The hard drive went on my late 2008 MacBook Pro so I replaced it. I tried installing 10.8 from a bootable USB which failed so I went back to the origional system disks.

When I tried to install OSX from the origional system disks ( 10.6 ) I get the following error:

The installer has encountered an error that caused the installation to fail. Contact the software manufacturer for assistance.

I'm somewhat out of warranty now so taking it back to Apple sadly isn't an option.

Side Note: I was unable to format the new hard disk using disk utility from the 10.6 or 10.8 installers so I connected it to another mac via a USB cradle to format (went fine). The Hard Drive is brand new and shows up as SMART verified.


2 Answers 2


The Genius Bar will reinstall your OS and/or diagnose any potential hardware problems at no charge regardless of warranty status. The only time they will require a fee is if your Mac is indeed out of warranty and requires a hardware repair, at which time you would need to pay in order to have the repair performed.

If visiting an Apple store is an option for you then by all means don't let your warranty status stop you from visiting. They should be able to install 10.6 since it came with your Mac and/or 10.8 if you can show proof of purchase for it.

For the actual question, you can view the log file while performing the installation under either File > View Log or View > Log, I don't have an install in progress at the moment to reference. One of those should show you the log from the installation which would hopefully give you a reference as to what part of the installation failed.

  • 1
    Thanks for your input, I was unaware you could use the genius bar for free diagnostics.
    – osnoz
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 18:22

The solution was really rather simple. A dead HD cable causing the HD to show up (and verify) but not function.

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