Firewire Target Disk + Snow Leopard Install

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Alterscape, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. Alterscape macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2008
    I have a Macbook Pro with an inoperative slot-loading Superdrive. I purchased Snow Leopard today, planning to use my Mac Pro w/working Superdrive in Firewire Target Disk Mode to install the OS on my Macbook Pro. I can mount the Snow Leopard install via TDM, but the installer informs me that I cannot install Snow Leopard from "this volume" (presumably because the Target Disk Mode connection isn't recognized as an optical drive?). I've also tried to use "Remote Install OS X," but because my MBP is not an Air, it doesn't have the necessary firmware to select a network boot on startup by holding Option.

    Am I out of luck until I get access to a firewire external DVD drive?
  2. szark macrumors 68030


    May 14, 2002
    Why not put the MacBook Pro in Target Disk Mode and mount it on the Mac Pro as an external hard drive?
  3. nomad01 macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2005
    Birmingham, England
    Same issue here.

    I have a Macbook with a dead DVD drive and a Macbook Pro. I didn't realise the Remote Install was *just* for the Air... explains why it didn't work.

    My next step was going to be to try booting the MBP in target disk mode and installing the OS from there but it sounds like that's a no go too.
  4. milamber macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2008
    I had a similar problem to you too the solution works but it isn't completely convient as you lose your bootcamp partition!

    I cloned my current leopard drive with carbon copy cloner then wiped the internal disk and install leopard fresh. Upon first start up of snow leopard i chose the option to 'restore from another volume on this mac' and voila i've got it running.
  5. alca1099 macrumors newbie


    Aug 31, 2009
    Target Disk Mode worked

    but it is currently moving along very slowly. I put an iMac in target disk mode with Snow Leopard in the optical drive. With my macbook pro off, I connected the iMac to the macbook via firewire. Turned on the Macbook pro while holding down "C"
  6. campbels macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2009
    St. Louis, MO
    Target Disk Mode Worked with 2 Macbooks

    I started the MacBook with the good optical drive in target mode by holding the "T" button while it was booting. The Snow Leopard installation disk was already in the drive.

    I then connected the target Macbook to the 2nd Macbook (the macbook I want to install Snow Leopard to but has a bad optical drive) with firewire and started the 2nd macbook while holding the "option" key. The second macbook then allowed me to choose the Snow Leopard installation disk and all is installing well at the moment, albeit a bit slow.
  7. skipcooney macrumors member

    Feb 7, 2010
    i wanted to upgrade from 10.5 to 10.6 on a macbook without a working optical drive. I connected my new macbook pro and the macbook using a firewire cable. Then I started the macbook pro in target disk mode (hold down the t key during startup) with the snow leopard install cd in the optical drive. The I started the macbook holding the option key. The optical drive from the macbook pro appeared as a boot option on the macbook. I booted the macbook from the optical dive and the snow leopard upgrade ran without a hitch.
  8. Deiingenis macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2010
    It says: open Disk Utility...

    hi, I followed skipcooney & campbels though it says i must open disk utility and repartition the disk (macbookpro i want to upgrade) using "GUID Partition Table". Of course i will loose all data if i'll do that.
    Any thoughts why it saying so?

    My question:

    Will i loose all data, if, i start the macbookpro (i want to upgrade) via TDM and install from the macbook (with working drive)?
    Or will it just do the upgrade?

  9. duozmo macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2006
    Password... d'oh!

    After hours of banging my head against the wall trying to get this to work, I finally realized I couldn't use any of the boot keys because I'd long ago established a firmware password on my old PowerBook G4.

    It wasn't hard to take off, just hard to realize it was there because you don't get any error messages of any kind -- the system simply goes into normal boot every time. So, check that if you're having trouble. Big thanks to campbels for the right recipe on remote / TDM install.

    Total time for install over FireWire 400 from PowerBook G4 to MacBook Pro Late 2008: 55 minutes. The installer estimated 44 minutes at first -- not bad Apple.
  10. weblogik, Dec 6, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011

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