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Cannot install Snow Leopard over 10.5.8 because "can't boot from" boot disk

151886 Views 143 Replies Latest reply: Mar 15, 2010 3:17 PM by Jman5112 RSS
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redpola Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Aug 28, 2009 5:57 AM
I closed all my apps.
I ran the installer.
I agreed the terms.
I am ask where to install Snow Leopard.
Only one disk is available - my boot disk.
It has a yellow triangle on it.

Selecting the disk tells me "Mac OS X cannot be installed on "Macintosh HD", because this disk cannot be used to start up your computer.".

Rebooting and attempting an install direct from CD yields the same results.

My machine is a six month old aluminium MacBook, and the only difference between it in the shop and today is that it has a customer-installed 500GB hard drive and ditto 4GB RAM in it.


Aluminium Macbook, Mac OS X (10.5.8), 500GB customer installed HD and 4GB customer installed RAM
  • William Maxwell Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
    What are the details of the hard disk partition and drive format?
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Fortuny Level 7 Level 7 (21,415 points)
    Hi Neil,

    check with Disk Utility to see if your harddisk is using the GPT (GUID) partition table.

    While in DU verify your harddisk (and in case repair it).


    iMac 20" Core Duo 2GB X1600 256MB, Mac OS X (10.5.8), MacPro 2.66 8GB X1900XT
  • Mike Boreham Level 4 Level 4 (2,095 points)
    I have the same problem.

    The "Take Control of Upgrading to Snow Leopard" mentions this as a rare problem in the troubleshooting section, and says the solution is to make a clone (Superduper/CCC) of the "yellow triangle" volume and install Snow Leopard onto this then clone back to "yellow triangle" volume.

    I am in the middle of doing this, currently installing onto the clone which did not have yellow triangle.

    No explanation of cause, and no other suggested workaround.

    I had repaired permissions, run Diskwarrior etc on my Leopard boot volume before trying Snow on it.
    MacPro 2.66(2006), 8 Gb, 4x1Tb, HD3870, MBP 1.83, 2Gb, 500 Gb,, Mac OS X (10.5.7), 30" ACD, Sonnet eSATA, LG Blu-Ray, XP Parallels, Vista Boot Camp, iPhone 3Gs
  • Mike Boreham Level 4 Level 4 (2,095 points)
    My boot vol is/was GUID
    MacPro 2.66(2006), 8 Gb, 4x1Tb, HD3870, MBP 1.83, 2Gb, 500 Gb,, Mac OS X (10.5.7), 30" ACD, Sonnet eSATA, LG Blu-Ray, XP Parallels, Vista Boot Camp, iPhone 3Gs
  • Martin Matthey1 Calculating status...
    Same with my machine;

    In uninstalled PGP desktop (from within the program by the way) and that did the trick.

    New version PGP desktop snow Leo compatible on its way: now-leopard/

    MBP 15 inch. late 2008. Lost to the Windows world from 1989 to 2003, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • dordoka Calculating status...
    Exactly the same problem here.
    GUID partition table, created during Leopard installation a while ago, only one partition, no bootcamp,... nothing, all vanilla.

    Same error and yellow exclamation over my Macintosh HD volume, either launching directly the installation assistant from Leopard or booting directly from the Snow Leopard installation DVD.

    I totally agree that this is an Installer bug and the workaround is not acceptable: that actually means that the upgrade procedure is faulty and not useful for a not yet determined number of users...

    Please find a better workaround for this.

    Thanks very much.
    Macbook (late 2006), Mac OS X (10.6), 2GB RAM
  • William Maxwell Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
    Please run this command in Terminal and send the output to this thread, thanks:
    df -k
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • dordoka Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi Bill

    thanks a lot for your quick response. Unfortunatelly I'm at work right now so I will provide you with the output later today when I get home.

    Thanks very much!
    Macbook (late 2006), Mac OS X (10.6), 2GB RAM
  • gicmo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I had the same issue on my MacBook (aluminum unibody). I had a linux & linux swap partition; after I removed those with gparted the installation worked just fine. I have heard that osx likes to have 128k space between partitions and maybe that wasn't the case.
    Mac OS X (10.6)
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