Will you help me troubleshoot a Mac OS install?

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Hello. I just purchased an early 2011 MacBook Pro with an i7 processor on eBay. I don't know what the proper term is, but it would be nice to do a clean install of my own. The previous owner said he wiped it and whatnot but just to be safe I think it makes sense to do this myself too (add my own username, make it "mine", etc).

So I am seeking guidance to erase/reformat (is this the proper term?) and reinstall Snow Leopard on this i7 that is already running 10.6.7 with all the latest software updates (it came that way).

In a nutshell, my most basic goal is to "simply start over".

One thing to note is that I didn't get the original discs that came with the i7 in the auction but I already do own several Macs and several "different" copies of Snow Leopard (see below).
  1. I tried this process first and it didn't work: I used an upgrade disc of Mac OS X 10.6 but the upgrade disc is from 2009 so when I tried to start the computer holding down "C" I got a kernel panic (about which I could find no info on the web.)

  2. The second time I tried to use my mother's Snow Leopard install disc because she recently bought an 15" MBP with a Core i5 from the Apple Store. I thought maybe if the kernel panic happened because my aforementioned 10.6 disc was originally for an Intel Core 2 Duo machine. So that's why I borrowed the discs from her... They included a 10.6.3 Install DVD. But then when I ran hers, it just gave me a pop up window that says Snow Leopard can't be installed on this machine

  3. My third option (that I haven't tried yet and sincerely hope will finally work) is the disc that came with the new family computer (iMac i5), an Install Disc with Mac OS 10.6.6 on it.

I'm hoping the 10.6.6 disc will be the solution but I'm concerned because my machine is running 10.6.7. Can I even achieve my goal on a machine running a newer operating system than I even have install discs for? Or do I have to wait for Lion? I'll go buy another copy of Snow Leopard of i have to but that feels like a huge waste of money. There has to be another way?

Now, I don't understand how firmware works, but before I try anything else, I also wanted to ask if there any technical reasons this won't work, such as firmware concerns or stuff I don't know about? Since this machine is fully updated, I'm concerned it won't be compatible with my "older" discs?

I appreciate any guidance or suggestions but specifically, I'd love a link to a general "how-to" with extra consideration for the steps I've already failed at and the potential for conflicts (firmware, boot roms, etc) without access to the discs that shipped with the device.

To be honest, I'd just like to enjoy the experience of someone who buys a Mac from the Apple store and gets to come home to a totally "fresh" machine. Thank you so much in advance for your time and effort and sorry for the super long post.



  • Reply 2 of 5
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    You can't use any disc containing a version of OS X earlier than the first version shipped with that hardware.

    You need to get the grey discs that came with that machine or buy a retail version of Snow Leopard from after its introduction.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,591member
    Just wait till Lion is released. Download it and burn the image to disc then do a fresh install.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

    Just wait till Lion is released. Download it and burn the image to disc then do a fresh install.

    How's he going to download it when his computer doesn't work at all?

    Try reading the problem.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    sammicksammick Posts: 416member
    He's running 10.6.7--all he has to do is buy a Snow Leopard install disk--follow the instructions that were linked

    and do a clean install---he has to run the utilities in the install disc ---format his hard drive and then install the new Snow Leopard OS
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