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When trying to boot from the OS X install disc (Snow Leopard) my Macbook will just eject the disc and boot normally from the installed system on the hard drive.

Once booted, the disc can be read fine by the computer, but when trying to restart in order to make a fresh install of the operating system, the computer will just again eject the CD and boot from the hard drive.

Holding the C key when during startup to force booting from the CD drive wont work, and the CD is ejected again. Even holding the (alt or option) symbol during startup will cause the CD to be ejected, and the only boot option shown is the hard drive.

(Note, as I've found threads with similar questions elsewhere on the internet, all with long discussions but none with an answer, I'm documenting here the solution that worked for me.)

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2 Answers 2

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Restart the computer, then press and hold the key just after you hear the startup chime. Even if the install disc is ejected, and you are only shown the hard drive as your unique boot option, at this moment you can again insert the disc, and wait for the computer to read it. If everything goes fine, you will now see the option to boot from the CD.

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I shut down the computer, unplugged anything that was attached to it (peripherals, power cord, etc.), held down the power button for more than 10 seconds, plugged power cord, keyboard and mouse, turned the computer back on, waited for main screen, and inserted DVD. It took a while for it to read and install but finally got it to work.

Got it from this post by Rhys Pritchard on the Apple support forums.

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