I was trying to reinstall High Sierra on an older MacBook Air using internet recovery and I kept on getting an error message when trying to reinstall High Sierra.
The recovery server could not be contacted
It appears that this has to do with the time on the machine not being synchronized, so when the MacBook tries to reach out to the recovery server the certificates do not validate and we get this useless error message.
To fix this.
- Open up a Terminal from the utilities menu
- Enter the following command
ntpdate -u time.apple.com
- Try to install High Sierra again. It should just work™.