How to get OSX onto 2007 iMac without CDs?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mstermster, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. mstermster macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2015
    #1
    Well, I followed the advice of some of you nice folks and bought a used replacement internal hard drive for my mid 2007 iMac. I was able to put the drive in. But now I am having trouble with the OS.

    The hard drive came out of a Windows machine and so when I turn it on, I get a windows screen. When I turn i on with option key pressed, I only get the option for the windows hard drive.

    I was able previously to reinstall the OS over the internet directly from Apple. But I get the feeling that that is not an option with this old mac now that it doesn't have OSX installed on its hard drive.

    I have a macmini with Mavericks on it. I have 16GB thumb drives. I have firewire cables. ( I read something about Target mode.) I had Mavericks on the iMac also. I don't have any CDs.

    What am I supposed to do?

    Thanks!
     
  2. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

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    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #2
    You can create a USB installer using the Mac Mini but first...how much RAM is in that iMac?
     
  3. mstermster thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 4, 2015
  4. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

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    Feb 13, 2011
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    Baltimore, Maryland
    #4
    I'd say that's the absolute minimum. The official number is 2GB but 4GB can be pretty bad. Think about upgrading that.

    Anyway, now your goal is to create a USB installer using the Mini. There's a lot of info out there on that so get on it.
     
  5. mstermster thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 4, 2015
    #5
    4GB is the max for this iMac. Do you have any more information about what I'm supposed to do?
     
  6. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

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    Dec 17, 2009
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    #6
    Thank you hands off your wallet and buy the OS X Snow Leopard DVD from Apple for $20.
     
  7. Woodstockie macrumors member

    Woodstockie

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Location:
    NY
    #7
    Shut down your iMac and attach the firewire cable from your iMac to your Mini. Boot up your iMac holding the T key. You should see the FW logo on your iMac screen. Most likely you won't see the hard drive appear on the Mini desktop as it has to be formatted. Use disk utility to format and after that you should be able to install the OS.

    There is a chance that you can even put a 4GB RAM module in your iMac to upgrade it to 6GB total (I have it in my '08 24" iMac). Check out OWC (macsales.com) for more info.
     
  8. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #8
    Here are instructions for putting the iMac into Target Disk Mode:

    https://support.apple.com/kb/PH10725?locale=en_US

    Once it shows up on your mac mini's desktop, launch disk utility and format the drive as MacOS X Extended (Journaled)

    The quickest and dirtiest way to get OS X running on the iMac is to use an App called Carbon Copy Cloner and clone the mac mini's hard drive to the iMac's hard drive (mounted on your mac mini's desktop per above instructions).
     
  9. mstermster thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 4, 2015
    #9
    I read most of the articles about booting Mavericks from a USB drive. I was able to follow this set of instructions:

    http://www.macworld.com/article/215...e-mavericks-install-drive-for-newer-macs.html.

    Everything seemed to be working until I got to the very end and after 20 minutes or so of the insaller going, I got the "Install Failed " message and was told that there was an error and to contact the manufacture.

    Any idea what I should do at this point? I just burned 16 hours.
     
  10. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #10
    Did you format the HDD before running the installer? If so, then you have learned a valuable lesson about not buying 2nd-hand hard drives....
     
  11. mstermster thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 4, 2015
    #11
    Yes I formatted it.

    Do we know that is the problem? Peole seem to have all kinds of problems doing this.
     
  12. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #12
    You could try the target disk mode solution I posted earlier... cloning the mac mini system to the iMac via TDM..

    Do you have a firewire 800 cable handy?
     
  13. mstermster thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 4, 2015
    #13
    Is it possible that the installer that I got is actually Yosemite and is it possible tha that won't run on a 2007 iMac?

    I'll try the target method tomrrow. Very late here.
     
  14. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #14
    Actually, that's a possibility... but I think it would warn you before taking 20 minutes of install time to report an error...
     
  15. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #15
    If you were running Mavericks on your iMac, it will also run Yosemite (and El Capitan, too!)
    You may be somewhat limited with a used hard drive, and 4 GB of RAM, but it will work...
     
  16. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #16
    Did you follow the instructions on that page or the link about Macs that didn't come with Mavericks installed?
     
  17. mstermster thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 4, 2015
    #17
    Well, I followed matreya's advice andused the target method and the CCC cloner. To my surprise, it actually worked. But it is a bit strange. It is booting quite slowly. That wasn't the case before. So I thought I would do a fresh instlal from Apple and see if that helped. But the cloner did not clone the Recovery partition. I used the terminal and diskutil list but it is not there. Where did it go? I uncheckd a few things before cloning, such as large desktop files and documets, but nohing else.
     
  18. mbosse macrumors regular

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    Apr 29, 2015
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    #18
    Did you set the boot drive correctly in systems preferences? Also, download SMARTreporter and let it run on the system (I have this tool permanently reporting my drive health status).

    Magnus
     
  19. mstermster thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 4, 2015
    #19
    I followed the CCC instructions for creating the Recovery HD. Now I'm reinstalling from Apple. I'll keep you posted.
     
  20. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

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    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #20
    Double check your model at everymac.com. I think you can swap out one of the 2GB RAM modules for a 4GB for a total of 6GB.
     
  21. mstermster thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 4, 2015
    #21
    Well, I finally got it to work. And I got a clean install from Apple. The only thing is that boot up is slow. And installing Firfox was a slow. Webs surfing is fast enough. But why should the other things be slow? It wasn't so slow in 2007 I'm pretty sure. Most people had 4GB of Ram. And most had 300 GB 7200. I don't get it. Is Mavericks a lot slower than Tiger or whaterver they had then? Should I just get Tiger fom ebay?
     
  22. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

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    Feb 13, 2011
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    #22
    RAM will make a difference. What's the rotation speed on that hard drive you put in?
     
  23. mstermster thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 4, 2015
    #23
    7200. Everything was faster with the old corrupt disk. Both are Western Digital.
     

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