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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2013
    Posts
    5
    Macbook 1,6 2009 will not load any install disks
    I only ever get in a few mac's every year to work on, so they certainly are not my specialty. This one has me stumped though.

    Client brought in a macbook 1,6 a 2009 model with a bad hard drive. I removed the hard drive and had to run data recovery programs for 4 solid days to pull off most of the pictures, as the disk was seemingly only working for a few seconds out of every minute.

    I threw a new drive in the macbook and booted it up to load an install disk. I click on the disk and the the loading symbol comes up and then nothing, just hangs on that screen forever. So far I have tried install disks from 10.4, 10.5, and 10.7. One loads to a black screen with a blinking cursor, all the others only bring up the loading circle, except one that occasionally turns the loading circle symbol into a circle with a line through it.

    I switched out RAM, did the key combinations to do the mac equivalent of resetting the bios, disconnected the battery, tried two different working hard drives. I tried formatting one of the hard drives to HFS+ to see if that would help, it did not.

    I can sit at the boot choice screen and move the mouse indefinitely without it freezing, but as soon as i try loading install media the thing just locks up with its never ending loading circle.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    49,410
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Sierra
    First, that's a 2010 MacBook (6,1) which came pre-loaded with Snow Leopard OS X 10.6.1.

    Where is the original install Snow Leopard DVD? You can't use anything earlier to boot the machine as it won't work. You also say you have a 10.7 disk? Lion can only be obtained by downloading from Apple, it's not available on disk.

    One thing you might check... we always recommend replacing the SATA cable (goes from hard drive to logic board) when replacing the hard drive on an older machine. That may or may not be the problem but it's a possibility. However, you first need to obtain the proper install media from the owner or buy a Snow Leopard retail install disk direct from Apple for $19.99.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2013
    Posts
    5
    Thanks for the reply chscag,

    I should have clarified that this system does not list its model. I determined that it was a 1,6 chart, based on RAM and hard drive size and the copyright date listed (2009)- How to identify MacBook models
    The only information on this system is the fcc code etc, no stick or imprint indicating model.

    No install dvd was supplied from the owner of the system, I believe she no longer has it or documentation for the laptop.

    I will go through my pile of install disks from scrapped systems and see if there are any 10.6.1's

    I'll look into that SATA cable. I just think it's odd that the system hangs on loading the install disks with or without the hard drive.

    Thanks again, let me know if you think of anything else. I'll update if I get anything to work.

  4. #4

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Posts
    22,383
    Specs:
    Imac 27", 3.3GHz, 512 flash storage, 16GB memory, macOS Sierra.
    Bad news is must be from that precise model released at the same time. Extremely model specific install DVDs. You can purchase from Apple Online for $20 including postage.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2013
    Posts
    5
    Harryb, interesting. Do you have any tips on finding out what the exact model is without the model number listed?

  6. #6

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Posts
    22,383
    Specs:
    Imac 27", 3.3GHz, 512 flash storage, 16GB memory, macOS Sierra.
    Well it will not be a 1.6 ~ probably a 6.1 if it has the 2.26GHz processor.

    A little utility called Mactracker will give you all this information. Do not know if it will works on a Windows machine however. And a silver grey system disc even if OS x.6.1 will not work if from a different model.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2013
    Posts
    5
    Haha, yeah 6,1 I mean. Jittery hands.

    The system is a shiny white, with the entire bottom plate removable. Just says MacBook on it, which doesn't help really.

    Well since the system has no OS to boot to and the drive is barely functional I doubt that will work. Oh well, i'll try a few more disks then call it quits.
    ---
    wow i typed 1,6 a bunch of times. Don't know where my head is at today.

  8. #8

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
    Location
    Modesto, Ca.
    Posts
    28,981
    Specs:
    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7 OSX10.11, iMac 2008 OSX10.11, MBP Late2011OSX10.11 , iPad Air, iPhone 3GS
    If you have a Full Retail 10.6 SL DVD that is at least 10.6.1 that will work. In other words not the GRAY DVD that comes with the Mac in the Box. Retail store copy.

    What you have there is the Unibody white Macbook. those were the very last Macbooks before apple dropped the line in favor of the Air.

    If you can't find that DVD I just mentioned and if the owner is willing, you can get it from Apple for $20.

    To me that is still a very useable machine and worth $20 plus the Hard drive.

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2013
    Posts
    5
    Thanks for the help everybody. I tried 10.5, 10.6, and 10.7, all to no avail. I did finally get it working though.

    I found an old hard drive drive with 10.6 on it from another system, loaded it up in the macbook, and then cloned it across to a new drive. This worked fine with a few errors so at this point I ran updates and then loaded 10.8 now it works like a charm.

    Why wouldn't it install from any media? I'm assuming it's a DVD drive issue or some weird disk controller hiccup. Either way the lady should be happy she doesn't have to shell out over a grand for a new system.

    Hopefully my efforts and mistakes will he helpful to anybody who runs into a similar issue in the future.

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