I'm having an issue installing Mac OS X on my MacBook Pro, here is what I have:

  1. MacBook Pro "Core i7" 2.66 15" Mid-2010.
  2. Mac OS X install DVD that is not for the above model I don't have the one it came with.
  3. New 1 terabyte HD that I just bought and installed on the Mac. The original HD is broken and can't be recovered.

When I try to use the Mac OS X install DVD I get the following error:

Mac OS X can't be installed on this computer

What I tried:

  1. Boot from your OS X Installer Disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu.

  2. After DU loads select your hard drive (this is the entry with the mfgr.'s ID and size) from the left side list. Note the SMART status of the drive in DU's status area. If it does not say "Verified" then the drive is failing or has failed and will need replacing. SMART info will not be reported on external drives. Otherwise, click on the Partition tab in the DU main window.

  3. Under the Volume Scheme heading set the number of partitions from the drop down menu to one. Click on the Options button, set the partition scheme to GUID then click on the OK button. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Apply button and wait until the process has completed.

  4. Select the volume you just created (this is the sub-entry under the drive entry) from the left side list. Click on the Erase tab in the DU main window.

  5. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Security button, check the button for Zero Data and click on OK to return to the Erase window.

  6. Click on the Erase button.

But this didn't work for me.

5 Answers 5


You don't indicate which OS X you are starting from, but your MacBook Pro shipped with Snow Leopard.

One course of action is to purchase the retail packaged Snow Leopard generic installation DVD and then the downloadable Lion from the Apple store for US$19.99 each. You will need to install Snow Leopard first from disc, update to 10.6.8, then download and install Lion. There are no Lion or later install DVDs available from Apple.


Like the previous answers, if you would like to reinstall Snow Leaopard - Mountain Lion, you would need to purchase a new disk. If you would like to install Yosemite, you need:

  1. A working mac
  2. A DVD Drive or an open USB Port
  3. A blank DVD or USB Flash Drive

The following would only be necessary if you cannot find a way to open App Store, download Yosemite, and install it. The steps are:

  1. Download Yosemite onto the working mac
  2. Follow these instructions for the basics on creating a boot disk, but you may want to use DiskMakerX as well.
  3. Reboot your computer, and after the startup chime, immediately press and hold the option key until you see a set of disks.
  4. Use the arrow keys to select the USB Disk or CD(not Recovey-HD or Macintosh HD)
  5. Installing OS X is simple from there.

You can use the soft DiskMakerX.... And create the installer with Mavericks or another OS X with a USB device and launch the installer in usb connect the device in a port of the mac and pressing alt when turn on your Mac, finally the os x


You need to obtain a retail version of Snow Leopard. Apple still sells them or Ebay etc. After that is installed you can upgrade.

Read this for more info: http://www.macworld.com/article/2101301/advice-from-an-apple-tech-how-to-get-old-mac-os-x-install-discs.html

  • Answers on Ask Different need to be more than just a link. It's okay to include a link, but please summarize or excerpt it in the answer. The idea is to make the answer stand alone.
    – nohillside
    Nov 2, 2015 at 7:39
  • My answer is above the link, the link just points to a short article that says mostly what I said. Nov 2, 2015 at 13:00

If the disk is corrupt or wiped (no recovery partition, no time machine copy, etc.) then this will be more difficult. If your Mac is older than around 2012, then it will not have internet recovery mode either. You really need the grey discs that came with your Mac. If you don't have those, read on...

Here are the steps to follow if you want to legally install Mac OS X on your hard drive:

  1. Purchase OS X 10.6 installation disks from Apple using this link: http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MC573Z/A/mac-os-x-106-snow-leopard
  2. Wait for the discs to show up in the mail.
  3. When they do show up, insert the first disk. While powering up your mac, hold the C key until you are presented with an option of which disk to boot - select your DVD.
  4. (Don't have a DVD drive? Then sorry, there is no legal way to install OS X on your computer.)
  5. Once you have 10.6 installed, you can upgrade to 10.6.8 over the internet by going to the Apple icon and clicking on Software Update.
  6. Once you have 10.6.8 you will have access to the App store, where you will be allowed to upgrade to the latest OS X version (Currently El Capitan), only if you have a valid Apple ID. You can only upgrade to the latest version, you cannot upgrade legally to any intermediate versions.

(There is an exception to #6: if your Apple ID was used previously to upgrade to an intermediate version when that version was still available for download, you can go to your purchase history to access those versions, but only after you install from scratch to 10.6 using legal DVDs and then upgrade to 10.6.8 to activate the App Store)

If you just want the fastest sure fire way to just make your Mac work, and you don't care about legality or violating Apple's EULA, then what you want to do is obtain a bootleg bootable copy of Mac OS X from Usenet servers, torrent, etc. You can get pretty much any OS X from 10.6 to 10.9 Mavericks as a bootleg bootable download. Find a bootloeg version that comes as a .toast file and use TransMac or PowerISO to burn the .toast image to a burnable DVD, then use that DVD in your Mac and reboot your Mac while holding down the C key on your keyboard to boot from the DVD. Just be sure the bootlegged copy says it's a bootable version. No working Mac is required using this method, just a Windows PC with an internet connection and a DVD burner.

  • 1
    There is no mention of Windows in the question, are you sure the the answer is supposed to be here?
    – nohillside
    Nov 2, 2015 at 7:07
  • Answer modified. Thank you. (I recently purchased a Mac Pro. I got a lot of really, really bad and un-useful advice from other mac customers on how to restore my Mac Pro. They kept telling me to boot to recover mode... boot to recovery mode.... well if you don't have a recovery partition, or if your mac is like pre-2012, then there IS NO RECOVER MODE. The only way I could find to get my Mac Pro working was to get original discs. Based on my frustration I am answering as many stack exchange questions as possible with my solution in the hopes of helping other frustrated users.) Nov 2, 2015 at 19:06

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