Trying to install OSX onto new 3TB HD in mid-2010 27" iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by HTrayne, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. HTrayne macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2009

    Hoping someone can help. I'm not at all familiar with installing new hard drives and OSX, and I'm just trying to get my mid-2010 27" iMac back in use.

    The machine was terribly slow, so I upgraded from 4GB of RAM to 16GB. While it definitely helped with speed, it became obvious the HD was failing and a test confirmed so.

    Recently installed a new 3TB HD (from stock 1TB) and now I need to install a clean copy of OSX onto the new drive.

    That's where things get foggy.

    I lost the original install discs. An Apple tech told my brother that I needed to buy Snow Leopard (after checking my serial number) from, so I did.

    I boot the iMac, holding down "Alt" (it's not a Mac keyboard...a cheap replacement from and I get a screen showing the disc icon with "Mac OS X Install DVD".

    Once I click the icon, the drive spins for a second, and then I get the white screen of death with the Apple logo in the middle of it, and nothing happens. I've tried to do a little reading, but this is over my head.

    I do have a USB 2.0 SATA/IDE HD Adaptor connected via USB, so I can still boot to my old HD, which is now external, but it's really laggy. My brother has been a huge help in getting all of this done and has done all of the work to this point, and he advised me to go into Disk Utility to partition the new 3TB HD, which the Mac sees. I partitioned it with 1 partition, shut down, and tried to boot the install disc again, thinking the machine just didn't know where to boot before, but still nothing.

    Can anyone PLEASE help?
  2. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Mar 10, 2011
    You need to format the hard drive as GUID and create a partition on it using Disk Utility from within the Snow Leopard install disk. Once you format and create the partition you can then install Snow Leopard.
  3. HTrayne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2009
    Thank you for the quick response. I don't really know what this means and I'm not quite sure I follow. How do I do this within the Snow Leopard install disk?
  4. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    The Snow Leopard DVD might not work at all on your iMac, because your (mid-2010) iMac originally shipped with a version of Snow Leopard that is NEWER than the Snow Leopard version that you just purchased. (Apple never released a commercial Snow Leopard newer than 10.6.3)
    If that sounds puzzling to you - here's what happened: Apple released your iMac at about the same date that the Snow Leopard, in general, was updated. Your iMac came with slightly newer hardware, so Apple had to issue a special build of Snow Leopard to use with your iMac.
    Here's what you can try: Forget Snow Leopard, and boot to Apple's internet recovery:
    Restart while holding Option-Command-R. On your non-Apple keyboard, hold Win-Alt-R.
    After a few moment, you SHOULD see a spinning world, and NOT an Apple icon.
    The boot is from Apple's servers, so it can take several minutes before it completes, so be patient.
    You will eventually see the Recovery screen, with some menus. You can use Disk Utility to erase the hard drive (if you still need to do that). If the hard drive is ready, just continue on with an OS X install. I think you will be offered Lion (OS X 10.7.5). Once you get Lion installed, you can then upgrade to a newer system, that's your choice at that point.
  5. aggri1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2010
    I thought internet recovery boot (IRB) was only available on later models. IRB didn't exist when the 2010 was released (I have one of these too).

    If you have another Mac available somewhere, you should be able to build a USB boot stick with a newer MacOS. Dr Google would surely tell you how to build a Mac USB boot disk, perhaps even from a PC...

    Cheers, A.
  6. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    You are mostly correct, but Apple added that Internet recovery to most 2010 models using a firmware update. If the OP allowed Software Update to install the firmware update, then Internet Recovery will be available to use. Refer to this article for more info.

    @aggri1 - you can try this yourself, just as a test. Restart, while holding Option-Command-R. If you see the spinning world, then you are booting to Internet Recovery. :D
  7. HTrayne, Jul 21, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015

    HTrayne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2009
    I just tried this and am currently at the spinning world. Thank you! Hopefully this gets me going in the right direction...appreciate it!

    UPDATE: The screen went to a caution sign, with "-2002F" below. Man this is frustrating!
  8. HTrayne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2009
    UPDATE #2: YES!!! I am now installing OS X Yosemite from IRB on to my new 3TB HD! Thank you! I ended up restarting after the last failed attempt - I checked my router to make sure all was set properly, but didn't need to make changes, and just tried again - and after a 15-minute boot to IRB, I was able to get this rolling (despite a scary 5-minute spinning rainbow wheel that disappeared, literally, when I yelled at it - good timing :)). I've now got about a 1 hour, 45 minute install time, but looks like I might be on the home stretch. I guess I threw away $20 on a new Snow Leopard disc, but oh well, as long as I get this thing going again, I'll be geeked!

    I'll verify once install is done - thanks again!
  9. HTrayne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2009
    CONCLUSION: worked! All set and operational. THANK YOU DELTAMAC!!!!

Share This Page