Mac PC -- changing master boot record

Discussion in 'macOS' started by bking1000, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. bking1000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #1
    I am looking for a used Mac for my folks, and someone has posted an iMac that they have converted to a PC, having change the master boot record. They say I have to take it to the apple store to get it changed back, but couldn't I just start it up in target disk mode, and reformat the internal drive use carbon copy cloner or something like that?

    Any help/comments appreciated.
     
  2. RoninXI macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Location:
    Vermilion, Ohio
    #2
    If it is master boot record then yes because it is just a file on the hard drive. I think they meant they changed the EFI chip to BIOS (not sure if that is possible), that would be the only thing that would have to be changed by Apple because you would need a physical chip. Anything else would be a format and install or new hard drive if you want to upgrade.
     
  3. pwn247 macrumors 6502

    pwn247

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Location:
    West Virginia, USA
    #3
    It just sounds like they ripped the mainboard out and tossed a cheap-ass PC board in there. I don't believe it's possible to modify the EFI to BIOS on an Apple-branded mainboard, but hey- it's technology- and you never know.

    Get more information from the seller. If anything, it just sounds like they formatted the OS X partition away, and just loaded her with Windows.
     
  4. om3ga macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #4
    I think they refering to the "Partition Scheme" as Master Boot Record. Is just formatted for Windows. You can do what you said, ether boot up in T mode and reformat as GPT or APM or use an Installation disk (Leopard/Tiger) to reformat the HDD. :D
     
  5. bking1000 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #5
    What is booting up in "T" mode?

    If I go to look at this machine, how can I verify that all I need to do is reformat the disk. I have an external that I can boot from that is loaded with Leopard. If I boot from that drive, would that confirm that all is well with the machine (that is, that it's not any kind of BIOS or hardware change, and that it's just a case of reformatting the drive)?
     
  6. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #6
    T mode means FireWire Target Disk Mode, I'm guessing. Instructions for activating it are here.
     
  7. om3ga macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #7
    You are correct!!

    There is no way they can change the BIOS on this Mac unless they change the motherboard which I doubt because of the Mac architecture. Try booting from your external drive (at start up hold down the Option Key while the external HDD is plugged in and select your drive) and it should boot up fine (if the hardware is compatible with the OS that is). If it works then you can use Disk Utility to reformat or an Installation DVD. :)
     
  8. RoninXI macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Location:
    Vermilion, Ohio
    #8
    I still think they just don't know what they are talking about and think that it takes a trip to the genius bar to format a hard drive. Sounds like the thought process of a windows user to me :p
     
  9. bking1000 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #9
    That's my thought too, but I just wanted to run a sanity check. That's OK, though, because they are underpricing the unit because they think it needs a trip to the Apple store :)
     
  10. milk242 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    #10
    Just use a install disc to get into disc utility and change the partition map to GUID. Whoever is selling this machine seems to have no idea what they are selling... I say when you go pick it up bring in an install disc and change it back to guid to make sure nothing fishy is going on.
     

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