwritten by new files.

What if you get a ‘UNTRUSTED_CERT_TITLE’ error after changing the date and time?

This particular error message suggests that there is an issue with the root certificates. This can happen if the date and time on your Mac are set to a date after the certificates have expired. So, in this case, you’ll likely have to try the manual installation process.

Why if manually downloading macOS doesn’t solve the issue?

Manually downloading the macOS installation image should bypass the issue with expired certificates.

But for that to work, you must download the correct version of macOS for your MacBook model. If your hardware isn’t compatible with the version you’re trying to install, this can also lead to installation failures.


As you can see, you can try multiple approaches to solve the ‘the Installer Info on the Recovery Server Is Damaged’ error on your MacBook.

Whether you take the recovery mode route or try downloading and installing macOS manually, both methods are viable solutions to the issue. It’s important to choose what fits your situation best and follow the steps carefully.

Yet, if these standard methods fail to resolve the problem, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact Apple Support or visit an Apple Store for further help. Their technicians can provide more in-depth troubleshooting or repair services that may be required.

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