13 Replies Latest reply: Sep 3, 2008 10:04 PM by Scott Radloff
olddon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hello, I am presently trying to help someone who has a MacBook Pro that had Windoze XP on it. He bought it from a place that was upgrading their computers and did not get any disks with it.
How does one find out what system was originally installed? The XP was a straight boot from ms and therefore the audio and disk drive was rendered useless.
They gave him three sets of MacBook Pro discs. They are OS 10.4.6, 10.4.7 and 10.5. He brought his computer to me to see if I could load his OSX back on. He had taken it to a MS outfit who really messed it up.
To make the story shorter, I tried the first two, and they each started to load. The first one stopped at install with "Alert. This software cannot be installed on this computer". So I tried the second. It formatted the disc, and then said the same thing. Now I did not have ANY OS on the computer. These two systems said it did not have a disk drive even though it was reading from it. Then I tried the OS 10.5. It went a little farther than the other two. It now said that it had a disc drive when I read the profile. It started loading the system and then came up with an error. The error said that "This computer will not load OSX." Well, it didn't have to tell me that, because it was right.
Is there a special OS for this MacBook? Or is this guy just out his bucks? It looks like a decent computer. Nice display. The XP looked good until it was wiped by trying to load.
I didn't think that Windows could be loaded on a Mac without the basic OSX.
Anyone have an idea? The serial of this MacBook is W86230XZVWZ

15" imac, Windows XP
  • Scott Radloff Level 6 Level 6 (14,490 points)
    olddon,

    The owner should have insisted that the Macbook Pro come with its original "Software Restore" disks. These disks will contain installers for a machine-specific version of OS X, the latest version available at the time the machine was manufactured, and they will also contain all the "bundled software" that comes with every Mac.

    Without these disks, the owner will have absolutely none of the iLife components: iMovie, iPhoto, iDVD, etc. I strongly recommend that the owner purchase the latest iLife suite.

    All this said, I see one thing that may be preventing the installation of 10.5 (this is the only version of OS X that you can install on the Macbook Pro). Let's see if we can't get you past that....

    Boot to the 10.5 install disk by holding down the "C" key when you hear the startup chime, with the disk inserted. WHen the installer loads, choose a language, then open Disk Utility from the "Utilities" menu.

    At the left side of the Disk Utility window, select the Macbook Pro's internal hard drive. Select the drive, not the named volume that will appear indented underneath. With the drive selected, switch to the "Partition" pane.

    In the "Partition" pane, choose "Current" as a partition scheme (you want just one partition), choose "Mac OS Extended (journaled)" as the format, name the volume to be created "Macintosh HD," then click the "Options..." button. Here, you want to select the "GUID" partition scheme. Confirm your choices, then click "Apply."

    Quit Disk Utility to return to the installer, then attempt to install OS X.

    Scott

    P.S. The problem, based on what you have posted, is that the internal drive has an "MBR" partition map. In order to install OS X for an Intel Mac, the drive must use the "GUID" partition map scheme. -s
  • olddon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi Scott,
    Thanks for your reply. I tried what you suggested, and I get "OSX cannot be installed on this machine" even after setting up the drive as you suggested. It is weird. Now there isn't any OS at all.
    I called my friend, and he said that the 10.5 disks were the ones that came with it. How the story goes, is that when he bought it, it was used in a network with Windows XP machines. The way it was set up, the disk drive could not be used for fear that someone would steal something, I guess. He doesn't know, but the users would use the usb loads.
    At any rate, the 10.5 system & software disks came with the computer. He tried to load them himself, but the MacBook just kept spitting the install disk out. So he took it to a PC expert. (Will not mention the company name, because they ARE good at PC stuff.) They played with it and could not get the disc drive to work or any audio. Now my friend had a good doorstop. As long as the door wasn't off the ground too far. He has a computer that was of no use to him, and asked if I could try to restore it. He told the place he bought it from that the disks did not work, so they gave him the older OSX disks that they were not using. Of course these booted right up, but could not be installed as the computer only said "Alert! This software cannot be installed on this machine."
    The OSX.5 install disk will take after about four or five attempts for the machine to take it. It shows that the audio is good and the disk drive works. But after doing what you suggested, I still get the message "OSX cannot be installed on this machine." Why? Seems weird to me.

    Don
  • Kenneth Gorelick Level 3 Level 3 (590 points)
    Can you format an external HD, set that as the startup disk, and boot from it?
  • Scott Radloff Level 6 Level 6 (14,490 points)
    Don,

    Let's just make sure that these are the right disks. What color are they?

    It is possible that, in spite of what you are being told, they are not the proper disks. In between releases of the retail version of OS X, Apple makes many machines with firmware that requires a machine-specific build, and this build is only available with the Software Restore disks that come with the machine. When Apple releases the next retail version, those newer machines gain support in that version.

