Help! Leopard Install DVD not working... BaseSystem error

philstone

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 13, 2008
404
10
Jersey, Channel Isles
I´m rebuilding a MacBook Air at work and ran into a problem....

After checking the install DVD I get the error:

The installer could not validate the contents of the 'BaseSystem' package

I´ve ran a simple Hardware Test and that came back ok, it´s currently running an extended hardware test.

I am using the original Air install DVD´s

I´ve tried erasing the drive (SSD 64GB) and that made no difference...

I´ve done some reading already on the net and this error usually points to a RAM issue, 3rd party RAM, but obviously this cant be the case with the Air...

Its a 1.8 Rev A with the original SSD and I´m using the Superdrive....

Anyone got any ideas?

Thanks

Phil
 

SFStateStudent

macrumors 604
Aug 28, 2007
7,496
3
San Francisco California, USA
Have you reset the PRAM?

Safe Boot is a special way to start up in Mac OS X 10.2 or later when troubleshooting. Safe Mode is the state Mac OS X is in after a Safe Boot.

Products Affected
Mac OS X Server 10.4, Mac OS X Server 10.3, Mac OS X Server 10.2, Mac OS X Server 10.5, Mac OS X 10.5, Mac OS X 10.2, Mac OS X 10.3, Mac OS X 10.4
Starting up into Safe Mode does three things to simplify the startup and operation of your computer:

It forces a directory check of the startup volume.
It loads only required kernel extensions (some of the items in /System/Library/Extensions).
In Mac OS X 10.3.9 or earlier, it runs only Apple-installed startup items (such items may be installed either in /Library/StartupItems or in /System/Library/StartupItems; these are different than user-selected account login items)
Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger only: It disables all fonts other than those in /System/Library/Fonts .
Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger only: It moves to the Trash all font caches normally stored in /Library/Caches/com.apple.ATS/(uid)/ , where (uid) is a user ID number such as 501.
Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger only: It disables all startup items and any login items.
Mac OS X 10.5.6 or later: A Safe Boot deletes the dynamic loader shared cache at (/var/db/dyld/). Restarting recreates this cache. A cache with issues may cause a blue screen on startup, particularly after a Software Update.
Taken together, these changes can work around issues caused by software or directory damage on the startup volume.

Some features don't work in Safe Mode
Safe Mode can be useful for troubleshooting. However, certain Mac OS X features do not work in Safe Mode. For example, you can't use DVD Player, capture video in iMovie, use audio input or output devices, or use an internal or external USB modem. The behavior of some devices such as an AirPort card may vary depending on computer and Mac OS X version.

Additional Information
See these articles:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1455?viewlocale=en_US
 

philstone

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 13, 2008
404
10
Jersey, Channel Isles
Will safe mode work with no OS on the SSD? As I said I´ve already erased the drive so it only boots off the DVD now...

Will try the PRAM reset...
 

SFStateStudent

macrumors 604
Aug 28, 2007
7,496
3
San Francisco California, USA
Will safe mode work with no OS on the SSD? As I said I´ve already erased the drive so it only boots off the DVD now...Will try the PRAM reset...
Normally, you should be able to go to Target Mode and select the volume that you would like to boot from, but since you've erased the drive that you would want to Target, you would have to target the startup disc, and it sounds like you're having problems doing that. Could be a bad disc?
 

Darth.Titan

macrumors 68030
Oct 31, 2007
2,736
447
Austin, TX
If the error is occurring while validating the install media, then the problem is not with the hardware, but with the install disc itself.

This is a long shot, but sometimes when I have problems with install discs, I make a copy of the disc at a slower speed and try using the copy instead. Sometimes that will get me a functional install disc.

You might have to get a new copy of the install media from Apple.
 

telecomm

macrumors 65816
Nov 30, 2003
1,372
8
Rome
If the error is occurring while validating the install media, then the problem is not with the hardware, but with the install disc itself.

This is a long shot, but sometimes when I have problems with install discs, I make a copy of the disc at a slower speed and try using the copy instead. Sometimes that will get me a functional install disc.

