Using a Macbook Pro to install Snow Leopard on my Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Srheiss, May 2, 2012.

  1. Srheiss macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2012
    Hey everyone. I have an early 2008 Mac Pro, and just bought Snow Leopard but the computer won't recognize the disk. When I put it into my Macbook Pro, it shows up though. Is there any way to use my Macbook Pro as an external disk drive to install Snow Leopard onto my Mac Pro?

    I tried slaving the MBP by connecting it via firewire and rebooting it holding "T". The MBP and installer DVD showed up on my Mac Pro, but it wouldn't let me install onto it.

    Any help would be much appreciated! This is getting very frustrating. Thanks in advance!
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Not possible. You can only install OS X from the grey restore discs on the exact model they ship with.
  3. quasinormal macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2007
    Sydney, Australia.
    Try putting the Mac Pro in Target disc mode. It will show up as an external disk when you get asked where you want to install the OS, when running the SL install disc from your MBP.
  4. Srheiss thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2012
    Actually just got it installed doing exactly this. Thanks! And for anyone else that has to do it this way, it doesn't give you the option to wipe your drive and install from scratch, or just upgrade your OS. It'll just automatically upgrade for you (at least from Leopard). It scared me because the install took 55 minutes, but everything was still there when it finished.
  5. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2010
    Sort of true.

    The grey restore discs can only be used on the year/make/model of Mac that they shipped with (with a few exceptions).

    The retail install/upgrade discs can be used on any Mac that meets the minimum system requirements.

    The OP doesn't say what type of install discs he was using.

    He also found the correct work around: put the machine you want OS X installed onto in Target Disk Mode.

    As for upgrade versus clean install:
    The install disc would have included disk utility. You can use that to erase the hard drive before you install. Then you have a clean install instead of an upgrade.
  6. VassilisK macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2011
    So did it work properly for you after the upgrade?
    I see in the Apple Support Community everyone says that you would be missing drivers etc.
  7. Srheiss thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2012
    I didn't notice anything not working right for me. I used it for about 5 months before upgrading to Mountain Lion too.
  8. adam9c1 macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2012
    You can try to connect Mac pro in target disk mode to the MacBook. Then use carbon copy cloner or super duper and clone the laptop drive to Mac pro.

    However I don't expect everything to work.
    The gray discs are specific to the hardware they came in for so you most likely will have issues. To say the least.

    Check amazon or eBay for a retail install DVD.

    Good luck.

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