Options to restore OS on old MacBook?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Mazin07, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. Mazin07 macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2010
    I got ahold of an older MacBook: 60GB hdd, 512MB RAM. It won't boot and will simply get stuck on the blinking question mark. I'd like to get OS X back on it and up and running to some degree of functionality.

    Here's what I've tried so far:

    Apparently the hard drive is shot because it's giving the click of death and my desktop could not read it either.

    I popped in the Tiger install disc in the slot-loading drive and the MacBook didn't recognize it. It eventually spit the disc out automatically.

    I tried using an external CD/DVD drive to boot the Tiger disc and also a rEFIt disc and the MacBook refused to boot off of those too.

    RAM seems to be fine. Haven't tested Firewire because I don't have a Firewire host.

    Are there limitations to these older MacBooks that I should know about? I remember something about MFT support only being added midway through the MacBook timeline.

    Any help is appreciated, thanks.
  2. synthetase macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2010
    This is what i would do,

    Reset the PRAM. This will reset ports.

    Put in the disc.

    Hold down option after powering on to see what's in start up manager. It may take a very long time to recognize anything. It will stall if the old drive in still in there. Really, if it stalls too long and that drive is there. pull it. Those drive are notorious for failure. It needs to be replaced.

    If the disc shows up try to boot to it.

    You can also create a usb drive to boot from if the dvd drive is not functional.

    Also, if you're trying to boot it with an earlier or PPC version of tiger it won't work. The version must be the at least the version the macbook shipped with. You can find that info on apple's tech page with the serial number.
  3. Mazin07 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2010
    Good call on the PRAM. The bad hdd was blocking the PRAM reset but without it the PRAM reset just fine.

    Would it be fine for me to hook up a brand new SATA drive to a friend's Mac, install OS X onto it, and then transplant the drive into the old MacBook?
  4. synthetase macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2010
    While you'll be better off installing it on the machine it's intended for, yes you can do that, as long as it's installed from an Intel machine. i'd upgrade the ram and put 10.6 on it.
  5. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Yeah, it should work if your DVD drive is busted

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