Installing Mac OS X

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Desktop Black.png Macintosh

This page is part of a category. To see more pages like this, go to the Macintosh index.

Boot from DVD

If system files become corrupt and Mac OS X will not boot, the computer can boot from the OSX DVD that came along with it. Insert the disc and the "C" key on startup to load the installation environment. From there you can re-install the Operating System repair system files and permissions to regain functionality of the OS.

Boot from FW

It is possible to boot from a pre-prepared (OS X installed) firewire device, such as an external drive or first-generation iPod. To boot from firewire media, plug in the device (FW-400 or FW-800), then specify it as the "startup disk" under Startup Disk in System Preferences. If that does not work, plug in the device and hold Option on startup. Do not attempt this if you are unfamiliar with the process.

Upgrade Installation

The Upgrade Installation option is for upgrading from one OS to another. An Upgrade Install will overwrite particular OS X files. Recent OSX versions are designed to be installed as an upgrade, and may be downloaded from the App Store.

  • If you have installation media, you can also run the installer from your current OS.
  1. Insert the OS X DVD or Thumbdrive into the computer. It should appear on the Desktop.
  2. Double-click the icon on the Desktop, then double-click the "Install Mac OS X" icon.
  3. Upon boot, choose a language, then proceed through the process to the installation step.
  4. When asked to choose a destination volume, click "options" and select the "Upgrade" option.
  5. Continue through the rest of the process with desired settings.

Archive and Install

The Archive and Install option is designed to save the currently installed operating system in a folder while installing a fresh copy of OS X. It is recommended that users who wish to save valuable data but are unable to perform a backup select this option. Please note that a proper backup is preferable to this solution.

  1. Insert the OS X DVD into the computer.
  2. Restart the computer and hold "C" to force the computer to boot from the DVD.
  3. A window should appear asking to choose a language, choose the preferred language.
  4. The "Install Mac OS X" window should appear. Select the continue button and proceed to the agreement, select continue once more. Click Agree.
  5. You will be asked to choose a destination volume. In order to do an archive install and not lose any data it is important to click "options" and select the "Archive and Install" option. Click Continue to start the installation.

Erase and Install

The Erase and Install option is for users who wish to completely wipe their machine and install a fresh copy of OS X, maximizing space on their hard drive and removing all traces of a previous operating system. No backup will be made during this process.

  1. Insert the OS X DVD into the computer. It should appear on the Desktop.
  2. Double-click the disc on the Desktop, then double-click the "Install Mac OS X" icon.
  3. Upon boot, choose a language, then proceed through the process to the installation step.
  4. When asked to choose a destination volume, click "options" and select the "Erase and Install" option.
  5. Continue through the rest of the process with desired settings.


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