He thought he was installing it with Boot Camp, booting with option held down shows 2 HDs (Windows and EFI Boot) and clicking on either of them just launches XP. So, option doesn't work, R doesn't work, C from the OSX CD doesn't work. It doesn't read the OSX CD from within XP. Apparently he overwrote my Mac OSX HD with XP. (I would love if this is not actually the case, but since neither HD selection launches OSX, it doesn't look good.)

I want my Mac back!

I've got a quad core Mac Pro w/ 3 HDs installed, I think it was running 10.6. Onhand I've got install CDs for 10.1 and Snow Leopard (which I had installed and then restored back because of app compatibility issues.)

If possible, I'd like to get XP off and restore to OSX. Timeline should have my backup on HD #3 but I can't get the machine to recognize the OSX install CD, let alone run an OSX recovery program. It asks if I want to format the disk.

Does it seem like it's possible to somehow boot back into OSX that I'm missing?

Can I get OSX back without completing wiping the HD? (it probably already is wiped, I guess.)

How can I reinstall OSX if I can't get XP to read the OSX install disk? (It doesn't show it as an option to boot from the CD when restarted with Option key held down.)

  • I believe that you won't be able to boot a Mac Pro with G5 10.4 install discs. The first Mac Pro was delivered with 10.4.7. – klanomath Feb 10 '15 at 17:15
  • It won't boot from Snow Leopard 10.6 DVD either. – Alttara Scheer Feb 10 '15 at 19:27
  • Where are the original Mac Pro system disks? Depending on your Mac Pro this may either be 10.4.7 (MacPro1,1), 10.5.1 (MacPro3,1), 10.5.6 (MacPro4,1), or 10.6.4 (MacPro5,1). The last won't start with SL 10.6.0! – klanomath Feb 10 '15 at 19:44

The first thing to do is to eject your CD/DVD and then power down the Mac and then disconnect any drives and accessories other than your keyboard and monitor.

Then boot the Mac and as soon as you hear the fans start or the chime - hold only the option key down.

This should boot to a grey screen that lists any bootable OS that are connected.

At this point, see if you can see a Mac partition to boot to. Worst case, if you only see windows, try installing the DVD/CD and boot to disk utility. Don't erase things, just use it to see the partition scheme and report back what it shows. A cell phone picture of the window would be a good start to see what damage if any has been done.

Don't agree to any prompts to reformat any drives for now. Also, consider paying for AppleCare to walk you through this reinstall or visiting a local genius bar. Sometimes having a thorough back and forth dialog is far better than posting updates to the internet which can take days or weeks to cover what 15 minutes of troubleshooting from a trained pro can accomplish.

The best case for you is that the system forgot that it has a Mac partition ready to boot and you can re-"bless" that partition and be back in business in 10 minutes. Worst case, you'll end up doing an erase/install per the guide here from Apple:

On second thought, that isn't the worst case. Worst case is you have a hardware error and have to triage and fix that before you can follow the steps that normal work to reinstall the OS of your choice. From the details, you certainly have backup media and possibly a data backup so even getting another computer to load your data is an option. You might be able to find a very inexpensive Mac Mini or such to keep running the OS of your choice if you don't want or need to move up to newer hardware.

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  • I found the G5 10.4 install disks, so that's good. What's bad is that I can't get the machine to boot from them. Holding down option, it boots into windows Holding down C, it boots into windows. Holding down R, it boots into windows. I can't afford their tech support. :`( – Alttara Scheer Feb 10 '15 at 17:00
  • @AlttaraScheer You can certainly power things down and read up here and decide what to do next. Nothing will change if the system is powered off while you consider your options and see if others have some advice. – bmike Feb 10 '15 at 17:40

Apologies if you've already assured yourself of this.

In my experience, holding down the various keyboard shortcut keys (particularly the Command-R "Internet Recovery" key sequence) works even without bootable volumes attached. You report no difference holding any keys down during boot, which is odd.

Are you sure your Mac is receiving these keystrokes? "Yes", if you're using an Apple wired keyboard, "Maybe not" if using a wireless keyboard -- press the power switch on the right side of the keyboard, and confirm by seeing the green LED glow. Or (temporarily) use a wired keyboard -- Sometimes a Windows keyboard's "Control" key will work as the Command key when you boot your Mac, and sometimes you have to use the "Windows" key.

You must hold these keys down immediately after hearing the startup "bong".

Click here for Apple's internet recovery overview: http://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT4718

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  • Internet recovery was only added in Lion, I believe. – bouke Feb 11 '15 at 6:33

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