    These machine-specific Software Restore disks are always grey, while the retail version is always some other color (in the case of 10.5, it has the "Time Machine" theme).

    Scott
  • olddon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Scott,
    The discs are grey. "Mac OS version 10.5 AHT version 3A137 Disc version 1.0." It also has "This software is part of a hardware bundle purchase-not to be sold separately".
    The part that gets me is that I have to load the install disc at least 5 times before it will accept it.
    I plugged it into my ibook to test it out, and disc utility says that it is ok.
    I just tried installing it on a separate firewire drive, and it gets about half way loading and I get an "input, output error" message. So I tried to load direct to the drive the same way and got the same message after about half an hour of loading.
    It's like this thing is possessed with the Mircosoft crap. It may be a firmware problem. I don't know.
    The install disc starts to do it's thing on my imac, but I'm not going to change what I have.
    Is it possible to install the OS on a firewire drive from my imac without messing up my imac?
    I tried the firewire jumper to the MacBook, but it didn't work. I get the MacBook drive ok, and can load the disc to it, but it just stores the disc info. Will not open to install.
    Too bad I don't know what I am doing.
    I was having problems with my imac last year, and finally found out that I was fighting a broken keyboard for over a year. DOH!!

    Don
  • olddon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Ken,
    I just tried to install the OS on an extra firewire drive I have, and after about 20 minutes I get an "input output error". Whatever that means. But I am trying to load it from the MacBook. The MacBook now does not have any operating system. I also cannot boot to the install disc like I'm used to. It will only come up to the install page except for the disc utility.

    Don
  • Kenneth Gorelick Level 3 Level 3 (590 points)
    Grey disks are OEM--they will work with the machine they came with. You cannot use them to install on a separate drive or computer. Possibly the disks are not for the computer, but for a different one. I see two possibilities: contact apple for replacement disks (you will need the serial number which is in the battery compartment) or buy a copy of leopard commercially and try to install IT.
  • Scott Radloff Level 6 Level 6 (14,490 points)
    Don,

    There may actually be something wrong with the Macbook Pro. If so, it might explain why the original owners were trying to get rid of it.

    Nevertheless, there are still a few things you can try. The very first thing you should do is reset the PMU, then flush out the PRAM. Disconnect the power adapter and remove the battery, then hold down the power button for at least 5 seconds. This will reset the Mac's PMU.

    Place the battery back in it and re-connect the Magsafe adapter. Press the power button, then immediately hold down Command-Option-P-R. Keep holding this combination until you have heard a total of four chimes.

    You can simply power it off at this point, or you can proceed to the installer disk by switching to the "C" key with the disk inserted. In any case, go back to Disk Utility, format the drive again, and try installing.

    If you continue to have problems, you might consider "zeroing" the drive. To do this, you must select the drive (not the indented volume) in Disk Utility, then click the "Security Options..." button and enable the "Zero All Data" option. When you zero the data on an entire drive, any potential bad blocks are mapped out of the resulting partition map. This will take some time (an hour or two).

    Scott
  • olddon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I wish to thank you all for your help. It did turn out to be a bad disc. We got the correct OS X10.5 from where he bought the computer and it loaded ok.
    Thanks again.

    Don
  • Scott Radloff Level 6 Level 6 (14,490 points)
    Don,

    Fantastic! Now, was the disk bad (and I assume you're talking about the Software Restore disk, not the hard disk), or was it just the wrong one for his Macbook Pro?

    Scott
  • olddon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Scott,

    The software restore disc was actually bad. It had a bad sector on the disc. Must be a bubble or something. Disc two was ok. The computer loaded beautifully. Turns out to be a nice MacBook Pro for an early one. Just a little faster than my imac.

    Don
  • bstefura Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have a similar problem...To make a long story short, I dropped my macbook and determined after getting the flashing folder with question mark that I needed a new hard drive. After putting in new hard drive, 250GB Western Digital 7200 RPM, and trying to reinstall new OS via the disks, I get the "Mac OS X cannot be installed on this computer. This software cannot be installed on this computer." I am using the Mac OS X (10.5.2) disk from a friend's computer. I have a macbook version 1.1 from about two years ago. I am in Iraq and do not have my original startup disks (at home). Is there a way to use these disks or do I need the originals for my computer? Thanks for all the help.

    Brock
  • Scott Radloff Level 6 Level 6 (14,490 points)
    Brock,

    You'll need either:

    1) The machine-specific "Software Restore" disks that came with your computer, or a replacement of the same from Apple

    or,

    2) A "retail" Leopard installer disk. Your Macbook, having been manufactured prior to the release of Leopard, will boot to the Leopard installer disk, and you can install that version.

    Scott