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I've got a mid-2009 MB Pro that I'm setting up to run some tests.

I've got Lion and Snow Leopard partitions up and running, but struggling with Leopard.

The initial OS with mid-2009 MB Pros is 10.5.7

The only full recovery disk I can get on Apple Developer is 10.5.0 (build 9A581), and machine won't boot into that.

All this leads me to believe that someone out there has got to know where I can get my hands on a 10.5.7 recovery DVD .dmg

Any and all ideas would be very appreciated!

Thanks, Alec

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Unless anyone has a better idea, one possibility is to run Leopard Server on Parallels 7. This might be the only option for running any flavor of Leopard on this machine. –  Alec Sloman Dec 1 '11 at 23:24

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'm not sure about Apple's current policies, but you might be able to order replacement DVDs via an Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple Store -- if so, they'd be treated a bit like repair parts, not as retail items. Also, note that you'll need disks specifically for your model, as there was a special build of 10.5.7 (build 9J3050) with support for the new hardware in the Mid-2009 MBPs.

Another possibility would be to borrow an older Mac that can boot 10.5.0, install the base OS and update it to 10.5.8, and then clone the volume to your MBP. I'm pretty sure the drivers etc for that model got rolled into the standard build of 10.5.8, so it should work properly. For cloning, I recommend putting one of the computers into target disk mode, so it essentially acts as a FireWire disk; then boot the other computer from a third volume (your MBP's 10.6 system should work), run Disk Utility, and use its Restore feature to copy the 10.5.8 volume onto a blank partition in the MBP (be sure the enable the Erase destination option).

In case of trouble, once you have the system installed you should probably make a disk image so you can restore it if anything goes wrong (you're running tests, right?). Again, while booted from another volume (e.g. 10.6), run disk utility, choose File > New > Disk Image from Folder (don't use the from device option), select the entire bootable volume as the source "folder", save the image as either compressed or readonly on some volume with plenty of free space (compressed takes a lot longer to create, but the space saving is generally worth it). Once that finishes, choose Images > Scan Image for Restore, and select the newly created image (again, this takes lots of space as it actually copies the entire image in the process of "scanning" it). When that's finished (it takes quite a while -- everything in this process does), you have an image that can be used as a Restore source in Disk Utility.

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Awesome suggestion. The only complication is that the partition I'm trying to work with is necessarily small bc of the machine in question. That said, I will probably have to contact someone from Apple developer and see if they can't sort me out. Accepted and +1'd for an incredibly nerdy, helpful answer! Also, that said, I'm trying my hand at parallels 7 bc apparently SL Server and Leopard Server are supported guest OS's. We shall see! –  Alec Sloman Dec 2 '11 at 15:44

Ok, so here's how I resolved this:

I called up the Apple Compatibility Lab in California and basically asked what to do. Of course, he knew exactly what I was talking about and was really happy to help.

He sent me a free copy of the exact DVD box that came with my mid-2009 MacBook Pro and paid for the shipping.

What a cool dude and another good experience with Apple!

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