Macbook spares bought off ebay

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by redwin11, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. redwin11 macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2006

    I recently decided to buy some 'Mac junk' off ebay and see if I could do anything with it to make a working computer. I clearly needed to fill a void in my life.

    So i bought a Black Macbook case (bottom only) with only the Logic Board and airport card still attached. No guarantees of anything working.

    I plugged the unit in, stuck a stick of RAM in, and got the chime - excellent start. I also put a HDD in and got the white light on the front.

    So my next port of call is to find out if it works off an external display, which i'll be doing later today once my Mini-DVI cable arrives. Assuming this goes ok, then I'll be wanting to load up OS X to see if it runs ok.

    But here's the problem - I have no optical drive. Is there anyway of loading OS X onto the HDD, say by using my Intel iMac?

    Also, I have some old Tiger install Discs from my iMac - will I be able to use these just to test it? As far as i can tell, the Macbook is from 2006, early 2007, so would have been prior to Leopard being released.

    An advice would be appreciated.

  2. rocwiff macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2009
    If you get some sort of adapter or external enclosure for the laptop hard drive so you can connect it via USB, you should be able to boot up from the Tiger disc and install to that drive with your iMac. Then all you need to do is put the hard drive back in the laptop and it should work.
  3. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    The simplest way to do this without buying anything or messing with an external enclosure is to hook the Mac you want to test to the iMac using the "Target Disk Mode" in which the hard drive in the MacBook will simply appear on the desktop of the iMac. If it is formatted correctly (Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format and a GUID Partition Table Map) you should be able to install to it. To read more about TDM, see this Apple document.

    The bigger question is whether or not the disks you have will work however. The disk you are describing are the System Restore disks which are keyed to the model they shipped with, and although they on occasion work, that is the exception rather than the rule.

    Assuming they won't work, for testing purposes you can download the free Carbon Copy Cloner, hook up the MacBook via TDM and then clone the iMac hard drive to the MacBook which will result in a bootable drive since both your iMac and MacBook are Intel based.
  4. whitemacbook macrumors member


    Mar 1, 2009
  5. redwin11 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2006
    Thanks for the advice!

    I'm still awaiting my Mini-DVI to VGA Connector to turn up and then I can find out what actually happens when this thing boots (was sent mini VGA by mistake :mad:).

    One point of interest, though - the HDD I also bought off ebay has not been completely wiped - the Applications folder is still there and contains all the Leopard Apps (Time Machine is on there, which was the giveaway).

    The person I bought it off has wiped all his documents, etc but it seems like left all the software on there.

    Am I being too naive to think that there's a chance the Leopard install on the HDD will boot ok on the Macbook?

    It's soooo frustrating sitting here looking at this piece of equipment whirring without being able too see what it may be doing!
  6. redwin11 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2006
    Right, I finally got the chance to hook this up to an external monitor and it seems like everything is working fine!

    The Macbook boots the Leopard install that's on the HDD and because it was set to log-in automatically, I can get onto the Desktop and use everything fine.

    I'm going to sell the Logic Board on again, but is it worth keeping the HDD with Leopard on it?

    Is there anyway I can get the Leopard install on the HDD onto my iMac to replace Tiger? I assume not, but it'd be handy if i could.

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