Mac OS X cannot install on this computer read install read me on the DVD ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Kram1, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. Kram1 macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2007
    Bought a used MacBook with a intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 Ghz with 2 gig memory and it came running leopard 10.05.1 on it already want to do a clean install of Leopard. DVD takes me to the point where i chose my language then i get this error saying Mac OS X cannot install on this computer read the install read me on the DVD

    Any suggestions ?
  2. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    Did you run that fun little DVD integrity test before your install? Might have a bad DVD.

    And you're 100% sure it's Apple hardware? ;)

    Afterthought - 10.05.1 ? That a typo? It should be 10.5.1.

    Eidorians Is Are Smart - Listens To Hims. Srsly.
  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Are they the gray installer DVDs that say MacBook on them?

    Did you verify the discs?

    Can you view the installer log?
  4. Kram1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2007
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
  6. timestamp macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2007
    Could this have something to do with it?

    var badMachines = ['MacBook3,1','iMac','PowerBook1,1','PowerBook2,1', 'AAPL,Gossamer', 'AAPL,PowerMac G3', 'AAPL,PowerBook1998', 'AAPL,PowerBook1999'];

    Where did you get the Leopard DVD from?
  7. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    That would be true for the retail Leopard discs.

    Not that you can't get around it by imaging or modifying the installer.
  8. Towhead macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2007
    You will need to modify the DVD. Use Disk Utility, and create a read/write image from Disk 1. (Disk 2 does not need to be changed). Then, use the XAR utility to uncompress the OSINSTALL file you'll find in /System/Library/... somewhere in the DVD. The file itself is an XAR compressed archive and you'll have to find out how to get XAR to work under Tiger, or use Leopard which has XAR built in. You'll then need to edit the OSINSTALL.DIST file that is in this archive (google this: "OSINSTALL.DIST +leopard") and disable the machine type checking. After the file is edited, recompress the XAR archive file, replace the file on the DVD image, and burn the double-layer DVD.

    Viola! You can now install Leopard on any damn Apple G4 or better that you please with or without firewire built in! T'is what I did with my SR Macbook DVDs and got Leopard to run on my Sawtooth...
  9. Kram1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2007
    Been messing with this for days now haven't gotten anywhere
    Problem is I'm a novice to mac so its kicking my ass
    I managed to make a image .dmg file but i can't seem to find or not able to see the OSINSTALL.DIST file or the /System/Library/... dir
    is it hidden files ? :confused:

    Just not seeing it only folders i see are
    /contents/macOs/... and a /contents/resources/...
    but can't see the osinstall.dist could use some help there

    If I can edit the osinstall.dist will just taking out the
    var badMachines = ['MacBook3,1' comment will that do it ? :confused:

    Even tried some program LeopardAssist didn't work

  10. Kram1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2007
    I've managed to get the OSInstall.mpkg file off the DVD but I"m having trouble using the XAR program and can't seem to get to where i can edit it

    Anyone willing to help me out and edit the OSInstall.mpkg file for me and take the line out that says "var badMachines = ['MacBook3,1"

    my email addy to send me back the file

    Heres a link to the OSInstall.mpkg file
  11. phanida101 macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2008
    Having The Same Problem! Wtf!?!

    i have mac os x leopard on my macbook and i wanna do a full reformat. when i put the leopard cd in and boot the cd it brings me to the laungage screen i click english then a pop up pops up saying "Mac OS X cannot be installed on this computer check system requirements etc." can someone help me with this problem so i can clear my macbook thanks
  12. Dimwhit macrumors 68000


    Apr 10, 2007
    Are you doing an erase and install? What version of Leopard is on the machine? What version are you installing? Not sure this is it, but I know it won't let you install an older version on top of a newer version without doing a full erase and install.
  13. phanida101 macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2008
    i have 10.5.2 on currently and my cd says its 10.5 :| o and i cant even get to that option where i erase and install
  14. shizzyraw macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2008
    Editing the install package is easier then it looks!

    I know that this method may look difficult at first, but it really is easy! It's actually just copying and pasting. :D I had a Macbook 3,1 that wouldn't let me install leopard, and I just cut out the Macbook 3,1 text from the bad machines section and leopard installed without a hiccup. And belive me, I am no terminal expert, I'm new to Mac. So if I can do it, anyone can. If anyone else is in the same situation, just give it a shot. All you have to lose is a few blank DVD+R DLs. By the way, anybody know why apple wont let you install leopard on these machines, they are well with in the minimum requirements after all?

  15. pma macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2008
    Im familiar with dos from the old windows days so using terminal wasn't hard. Yet XAR just doesnt seem to install correctly for me so i cant unzip the osinstall package therefore i cant edit it!

