Problems erasing and reloading MacBook


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I have two Macbook hard drives that I’m trying to erase and reload, and am having problems doing that.

One of the hard drives is OS X version 10.6.8. It has a 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2GB of memory. The other hard drive is OS X version 10.5.8, and has the same processor and memory. I may be revealing my limited computer knowledge here, but maybe they share the same processor and memory because I’m swapping the hard drives into the same MacBook (the other MacBook needs to have its display replaced).

When I go to Disk Utilities in the Applications neither one will allow me to erase the hard drive (the option is shaded). I’m guessing that’s because a hard drive cannot erase itself from itself.

I have one MacBook Mac OS X Install DVD. It is Mac OS version 10.6.4, Disc version 1.0. I have not had any luck using this disc to erase and install using the disc either. I suppose I can understand why it doesn’t work on the 10.5.8 hard drive, but I don’t understand why it doesn’t work on the hard drive with the newer OS.

I’ve tried restarting the MacBook while pressing “C” with the disc installed. After a long while I get the screen asking me to select a language. This is then followed by a message saying “Mac OS X can’t be installed on this computer.” It gives me the option of “Restore From Backup” and “Restart.” When it restarts it boots from the hard drive with a window open showing the contents of the disc. If I select “Install Mac OS X” I initially get a screen telling me to set up the installation click continue with a button in the corner to open utilities. However, this screen disappears quickly and is replaced by a message “Mac OS X Snow Leopard cannot be installed on this computer.” If I’m quick I can select “utilities” on the screen prior, but it punts me back to the “Leopard cannot be installed” message.

I’ve also tried to restart the computer while holding the “option” key with the disc installed. It shows the icons for the MacBook hard drive as well as the disc. When I select the disc option it just asks me to select a language and takes me through the same sequence as above.

I have also tried using disk utilities with the disc installed. I can see the disc listed on the left hand side, but erasing the hard drive is still a shaded option.

Again, I have tried all of these options with both hard drives while plugged into the newer MacBook. I get the same results each time.

Any help would be appreciated. I’ve searched Google for answers. No luck so far. I’m sad.

Once I get this done I need to look into replacing the display on the older MacBook, replacing the cracked screen on a MacBook Pro, and try to figure out why my iPad sometimes gets Yahoo e-mail stuck in its outbox. I know the third job is a common problem, but my initial efforts to fix it have not been successful. Such is the life of the family ADP technician! :)
 
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The install disks must be from the same model or the full retail version. You can not use the disks that came with one Mac to install OS X onto a different model of Mac.

With the right disks, boot with the C key down and choose Disk Utility from the Menu, Erase. Then Quit, and choose Install.
 
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Well, while I don't know this to be absolute fact, I'm pretty sure that the install disc I have is the one that came with the newer MacBook.

The disc is 10.6.4. and the newer hard drive is 10.6.8. I figured the hard drive wasn't exactly the same as the disc because the software on the MacBook had been updated online? Is that possible?

I'm not sure what you mean by "full retail version." This is an Apple disc.

I did a shake-down of my kids' rooms and couldn't find any other MacBook Install DVDs. And, I really don't remember there being a MacBook in the family other than the two I'm trying to repair, so that makes me a bit more confident that the disc should pair up with one of the two hard drives.
 
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full retail version
is not one that came with a Mac, would be purchased in a box from a store.

“Mac OS X Snow Leopard cannot be installed on this computer.”
Means that the Mac doesn't meet the requirements for Snow Leopard to be installed. There are many reasons, for amount of RAM, GPU, CPU that can cause this.

But the Installer always checks if it can be installed as it not good to install a version on OSX that doesn't work with that hardware. This is why I suspect that there is a Disk miss-match. The Disks probably belong to the older/newer Laptop and wont work with the one you're trying to install it on.
 
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Thanks Kaveman! I just called Apple and ordered a copy of the 10.6 "full retail" DVD. They assured me it would work for me. It was just $20.

I wish the display and screen repairs I need to do were that inexpensive! :D
 

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