MBA A1237 Clean Install Snow Leopard

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by doubleup, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. doubleup, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014

    doubleup macrumors newbie

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    Jun 27, 2014
    #1
    Hey all,
    I'm working on a MBA Model A1237 and I cannot get the OS to load. It's the older version of MBA that does not have an external CD/DVD drive, so the OS has to be loaded from USB. I have Snow Leopard 10.6 on the USB.

    I boot the MBA using the options key, plug in the USB and choose the option to install from USB. A few minutes later one of two things occurs.

    1. The MBA shuts off
    2. After time the MBA shows the prohibited sign

    Rebooting with a command+v shows the system is getting stuck with the message "still waiting for root device" repeating itself.

    When the option key is held down upon bootup is the blank hard drive supposed to show up or does it only show up once an OS is installed on it?

    Update: I took a look at the hard drive and noticed the black clip is no longer connected to the hard drive where the ribbon connects to the hdd. 2 pins also look bent. Could the error I'm receiving be a result of this?
     
  2. doubleup thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 27, 2014
  3. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #3
    Do you know if the hard drive is OK?
    Shutting off during boot can be one indication that the hard drive is not passing the boot test. And, being a PATA drive, the failing drive may cause boot to fail, even if you are not booting to the internal drive.
    You may want to consider replacing the little hard drive. An SSD might be nice, if you can find one of the PATA SSDs that it needs.
    OWC sells some replacements http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/Air-Retina/Apple-MacBook-Air-2008-Drive-Internal

    If the connector problem might be an issue, you should correct that first. If the problem appears to be the drive ribbon cable, you'll need to replace that, too. Maybe that's all you need, and everything will work after replacing the ribbon cable. You can probably get one of those at ifixit.com
     
  4. doubleup thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 27, 2014
    #4
    Update: I purchased a new hard drive and the same exact thing is occurring...

    I'm not too familiar with Macs so when installing fresh a format is not required ahead of time, correct? The OS will format the drive when installing?
     
  5. doubleup thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 27, 2014
    #5
    Also, I'm not sure the OS on the USB drive they gave me is the correct OS. How do I find out what OS the laptop needs? I've read that only certain OS's work with certain MBP?
     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #6
    No, a new hard drive needs to be formatted before you can install OS X. The installer won't even see the drive until you do that - and doesn't ever format the drive as part of the install.
    Boot to your installer, (Snow Leopard 10.6 something?), then choose the Utilities menu at the top of the screen. Click Disk Utility.
    Choose your new hard drive from the list, then click the Erase tab, and finally, click the Erase button on that screen (which will be in the bottom right corner) You can name the partition, if you like. The erase should take only a few seconds.
    Quit Disk Utility, and continue with the OS X install. You should be able to choose your hard drive as the destination for the install.

    If all this STILL doesn't work - you need to come back with more information about your laptop. Your first post said MBAir A1237, but your last post said MBP (and that's MacBook Pro, not the same laptop at all).
    If you are correct about the A1237 (which is the 2008 MacBook Air), then the Snow Leopard should install, no problem, once you have the drive formatted.
    The 2008 MBAir can have up to Lion (OS X 10.7.5) - but I don't recommend that, the Air only has 2GB of RAM, not much for Lion. Snow Leopard, on the other hand, should be a great match, once you get it installed.
     
  7. doubleup, Jul 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014

    doubleup thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 27, 2014
    #7
    Thanks for your responses Delta, you've definitely helped me as a newb.

    I checked the disk utility and the drive isn't showing up there either. I'm beginning to wonder if possibly the hard drive cable is messed up. Unfortunately I don't have a way to test it so I'm going to see if a local Mac store has a cable I could test.

    I also checked the system profiler and under ATA it's not detecting the drive.

    The person I got the laptop from said they had an older hard drive that was minimally working (failing hdd tests) so I'm somewhat leery that it is the hdd cable.

    And sorry for the confusion, I'm still learning Mac lingo. It is a Macbook Air A1237, not MBP.
     
  8. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
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    #8
    You can test the cable by replacing it with a new cable. :D

    I realize that's not exactly the "test" that you were thinking about - but the cable is a common failure. The fact that your replacement drive is not visible in Disk Utility is just another indication that the cable may be faulty, so trying a different cable is a good next step.
     
  9. doubleup thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 27, 2014
    #9
    OK, that's what I was guessing. The MBA is original so no one (including Apple) carries the cable. I'll have to purchase one online and hope it works. :rolleyes:
     
  10. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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