SOLVED Basically, OSX on my internal HD (intel X25M) stopped booting. I have an external HD with an old clone of OSX. On the same HD are also stored Time Machine snapshots. I'm on a trip and I left my Leopard DVD at home. things I tried that ended in fail: I tried downloading a copy of snow leopard, trimming it to fit on a single layer DVDR and burning it. Didn't show up as boot option. FAIL! I formatted my internal HDD, hoping to install a fresh OSX on it from my external HDD boot. The x25-M shows as an install option but it it won't proceed for some reason. FAIL! I have one blank single layer DVDR left, an iPhone and some string. Should I abandon my efforts? Thanks for reading my tale of woes in any case.