Introduction

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 10.10 Yosemite. The installation procedure should be relatively the same as previous versions, although, you will need to first create a Yosemite Recovery Disk using this tool.

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

Image 1/1: Hold down the “option” key and restart the computer to bring up the boot option menu.
  • 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.

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?

Thanks!

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.

Mike -

is it possible to work just with the Recovery tool from apple.com 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

Help

I upgrade my early 2008 20" iMac to a 1TB HDD, After installation the iMac powers on but all I can see is a question mark and a folder flashing. I'm confused cos im not sure if I did something wrong along the line or if this is normal. I read online that I would need a osx 10.5 recovery CD which should be the os my devicr shipped with.I have found that on eBay but I need to know if all this is normal or if the flashing folder and question mark after HDD change is a fault. Thanks

jan klassan - Reply

Has anyone figured this out...? I'm having the exact same issue. It almost seems like I have a bad hard drive. It doesn't seem to recognize it and I double checked my connections.

charlesgreene3 -

That just means that you need the OS X installation disk.

Karakuda -

Same issue as Ian above. I ordered new hard drive, followed steps. Hit power and all I got was blinking question mark. Restarted and held the option key, and now all I see if grey with my mouse, which still moves. What do I do next????

pauljags - Reply

Hello pauljags, I have exact same issue as you. Did you resolve? If so how? Cheers James.

jayfc1980 -

or you can hold command and c on startup to take you straight to the DVD drive

Joshua Lockett - Reply

hi..I'm just reinstalled new hard drive as the old had crashed..idk what to do after that..do i need the cd?what if I don't have it?is there any solution?and btw i used the os x el capitan

noraina - Reply

Hello, if you have another Mac, you can use this tutorial: https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Créer+une+clé+USB+bootable/66371

Anthony Fassler -

All I see is a flashing folder with a question mark inside it. HELP!!

ATO - Reply

Hello, if you see this folder, it is that your CD or USB Key isn't bootable.

Anthony Fassler -

I imstalled the leopard disc . Held option turned mac on got the screen for step 2 choose englishclicked continue' welcome screen popped up; on top of that got a msg that 10. 4 was not located so cannot upgrade to 10.5. Continue was brayed out from step 3 screen went back;choose English again same screen pooped up' figured it was because I did not have the external hard drive turned on'shut down mac turned on mac with option key held down' all I have now is a blank white screen. What next?

Kelly earls - Reply

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • When prompted, select your language and click the arrow button to continue.

i have replace my hard drive, but once i start to install snow leopard i get stuck from here "restore from backup"

help

frolovadiana - Reply

Image 1/2: Select “Disk Utility” from the Utilities drop down menu. Image 2/2: Select “Disk Utility” from the Utilities drop down menu.
  • After the installer loads, you will be greeted by a welcome window.

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

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

I have been able to get to the screen in step 3. But a pop up shows up that says "mac OS X cannot be upgraded to v10.5on your computer". "macOS x v10.4 or later could not be found on your computer" with an ok button as the only choice. What next? This time I started the computer with the external hard drive that I transferred everything to turned off. Clicked ok now the "more information" button is highlighted and the continue button is grayed out. Nothing under more information appears to apply to my situation . Only choice is to go back when I do that then choose language pops up I hit the continue button to get back to the spot mentioned above. Help is greatly appeciated.

Kelly earls - Reply

Image 1/1: The correct partition table type needs to be set for your hard drive.
  • Select your new hard drive from the left column in Disk Utility.

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

    • If it's a brand-new hard drive, it may have no partition type 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 table will erase the entire contents of the drive.

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Image 1/3: Select the partition on the drive and click the "-" button. Image 2/3: When prompted, click the "Remove" button to remove the drive's existing partitions. Image 3/3: Once the partitions have been removed, click the "Options..." button.
  • 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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Image 1/3: Select "GUID Partition Table" for '''Intel'''-based machines. Image 2/3: Select "Apple Partition Map" for '''PowerPC'''-based machines. Image 3/3: Click "Ok."
  • 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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Image 1/1: Choose the Volume format (we recommend “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”).
  • Click on the “Erase” tab.

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

  • Select a name for the drive.

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Image 1/1: Click “Erase.”
  • Type in a name for the drive. Apple names their drives "Macintosh HD" from the factory.

  • Click “Erase.”

Trying to do this with OS X El Capitan so the steps are not exactly the same as described here. But when I hit 'Erase" I get the following; "Erase process has failed..." Show Details reveals: "Wiping volume data to prevent future accidental probing failed. Operation failed..."

This is a Toshiba MQ01ABD100 Media drive that I just purchased from iFixit, so -- help!

Robert Pillers - Reply

Image 1/1: Click "Erase" on the warning window that has popped up.
  • 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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Image 1/1:
  • After erasing is done, quit Disk Utility.

