OS X installation problems and mac stats

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bigbadnewill, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. bigbadnewill macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007
    My friend recently bought a macbook from a car boot sale. It already had OS X installed on it. (I don't know which version, but am guessing 10.4.6 from the installer request)

    He fiddled around with it as there was a password on it and now it won't work at all. He tried reinstalling it with the iMac installation disk, but that doesn't work either, for obvious reasons.

    The current state of affairs is that it boots up, asks me what language i wanna use, and then goes to the installer. It fails as it's trying to read the iMac installation disk and gives 2 options: 1) restart 2) startup disk. If i choose startup Disk it then gives 2 more options, it either tells me to insert the Macbook version of OS X 10.4.6 Disk 1, or network startup.

    My question is though, is it possible to check what the spec of the Macbook is from the installation screen etc? I read another thread telling a guy to buy Leopard since he couldn't get hold of this said disk.

    While I don't mind telling him to get Leopard, is there anyway i can check if it's gonna work first?

    Any advice, pointers etc in the right direction would be great! thanks
  2. masse macrumors 6502a


    May 4, 2007
    Are you trying to check if the computer works?

    If so, you can try using a livecd for ubuntu or something. If that works, then the machine is good (the hard drive could still be dead as livecd's do not use hard drive).

    I'd just advise him to buy leopard...it's the simplest solution. If the machine works fine, he's going to want leopard anyway.
  3. Dimwhit macrumors 68000


    Apr 10, 2007
    Installing with the iMac install disk definitely won't work. Sounds like the machine works well enough, though. I don't see why Leopard wouldn't work. Spec-wise, you're fine. If it's a MacBook, it will run Leopard.

    You can check which OS version it has by booting it into Target Disk mode and connecting it to another computer, then going to Startup Disk. Should give the OS number for that as a possible boot option.

    There's probably a way to check the processor speed, RAM, etc. as well from Target Disk mode, but I'm not sure how.
  4. bigbadnewill thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007
    Thanks for the replies people! I am pretty sure the HDD is working, and that the machine is fine too. Just a problem with the current installation, and the installation disk at the moment.

    I will let him know about deciding if he wants to buy Leopard or not. haha. Just that if it wasn't going to work it would be pointless buying it.

    I will give a live ubuntu disk a try, think i have one lying around somewhere!

    EDIT: Tried an ubuntu live CD and that worked fine. Didn't get too much chance to search ubuntu for the specs as the battery is running low and he hasn't given me the charger, haha! I will get that tomorrow and keep investigating!

  5. bigbadnewill thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007
    I now have the Macbook installation disks for Tiger, 10.4.9 and they still won;t install. I keep getting the message "This software cannot be installed on this computer"


    I have had a linux live cd running a few times so nothing is wrong there!

    t's showing me the installer screen, so i opened utilities--->Disk utility and I have just formatted the HDD and it's now empty apparently.

    How can i go about reformatting everything and starting afresh? This is very confusing now!

    I have held down 'c' as i boot up and that still brings up the Installer screen, and th same error as above! :(
  6. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    It's most likely to be of questionable origins (stolen). Think about it, what kind of owner would sell you something without getting rid of the password and erasing all data? Don't buy questionable goods next time.

    iMac disks won't work on anything besides the same line of iMacs.

    You probably don't have the correct MacBook disks, as there are a few different versions of MacBooks. You need very specific MacBook disks for the specific model. You can find out what you have by going under the battery.

    Buying Leopard is the simplest solution.
  7. bigbadnewill thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007
    Thanks, but it's not mine, i'm actually trying this for my neighbour as stated!

    Thanks for the other advice though, it does stand to reason that the new macbook disks he has just got are for a newer one. I will probably tell him just to get leopard!

    I looked in system profiler as you can open it when in the installer window and the stats are:

    Intel Core Duo
    512MB RAM

    I am wondering if the disks are for a C2D because isn't there a difference?

  8. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Yup, know you are not the owner. But just info for everyone.

    There is only one line of Core Duo MacBook (with 3 models), while there are 3 different lines of C2D MB (with 3 models each).

    So in this case, you can also try to find a set of factory restore disks for the Core Duo MacBook...
  9. bigbadnewill thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007
    Right, well i'll continue on the quest, and thanks for the info again!

    Think he just needs to buy Leopard and save me a lot of time, haha!
  10. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Yeah. Quick skim shows none are on ebay right now.

    The disks are currently $70 on iFixIt.com without shipping.

    You might be able to get a copy from local craigslist.
  11. bigbadnewill thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007
    I'm uk, so don't think craigslist will work, and if he is gonna be paying $70 for a copy he might as well just get leopard and be done with it. I think my mate has a new copy of leopard, i might borrow huis, check it works and then remove it :D

    Not a fan of piracy myself, this is currently for testing purposes.

    Thanks again mate, you've been a great help!
  12. bigbadnewill thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007
    ok, i'm back again. :D

    I have just been reading about Target Disk, can i install os x on the macbook through my iMac? If so, how do i go about it, and will it install from my imac disks?

    Any advice would be really really......realy (you get me) appreciated!!

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