Restoring Macbook 6.1 from the thrash

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Joelburman, May 29, 2018.

  1. Joelburman macrumors regular

    Joelburman

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    #1
    I found a white MacBook 6,1 in the thrash room in my house. The previous owner haven't erased the drive before throwing it away. The only malfunction I find is that the keyboard is defunct. So have two questions
    1. Anyone know of a keyboard fix for this model?
    2. The OSX on it is 10.6.8, is there a way that I can erase the old user and do a clean install?
     
  2. redheeler macrumors 604

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #2
    Open the MacBook and check if the keyboard cable is seated correctly. If it is, then you may have to do a full top case replacement to get it working.

    iFixit is a good resource when you need to repair or replace Mac hardware. The keyboard cable can be seen in step 14 of this guide.
    If you have a newer Mac, you can download the installer for a more recent version of MacOS (including High Sierra) from the App Store and make a USB installer using createinstallmedia. Simply boot the MacBook off the USB drive, erase the internal hard drive in Disk Utility, and install MacOS.

    If you want to keep 10.6 however, you need either an original restore disk or the later Snow Leopard 10.6.3 retail DVD.
     
  3. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #3
    What does "defunct" mean to you? Are there missing keycaps, or is there other obvious physical damage?
    Or does the keyboard simply not respond to your typing?
    You COULD check the keyboard connection inside. Reseating that can sometimes be all you need (assuming there's not that visible physical damage o_O )
    To create a new admin user - use this link - https://apple.stackexchange.com/que...to-a-mac-without-knowing-the-current-password
    scroll to "Create a New Admin Account"
    When you create that new admin account, log out, then log in to your new account. You can delete the existing account in the System Preferences/Accounts pref pane.

    BETTER plan would be to get a bootable installer. Your MacBook has a DVD drive, and Apple still sells the Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6.3) installer - https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MC573Z/A/mac-os-x-106-snow-leopard.
    Boot to that (or to some later version of OS X up to the current High Sierra (macOS 10.13)
    The MacBook6,1 supports all from 10.6.1 to current 10.13.4
     
  4. Joelburman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joelburman

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    #4
    Thanks guys. As for the Keyboard nothing happens at all when pushing the keys. Thanks for very informative help so far. I'll keep you updated how it goes.
     
  5. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #5
    Do you mean trash?

    That machine can run High Sierra 10.13 natively. It's fully supported. However, how much RAM do you have? 10.6.8 runs well on 2 GB RAM, but 10.6.8 is obsolete. Current browsers don't run on 10.6.8. However, while High Sierra can run on 2 GB RAM, it doesn't run very well. An SSD would also help a great deal, but I wouldn't invest in an SSD for a machine that isn't working properly.

    First try using an external USB keyboard for troubleshooting.
     
  6. Joelburman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joelburman

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    #6
    Yeah I have an external keyboard for testing. As for ram I thought it could handle 4gb? Which I thought I'd put in when having it fixed. I actually have a 320gb SSD laying around that I thought I'd install as well.
     
  7. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #7
    FYI - your MacBook6,1 will support 8 GB of RAM.
     
  8. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #8
    I mentioned 2 GB because that was the default amount of RAM for that model. But yeah, it can actually support up to 8 GB RAM (although Apple officially says only 4 GB).
     
  9. Joelburman, May 29, 2018
    Last edited: May 29, 2018

    Joelburman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joelburman

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    #9
    Nice if I manage to get the keyboard fixed I'll max out the ram.
    --- Post Merged, May 29, 2018 ---
    Update: I actually managed to create a new user now. As for the keyboard the weird thing is that the numerical keys above the letters work but not the alphabet keys.
     
  10. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #10
    hmm... there's only two commands, and should work very nicely, particularly with a 10.6 system.

    What about those commands does not work for you? Try them again.
    Are you not able to boot to single user mode? That's the restart, holding command + s
    Code:
    mount -uw /
    rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
    reboot
    Spaces are important, so the commands would be mount[space]-uw[space]/
    also rm[space]/var/db/.AppleSetupDone
     
  11. Joelburman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joelburman

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    #11
    See my update above, I managed to be able to add a new user. The issue I have now is that I can't get on to App Store to do updates. I actually manage to surf on some sites on Safari but the app store is completely dead and when clicking searching for updates "program update" I'm alternatively get message that I'm not connected to the internet or that no updates are available.
     
  12. EugW, May 29, 2018
    Last edited: May 29, 2018

    EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #12
    Not sure if this matters, but Apple considers obsolete any product over 7 years old. 10.6.8 is now 6 years and 10 months old.

    In any case, I'd just recommend installing Sierra or High Sierra on that machine, if you have access to a copy.
     
  13. oldmacs macrumors 601

    oldmacs

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Location:
    Australia
    #13
    Is the system time setting right?
     
  14. Joelburman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joelburman

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
  15. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #15
    For obsolete stuff? Maybe. Not sure.
     
  16. DeltaMac, May 30, 2018
    Last edited: May 30, 2018

    DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #16
    Apple's download servers have some pretty old stuff, you can likely auto-update back to OS X 10.2.8, if you have a need for that. A 10.6.8 system has two methods for updates -- the App Store, but better would be Software Update, under the Apple Menu.
    I think more likely that you simply don't have any updates available, and your Snow Leopard system is fully updated. The only likely "update" that you would have is to upgrade the OS. And, the only update that would be offered would be High Sierra. The banner for that is probably visible on your App Store Updates tab.
    I would NOT do that upgrade without 4 GB RAM or more, and an SSD installed, and I think the upgrade won't work anyway, unless you upgrade to something in between first, like OS X 10.9 (Mavericks). Those systems installers between 10.6 and 10.13 are all available, already on USB thumb drives, often on eBay somewhere.
    Easier (and cheaper) is to download the macOS installer app of your choice, and use that to create a bootable installer. There's lots of places that offer tips on how to do that.
    One other tip that I would have for you: Go to Apple support downloads page, and search for 10.6.8 Combined.
    You should get this page. Download that combo updater, and run it on your MacBook.
    That is a tip that is long known to help with some kinds of system problems, as it will clean up caches, and assure that all components in the system are both installed, and installed in the correct locations. That may help enough so that your system will then work as you would hope.
    (and you should make sure that time and date are set correctly, as that simple thing can also be a fix for certain problems, like connecting to remote servers (such as Apple's :cool: )
    If you want a web browser that is a bit more modern than Safari in Snow Leopard, and one that may work more reliably for you, download Roccat web browser.
     
  17. redheeler macrumors 604

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #17
    Go into :apple: > Software Update and have it check for updates there. This is the primary way to install minor updates in Mac OS X 10.6.

    Apple did release an update for Snow Leopard's App Store installable through Software Update, and you likely need that for the App Store to work.
     
  18. Joelburman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joelburman

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    #18
    Here's an update. Managed to install El Capitan 10.11.6 (current version) and delete the old admin user.

    As for the keyboard the following is my issue. The numerical key row is working fine (except +? key) as for the other keys they register a push but it becomes a blank space. When I use an external USB keyboard I can type all keys on it.
     

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