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Image 1/2: A window will open and  ask if you agree to the Software License Agreement. Image 2/2: Agree to the Software License Agreement by clicking the "Agree" button.
  • 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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Image 1/1: Click "Continue" to proceed with the installation.
  • Make sure the correct hard drive is selected as the installation destination.

  • Click "Continue" to proceed with the installation.

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Image 1/1: Click "Install" to commence the installation.
  • 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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Image 1/1: 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.
  • 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.

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

I installed a new hard disk and followed these and other instructions on formatting and installing Mavericks. I ran into a problem. In this guide it would have occurred around step 13 or 14. When clicked OK to begin the install, Mavericks verifies the APP. A dialog box appeared that said the APP was corrupted or incomplete and to re-download it.

A little research revealed that when it is verifying it, the process uses the system date. I had replaced the battery as part of this maintenance (but the instructions for replacing a hard disk suggest disconnecting the battery, so it will likely effect others.

The solution was to use Terminal and set the date:

1. Boot using the USB.

2. Do all other activities up to the Installation.

3. Click the OS X Installer's Utilities menu and select Terminal.

4. Enter the following command (modifying it for the current date.

date {month}{date}{hour]{minute}{year}

Each { } is entered as two digits. So August, 10, 2014 13:30 would be:

date 0810133014

5. Install the OS.

justkj - Reply

Mine freezes less than a minute in, and at one point I waited for about 3 hours just to make sure it wasn't working. I just replaced my hard drive with an SSD, but I've done all the steps that were outlined, AKA formatting the drive and erasing it, etc... Is there something else I can do?

Tanner - Reply

Image 1/1: The installation process can range anywhere from a half hour to an hour.
  • Leopard will now install onto the hard drive.

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

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

Image 1/1: If you are installing an OEM version of Leopard, you need to install the iLife applications and other software from the Applications Install Disc.
  • 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.

Help please! Computer: 2009 MBP 13". HDD: WD 500GB.

I got to Step 16, but I was unable to click continue so that I could install the iLife applications disc. It did nothing, the cursor would move but I was unable to click. I tried pressing enter and nothing, I had to eventually do a hard shut down. It rebooted fine and went through the whole new set up like it was a brand new computer, but I didn't get to install the iLife applications. I have tried putting the disc in, but it just keeps ejecting it. There is no App Store application available, only iTunes.I didn't have the install discs for the 13", but did for the 2010 15" MBP and used that.

BB

Brent - Reply

Image 1/1: At this point you are finished with the Mac OS X install.
  • The installation was successful. Click "Restart" to reboot the computer.

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

Can you do this from a windows pc?

David Mojica - Reply

Conclusion

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

384 other people completed this guide.

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33 Comments

I replace Toshiba MK1231Gal dard disk based on instruction on yutube http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pla...!

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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pla...!

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

yes, me too...did you get it fix? please share how.

jay zee -

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.

Mike -

Hi, my questipn is: i have to insert the os cd before installing the new hard drive?

Miguel Yanez - Reply

You do not need to install the disk prior to installing the Hard Drive.

Mike -

I need help. I have 10.5.8 on my macbook. My hard drive is messed up so I cant erase the hard drive as the erase button is greyed out. So I am trying to format everything in my macbook and reinstall osx. But I got 10.6 only. Please advise how to erase everything on hard disk and installing clean osx on macbook? Is anything I should know?

Ahmd Faruq - Reply

Depending on your MacBook, you may be able to install Mac OS X 10.6 onto that machine. You will need to boot up from that disk prior to doing the erase of the hard drive as well.

Mike -

After installing new HDD in IMAC...power on gives a yellow screen. Is it possible to get to formatting utility from this point? I tried a command R no luck.

2nd attempt I tried inserting Snow Leopard disk, tried 'option' key at power on, tried Cmd-R, tried no key; disk goes into a cycling routine but nothing appears on screen.

Rich - Reply

I have a MacBook Early 2009 A1181 Model. Just ordered a SSD from Amazon, and have all of my stuff backed up on the external hard drive I use for backing up. I still have all of my installation CDs, but want to make sure of the tools I need for this. I know I take the battery out, and that metal cover in that area, but for my Mac I'm not sure if it would be the same tools since it is older than what you guys have.