    Does anyone have the osinstall file already modifed to work on a 2ghz intel macbook?
  16. nicolaj.chr macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2008
    I have sorta the same issue

    I have a MacBook 2,0 C2D that I wanted to reinstall, but when I tried I realised that my CDs were faulty and Apple won't give me some new ones, even though they're not scratched or anything (Which pretty much pisses me off - but they won't, because they're too old apparently).

    So then I just borrowed a MacBook Pro CD, but I get the error message that

    "Mac OS X cannot be installed.
    This software cannot be installed on this computer"

    I'm using an external CD drive through USB, but I talked to an Apple retailer and he said that it shouldn't matter.

    But why won't it install the OS X? Is it because it's for MacBook Pro or? I was thinking that it might be, even though it's the same OS..

    I had 10.5 installed before, and I'm trying to install 10.5 now.

    Any suggestions are warmly appriciated :)
  17. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    That's exactly correct...the MacBook Pro disc won't work because you're on a MacBook Pro. I'm surprised that Apple wouldn't get you new ones.

    Perhaps you can find restore discs on eBay, or you can track down a retail Leopard disc.

    Is the Santa Rosa-based 2.0 Ghz MacBook released in late 2007? Seems very odd that Apple wouldn't send you replacement discs for such a recent machine for a nominal fee. Even if you're talking about the late 2006 2.0 GHz MacBook, they should still have replacements for you. Of course that machine shipped with Tiger, so you should already have a Leopard disc in that case which you could use to reinstall.
  18. appleFx macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2009
    A work around...

    I too had this issue upgrading MacBook form 10.5.1 to 10.5.4 using a brand new install disk that came with a second new MacBook. I tired to upgrade my old one with the same install. After reading this thread, and several attempts to upgrade the firmware I was unable to install the firmware. So, I used the the new computer, booted the old one as target disk (fire wire) and then using the new installer on the new machine was able to install 10.5.4 on the old MacBook, and then used the automatic software upgrade to bring it up to 10.5.6. Everything "seems" to work ok, I have not seen any issues except one! The white power LED no longer comes on, or "breathes" during sleep period. I think the firmware is the cause, but when I tried to upgrade directly from Apple's site, the installer says that the machine's firmware does not need the update. I have tried it with firmware versions 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4.

    Booting the old MacBook with the installer DVD still generates the "Mac OS X cannot be installed on this computer", but the machine does "seem" to run nominally.

    Buy the way, I also did reset the PROM but I am not sure if that contributed to anything.
  19. warp1g macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2009
    warp1g's OS X Macbook Universal Install Method - requires no DL burner

    So I know this is a really old thread - but I struggled for days trying to
    figure out how to make this work. I ended up using pieces of the nicely
    detailed procedure located here:

    along with my own work. My hope is that this can help someone else having similar issues.

    I have an older macbook and a copy of OS X 10.5.5 - it wouldnt install. It kept giving me "Cannot Install On This Computer".

    I tried modifying the OSInstall.mpkg (Specifically the Distribution file -
    as described in the above procedure) in a sparse image and re-burning on
    my PC (with a DL) several times to no avail.

    I ended up successfully doing the following:

    1. Upgrading my macbook (was running tiger) to 10.5.5
    2. Not burning any discs of any sort
    3. Not creating any sparse images
    4. Adding a few gray hairs to my collection

    What you will need:

    1. Macbook pro running tiger
    2. Mac OSX 10.5.x install disc
    3. A jump drive (small is fine - I used a 128meg one I had laying around,
    formatted in some readable format - mine was FAT)
    4. A high level of comfort working in the cmdline <---- IMPORTANT
    5. About 3 hours

    What you do:
    1. Install the xar util as described in the above-referenced procedure

    2. Mount the OSX install disc and copy /Volumes/MAC OS X Install DVD/System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.mpkg to

    3. Unpack the mpkg with xar

    cd ~/foo && xar -xvf ./ORIG_OSInstall.mpkg

    4. Modify ~/foo/Distribution to remove all the logic in the check_install
    features - I basically went through the script top to bottom and
    invalidated all of the install validation functions to return "true". E.g. - make them all look like:

    function installCheckScript(){

    return true;

    5. now in the ~/foo directory - remove the ORIG_OSInstall.mpkg file (rm

    6. in ~/foo - create your new OS_Install.mpkg file

    xar -cvf ./myinstall.mpkg .

