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Trouble installing OSX Snow Leopard on new 500gb Toshiba HD

Posted on 2013-12-26
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Last Modified: 2014-01-07
I was asked to upgrade my boss's 2006 Macbook Pro from Tiger (It IS an Intel processor) to Snow Leopard. He didn't know the admin password, so I went in from single user mode, created a new user, but was never able to reset the password on the original user, because System Preferences, along with any other utility or app, was disabled.

I'm sure I did something wrong there, not sure what though, but after a couple days of troubleshooting, we just ordered a new 500gb hd (the old one was an 80) from iFixit. I got the hd this morning, installed it, and inserted the OS install disc.

I am unable to pull up boot options, and all I'm getting is a file folder icon with a question mark blinking on the white background, then it spits out the OSX Leopard install disc.

We tried creating a live boot usb, but got the same results. HELP!!!
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Question by:botsadmins
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 39740431
Is the disk you are using a full retail install disk? If it is an OEM disk that came with a different model Mac, it won't work.

Have you tried booting while holding down the option key?
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Author Comment

by:botsadmins
ID: 39740448
Yes, it's the retail version, and yes, have tried option key while booting. Still just spits out disc.
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Assisted Solution

by:strung
strung earned 500 total points
ID: 39740511
When it spits it out try pushing it right back in.

You could also try resetting the PRAM by cold booting while holding down the command-option-p-r key combination until you hear the startup chime a third time.
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 39740528
When you boot holding down the option key, exactly what happens? Does the boot picker come up?
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 39740542
The DVD drive may need cleaning. See:

https://discussions.apple.com/message/17931827#17931827
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Author Comment

by:botsadmins
ID: 39740560
Nothing happens when I hold the option key, just spits out dvd and then pops up flashing file icon with "?". I will try resetting the PRAM when I get back to the office, and check into the dvd drive. I don't believe that it's dirty though, as it was working fine when we still had Tiger running on it.
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 39740576
I assume booting while holding down the C key doesn't work either.

Try cleaning the DVD with a soft cloth too.
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Author Comment

by:botsadmins
ID: 39740582
Yeah, no luck booting while holding c, and I did wipe the disc off as well.
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LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 39740584
Try this:

Boot while holding down the option key. Do not release the option key when the disk gets spit out. Immediately push the DVD back in while continuing to hold down the option key.
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Author Comment

by:botsadmins
ID: 39740667
Reset PRAM, nothing, tried pushing back in while holding option, it just repeated the process, however I was able to see a mouse cursor, but no blinking file "?" icon, and still no boot options. To reiterate, the disc read perfectly on another machine when we made our USB bootable, and the drive read all discs perfectly before I went into single user mode. Could it be as simple as disconnecting and reconnecting the disc drive?
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 39740676
If you have a USB bootable, give it a try.

Is it possible that you knocked something loose when installing the SSD?
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 39740686
Remote install might be a possibility:  http://support.apple.com/kb/ph6450
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Author Comment

by:botsadmins
ID: 39740743
Tried the bootable usb, never got an option to boot from it. By the way, the hd is a 500 gb 5400 rpm 2.5" toshiba, not a ssd. I don't believe anything has been knocked loose, not entirely sure I guess though. The flat wiring (looks kinda like tape?) isn't stuck on this HD like it was on the first one, does that matter?
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Accepted Solution

by:
strung earned 500 total points
ID: 39740752
Have a look at the repair guide here:

http://www.ifixit.com/Device/MacBook_Pro
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Author Comment

by:botsadmins
ID: 39740761
hahaha Thanks, I've been switching between that site and here... I'm ready to start headbutting my desk.
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Expert Comment

by:serialband
ID: 39740836
Have you tried putting the old disk back for a bit to see if the DVD reads while you're logged in?
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Author Comment

by:botsadmins
ID: 39740842
Yes, still nothing. The old drive still won't remount properly, although it boots to the user account I created while in single user, it does the same thing when I insert the Snow Leopard disc. I've tried every command I can find to remount the disk properly, but it won't work. I found a couple threads online where people had that issue, and the eventual solution was just get a new hd. Aaannnddd that isn't working either.
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Author Comment

by:botsadmins
ID: 39740847
Do I need to format the drive from another machine?
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Assisted Solution

by:botsadmins
botsadmins earned 0 total points
ID: 39740950
Alright, here's where I'm at:

I pulled the new hd from the macbook it's intended to be installed on, put it in another macbook we have here at the office, and inserted the OS disc. Immediately it pulled up the "Mac OS X Install disc" as a boot option, but showed now hd present. I selected the OSX install, formatted using disk utility, and it's now installing. OS successful, installed hd in laptop all good. Disc drive now reading OSX disc as well... Super weird.
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Author Comment

by:botsadmins
ID: 39740983
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for botsadmins's comment #a39740950

for the following reason:

I figured it out on my own.
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Expert Comment

by:serialband
ID: 39740982
It sounds like this old Macbook has some hardware issues.  You may want to get a replacement eventually.
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Author Comment

by:botsadmins
ID: 39740988
Oh I totally agree there. It was my boss's son's, bought secondhand, definitely an older machine. He just wasn't looking to drop the cash on a new one, and up til the "hack" to get a new password, it was running fine, just had an old OS on it. But for basically $140 (hd, ram, and OS disc) it seems like it was worth it. Plus I'm working on it during office hours, so no complaints on my end. Thanks everyone for your input, I definitely learned some things from this thread today!
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Author Comment

by:botsadmins
ID: 39741048
And oops, I think only one person got points from this? Sorry, didn't mean to leave anyone out, I didn't realize it would close immediately.
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Expert Comment

by:serialband
ID: 39741187
I think you should be able to request attention for the moderators to undo.  I don't believe I deserve the points.
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Author Closing Comment

by:botsadmins
ID: 39761638
I figured out a work around on my own, but there were other useful tips in the thread that I believe would have worked under a normal circumstance
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