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AN ERROR REINSTALLING OSX - or, "The Update Servers can not be reached at this time..."
Have you ever had this message?

When trying to reinstall OS X, getting error message “An  error occurred while preparing the installation. Try running this  application again”, or else "The Update Servers can not be reached at this time..."  The decision was made to reinstall Mac OS X Mavericks (which is  what was installed on it), using the Mac Disk Utility.  Simple enough, except for the fact that every time I tried to do the reinstall, I kept  getting the error and the reinstall would not complete.  The following  steps are what I discovered in order to fix the error, so that the reinstall can complete.

Fixing The Reinstall Error

  • Log In to the Mac Disk Utility screen by holding down “Command Key” + S during boot.  Select “Reinstall OS X” and hit continue
  • When you start the reinstall you will get a message about verifying eligibility with Apple. Hit continue
  • If you are going to get the error, this is the point where it will  come up. Unfortunately, Apple gives you a seriously vague message “An  error occurred while preparing the installation”. That message does NOT explain what went wrong.
  • From this point, click on Utilities –> Terminal
  • When the terminal window opens, type date  and hit enter. What you will notice is that the date listed will be wrong.  That wrong date is what is causing the reinstall error.
  • To correct the wrong date –>  type date (then a space) followed by MMDDHHMMYYYY  (Month – Date – Hour – Minute – Year)
  • At this point just exit the Terminal box and try to run the reinstall again, and it should work with no problem.

UNLESS: You want to install on OS that is older...you may actually need to set the date at a time when that OS was released. Go figure.
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