Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > How to reinstall OS X without a working DVD drive?

How to reinstall OS X without a working DVD drive?
Thread Tools
willed
Professional Poster
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: USA at the moment
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 10, 2011, 08:06 AM
 
I'm upgrading the hard drive in my MacBook Pro, but I've just found the DVD drive no longer seems to work with data DVDs. (Movies work fine... No idea why - bonus points if you can answer that too).

My question is, will I be able to reinstall OSX and everything else straight onto my unformatted drive from a Time Machine backup once it's inside my MBP? I seem to remember needing the DVD even to use Time Machine, or can I startup from the backup volume?

OR is it possible to install the Time Machine backup straight onto the new drive if I put it in a USB2 enclosure? That way when I put the new drive into my MBP it should just start up where I left off...

If it's impossible I guess I'll have to get the DVD drive fixed, but that's likely to cost a lot for something I only ever use when installing a new OS, and Lion is rumoured to be available from the App Store...

Thanks for any advice.

Will
     
willed  (op)
Professional Poster
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: USA at the moment
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 10, 2011, 08:08 AM
 
I'm upgrading the hard drive in my MBP and will need to reinstall the OS from a DVD, but I've found that neither Snow Leopard or the install DVDs that came with my Mac are read by the drive. Meanwhile, watching movies is no problem. Has anyone else experienced this or have any idea how/why it could have happened?

Thanks,

Will
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 10, 2011, 09:38 AM
 
Before you try any of that, try booting from the DVD. With the symptoms you describe, it's likely that defect with not reading data DVDs is in your installation (specifically, one or more kexts that control reading the DVD filesystem has become corrupted. I've seen that a few times in these forums).

MOD ACTION: I merged these two threads into one, because there is really only one issue here.

To solve only the "DVD can't read data" issue, you'd have to copy the relevant kexts from the install DVD, which is sort of hard when you can't read the DVD in the first place. Try this: open the Terminal, navigate to /System/Library/Extensions, list all files with the command ls -lA and copy the output to a text file. Post that file somewhere on the web and tell us where, and we can check if the files have been corrupted.
( Last edited by P; May 10, 2011 at 10:03 AM. )
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
ibook_steve
Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Jose, CA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 10, 2011, 10:00 AM
 
You can try resetting PRAM and SMC, but it sounds like your optical drive could be going bye bye. Do you have an external optical or another machine with a working drive that could be used?

Steve
Celebrating 10 years and 4000 posts on MacNN!
     
amazing
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 10, 2011, 02:33 PM
 
As Steve says, do you have access to another Mac? If so, you could try installing from the other Mac in firewire target disk mode...

Or you assemble an external firewire case and bare optical drive from either buy.com or newegg.com. That will be much much much faster than the internal drive.

Because if your internal optical drive is indeed bad (and not just missing a kext or two) and if you decide to open the MPB up, wouldn't rather replace the defective optical drive with an SSD?
     
Dex13
Mac Elite
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Bay Area of San Jose
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 10, 2011, 03:05 PM
 
you can restore the "install disc" to an external hard drive and boot from the external hard drive.
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 10, 2011, 05:15 PM
 
For comparison, here is what I get if I go to /System/Library/Extensions on 10.6.7 and list files according to this command

Code:
ls -lAd *fs.kext drwxr-xr-x 3 root wheel 102B 29 Maj 2009 autofs.kext drwxr-xr-x 3 root wheel 102B 4 Nov 2009 cddafs.kext drwxr-xr-x 3 root wheel 102B 4 Nov 2009 msdosfs.kext drwxr-xr-x 3 root wheel 102B 4 Nov 2009 ntfs.kext drwxr-xr-x 3 root wheel 102B 4 Nov 2009 smbfs.kext drwxr-xr-x 3 root wheel 102B 29 Maj 2009 ufs.kext drwxr-xr-x 3 root wheel 102B 4 Nov 2009 webdav_fs.kext
The directory /System/Library/Extensions/ufs.kext/Contents/MacOS, where I suspect the error might be, lists only one file:

Code:
-rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 45K 24 Apr 2010 ufs
Do the sizes and modification dates match up with what you get?
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
willed  (op)
Professional Poster
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: USA at the moment
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 11, 2011, 05:43 AM
 
Hey, thanks for all the responses.

ibook_steve - I reset the PRAM and SMC but to no effect sadly...

