MacBook Won't Boot Tiger from its Install Disk or Snow Leopard Install Disk

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jamuson, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. jamuson macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2009
    I was excited to get my hands on our family's 'family' copy of Snow Leopard to install on my MacBook running Tiger 10.4.11... I'd checked out tutorials on youtube ( on how to clean install Snow leopard onto a blank hard disk, and was all set to bring my OS up to date...

    I inserted the Snow Leopard DVD and restarted and immediately held down the 'c' key and then... 3 minutes or so of the loading icon ticking later and the DVD was rejected and I only had one button to click on, 'Macintosh HD' to start up from.

    After re-trying several times I thought it was because I was trying to do it with Snow Leopard on my MacBook running Tiger so I tried restarting this time with disk 1 of the Tiger DVD. This was rejected too! :confused:

    So currently I am not able to wipe my hard disk as far as I know because I can't get to this screen to start the process (unless it's possible to do from within Tiger and if it is then I'm just worried that if I wipe it and I can't restart from the DVDs then I'll be in even bigger trouble).

    Has anyone encountered problems like these and does anyone know of a solution? I've never had any problems with my DVD drive in the past which leads me to suspect it's not because of that.

  2. logana macrumors 65816


    Feb 4, 2006
    Sounds as if the optical drive has failed - can it read any other dvds or cds ?
  3. jamuson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2009
    It can read CDs but no DVDs that I have tried so far. Seems like the problem is in reading DVDs. It is a superdrive. It used to be able to read them. Any ideas anyone?
  4. DavidRobertRoy macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2009
    Kirkcaldy, Scotland
    Have a look into a remote disk install if you have a 2nd computer.
  5. cderalow macrumors 6502


    have you tried inserting the SL disk into the drive while the system is on, letting Tiger load the SL "install", and choosing install SL from there?

    Theoretically it might start the system into the appropriate installer, at which point you can choose utilities and wipe the drive for a fresh install
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Similarly, you should be able to insert the SL disc, open the System Preferences, go to the startup disk pane, and then choose the SL disc there; there should be a restart button in that preference pane, and then if you select that, Tiger should shut down, and the computer should boot from the SL disc.

    For some reason I could not figure out, when I upgraded my iBook from Panther to Tiger, this was pretty much the only way I could get it to boot off the Tiger disc.
  7. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    Have you got a FireWire cable?

    If so, it's time for target disk mode...
  8. jamuson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2009
    The problem is I can't run any DVDs in the first place, let alone the Snow Leopard one.

    A more thorough search of the net has brought me to the problem at hand - which is a problem being experienced by a lot of other MacBook users - that of the Superdrive failing, possibly due to problems with the firmware. See here

    I don't have a remote drive of any kind, but that would seem like a good suggestion. I may look into it. Thanks.
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Wait, so if the DVD isn't even recognized when the Mac is booted in Tiger, then yeah, obviously... you could have just said that to begin with! :p

    Good luck with your repairs.

    FWIW, two more options:

    1) Target Disk Mode doesn't require an external drive necessarily. You should also be able to do it with two Macs. So if you have another Mac in the family with a working drive, you plug the firewire cable between them, bring your Macbook up in Target Disk mode, and then use the other Mac to install OS X on it.

    2) Likewise, if you have a >1GB flash drive, the hackintosh people have a way for making a bootable install drive on it (with another Mac that has a working DVD), so that too may be an option.

Share This Page