Technique: Installing Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

At the time of writing this guide, OS X 10.5 Leopard was the current release by Apple. The newest OS by Apple is OS X 10.9 Mavericks. The installation procedure should be relatively the same as previous versions, although, you will need to first create a Mavericks Recovery Disk using this tool provided by Apple.

Install Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard on a new hard drive.

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Edit Step 1 Installing Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard  ¶ 

  • Insert a Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard installation disc into your optical drive.

  • Hold down the “option” key and restart the computer to bring up the boot option menu.

  • To begin the installation, click the install disc icon on the boot option menu.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • When prompted, select your language and click the arrow button to continue.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • After the installer loads, you will be greeted by a welcome window.

  • Select “Disk Utility” from the Utilities drop down menu.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Select your new hard drive from the left column in Disk Utility.

  • The correct partition type needs to be set for your hard drive.

    • If it's a brand-new hard drive, it may have no partition listed.

    • For an Intel-based machine, you should have "GUID Partition Table" listed.

    • For a Power-PC-based machine, you should have "Apple Partition Map" listed.

  • If the incorrect partition type is listed, proceed to the next step to delete and re-create the partition. If not, proceed to step 8.

  • Warning: Deleting the partition will erase the entire contents of the partition.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • The following two steps are only necessary if your drive's partition is set incorrectly. Erasing a partition will permanently erase all information stored inside.

  • Select the partition on the drive and click the "-" button.

  • When prompted, click the "Remove" button to remove the drive's existing partitions.

  • Once the partitions have been removed, click the "Options..." button.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Select the partition scheme required for your machine:

    • Select "GUID Partition Table" for Intel-based machines.

    • Select "Apple Partition Map" for PowerPC-based machines.

  • Click "Ok."

  • Press the "+" button to add a new partition.

  • Press the "Apply" button.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Click on the “Erase” tab.

  • Choose the Volume format (we recommend “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”).

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Type in a name for the drive. Apple names their drives "Macintosh HD" from the factory.

  • Click “Erase.”

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • A warning window will pop up and ask if you wish to continue with the erasing process.

  • Click "Erase" on the warning window that has popped up.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • After erasing is done, quit Disk Utility.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • After quitting Disk Utility, proceed with the installation by clicking the "Continue" button.

  • A window will open and ask if you agree to the Software License Agreement.

  • Agree to the Software License Agreement by clicking the "Agree" button.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Make sure the correct hard drive is selected as the installation destination.

  • Click "Continue" to proceed with the installation.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • We are now ready to install Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard on the hard drive. Before proceeding to the next step, make sure that all of the installation settings are correct.

  • Click "Install" to commence the installation.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • The installer will check the source DVD disk before starting the installation process.

  • During this step, you will see a "skip" button. It is not necessary to check the disk, and the "skip" button may be used. However, if you have never used your disk before, or haven't used it recently, it is highly recommended you check it.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Leopard will now install onto the hard drive.

  • The installation process can range anywhere from a half hour to an hour.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • If you are installing Leopard from a retail disk, please skip this step.

  • If you are installing an OEM version of Leopard, you need to install the iLife applications and other software from the Applications Install Disc.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • The installation was successful. Click "Restart" to reboot the computer.

  • At this point you are finished with the Mac OS X install.

Mac OS X Leopard should now be freshly installed. Enjoy!

For more information, check out the Mac OS X device page.

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Comments Comments are onturn off

I replace Toshiba MK1231Gal dard disk based on instruction on yutube!

the problem is that when I try to install osx, I cant format the disk

I got notice input, output error, when try to make a partition or try anything with disk utility

I own MacBook air 1237

Iztok, · Reply

I replace Toshiba MK1231Gal dard disk based on instruction on yutube!

the problem is that when I try to install osx, I cant format the disk

I got notice input, output error, when try to make a partition or try anything with disk utility

I own MacBook air 1237

Iztok, · Reply

A small pointer for any who have the same issue. I put in an entirely new 2TB WD sata drive and then preformed a fresh install of snow leopard onto it. When I got to the section to choose which drive to install to there was no drive image.

I clicked at the top on disk utility, then picked the drive, clicked erase and erased the drive. THis actually formats it into a mac format. after this I closed disk utility and voila the drive was now visible and installation could commence.

Good luck

Sam , · Reply

This guide was awesome!

Thank you!

staplesjoel, · Reply

This Mac OS X Install Guide is really outdated. When using a Recovery disk to install Mavericks, OS X just told me it couldn't install Mavericks. Didn't tell me why, it just told me it couldn't do it. I did something like this:

1. Get a USB or Firewire HD enclosure. Use the iFixit HD Replacement Guide to put your new HD into your iMac and put your old HD into the enclosure.

2. Plug in the enclosure and its USB or firewire cable to your iMac.

3. Hold down the option key on your keyboard and turn on your iMac. When it boots, it should recognize your old HD in the enclosure and give you the option to boot from that drive. Select that drive. It's just like booting when the drive was still in the iMac but maybe a little slower.

4. Now go to the App Store and Download and install Mavericks. You'll need to select "Show all Disks". You may need to use Disk Utility to format or erase your new HD if it doesn't show up. Use Migration Assistant to transfer apps and data from your old HD to your new HD in the iMAC.

Wade Bick, · Reply

Thanks for helping others! This install guide is specifically for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. We are working to make guides for installation of the more current OS's, but they haven't been completed at the current time.


I'm stuck here - My MacBook won't accept the Snow Leopard disk I'm trying to instert. It just rejects it instantly. I've just installed a new Hard Drive. Any idea why this happens? Is it the computer? the hard drive? the disk?


Lyv, · Reply

I followed the steps to install a new hard drive when I turn on the computer it just beeps 3 times, any help? Thanks

Jeff, · Reply

Hi Jeff,

It sounds like your RAM may not be fully reinserted back in the machine properly, and you may need to remove it, and try ensuring that the RAM is fully inserted.


is it possible to work just with the Recovery tool from tu install the os? i don't have the installation dis no more...

adiglauser, · Reply

For Newbies to HD installs: Don't forget, new drives need to have a partition created on them before it being recognized by the mac for OSX installation. Boot the installation CD and when it loads, select "Disk Utility" and create a new partition, then it will recognize and show the hard disk so you may select it for installation of OSX.

theonlyexpert, · Reply

the new hard drive disc does not show up in dialog box "select the disc where you want to install mac os x" just an empty box

nkelectric, · Reply

This step takes about 1/2 an hour on a 2.64 GB Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro for a frame of reference.

Chad, · Reply

hi thanks for the guides.

I am installing leopard on a new hard drive. Everything went well until step 15 where it has been for many hours.

What could be the problem? Should I turn off the laptop and start again?

Laptop is a macbook 4.1 and hard drive 500GB toshiba

maria, · Reply

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