P - I'm afraid I've never had to use the Terminal before, so your instructions are a little vague... I tried typing in '/System/Library/Extensions/' and it just tells me:

-bash: /System/Library/Extensions/: is a directory

I'd appreciate more detailed instructions if it's not too much trouble - thanks!

Other than that, no I dont have another Mac to hand, although I could borrow one off a friend so might use it to make an external HD into a Snow Leopard boot disk.
---------------
***UPDATE***
Have kind of solved my original problem, I think - I'm cloning my HD onto the new drive (which is temporarily in a USB enclosure), using 'SuperDuper'. When I drop the new HD into my Mac it then *should* start up straight away from where I left off, without having to go anywhere near the Snow Leopard install disk.

Optical drive still broken though so any tips on that still appreciated!
( Last edited by willed; May 11, 2011 at 06:09 AM. )
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 11, 2011, 06:15 AM
 
To navigate to a directory, you type "cd" in front of where you want to go (cd stands for change directory). In this case:

cd /System/Library/Extensions

To see what is in the directory, you type "ls" for list. You can also append some suffixes to it to make it work in different ways. In this case, my suggested command is

ls -lAd *fs.kext

Which would show all kernel extensions related to filesystems, to check that they haven't been modified or that there are any thirdparty things there.

If everything is OK at that point, just type

cd /System/Library/Extensions/ufs.kext/Contents/MacOS

To go in to the directory for the DVD filesystem. Another list there

ls -l

Should ideally show you the exact same thing as my list above did.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
willed  (op)
Professional Poster
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: USA at the moment
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 12, 2011, 07:46 AM
 
Pretty similar, if not exactly the same:

wills-macbook-pro:Extensions wedwards$ ls -lAd *fs.kext
drwxr-xr-x 3 root wheel 102 1 Aug 2009 autofs.kext
drwxr-xr-x 3 root wheel 102 1 Aug 2009 cddafs.kext
drwxr-xr-x 3 root wheel 102 1 Aug 2009 msdosfs.kext
drwxr-xr-x 3 root wheel 102 1 Aug 2009 ntfs.kext
drwxr-xr-x 3 root wheel 102 1 Aug 2009 smbfs.kext
drwxr-xr-x 3 root wheel 102 1 Aug 2009 ufs.kext
drwxr-xr-x 3 root wheel 102 1 Aug 2009 webdav_fs.kext
wills-macbook-pro:Extensions wedwards$ cd /System/Library/Extensions/ufs.kext/Contents/MacOS
wills-macbook-pro:MacOS wedwards$ ls -l
total 96
-rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 46408 24 Apr 2010 ufs

I guess this means it must be a hardware thing...?
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 12, 2011, 01:38 PM
 
Hardware seems likely at this point. What does the Console show when you try to insert a disk in the drive?
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
willed  (op)
Professional Poster
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: USA at the moment
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 12, 2011, 03:08 PM
 
Nothing comes up in the console.
     
ginoledesma
Mac Elite
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 13, 2011, 01:13 AM
 
You have a couple of options:

1. Boot off a USB/FireWire device (e.g. thumb drive, external HDD) that contains the Mac OS X install disc. You'll need to duplicate your install disc onto the USB/firewire media.

2. Install Mac OS X remotely using Remote Install (found in /Applications/Utilities). This requires you to have another Mac that will have a working optical drive to host the media and share it over the network. See this KB for more info.

3. Boot your MacBook Pro in Target Disk Mode and install Mac OS X onto your MacBook Pro using another Mac. Like #2, this requires another Mac.
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:56 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,