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Snow Leopard won't install after hard drive has been formatted

3472 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Jul 16, 2013 3:46 PM by rkaufmann87 RSS
Miguel Guido Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jul 16, 2013 1:35 PM



I'm new and at my wit's end after trawlling through the forum. My problem is this:


My iMac started playing up about 3 weeks ago. After searching around, I decided to add more RAM (1Gb to 3Gb) to see if that would help; it did when the computer worked, but it would soon crash. I tried freeing up the harddrive. I have 320Gb, and still had 180Gb free. I backed up my stuff, and got about 200 Gb free. Still no luck. So I tried the new OS route )I was running 10.5.8, perfectly well, but I bought Snow Leopard through the Aplle store. I tried to install, but it would stall at around 27 minutes (sometimes the bar would be half way along, sometimes, only a quarter). This morning I started the installation at 9am, went to work, and when I came back at 2pm, it had stalled and it said there were still 2 and a half hours to go!


I tried and tried  to install, but to no avail. I did countless disk verifications, two came back with erros, and these were repaired, after that all of them were clean. Then; all of a sudden, it wouldn't recognise the boot drive, it would only boot from and installation DVD. Whenever I booted without one, it would go to a grey screen with a flashing folder with a question mark. After a couple of hours, I decided to erase the harddrive and start from scratch: problem. Installation KEPS stalling at the 30 minute mark or so. THe installation idsk is 10.6.3. Now and again the Mac makes a noise as if reading the DVD, buut nothing happens. I know this is not normal. Is my HD whacked?


Cheers for your help. I really appreciate it. I'm impressed by you guys who know so much and are willing to help

iMac (20-inch Mid 2007), Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • dwb Level 6 Level 6 (19,720 points)

    I don't mean to rub it in but basically you've been randomly trying things rather than trying to figure out what the problem was. Starting backwards, you never want to try upgrading to a newer version of the operating system when your computer is acting up. At best, that will give you a computer with a newer OS that is unstable. At worst it will give you a paper weight. Deleting files from your computer is sometimes necessary but without a plan, a reason for deleting them, you are wasting time at best and at worst deleting things you need. And adding memory is a great solution for some problems but lots of problems aren't touched by it.


    Since you seem to have Leopard, I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that the backup you have is TimeMachine. If so, the best thing to do is probably to start up your computer with the new Snow Leopard disc, after choosing your language and getting to the installation screen, go up to the menu and select (I think) Utilities, and choose the Disk Utility program. Select erase. Quit DIsk Utility and run the installer to install Snow Leopard. Once that's installed you'll go thru several screens before coming to the SetUp Assistant. This article describes Migration Assistant which is essentially the same as the Setup Assistant the main difference being that the Setup Assistant is run when you first set up the computer (or install a new OS) and Migration Assistant is run after you've booted and Finder is run. You want to do this right after installing the OS, not after you've gotten to the Finder. Read it over to see how it works.


    If you have more questions, come back with them.

  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (40,635 points)



    You may  have a damaged HD or some other issue. Seriously I would recommend that you take it into an Apple Store or AASP. While I know that isn't what you want to do it's probably the best option.

  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (40,635 points)

    Miguel Guido wrote:


    THanks... that was my gut feeling but I was hoping against hope it wouldn't be so.


    I called the nearest AASP but they said they'll only install a new hard drive that they sell me, not one I've bought myself. They also wouldn't give me an estimate over the phone of how much a new one might cost, as they won't do that without the computer in front of them. Does that sound a bit odd?

    That sounds like a very rational response to be honest. They don't know what you have done to the system so how can they give you an estimate without seeing it first hand. Just take it in and suck it  up to a lesson learned, that lesson being don't take apart something you don't really totally understand.

  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (40,635 points)

    Well the first error you made was treating your iMac like a PC, unlike MS Windows boxes OS X is incredibly stable. In 7 years I have never had to re-install OS X unless I was upgrading from one verson of OS X to another. This is typical of most OS X machines.


    As far as the HD  upgrade they need to know exactly which iMac you have and what shape it's in. If you don't like the AASP you called then locate another and contact them.  


    Sorry I'm not providing the answers you want to hear, I'm just calling it like I'd recommend to anyone in a similar situation.


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