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Cannot do a clean install of OS X Snow Leopard?

Once again, I have come to a roadblock with this insatiable machine. I have wiped the 500GB Hard drive in order to do a clean install of OS X Snow Leopard. Shortly after wiping the drive, the optical drive busted and I was told that I could use an external drive to do the install. I bought an external optical drive specifically for this purpose.

After I plug in the drive, put the disc in it, I boot up like normal. Holding the Option key upon startup, I can bring up the option to boot from the disc. It reads as, "Mac OS X Install Disc". After clicking on it, it idles at a blank white screen for about 1 second, then the disc stops spinning and the grey Apple logo appears in the middle of the screen where it stays for the rest of eternity if I let it. I don't understand...what could be wrong with my system? I have been through MANY instruction guides and have browsed through hundreds of blogs. The problem is still inevitable and highly frustrating.

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It's an HP model rm475e.

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Sounds like the brand of external optical drive you're using. It should be connected/powered using two USB ports y-cabled to a single USB adapter, or, a firewire 800 port. (IEEE 1394) connection. If you are using something other than that, this may be the reason for your hang. You might want to talk to your vendor, or, return the drive for an internal drive and do that repair before proceeding.

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Well crap. The drive I have is an HP with only one connect cable...a standard port to the USB 2.0 on my MacBook Pro. Why does it have to be a specific drive? I'm sorry I am an idiot, but I am kinda confused.

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Drivers - and power. Some devices draw too much power from just one USB port - though usually when that happens it will toss out and error msg about the port being shut off or unavailable because it's drawing too much power (but if its' hangning that might not be showing up) the other issue might be compatibility… Mac's use common vendors and drives for their onboard optical drives and those drivers (Extensions in Mac speak) are on the install disk - even in WinDUHows you have to get the proper drivers… sometimes they can be downloaded on the fly if you have a network connection.

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Olivia, what specific model is the drive you are using, and does it have an external power source (i.e. does it plug into the wall)? Also, are you 100% sure that the DVD you are booting from is good? Have you seen it boot up or at least be recognized on another Mac? It could just as easily be bad media as a problem with the drive.

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It is an HP drive. I got it off of Amazon for $16, and when I talked to the seller, he said that it was compatible with Mac. I took his word for it and went ahead and ordered it. It jut has one cable, the standard to USB. No wall plugin. No other cords.

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Some with one cable work just fine -- it depends. The Apple external superdrive, for example, only has one cable. If you can find it, let me know the manufacturer's part number so I can look it up and verify whether or not it should work. HP part numbers usually look something like C4118A.

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I looked up the drive and some websites specifically state that it does NOT work with Mac. Hard to say why exactly because it is USB 2.0 and these drives are pretty generic, but regardless the drive does look a little suspect. You might want to pick up another that claims Mac compatibility. I'm still torn between it being the drive and the OS media, since I've seem a ton of DVDs stall on the Apple logo, even with a good drive. http://icecat.us/en/p/hp/rm475e/optical-...

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Olivia will be eternally grateful.
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