New Mac user needs help with installation disks

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by cronnos, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. cronnos macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hello everyone. I just bought my first Mac today, so hopefully I'll be posting here for quite a while. I bought a used Macbook Core 2 Duo 2.0. I bought it knowing the drive needs to be replaced, but everything else works perfectly. I still have one problem: I cannot manage to run the Mac OSX install disks that came with the computer through an external DVD drive. I hope somebody can help me.
    The DVD drive is recognized by the computer when I load a movie or music CD, but when I load the install disk nothing happens. I even leave the disk on the drive, turn the computer off, and then restarted and press the C key down during the boot, but nothing happens either... Thanks for your help in advance.
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #2
    Try holding the option key instead. I believe the C key is specifically for the internal drive.
     
  3. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    #3
    Yep the Option key should give you a screen that should show the Mac System Restore/Install disk as one of the bootable options. Make sure the #1 disk from the System Restore set is the one in the drive.

    EDIT: Doing a little more searching for curiosity, it appears that holding down Command+Shift+Option+Delete at startup may well work for booting from the external optical drive as well in your situation.
     
  4. cronnos thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Thanks for the help guys. I'm just about to try it out. Wish me luck...

    UPDATE: Holding down Option only gave me the option to boot from the HDD, no dice on the external DVD drive. I'll try the second option you gave me...
     
  5. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #5
    ... and press the R and Q keys alternately with your nose, about one second apart.

    Seriously, there are 26 letters of the alphabet, say nothing of the shifted characters. Why does Apple love requiring those 4-key combos?

    Do you have an external hard drive or another Mac available?
     
  6. cronnos thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Neither of the two methods worked. The first one, like I said in the post before, did not give the option to pick the external drive. With the second method the boot screen (with the apple logo) took longer than usual, then went to a blue screen for about five minutes, and finally went started the system, but never gave the option to reinstall the OS... Can you only install an OS from an internal drive?

    I have an external HDD available... USB only, not firewire... This is my first and only Mac... I have an HP laptop, if that helps at all...
     
  7. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #7
    You said you could boot to the internal hard drive at the moment?
     
  8. cronnos thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    The computer is running fine, but it has all the information from the previous user, plus, I don;t think I'll feel like it's truly mine until it has a fresh start... If that makes any sense. Going back to your original question... Yes, the internal hard drive is working fine and has OSX 10.5.6 installed.
     
  9. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #9
    Exactly. You never know what the original owner left behind. Even when it appears to be a fresh install, I always do one of my own before I get myself set up. I even do so with a new Mac because OS X includes so much useless fluff that takes up extra space on the computer. With iLife, you're looking at something like 6 GB of wasted space in a default Leopard install.

    Okay, here's what you can do. Open Disk Utility on your old install, select the external hard drive, and go to the Partition tab. Click Options and select GUID Partition Table. Change the volume scheme to 1 partition, select the partition, and choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) as the format. Give it a pithy name, then click Partition. (This will delete all files on the external drive.)

    Now use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the install disk to the external drive. Reboot, hold down the option key, and select to boot from the external drive. The installer should start. Before you install, I suggest using Disk Utility (available under the Utilities menu in the installer) to format the internal drive, again to Mac OS X Extended (Journaled), with the security options set to zero out existing data.

    After that, you should be set!
     
  10. cronnos thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Thanks for the help Blue, and sorry about asking even more questions... I run into the same problem of the Mac not recognizing the install disk. When the disk is on the drive is as if the external drive is empty, so when I try to make a copy with CCC, it doesn't even give me the option. I put a regular DVD on the tray, and it did show up on CCC. Could it be that the Mac ignores the install disk when it's in an external drive? What else can I do? I'm very frustrated... I feel like I won;t be able to go to bed until I get it fixed...
     
  11. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #11
    So it won't recognize the install disk at all, even when you're booted normally? What do you see in Disk Utility?
     
  12. cronnos thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Whenever the install disk is in the drive, it doesn't show the drive at all, as if it wasn't hooked up... When it has a movie or something else, it shows whatever image the disk has. Could it be that the drive is not firewire? Oh, and if I get somebody else to install the OS on an external HDD, what do you do about the second install disk (the macbook came with two...)
     
  13. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #13
    No, FireWire would have nothing to do with it. For starters, Intel Macs can boot to USB drives – or should be able to, anyway. Even on a PowerPC machine, which can only boot to FireWire, it should still recognize the disk and allow you to clone without trouble.

    I only ever run a barebones install, which only requires the first disk. If you want iLife and so forth, you should be able to create two partitions instead of one and restore one disk to each. I haven't tried it personally, but I see no reason why it wouldn't work.
     
  14. cronnos thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    I'm considering taking it to an Apple store and asking them to please install the disks for me... Would they charge me a lot for doing that? Would they even do it?
     
  15. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #15
    They would probably just want to replace your drive. It isn't still under warranty, is it?

    Cloning onto an external hard drive should work fine, though. It's a pretty straightforward process, assuming you can get your hands on another Mac.
     
  16. cronnos thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Ok, I'll try the cloning... would the result from the cloning be a .dmg or another type of file?
     
  17. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #17
    Carbon Copy Cloner can clone to a .dmg, but in this case you would be cloning to a partition on the external hard drive. The entire partition will become a bootable copy of the disk.
     
  18. cronnos thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    I'm back and I'm done! I found a working Mac, followed your directions and now I have the OS installed under my name. Thanks BlueRevolution, you were very, very helpful...
     
  19. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #19
    No problem, glad to hear you got it taken care of.
     

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