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Replacing dead hdd, having to boot from disc?

I hope you can help. I am having to replace my hdd that died in my Macbook Pro 17". Using a 750gb. I do not have a boot backup in Time Machine, therefore, must boot from the original discs. The ones I have are version 10.5.2 and I was running 10.5.8. How will I get back to what I was running? Use an upgrade option from Apple? I am a novice and have been studying your info for days on swapping out the drive and it is very clear and helpful. Just need to know what to do to get back to where I was. I do have my data backed up.

Thank you,


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You need to format the new HD with Mac OS bootable partition.


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Hi Mammakim4him!

You haven't mentioned the exact model of your MacBook. I have ran into some issues on particular 17" MBPs installing older systems.

My choice would be installing Mac OS X Lion 10.7.

Expensive ($70) and fast way

The fastest way to do so is to buy a thumb drive from local Apple Store:

They are always in stock, however paying $70 might not be the best choice since Apple is about to release 10.8 Mountain Lion in a while.

Less expensive ($30) and slow way

An other option would be to download a copy from Mac App Store.

In this case you'll have to:

1. Have a Mac with at least Snow Leopard (with App Store)

2. Wait until almost 4Gb download

3. Extract a bootable DMG image from the downloaded software

4. Burn it on a DVD


Borrow a copy from someone.

Or find a way to download a file called "InstallESD.dmg" - the bootable image of Lion installation :)

Either way is fairly simple to install and I'll be glad to walk you through!

Which way is more comfortable for you?

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My Mac is model A1151.


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Alright, A1151 is a Mid 2006 MacBook Pro.

If you want to keep running Mac OS X Leopard 10.5, simply follow these steps (THIS METHOD WILL WIPE YOUR INSTALLED HARD DRIVE!!!):

  1. Insert the original DVD into the tray and turn on your mac while holding the "C" button down. You will actually feel the disk spinning up. Just to be sure, keep holding the "C" button until the Apple logo will appear on the screen.
  2. When the installer boots up, you will see a language selection menu. Select the one you need.
  3. On the "Welcome" screen click "Continue"
  4. On the license ageement screen click "Agree"
  5. Next is the "Destination" screen. You might have to wait a few seconds before your hard drive will be detected, then click on the image of your hard drive - a green arrow will appear on it
  6. If no compatible partitions are detected you'll need to repartition your HDD. To do that, use Disk Utility (choose Disk Utility from the Utilities menu). In Disk Utility, click Partition. If you partition the disk, you can select a disk format including Mac OS Extended (Journaled), Mac OS Extended (Case-Sensitive), and Mac OS Extended (Case-Sensitive, Journaled). In most cases, you should choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled). After partitioning, quit Disk Utility to return to the Leopard Installer.
  7. You should be back at the destination selection screen. Select the target partition if you haven't done so yet and click "Continue"
  8. On the following screen click "Customize" and deselect Printer Drivers and Language Translations. This will reduce the required space and will speed up the installation process. Click "Done"
  9. Finally, click "Install" to begin the installation. I would advise to keep your Mac plugged in, unless you're totally sure your battery will last for about 30 min to an hour, depending on your installation disc condition.
  10. Before the installation begins, a disk check will launch. If your DVD is not scratched skip this step.
  11. After the installation finishes and your Mac finally boots up, fill in the personal info required at first start. You will be prompted to create a new user.
  12. Now, when your Mac loads up the Finder you will see the Apple menu in the top left corner of the screen (Apple logo). Click on it and select "Software Updates".
  13. Check for updates and install them. After the installation you will be asked to restart your Mac. Do so and check for updates again. You might have to repeat this step a few times until all recursive updates will be installed. This is important because of certain software like Java that will present a potential vulnerability unless updated to it's latest revision.

These steps should get your 10.5.2 Leopard installed and updated to 10.5.8. Now you'll be able to transfer back your backed up data.

If you still want to install a newer Mac OS X, go for Lion now since the upcoming Mountain Lion will not be supported by your hardware. Only the following will be supported by 10.8:

  • iMacs introduced in January 2006
  • MacBooks made prior to the introduction of the all-aluminum models in 2008
  • MacBook Pros made prior to June 2007
  • MacBook Air model introduced in January 2008
  • Mac Minis made before 2009
  • Mac Pros made before 2008
  • Xserve hardware made before 2009

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mammakim will be eternally grateful.
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