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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Trying to reinstall OS


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RabidEmu

 
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I've had my MacBook for a long time, I think it was the first one to have Intel chips. It's started slowing down to the points where it's really annoying me so I thought I'd reinstall the OS and start off fresh again and maybe install some new RAM.

However when I try to insert my MacBook's "Mac OS X Install Disc", the computer just spits the disc out of the drive. After some research and a call to Apple it seems my SuperDrive is partially broken and won't read the disc(It still reads all other discs and can burn DVDs, though it can't burn CDs). Apple did offer to fix it for the low, low price of $400.

Basically now, I'm trying to find all my options to reinstall the OS. I don't really mind the not so fully functioning SuperDrive. From what I can tell, my options are to either pay Apple the $400 to fix it(Not going to happen), or buy a new SuperDrive and attempt to install it myself. Is it possible to use an external drive to reinstall the OS? Are there any other methods I could use?

Thanks for any helpful suggestions.
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EndlessMac

 
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I've read about others using external optical drives to reinstall their OS. It's a much less expensive solution because external drives can be bought new for around $50 USD or less. If you want to replace the SuperDrive yourself you can go to ifixit.com. They have great tutorials but the price of a SuperDrive is going to be more than an external so it's probably not worth it since your SuperDrive is still usable for other things. It's your choice.

Although before you go through the process of reinstalling your OS your slowdowns maybe be caused from filling up your hard drive too much. You want to keep something between 15-20% space free to prevent slowdowns.

If you do have enough free space then your slowdowns could be caused by your computer processor being too slow to run the latest software. If that is the case then reinstalling the OS isn't going to solve much. The other factor is that if you multitask a lot or use software that eats up a lot of your RAM then you might be experiencing slowdowns due to that. To find out just open up Activity Monitor at the end of the day and in the System Memory tab see how much page outs and swap usage you have. If it's a lot then you can benefit from more RAM.

If you really need to reinstall the OS then just make sure to backup everything.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RabidEmu View Post
From what I can tell, my options are to either pay Apple the $400 to fix it(Not going to happen), or buy a new SuperDrive and attempt to install it myself.
Just wanted to let you know...if you do have a 1st generation MacBook (and if it's a 13" model)...they are only worth about $400. So definitely consider this when deciding on a repair strategy.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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selloutt

 
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Throw your hard drive in a friends macbook and reinstall the OS from there.
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RabidEmu

 
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Thanks for the tips guys.

I'm currently running OS 10.4, could I possibly try to upgrade to 10.5 and reinstall that? Or will the disc just get spit out like the one that came with my MacBook?

Or what about doing this: Install OS Via USB

If I could somehow get a dmg image of the OS(legally of course), I might be able to reinstall using a USB flash drive, right?

Also, my HDD is pretty fragmented, anytime I use disk utility the computer crashes. I'm hoping if I reinstall the OS I can actually repair the hard drive.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RabidEmu View Post

I'm currently running OS 10.4, could I possibly try to upgrade to 10.5 and reinstall that? Or will the disc just get spit out like the one that came with my MacBook?

Also, my HDD is pretty fragmented, anytime I use disk utility the computer crashes. I'm hoping if I reinstall the OS I can actually repair the hard drive.
If you do have a MacBook (with an Intel cpu)...then you could upgrade the OS to 10.5 Leopard or 10.6 Snow Leopard.

If your optical disk drive is having problems...then it won't matter what disk you insert...the drive will not be able to read it (whether it's a 10.4, 10.5, or 10.6 disk).

How do you REALLY know that your disk is fragmented??? When running almost any version of Mac OS X...the OS does maintenance automatically (every now & then)...and part of this maintenance is keeping hard drive fragmentation to a minimum. So your hard drive probably is not very fragmented.

It sounds like all along that your optical drive isn't working properly...and that's what really needs to be fixed. Replacing the internal optical drive may be too expensive (given the total value of the computer).

Purchasing an external optical drive might be a less expensive solution..here's a possibility:

OWC Value Line USB2.0/1.1 22X Super-MultiD... (VLU2SD22XLS) at OWC

Hope this helps,

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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RabidEmu

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
If you do have a MacBook (with an Intel cpu)...then you could upgrade the OS to 10.5 Leopard or 10.6 Snow Leopard.

If your optical disk drive is having problems...then it won't matter what disk you insert...the drive will not be able to read it (whether it's a 10.4, 10.5, or 10.6 disk).

How do you REALLY know that your disk is fragmented??? When running almost any version of Mac OS X...the OS does maintenance automatically (every now & then)...and part of this maintenance is keeping hard drive fragmentation to a minimum. So your hard drive probably is not very fragmented.

It sounds like all along that your optical drive isn't working properly...and that's what really needs to be fixed. Replacing the internal optical drive may be too expensive (given the total value of the computer).

Purchasing an external optical drive might be a less expensive solution..here's a possibility:

OWC Value Line USB2.0/1.1 22X Super-MultiD... (VLU2SD22XLS) at OWC

Hope this helps,

- Nick
I know the HDD is fragmented because about a year and a half ago I tried installing boot camp and couldn't get past the partioning part of the process. So I ran Disk Utility(Back when it was working) which said the hard drive was damaged and fragmented, that it needed to be repaired. I tried to insert the MacBook's OS disc(To boot from it and repair the HDD), but the computer kept ejecting the disc and that's when I discovered the optical drive didn't work. The optical drive still reads everything I can throw at it, except the OS disc.

I found a couple of MacBook Superdrives on Amazon for $70ish, though I'm a little weary to buy something like that from a third party seller.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RabidEmu View Post
I tried to insert the MacBook's OS disc(To boot from it and repair the HDD), but the computer kept ejecting the disc and that's when I discovered the optical drive didn't work. The optical drive still reads everything I can throw at it, except the OS disc.

I found a couple of MacBook Superdrives on Amazon for $70ish, though I'm a little weary to buy something like that from a third party seller.
In your original post it was mentioned that when speaking with Apple (over the phone)...you or Apple came to the conclusion that the optical drive "seems to be partially broken".

I think that the conclusion that an optical drive "seems to be partially broken" could be wrong if no knowledgeable person has actually physically inspected & troubleshooted the optical drive. If the OS disk is the ONLY thing that cannot be read by the optical drive...then it would seem to be the OS disk that is the problem.

By the way...is this OS install disk the one that came with this computer...or is it an OS install disk that was acquired sometime after you got the MacBook?

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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RabidEmu

 
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The Apple guy over the phone had me do a series of absurd tests to confirm the drive wasn't working properly, he made it sound like this sort of thing happens from time to time and isn't too unusual. Also the drive cannot burn CDs(It can read them), though it can burn DVDs.

And yes the the disc I'm trying to use came with the MacBook and is labeled "Mac OS X Install Disc 1" and another labeled "Mac OS X Install Disc 2", the computer won't accept either of them. The Apple guy also mentioned the drive is designed to only read OS install discs that came with it and not discs that came with other Macs(iMacs, MacBook Pros, etc.).

I didn't think about it until now, but maybe the optical drive can't read any dual layer DVDs. I'm not sure, but I think the OS Install disc is a DL DVD.

I just tried putting in a DL game disc and it got ejected just like the OS discs, so I guess it can't read any DL DVDs. Although that information doesn't really help much when all I'm really trying to do is reinstall the OS and repair the hard drive
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harryb2448

 
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If the drive is working it will handle DL discs no problem. You optical drive is karked alas by the sounds of things.
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