EraseInstall Application

The consulting team at Pro Warehouse has been working on an application. I mentioned this application in my talk at MacSysAdmin. The application is called ‘EraseInstall’ and provides a user interface which runs the startosinstall --eraseinstall command, which is part of the macOS Installer application.


The startosinstall --eraseinstall command with all its options is fairly accessible for an administrator. There have been some attempts to make the command more accessible to end users.

With Mojave, Apple is enforcing the requirement to have an active internet connection before you start the installation. The startosinstall command will fail if it cannot reach Apple’s servers. Also on Secure Boot Macs, you really want a user to have Find My Mac disabled before a system is wiped.

We chose to build an application with an interface that runs the necessary checks and displays a summary, before the startosinstall --eraseinstall is launched.

This will provide end users, techs and admins easy access to a tool which wipes the system. This will close the lifecycle loop of a Mac, from on-boarding to ‘off-boarding.’

Enter EraseInstall

EraseInstall will show three screens, the first will explain what the application does (wipe everything!) and then you will get a summary of the checks. In this initial version we check whether the system has APFS, if Find My Mac is enabled and if there is an internet connection.

EraseInstall also locates a suitable “Install macOS” application, either “Install macOS High Sierra” for 10.13.4 and higher or “Install macOS Mojave.” It is your responsibility to have the install app on the system before the EraseInstall is run. The app does not have to be installed in /Applications. (EraseInstall uses a spotlight query to locate available installer applications. It may take a few minutes after an installer app has been copied to a system for spotlight to pick it up.)

WARNING: the app as we have posted it is fully functional and will erase and install the system on which it is run. Please only run this on a test machine!

You can watch a video of the installation and workflow here:

How to get it

You can download an installer and the source code for the EraseInstall application here.

The installer will put the in /Applications/Utilities/.

You need to install, copy or download the “Install macOS” application (for 10.13.4 or higher) through your management system, VPP or manually.

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Mac Admin, Consultant, and Author

7 thoughts on “EraseInstall Application”

  1. Hi! Looks great but I am stuck on the screen after OS download, just before reboot and install…

    1. We had a problem with the 1.0.1 installer that may result in behavior like that. We fixed it with the 1.1.0 update.

  2. Thanks for this and informative site really helpful. Will see how to integrate the app with Jamf pro

  3. brilliant! it works well most of the time. A group of computers I had upgraded to mojave and used this methodology but for some reason it cannot find mojave installer even though the installer exists but seems to work on others… quite confusing

    1. The current version uses spotlight to locate the installer, so when you launch the eraseinstall app right after installing the installer app, it might not find it yet

  4. Wouldn’t it be nice if it would download the OSX installer if it didn’t find it.

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