Repair the Hard Drive and Permissions
Boot from your Leopard Installer disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu. After DU loads select your hard drive entry (mfgr.'s ID and drive size) from the the left side list. In the DU status area you will see an entry for the S.M.A.R.T. status of the hard drive. If it does not say "Verified" then the hard drive is failing or failed. (SMART status is not reported on external Firewire or USB drives.) If the drive is "Verified" then select your OS X volume from the list on the left (sub-entry below the drive entry,) click on the First Aid tab, then click on the Repair Disk button. If DU reports any errors that have been fixed, then re-run Repair Disk until no errors are reported. If no errors are reported click on the Repair Permissions button. Wait until the operation completes, then quit DU and return to the installer.
If DU reports errors it cannot fix, then you will need Disk Warrior and/or Tech Tool Pro to repair the drive. If you don't have either of them or if neither of them can fix the drive, then you will need to reformat the drive and reinstall OS X.
Now, if everything is OK try installing Snow Leopard.
Boot from your installer:
Booting From An OS X Installer Disc
1. Insert Leopard Installer Disc into the optical drive.
2. Restart the computer.
3. Immediately after the chime press and hold down the "C" key.
4. Release the key when the spinning gear below the dark gray Apple
5. Wait for installer to finish loading.
If the computer spits out the disc, then you have a bad or dirty disc or a defective optical drive.
I can load the Leopard disc 1. It loads fine and I can open information on it. When I hit restart at the chime I press C ( the Leopard instructions say to press D) and then at the spinning gear I let the C go. After a few seconds the disc ejects and I am back to sign in.
I have a password on the machine Is that interfering?
Quick question, if you put the installer disc in your computer d; does it mount to your desktop? One thing Im mot seeing in your post is that with the installer disc mounted on your desktop that you click on the big X to install.
this changes your startup disc to the cd and it doesnt require you to hold down the c button. It is also good to check your hard drive in Disk utility to make sure its verified as stated in an earlier reply. If all is good therethen click the big X on your mounted dvd volume on your desktop. If it reboots to the cd then you should be good to go.
Also Dee make sure before you start to go into your system preferences to the little lightbulb ie Energy saver and be sure to set both to never and uncheck put hard drives to sleep whenever possible.
I can load both installer discs (10.5 and 10.6) they show up on screen with big X and I could click on them to install. With 10.6 It loads for 15 minutes (starts at 45 mins goes up to 60 mns. then counts down to 45 mins and then ejects). when I check on system status it shows it is still 10.5.8. so it sems like the drive is OK as it reads the discs both fine. It is the install process that seems to stall. I will change the power seting and see if that helps.
Oh yes power is hooked up. Turned all screensavers, updates, etc. to "never".
Still same. insert 10.6.3 disc see the Install X hit install goes to countdown for 45 mins to 1 hour counts down to 46 - message comes up "Install will continue after restart" screen goes grey, gear appears and then disc ejects and we are still at 10.5 .8
At the 46 minute point the hazy solid blue countdown convers to the spiral blue and white - if that matters.
I had earlier checked the disc in Disc Utility and it was OK.
As I re-read your post I don't think the "X" is on the desktop... it shows up as the Xin a grey section and there is a place to click on install on the HD. I cna;t tell if it is really on desctop or just on the screen? Does this make a difference?
Maybe Apple sent me a bad disc?
Dee, Is there any anti-virus software running in the back ground? If the answers yes; then turn it off. If the answers no then your probably not going to like what I am going to suggest. While it is possible that Apple may have sent you a bad disc it's most unlikely.
Connect your external hard drive. Copy the entire contents of your internal drive to the external atleast copy anything and everything that you dont feel like you can lose. Then completely wipe the hard drive from disk utility on your osX startup cd/ installation cd. once the hard drive has been try the installation again. This should help you eliminate any hard drive issues.
Almost forgot... Check on Apples website to see if there are any firmware updates for your laptop.
Things seem to have gotten a bit confused here. What exactly happens when you try to boot from the Snow Leopard disk according to Kappy's instructions? It sounds like the disk gets spit out and then you end up at your usual login prompt. If that is the case, there's either something wrong with the Snow Leopard disk or something wrong with the optical drive. Corruption on the internal hard drive, power issues, running anti-virus software, etc are not relevant to this problem. You'll need to contact Apple to determine which is the case and get a solution to the problem.
On the other hand, if you are being asked for a password first, at a prompt that is different from the usual one, and then the disk gets spit out after you enter it, then you may have a firmware password set. Without that password, you will not be able to boot from any external disk or optical disk.
DEE before I totally digress.... You can skip to the bolded type at the bottom of this post unless you wish to read for entertainment value.
Thomas. You are completely wrong! Running an Anti-Virus is relevant buddy! Whenever you first install an OS installation disk, it verifies the installation disk! Then it proceeds to the installation. An antivirus program can and may interfere with the installation process. Some AV programs have been known to interfere with software installation processes! Google it.
As far as Kappys solution..... Run permissions repair permissions etc.... As long as the hd shows verified the current permissions on the hard drive should not even factor into the equation. Permissions, repair only the permissions on that hard drive. The install disk is booted into RAM and when updating is installing a new set of permissions on the target drive. Hence the install disk is operating at the Root level in RAM.
As far as something being wrong with the optical drive? Its possible but I kind of doubt it. If the optical drive will work while importing a music cd or while playing a movie on dvd then it's most likely just fine. Optical drives wont discern whether or not your playing a movie or trying to install software!
Another point.... A disk may show that its smart status: is verified and still be a failing/ill hard drive! In either case..... DEE should back up all of the info on their hard drive with time machine or backup software of their choice to an external drive asap! If you want to give me your address Ill send you the 3 hard drives currently sitting on my bench with the exact same behavior and problem!!!
All of the questions that were asked were relevant in troubleshooting Dees problem without having the laptop in front of me... before giving him/her the go to Apple Speech!
DEE, I actually believe that you have a hard drive that is about to have an epic fail, but to make sure..... I would see about getting another installation disk and give that a try! If the same thing happens the installation disc is encountering an error while trying to write to your installed hd! in any case I would recommend that you backup your hard drives info as soon as possible. Although you didnt state how old the laptop is...... A couple of things about laptops and hard drives. Hard drive failures are more common in laptops due to ventilation issues and just the fact that the internal parts are much smaller and much more susceptible to shock/bumps heat, cold etc.... Ive seen laptop drives last 10 years and some less than 10 months but most of the failures Ive seen in Macs occur around 4 to 5 years in my experience. However anything with moving parts is going to fail at some point. Its a matter of when and not if........
You can go blow your money at the Apple Genius Bar if you so desire per Thomas's suggestion if you want. I would suggest though that you save your dollars. Buy yourself a SSD (solid state drive) you can usually find them for about 80-100$ for a 120-128 gb drive ssd (no moving parts) Go to Youtube and search laptop hard drive installion macintosh or I even think there may still be an instructional video on the apple website that will walk you through it step by step. then install snow leopard on the fresh disk and migrate all of your apps prefs etc.. using migration assistant that comes up in the installation process. Good Luck :-)