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My iMac 27" went in for hard drive replacement but now I can't seem to get anything to restore. I've put Snow Leopard back onto the drive but then apps are missing and the second install disc that contains apps just ejects when I insert it.

Could this be because because I'm downloading more up to date software than what Snow Leopard can accept? Should I upload software updates directly after installing Snow Leopard or should I install a new OS first? I paid for Lion ages ago so I could put that on.

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What version of OS X was on your iMac before you sent it in for repair? And what are you doing to "restore" your Mac to the state it was in before repair? Do you have a backup? –  myhd Dec 21 '12 at 15:36
    
As you can see - this is a very broad question. You might choose one answer here that helps and then ask a follow on question with more details on what you have and what precisely is the first error you encounter to keep the guessing to a minimum. Welcome to the site! –  bmike Dec 21 '12 at 17:28

2 Answers 2

When you say "cant get anything to restore", do you mean

  1. you're having difficulty getting your data back onto your new drive?

  2. You are having problems reinstalling software (either from the original install media or DMGs) you had before the drive swap?

  3. Software from a TimeMachine backup is not running after you try and manually restore it back?

Now that you have Snow Leopard installed, is this the same version of OS X you ran previously? If you did run 10.6, what update version did you run? 10.6.8? 10.6.7? Or, since you had paid for Lion "ages ago", was your iMac running 10.7?

Your best bet is upgrading to and/or installing the version of OS X your iMac ran prior to the drive replacement. If this was Lion, you'll need to update to 10.6.8 first, then you can redownload Lion.

Once you have your OS back to parity, you should have an easier time reinstalling your software.

One other point to consider: if you are downloading current install files for the software you ran, you might not be finding the same version you ran. Newer versions of some programs may require Lion or later to run.

Good luck!

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Lion doesn't bundle any iLife applications, so you will need to decide to dig into why the additional apps from Snow Leopard isn't working (perhaps a replacement disc is needed, or the install process was customized incorrectly to not install additional apps).

What you describe should always work:

  1. Reinstall the OS from the original media
  2. Reinstall additional apps from the original media
  3. Then update everything to the latest version
  4. Then restore your user files from a backup.

If you had a backup that contained users and apps, you could simply reinstall the OS you want to run and then migrate that backup and it should copy all apps and data in one step. You can also go to http://apple.com/support/manuals and look up the steps for reinstalling your Mac's OS since each reinstall disk is customized to a specific Mac the steps can vary from iMac to iMac.

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