Just bought a 2008 MacBook and need help with doing a fresh install of the OS


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 8, 2010
My gf just purchased a great condition late 2008 white MacBook (MB403LL/A) and the original owner did not have the original installation disks (it came with Leopard) and Leopard is currently installed and running fine. I just want to do a completely fresh install and erase the previous owners username, info, setup, etc. I called Apple Care and was led to believe that if I simply purchased the $29.99 Snow Leopard upgrade disk that it would allow me to do a 100% fresh install/wipe and upgrade to Snow Leopard at the same time....is this the case? I just want to make sure I understood this correctly. The second option, which the rep discouraged as wasting money, was to have them print and mail me a two disc install of Leopard for $32.00.

Thanks in advance for the help, gents and ladies!
Nov 28, 2010


macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2010
The Philippines...
If its a late 2008 MB, you can proceed with upgrading it to snow leopard. After upgrading to snow leopard, purchase the Lion upgrade. That is the latest OSX version you can put in your '08 macbook.

Mine is early '08, upgraded to snow and later upgraded to Lion. Put an SSD in there and max out the memory, and you will feel that it will perform better like it is brand new.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 8, 2010
The top case/keyboard/trackpad were all replaced by Apple about four months ago so they are in great condition. The screen needs to be replaced as it looks a little tired (dim) and has some scratches on it so I'm looking around for the best option there......any particular suggestions?

I don't mind putting a little $$$ in it as she got it for $150.00 on Craigslist that just flat out needed the money.


macrumors regular
Mar 26, 2004
San Diego
...or just download Lion on a friend's computer, but DO NOT OPEN it. Then use Disk Utility to create a bootable disc. bypass Snow Leopard altogether. Don't really care for Apple trying to get us to buy two discs.


macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2010
I'm not sure about stealing, but it would be a violation of Apple's End User License Agreement.

As far as Apple is concerned, you have to go from Leopard -> Snow Leopard -> Lion.

If you skip snow leopard and go directly to Lion (even if you pay for Lion), then you are out of compliance.

It is hard to think of that as stealing since you are installing software that you paid for, but Apple may feel differently.

Now if your friend upgrades to Lion, and you use their copy of Lion to upgrade, then you are using software you didn't pay for. That is stealing.
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