You might have to get a new copy of the install media from Apple.
That sounds about right. If you're getting this error when it tries to verify the install DVD (you don't want an operating system installed off a bad disc!), it's the disc.

So, trying to check the hardware, etc., is probably a wasted effort.
 

philstone

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 13, 2008
404
10
Jersey, Channel Isles
When I say after the DVD check I mean it finishes the DVD check, starts the install then after about 30 seconds or so of the install phase it come up with the error, however I have spoken to Apple Support and they too suggested making a copy of the install DVD and seeing if that works...

Will let you know how it gets on...
 

nufanec

macrumors regular
Sep 10, 2005
185
5
Although it would seem logical that it's the disk, it is actually most likely the RAM. I've seen it a few times on various systems and fitting good RAM usually fixes the issue. The majority of the time you can swap the RAM back and it will work fine. Unfortunately this means problems on the MacBook Air as you can't replace the RAM.

I would get an external USB hard drive and install 10.5.6 onto it on another machine. Boot the MacBook Air from this drive and finish the set up process. After you've done that, use Disk Utility to clone the external drive onto the internal one.
 

telecomm

macrumors 65816
Nov 30, 2003
1,372
8
Rome
Although it would seem logical that it's the disk, it is actually most likely the RAM. I've seen it a few times on various systems and fitting good RAM usually fixes the issue. The majority of the time you can swap the RAM back and it will work fine. Unfortunately this means problems on the MacBook Air as you can't replace the RAM.

I would get an external USB hard drive and install 10.5.6 onto it on another machine. Boot the MacBook Air from this drive and finish the set up process. After you've done that, use Disk Utility to clone the external drive onto the internal one.
Yeah, this would be my second guess too. If it's not failing during the disk verification stage, but failing afterwards, it could be bad RAM. I've had this happen to me on one occasion with bad RAM.
 

philstone

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 13, 2008
404
10
Jersey, Channel Isles
Ok, going to try installing OSX on a external but already ran into a problem... my Air install DVD wont install on my MacBook, I have a retail version which I´m trying now... Will the retail version work ok on the Air?
 

telecomm

macrumors 65816
Nov 30, 2003
1,372
8
Rome
The retail version of Leopard will work on anything current. The retail version of Tiger won't, as I recall, work on Intel machines (a special Intel build of Tiger was made available on the install discs that shipped with Intel machines).
 

philstone

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 13, 2008
404
10
Jersey, Channel Isles
Realistically is there any difference between using the retail DVD and the proper Air DVD? This seems to be working so far but curious if I´m missing anything by doing it this way?

Also at the moment none of the function keys work, except for F9, F10 & F11 which are all linked to spaces... Is this due to the fact it still has 10.5.0 on it? 10.5.6 Combo is currently still downloading....

Cheers
 

philstone

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 13, 2008
404
10
Jersey, Channel Isles
Its working, fully upto date and all the keys etc working as they should...

So yes you can use a Retail DVD onto an external HD and then Clone it onto the HD...
 

mr.steevo

macrumors 65816
Jul 21, 2004
1,318
770
Realistically is there any difference between using the retail DVD and the proper Air DVD? This seems to be working so far but curious if I´m missing anything by doing it this way?

Also at the moment none of the function keys work, except for F9, F10 & F11 which are all linked to spaces... Is this due to the fact it still has 10.5.0 on it? 10.5.6 Combo is currently still downloading....

Cheers
Hi,

OS wise there should be no difference with the retail DVD and the copy that came with the Air. The Air DVD, however, may have additional software on it such as games, iLife, and such. Once you have updated your Air try poping in the DVD that came with it and see if there is additional software that you would like to install. I'm going off of hazy memory, but I believe you will have to boot off the Air DVD to access the extra software.

s.
 

philstone

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 13, 2008
404
10
Jersey, Channel Isles
Hi, yeah I found out you can install them from the install DVD without having to boot off it, there is a folder called Optional Extra Bundles and all the extra bits are in there.

Cheers
 
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