2 Replies Latest reply: Nov 19, 2012 2:31 AM by Alberto Ravasio
MacGuy123 Level 1 Level 1

Hi all,


I am (belatedly) attempting to upgrade my trusty mid-2008 aluminum macbook from Leopard to Mountain Lion. (I know the question says the product is Mac OS X (10.4.10), but it is not). I understand that Snow Leopard is required, so I ordered the installation disc from Apple and attempted installing it - but unfortunately the Superdrive seems to have taken a turn for the worse - it usually spits the disc out after about a minute of attempting to read, and sometimes makes it to the installation screen but then says the DVD is damaged (which it is not: Pretty much every CD/DVD is sputtering in my drive).


So, I did some researching and found that you could transfer Snow Leopard to a usb drive, boot from there and then proceed to install the OS. I went and borrowed my friend's pc running windows vista (there are no macs around), and attempted to put SL on the usb drive - but apparently the format(FAT) the drive was in only allows sizes of up to 4GB. So I formatted the usb drive to NTFS, got SL onto the drive successfully and attempted to boot from it - no dice. It seems you can only boot from the previous format the drive was in, FAT (I could be wrong on this).


So, I have two questions:


1: Is there a workaround for this NTFS/FAT issue so that I can get Snow Leopard onto my computer with only the usb drive, my computer and my friend's pc? SL is currently on the usb drive in NTFS format.

2: If not, is there a quick and dirty way to try to fix the superdrive without taking it for repairs? The computer is honestly on its last legs, and I am not willing to fix everything that is wrong with it. I have an external hard drive with everything backed up, but unfortunately I will not be able to get to it for at least a month so that is not an option.


Thanks in advance!

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • noondaywitch Level 6 Level 6

    NTFS is a Widows only file system. Mac OS X can read it, but not write to it, and certainly not boot from it.

    FAT32 is read/write on both platforms, but as far as I'm aware you can't boot from it.


    To boot an OS X system you need to format on a Mac as GUID partition Map and Mac OS Extended (Journalled) file system (aka HFS+ (J) ).


    As to whether the optical drive is repairable, without hands-on no-one can say for sure. I assume you've done the basics of cleaning the laser heads and such.

  • Alberto Ravasio Level 5 Level 5

    Or buy an inexpensive external USB optical driver.