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Long story short, a rusty trusty 2009 iMac is in need of saving.

I got a bit overeager with partitioning in my youth, and whilst recently trying to undo the damage I managed to make the HDD unbootable. The dead bigcat wouldn't allow me to boot a USB, and I've long misplaced the original (Snow Leopard, if I recall) install disks. With my current machine I am unable to burn an install disk (lack of CD drive). The 'local' Mac store told me I should just buy something new, but that's currently not within the budget. I've also looked online for any ancient install disks, but there seem to be none for sale nearby, nor do I have friends in this area of the world who can afford Macs/are willing to purchase them. After checking that I indeed managed to destroy my Recovery partition, if it was ever on there, I removed the hard drive to inspect what on earth was going on, and so the current state of the union: a disassembled iMac waiting for a bootable HDD.

The original hard drive is not broken and has been reformatted (blank) for Mac (Journaled). However, since I have no access to a working Mac, I am not sure how to go about reinstalling OS X on it.

Does anyone know of a way to go through with the installation using a Windows machine as a surrogate, or perhaps another method for getting out of this predicament?

  • Would buying Snow Leopard media on ebay be an option? – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Jul 24 '18 at 10:00
  • @ThorbjørnRavnAndersen it would, but I'm really hoping not to have to resort to that. – nofo Jul 24 '18 at 10:55
  • Or look for a local Mac users group. Old timers may have Snow Leopard in their App Store (or Lion) and can download it and make you a bootable USB-stick. If you cannot boot, you need physical media. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Jul 24 '18 at 10:58
  • @ThorbjørnRavnAndersen Good tip for the local Mac group. Last time I tried to boot it from USB, it refused. However, it booted an install disk (non-Mac one I had lying around), I just have no method to burn such a thing with a full Mac OS installer on there (I could ofc ask someone to do it, but afaik the file size is too big for the average disk you can buy in a store around here/unfortunately I don't know very many CD/DVD-savvy people). Thus I'm mostly looking to see if I can begin the installation through Windows, as it seems the most independent/painless option for my wallet. – nofo Jul 24 '18 at 11:12
  • Got a friend with a DVD burner? You could acquire the 10.6 installation iso, put it on a USB drive and take it somewhere with a windows or linux machine to burn it. – Scottmeup Jul 24 '18 at 12:09

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