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I don't know much about Macs, so when my girlfriend asked me to repair her old Macbook, I tried to swap out the hard drive from my junker laptop. I got it all changed and now the boot manager shows a single partition for Windows. However, I am a little stuck on how I am to boot into Mac OS X to reinstall it?

I was able to get a dump of the App Store version of Mac OS X Lion, and upon placing that on a USB drive with TransMac, it was recognized by the boot manager. But unfortunately, on choosing it, a large NO symbol was shown and the computer shut down.

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This is confusing in a few ways. Was Lion running on your laptop and/or your girlfriend's laptop? Do you know for sure that it was the HDD that failed? Why are you trying to use TransMac, which is a Windows application for converting/creating Mac-compatible files, images, etc. from Windows-compatible files. Please clarify so that more direct support can be given. Thanks! –  soxman Sep 25 '12 at 4:52
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possible duplicate of New Macbook Pro 2012 Operating System onto new SSD? –  Stu Wilson Sep 25 '12 at 7:56
    
@soxman I was using TransMac for taking .dmg files and writing them to a USB drive on my Windows PC. I'm not 100% sure it was the hard drive that failed, I was just throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what stuck. It wasn't running Lion, most likely Leopard. –  David B Sep 26 '12 at 1:31

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This question has been answered here.

Basically do the following:

To start Recovery, hold down the Command + R keys while booting. The interface is pretty straightforward after that and you should be able to figure it out.

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I personally have an early 2008 MacBook which I have upgraded to Lion (the latest OS X without hacks for early MacBooks). To do so on many of the older MacBooks, you need to first upgrade the RAM to at least 2 GB. Mine had, as with many others, come factory installed with 1 GB which is most likely why you are seeing the no go sign. I went up to 4 GB with mine with an SSD as well it does quite well for an older laptop.

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