Can't reload OS - Tried everything to no avail / Macbook Pro 17"

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My wife has an older Macbook Pro with the 17" screen. After sitting in a bag for years, she decided to open it up only to realize she had forgotten her password. Instead of changing the password, she managed to wipe the hard drive of the OS and everything on it. I have tried every conceivable option I can find on the web to reinstall the OS (according to my research, El Capitan) and NOTHING has worked. I only have access to the recovery window and terminal. I've tried using Diskmaker X to create a bootable flash drive. I've tried going in through the terminal to open the .dmg file to then open the .pkg file to find the installer or whatever it is that is supposed to make this work. I've tried plenty of other things on the web, too many to remember. I'm at the point of selling the machine for parts and letting someone else deal with the hassle. So... before I put this machine out of my misery, does anyone have any useful information that will reinstall the OS? Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this.
 

Cory Cooper

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Hello and welcome.

Normally, a USB flash drive created with DiskMaker X works beautifully.

-What is the exact model of the MacBook Pro?
-Do you have another Mac in your home?
-If so, did you create the DiskMaker X drive on the other Mac?

C
 

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