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Recently, I've gone through the trouble of replacing the hard drive on my Mac with the model A1174, which the Internet says is a iMac "Core Duo" 2.0 20-Inch Early 2006. Needless to say that I do not have the install discs for it anymore! But I do have another Mac computer, so I followed these directions to create a boot USB but did the same thing for Yosemite:

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/apple-in-the-enterprise/how-to-create-a-bootable-usb-to-install-os-x/

When I plug the USB drive in and boot it up, I still get the blinking questionmarked folder. When I press the Option button to try and get into Startup Manager, it does nothing.

  1. Did I do something wrong making the USB drive, or are these Macs notorious for not wanting to boot off of USB?
  2. Why wouldn't the computer then boot into Startup Manager anyway?
  3. Is there like a BIOS screen where I can see that I successfully installed the hard drive?
  4. Will this require an install disc after all and how will I know that it'll work?

Thanks so much.

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Yosemite is not supported on the Early 2006 iMac - it can only go up to Snow Leopard v10.6. You will either need to order a set of restore discs for this particular system (as discs do not necessarily work between models, make sure to get the right ones) or find a retail copy of either Tiger (Make sure it is newer than 10.4.6), Leopard or Snow Leopard.

You can find retail copies of the discs on eBay or other various sites. There is a remote chance that you may be able to order the recovery media through Apple's phone support - we used to do it when I worked for Applecare - but due to the age it is less likely that they would have it and/or would have shipping times under 2wks.

It is highly recommended that you opt right for the Snow Leopard retail DVD as there is no upgrade path from Tiger -> Snow Leopard for free.

EDIT: To answer your questions in order:

  1. The operating system you made the drive from is not supported on your computer by a few generations, likely causing the issue. Booting from USB is supported on your machine
  2. There is no operating system, recovery system, really anything to support booting into from your disk selector
  3. No, not directly. The closest you would get would be Single user mode, which is just an extension of the operating system itself. Through there, you could use diskutil to see if the drive was recognized. Again, this would require the OS already be installed.
  4. Yes, and it won't be known until you have it in your hands. Be careful about the disks you get, and if in doubt, buy the retail edition.

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