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My optical drive doesn't work on my MacBook Pro, and my Internet connection is too slow to use the recovery partition to download Lion. I have a disk and a Windows PC I can use on the same network.

I installed the disk sharing software from Apple on the PC, and used the remote install program that comes on the disc.

I hold down Option ⌥ when booting up my MacBook. It is plugged in via Ethernet to the same network, but the network disk never appears. If I press N then the network icon appears, pulsing, but it never finds the Windows shared disk.

What am I doing wrong? Will this work better if plug the Ethernet cable directly from the PC to the Mac, skipping over the network?

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What do you mean by 'hold download alt' when booting the MacBook? –  walker Jun 2 '12 at 12:52
    
alt is the option key. You press it to choose a startup disk. (as it instructs you to) –  Jonathan. Jun 2 '12 at 14:50
    
You mean 'I hold down alt' then? –  walker Jun 2 '12 at 16:37
    
Ah yes, sorry that's autocorrect, and my bad spelling :) –  Jonathan. Jun 2 '12 at 16:38

1 Answer 1

You need a network boot server to be running somewhere on the network as Macs can't just see another CD without more help. Internet recovery is Apple's way of solving this on the newer hardware.

Something like DeployStudio would be my first recommendation for a modern, free, and all in one setup. This tool will handle the network request from the Mac and provide it with software to run so that you can then start an installation. I don't know of a boot image that is capable of doing a remote disk installation so you might do some learning with net boot, but ultimately just go get a USB drive or get help from someone with the setup ready to do a restore. Many Apple Stores are set up to image a machine while you wait through the genius bar.

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So using the remote install program that comes on the Apple disc, doesn't let you remote install? –  Jonathan. Jun 2 '12 at 19:18
    
Only OS X Server has a remote install program as far as I'm aware. What exact model of Mac and OS are you trying to install remotely? The "Remote Disk" function on Mac Mini and Air assumes full OSX is running on your Mac and doesn't work at install time. –  bmike Jun 2 '12 at 19:22
    
I put the Mac OSX install disk (I have the snow leopard disk) into the PC, one of the programs on there is a Remote installer (exe), you run that and it steps you through the process of holding alt during boot and selecting the network disc. I'm trying to install on a MBP, from a Vista PC. –  Jonathan. Jun 2 '12 at 19:28
    
Awesome - those are probably the BootCamp drivers for windows that are intended for people running Windows on their mac as opposed to people wanting to instal Mac from Windows over the net. –  bmike Jun 2 '12 at 19:38
    
support.apple.com/kb/HT2129?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US. But it seems that this for Mac Mini and MBA only. (but I thought the Mac Mini only lost it's CD drive after 10.7) –  Jonathan. Jun 2 '12 at 20:31

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