On a friends older MacBook, I'm holding the ⌥ Option key with a bootable DVD inserted but am not seeing a boot menu. I've tried rEFIt as well as some Linux DVD's I have lying about. I've checked the DVD's on another system and they are bootable on non-Mac hardware fine.

In excruciating detail, what's the process for booting from a DVD for the Mac? I've tried holding the ⌥ Option key, tapping, holding until I see an Apple logo -- and everything in between.

I've previously gotten this particular machine to boot live Linux DVD's. As I recall, that was with the option key -- and, I don't recall having to hold and release at specific junctures. It has since had a Mac OS 10.x clean install. I installed Bodhi Linux, and then Lubuntu. I don't recall jumping through any particular hoops, beyond, as best I recall, holding the option key until getting boot options. It's like a firmware update, or perhaps newer OS, somehow made it harder to boot Linux or Linux type discs...?

As Allan suggests, the Genius Bar likely restored back to factory. Which doesn't explain why option worked to boot to DVD before but doesn't anymore.

  • See: Ways to start up your Mac - Mac Help On start up, press and hold the C key immediately, while the screen is still black.
    – creidhne
    Jul 11, 2018 at 8:31
  • Which MacBook is it? A white one, perhaps?
    – Allan
    Jul 11, 2018 at 15:46
  • @Allan I'll update tonight with system info, pardon. It's black. color matters? Also, there's no symbol on the option key as I recall. I think it says alt.
    – Thufir
    Jul 11, 2018 at 20:14
  • @creidhne just hold c until I get boot options? Caps doesn't matter, presumably. Weird, because, I remember using option before. But, okay.
    – Thufir
    Jul 11, 2018 at 20:16
  • 1
    Were you using rEFIt? They may have wiped that partition and restored you back to factory
    – Allan
    Jul 11, 2018 at 22:35

1 Answer 1


Press and hold the C key on boot to attempt booting from the optical drive.

If that doesn't work I'd recommend trying the boot CD in another machine, and a different boot CD in the mac.

  • thx dude. I'll try tonight.
    – Thufir
    Jul 11, 2018 at 20:18

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