Booting a Macbook from the install CD

Posted on 2011-05-11
Last Modified: 2013-11-24
I'm hoping one of you might help me out.  I'm trying to reinstall one of our MacBook laptops from the install CDs.  It is not going so well.  I believe I have the right CDs.  I am able to view my boot options and the CD appears.  However if I select the CD, the screen goes blank and the computer reboots.  Same effect if I hold down the C key.
Any ideas?
Thanks in advance.
Question by:Masterworks-Helpdesk

    Accepted Solution

    Usually, you can start from the disc by putting it in your computer, restarting, and holding the C key. Or, put it in the computer and click the Install or Restore icon you see in the disc's main window (after which the computer will start from the disc without you needing to hold C.)

    The disk needs to be either the Install or Restore disc.

    1) Is that disc clean? Make sure the disc is clean and without significant smudges or deep scratches. If your disc is unusable, call AppleCare support for assistance.

    2) Is this the original optical drive? If you have issues, make sure you're using the original Apple optical drive that was included with your computer (CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, CD-RW, Combo drive or Super Drive). This is only a concern in three scenarios: if you have replaced your original Apple drive with a non-Apple drive, if you have added a non-Apple drive to the second bay of a Power Mac G4 model with two drive bays, or if you are attempting to install from an external drive.

    3) Will the disc's data copy to a hard disk? If your computer will start up from any existing version of Mac OS, try copying the contents of the installation disc to your hard disk (if you have enough space). The ability to copy (but not install) the data is a simple test of the disc and of the hardware. If you encounter repeated errors, the hard disk or the disc may be unusable.

    If this still does not work, since it sound like you may have more than one available to you, connect the 2 Macs together with a firewire and then try putting the Install disk in the other Mac, boot that Mac into Target mode... (see below)

    Boot the Mac you are trying to install the OS with the Option/alt key held down, see if the Install Disc in the other Mac shows up as a boot choice. If so, try to install using this method. If this works then you may have an issue with your optical device.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for your suggestions.  I'll give them a try.  
    I'm pretty sure the disks are clean.  They never get used.  
    LVL 28

    Assisted Solution

    Make sure that you do have the right CD/DVD (disk 1 of the OS install). There is usually more than one disk in the install bundle.

    If all the above suggestions don't get you anywhere and the disk is the right one, try resetting the PRAM:

    LVL 53

    Assisted Solution

    Also make sure the disks are the ones that came with that particular Mac. Generally speaking, you cannot boot a Mac from a CD that came with a different model Mac.

    Author Closing Comment

    I have not been able to resolve the issue for myself, however it is probably not the fault of the Experts.  I must resign myself to the fact that the install disks I'm working with are not the correct ones (even though I'm pretty sure they are).

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