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Question: "Max OS X can't be installed on this compuer"

For some reason, for the life of me I can't seem to reinstall Mac OS X onto my MacBook Pro (Early 2009). I sold it to my friend and he tried to wipe it and start fresh. I'm not 100% sure whats hes done exactly. However I can't install from the original OS X disc. He told me he'd erased the hard drive, however OS X and my 1TB Hard drive still shows in disk utility. I've tried time machine and installing from the disc. Nothing seems to work! I did have a google and searched the apple forums but all suggestions I found didn't work. Is the Mac no longer usable?
Thanks in advance
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MacBook Pro

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Snow Leopard Erase and Install


If needed, be sure to back up your files.


  1. Insert Snow Leopard DVD into the optical drive and restart the computer.
  2. Immediately upon hearing the chime hold down the C key.
  3. Release the key when the Apple logo appears and wait for the loading to finish.
  4. 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 Disk Utility loads select the out-dented disk entry from the side list (mfgr.'s ID and drive size.) Click on the Partition tab in the Disk Utility’s right window. Set the number of partitions to one (1) from the drop down menu. Click on the Options button and select GUID, click OK button, set the format type to MacOS Extended, Journaled. Finally, click on the Apply button.
  5. After formatting has finished quit Disk Utility. Continue with the OS X installation and follow the directions.
  6. When the installation has finished the computer will restart into the Setup Assistant. After you complete the Setup Assistant you will be running a fresh installation of Snow Leopard. Open Software Update and install the recommended updates.
  7. If you are planning to sell or give your computer away, then do the following: After you reformat your hard drive and reinstall Snow Leopard, the computer restarts to a Welcome screen. To leave the Mac in an OOTB (Out Of The Box) state, don't continue with the setup. Instead, press Command and Q keys to shut down the computer. The Setup Assistant will guide the new owner through the setup process after he/she turns on the computer.
  8. Download and install Mac OS X 10.6.8 Update Combo v1.1. if needed. It is not needed if you are selling or giving away the computer.

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Question marked as Apple recommended

Dec 11, 2017 11:44 AM in response to SteT91 In response to SteT91

Snow Leopard Erase and Install


If needed, be sure to back up your files.


  1. Insert Snow Leopard DVD into the optical drive and restart the computer.
  2. Immediately upon hearing the chime hold down the C key.
  3. Release the key when the Apple logo appears and wait for the loading to finish.
  4. 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 Disk Utility loads select the out-dented disk entry from the side list (mfgr.'s ID and drive size.) Click on the Partition tab in the Disk Utility’s right window. Set the number of partitions to one (1) from the drop down menu. Click on the Options button and select GUID, click OK button, set the format type to MacOS Extended, Journaled. Finally, click on the Apply button.
  5. After formatting has finished quit Disk Utility. Continue with the OS X installation and follow the directions.
  6. When the installation has finished the computer will restart into the Setup Assistant. After you complete the Setup Assistant you will be running a fresh installation of Snow Leopard. Open Software Update and install the recommended updates.
  7. If you are planning to sell or give your computer away, then do the following: After you reformat your hard drive and reinstall Snow Leopard, the computer restarts to a Welcome screen. To leave the Mac in an OOTB (Out Of The Box) state, don't continue with the setup. Instead, press Command and Q keys to shut down the computer. The Setup Assistant will guide the new owner through the setup process after he/she turns on the computer.
  8. Download and install Mac OS X 10.6.8 Update Combo v1.1. if needed. It is not needed if you are selling or giving away the computer.

Dec 11, 2017 11:44 AM

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Dec 14, 2017 11:05 AM in response to Kappy In response to Kappy

Hi Kappy. Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately after holding C and selecting my language all I get is “Mac OS X can’t be installed on this computer” and there is no other option apart from restart and restore from back up(which doesn’t load any back ups). I pressed restore from back up which allowed me into the disk utility and I did as suggested but had no joy in reinstalling.

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Dec 14, 2017 11:05 AM

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Dec 15, 2017 12:06 PM in response to Eric Root In response to Eric Root

Yeah it erased/formatted/partitioned fine. But as soon as I click next after selecting my language I get the error message in the picture above. From there all options are grayed out. I have to click restore before I can access any other menuss

Dec 15, 2017 12:06 PM

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User profile for user: SteT91

Question: "Max OS X can't be installed on this compuer"