    7. Now go to the finder - go to Mac OSX Install DVD and fire up the Mac OSX
    Installer - it will ask you to authenticate and then it will reboot the
    machine - this is fine (obviously LEAVE THE MAC OSX Install DISC IN THE

    8. When the machine boots - it will take you to the language selection
    screen - choose your language, and hit continue. This is where you get
    the fabulous "Mac OSX Cannot Install on this computer" notice. This too,
    is fine. Hit "OK" and it will take you to the emptiness of the deep space
    desktop background. At the top of the screen (I believe it is under
    utilities) - choose Terminal. This will open up a terminal session
    (obviously). This is where you have some more work to do.

    9. Plug in your jump drive - it should mount. You'll know its mounted
    when it shows up under /Volumes (ls -la /Volumes) to see what its named.
    Lets say its named "JUMPDRIVE". (And we are going to assume that my
    username is bob)

    10. Copy the install package to your jumpdrive from your mac hard disk

    cp /Volumes/Macintosh HD/users/bob/foo/myinstall.mpkg /Volumes/JUMPDRIVE

    11. Create symlinks for all of the base os install packages on your
    jumpdrive, pointing to the packages on the boot volume (the cd!)

    cd /Volumes/JUMPDRIVE; for i in `ls /System/Installation/Packages` ; do ln -s /System/Installation/Packages/${i} ${i}

    12. Copy the rc.install file to /private/var/tmp

    cp /etc/rc.install /private/var/tmp/my.install

    13. Fire up textedit and open up /private/var/tmp/my.install

    /Volumes/Macintosh HD/Applications/ /private/var/tmp/my.install

    14. Scroll down to the line that reads:


    Modify it to read:


    Save and exit. Make sure you end the textedit process

    15. Create a symlink to point from /private/var/tmp to the jumpdrive for your install package

    ln -s /Volumes/JUMPDRIVE/myinstall.mpkg /private/var/tmp/myinstall.mpkg

    16. Redefine this variable at the command line

    export INSTALL_PKG="/Volumes/JUMPDRIVE/myinstall.mpkg"

    17. Remove the installer pid file from original try at boot

    rm /private/var/run/installer

    18. run /private/var/tmp/my.install

    19. Installation should start up - and run normally. DO NOT REMOVE THE JUMPDRIVE UNTIL AFTER YOUR INSTALLATION IS 100% COMPLETE!

    20. Enjoy


    I may have skipped some troubleshooting steps - if you have problems let me know I'd like to help.

    Would it have been easier to figure out how to get the image to burn
    properly on your pc?

    Sure - but nowhere near as fun - and I wouldn't have learned anything
    about how the actual boot/install process works.

  20. jeremyscheller macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2009
    A simple Solution that requires a bit of hardware.

    I've had this problem today with a macbook that was a former employees.

    I wiped the drive because I just wanted a clean install. I did this from Disk Utility on the Leopard DVD. Didn't realize I wouldn't be able to reinstall straight from the Leopard DVD and the original install discs appear to be missing.

    Here's what I had on hand that made it possible.

    1. A Mac OS X install disc (not the one that came with a computer)
    2. A LaCie Firewire External drive.
    3. A LaCie External DVD drive. Presumable it doesn't matter what manufacturer you're using as long as one of the external drives has dual firewire ports so you can daisy chain them together.

    Here's the solution.

    1. On another mac (borrow one or find a friend if you don't have one) attach the firewire hard drive and insert a Mac OS X install disc and install OS X on to the external hard drive.
    2. Connect the firewire drives together and then to the mac you want OS X installed on.
    3. Start up from the external hard drive and put the install disc in the external DVD drive. You should see the OS X DVD mount and then just click it to start the installer. It should restart from the external DVD without trouble.
    4. Now it will allow you to install OS X on the internal drive of the macbook or whatever you want it installed on.

    It took a minute to figure out, but has saved a ton of trouble. Most of the solutions I've seen for this require getting into command line and disc images and I'm not interested in messing around with that.

    Hope that helps people.
  21. russdee macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
  22. imac27owner macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2011
    i am posting this because ,i have an macbook pro 15". after the hard drive was erased, i was stuck with a blank drive, no info on it. i had 2 different install discs. 1 for the macbook, and another for and my imac. after formatting and partitioning the drive. i tried to load the os x system on too it. it booted and i was able to select the language. after that i received the message" mac os x cannot be installed on this computer". after spending a lot of time on it. i still use not able to load a clean os system, even using a firewire, and trying INSTALL the OS on the macbook from my imac HD, i got the same message. i finally had to clone my imac drive to the mac book to get it too work.

    this problem of loading this system, has bothered me, and now i wondering iF i need to update the mac firmware...? THE MACBOOK IS 3 OR 4 YEARS OLD, AND NEVER UPDATED.
  23. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    1) Please do not revive a year old thread
    2) OS discs that come with your laptop are NOT generic, they are only include drivers for that specific system only.

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