Having problems with second hand mac


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 4, 2014
Hey folks - recently bought a slightly old (2011) model imac for work and it arrived without the original snow lion disk and a wiped hard drive . Not having used a model this old I borrowed a snow lion install disk from a co-worker so I could boot it. As this wasn't the original disk it didn't work.

Grumbling I made a usb install disk of mavericks and plugged it in.

The problem is the machine REALLY wants to use the disk. It's not letting me eject it (I've tried holding down left keys and option keys when starting up and using the keyboard eject). As such it's locking the disk in the drive in install mode and ignoring the usb. Leaving me with a lovely but useless paperweight.

Anyone got any advice on how to a) get the old disk out b) point it to the usb assuming hitting option at the beginning does nothing?

Thanks in advance!


macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2011
A Mac won't let the boot disk be ejected; I would use it to re-format the wiped disk and do an install, then select the internal disk as the boot disk and re-boot. If it won't install because its the wrong version of the OS, you might need to find a retail version of the OS.

If there's an Apple store nearby, go for help.


Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
Grumbling I made a usb install disk of mavericks and plugged it in.
How did you make this USB key?

It sounds like the Mavs USB key you made was not made properly. Even if you had a bad hard drive, you should be able to option key boot to the USB key and at least get to the recovery screen.