My sister gave me her old Macbook that had a bad hard drive. I replaced it with a non-Apple drive and tried to install her software on it, but had no luck at all. I did successfully load/run Ubuntu, but I already have 3 computers running that. :)

I read somewhere I needed a USB thumb drive to boot from. Booting from the original 10.4 CDs doesn't work.


If you live near an Apple Store - they will often assist you in re-loading the OS that came with that machine since the license for that software transfers with the ownership of the mac. They won't care about a non-Apple drive so long as it works.

If not, you will need to locate the appropriate media. Some ideas are buying it from something like amazon or craigs list, ordering replacement media from AppleCare. Lastly, you might find a local tech that would help you, but you will probably end up paying for all of these in one way or another.

You might have to do some research to see what the correct OS for your mac is so you can determine which media will work.


Your question states that the drive was non-formatted. Did you ever reformat it as HFS (Mac format?) If you simply booted and attempted to run the installer, if the drive is not in the right format it won't work.

When booted to the installer disc, goto the Utilities menu item in the menu bar, and open the Disk Utility application. From there, select the drive from the source list on the left. Under the partition tab, select 'options' to use the GUID partition scheme, and repartition the drive, using HFS as the format. Once that's done, you can close disk utility and the installer should see the drive as a valid destination volume.

As bmike stated, you'll need to make sure that you're using valid install media - the discs that ship with each machine are specific to them, so if they are indeed the original discs you should be fine, but if they're from a 'similar' model they likely won't be.

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