Also, one quick question, can I change the processor in this? I will be switching out the ram soon, likely after tax season, but I want to get a faster processor if possible.

rtaillon1 - Reply

I replaced the original 320 GB OEM Apple/Hitachi drive in my 2007 iMac with a 3 TB Hitachi/HGST drive today using the iFixit guide. To reinstall OS X, I used an Apple USB thumb drive, which after reformatting with Disk Utility, is currently downloading Lion from Apple. I also decided to run the formatting/reinstallation before reassembling the front bezel and glass, in case my son and I did something wrong in the drive replacement. Fortunately it looks like we did everything right.

recmsoj - Reply

Thought that I would add this comment in case someone has similar situation. MBP late 2011 replaced HD with SSD (Samsung 850 EVO). The angle on the install was that my Time Machine and Old HD were encrypted. When encrypted (Time Machine and CCC clone of drive), the Recovery HD is not setup (not sure details, perhaps this is how encryption works). Either way, setting up a bootable Install USB drive (8 gig minimum for Yosemite) was necessary. Sequence was full backup (I did both Time Machine and CCC to be sure)., create bootable USB installer drive (Google it, I used the Disk Utility method). Shut Down, Reboot with Command-R, plug in USB drive, format new disk, load Yosemite from USB to new disk, then shut down, Restart with Command-R, then load Time Machine backup. The clean Yosemite install setup the Recover Partition on new drive and the files copied from Time Machine restored system to original state without messing with newly created Recovery partition. Then encrypt new drive and you are done.

Brian - Reply

Hi,I am getting ready to replace the drive in my early 2008 20" iMac. I have a Time Machine backup but do not have the OS installation disks. How can I get replicate my current drive contents to the new disk?

Jenerationnyc - Reply

Thank U, Clear I would like to test and check. :)

Sasteam Vander - Reply

please mention Customize ,that can save many GB of disk space with unwanted junk.

Andrew Waddington - Reply

How do you install 10.5 over 10.7) (which is on a 2nd partition) to downgrade to 10.5 due to having to use some software limited to 10.5?

Greg Brooker - Reply

How do you install 10.5 over 10.7 (10.7 is on a 2nd partition) to downgrade to 10.5 due to having to use some software limited to 10.5.

Greg Brooker - Reply

I don't have a Snow Leopard disc. I downloaded Snow Leopard to an external hard drive, and connected it to the mac before starting up and pressing the Option Key. All I get is a grey screen and a cursor. Is there a way to format my new 1TB hard drive using software loaded onto an external drive?

arleyrose - Reply

I don't have a Snow Leopard disc.

I downloaded it from the apple website and loaded the MacOSXUPD10.6.8.pkg onto an external hard drive and connected it to the iMac. I started it up, pressing the option key down, and all I get is a grey screen and a cursor. Is there a way to format my new 1TB internal hard drive using the software loaded onto an external drive? Kinda new to this :(

arleyrose - Reply

I just brought a PowerBook G4 it currently runs os x 10.4.11 how do I update it to 10.5 without the disco considering I can't find one anywhere!

diggadog - Reply

OK - I replaced my HD for my Mac Book Pro 15" #1211 and reloaded software and everything works... but the software upgraded to OSX Lion and again everything works... but it won't up grade to anything beyond Lion. What am I missing? Is it a hardware restriction or some other problem?

pmoretti - Reply

I replace on 2009 Imac my old HHD with a new SSD 1TbThen the screen was blank. i had to insert the Snow Leopard CD hold on option button and open the Utilitys and chose the new ssd to install the Snow Leopard.Then i did ll the updates and downlead and install all Lion,Maverik,Yosemit ,.and it works

Daniel - Reply

is anyone fix Input/Output error yet? Please help!!

jay zee - Reply

Where can I download Mac OSX Leopard 10.5?

gitico2006 - Reply

Thank you for the guide. My 2008 24 inch imac has been use as a paperweight for the past 4 years after the HD failed. I replaced it with a 27 inch imac, but I decided to have go at fixing the old one. I replaced the 320 WD HD with a WD 2 TB today. All went well until trying to reinstall the original OS (Snow Leopard) and could not get the computer to see the new HD. Your guide saved the day and now have the OS installed. Thanks again.

John Gardner - Reply

wen i am installing asking the id & password, if i give new id it not accepting. i am totally struck please help me

Sathish m - Reply

So you can't use a hard already in the Dell gx280? Or if you can does it delete all the information that you used before trying to install mac os on your Windows pc? Probably stupid but really curious? This dell has been a soldier for me but I'm not able to purchase a Mac right now and want that operating system so bad.

Ryan Ridgeway - Reply

There is no normal way to install Mac OS on normal PC, for limits of Apple. You can Google "Hackintosh" for installing Mac OS on a Windows PC.

ycwei982 -

I am trying to re-install OS X Leopard onto a Macbook A1181 and can get to the picture in Step one less the HD option. When I click on the Install Disk the drive starts then the Laptop re-boots. It never gets to step two. I can hear the HDD spinning and have checked the RAM but do not know what to check next other than try checking the HDD to make sure it is good.

khutch9999 - Reply

Hi,

I printed out this guide before I replaced my SSD, however the graphics for Steps 6 to 17 did not print - the graphics for Steps 1 to 6 were fine - any ideas to solve this issue?

Best wishes,

GaryB

Gary Brooker - Reply

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