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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Apr 04, 2011
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    2
    MBP w/ new hard drive won't read snow leopard DVD
    so ive searched the internet endlessly for a solution, and have come across many people with similar issues but nothing that has helped me solve my problem.
    my MBP - late 2006 intel C2D 2.16 3G-RAM - was running leopard until the hard drive went. i put in a 500G 7200RPM western digital hard drive and then tried to load up a retail version of Snow Leopard on to the new drive. ive had the 'disc spinning a few times then getting spit out' problem many people have had, so i decided to use the grey install DVDs that came with my computer. they're tiger discs, but they should be the only grey discs that should work with my machine, correct? so, they spin a few times and then get spit out. this is where i assumed it was the optical drive. just to be sure, i took grey install discs from a friends 2009 MBP and tossed it into my computer. next thing i know, it asks me to select my language and then says "cannot install OS X on this computer" which, if im not mistaken, is because the discs aren't for my machine. fine. at least its not the optical drive. but i went to utilities, disc utility and it showed my new drive; i verified it and it said it was OK. i plugged in an external HD with a backup of my old drive, and chose "restore from backup" under utilities, but it didnt do anything. as if when i clicked i just clicked dead space. also, when the computer starts with no disc, it just has the flashing folder with a question mark in it. is that not because there is no OS on the new drive?

    next i turned my computer on while holding T and it went into target disc mode. i went firewire 800 to firewire 800 on a brand new imac, but it wouldnt mount my MBP on the imac. the Snow leopard disc mounts on the imac, so the disc is fine. the hard drive, when verified, is fine. and the optical drive is fine, but seemingly selective.
    now im stuck at where to go from here. any help would be appreciated. just cant seem to get to the bottom of this.

  2. #2

    MYmacROX's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 17, 2009
    Posts
    3,625
    Specs:
    2008 15" MBP Yosemite, 2012 21.5" iMac Yosemite
    When you are in Utilities, you probably are going to need to format that new HDD first to Mac OS Journaled (extended) before you can install any OSX on it.
    Just a guess. If that doesn't help, maybe someone else has another suggestion because I can't see any reason a $29 SL retail disc wouldn't install on that Mac.
    64GB iPhone 6, 64GB iPad Air 2.

    Reminder: Please include your Mac's specs. This will make it much easier for the other members to assist you.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Apr 04, 2011
    Posts
    2
    when i was in disc utilities i did the erase as Mac OS Journaled (extended) like you said, and it didnt help with the not reading the snow leopard disc issue.
    also, i can only access disc utilities when i put in the grey DVD from a newer MBP in my computer, so im not sure if that is stopping it from properly formatting? it says its OK when i verify it.

  4. #4

    BrokenTronics's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 05, 2011
    Location
    Mesa Arizona
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    5
    Specs:
    2.0 GHZ 160gb HD 1gb RAM (yeah pathetic)
    Mymac is correct. You need to format and repartition the hard drive first. I just went through this process for the first time myself. Unfortunately I had my tech do it so I can't give you step by step instructions. However, here is what I basically picked up (anyone feel free to correct me).

    Use a different mac and sync the new hard drive to it (done before HD install)
    Use disc utility on working mac and format and partition new drive (do a google vid search, should find something, if not PM me.)
    After you are done, insert the NEWER disc (your retail copy)

    Sorry I couldn't be of more help but now at least you should have some idea. Unfortunately if you're not under warranty Apple will try and charge you $229 bucks to do this semi-simple fix.
    Need advice on repairs, PM me.
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  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jul 06, 2011
    Posts
    2
    Hi Stacko,

    Did you get that problem resolved? I have the very same problem, and have tried everything you have pretty much word for word. Bought a refurbished Mac Book Pro, installed a new hard drive, bought the Retail Snow Leopard, It comes up in working Mac Books, but spits out in mine, leaving the flashing question mark. Tried the Grey Disk that belonged to another Mac, which tries to install, but won't work because it doesn't belong to that Mac, etc.

    Did the solution proposed by BrokenTronics work? Any information or help you could provide would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

  6. #6

    MYmacROX's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 17, 2009
    Posts
    3,625
    Specs:
    2008 15" MBP Yosemite, 2012 21.5" iMac Yosemite
    Quote Originally Posted by iomanai View Post
    Hi Stacko,

    Did you get that problem resolved? I have the very same problem, and have tried everything you have pretty much word for word. Bought a refurbished Mac Book Pro, installed a new hard drive, bought the Retail Snow Leopard, It comes up in working Mac Books, but spits out in mine, leaving the flashing question mark. Tried the Grey Disk that belonged to another Mac, which tries to install, but won't work because it doesn't belong to that Mac, etc.

    Did the solution proposed by BrokenTronics work? Any information or help you could provide would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
    Did you insert the DVD into your Mac, restart and hold "C"? That is how you enter the setup/install for SL.
    64GB iPhone 6, 64GB iPad Air 2.

    Reminder: Please include your Mac's specs. This will make it much easier for the other members to assist you.

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Jul 06, 2011
    Posts
    2
    Thanks MYmacROX,

    Yes, when the SL DVD is inserted, and the mac restarted with C held, it spins for a moment and seemingly attempts to load, then gives up and spits out the disk.
    However, as Stacko experienced, when I insert a grey SL disk that came from another mac, it does load up successfully, and asks me to choose a language, then says "cannot load os x on this computer"..Which is to be expected as it is not a retail copy.
    Does this suggest that the new hard drive does not need to be formatted and partitioned first, as the mac was able to load the grey SL disk?

    Thanks again, oh to be a mac genius!

  8. #8

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location
    Texas, where else?
    Posts
    26,462
    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    Booting or not being able to boot from an optical disc has no bearing whatsoever on the hard drive. You are booted from the disc.

    I would suggest cleaning the SL disc (even if it doesn't appear to need it) and taking an inspection of it to see if it has any scratches on it that may be making it unreadable.

    I would also take a can of air and do 2-3 quick bursts in the slot in different directions to maybe clear the lens of any dust.

    Also, try holding the option key down instead of the 'C' key. Have seen reports of this working.

    It's possible the SL disc is bad.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

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