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Thread: How to reinstall OSX over Ubuntu on a mac?

  1. #1
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    Feb 2010
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    How to reinstall OSX over Ubuntu on a mac?

    Hi all,

    I have a Mac Book with Ubuntu installed (no partitions). Do you know how to substitute Ubuntu with Leopard/Snow Leopard? My problem is that the OSX installation CD does not see my hard disk . Many thanks!

  2. #2
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    Nov 2005
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    Re: How to reinstall OSX over Ubuntu on a mac?

    You could boot with the Ubuntu LiveCD & then use GParted to format your drive as HFS+ after that when you install your OSX CD it will see it & do its thing.
    Last edited by handy; August 25th, 2011 at 03:27 AM. Reason: grammar

  3. #3
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    Re: How to reinstall OSX over Ubuntu on a mac?

    You almost certainly do have partitions on your disk; however, you might have just one or two partitions, for the Linux root (/) filesystem and possibly swap. If it's a Linux-only installation, it's possible that your disk uses the Master Boot Record (MBR) partitioning system rather than the GUID Partition Table (GPT) that Mac OS X expects, at least on Intel-based Macs. (If it's a PowerPC Mac, then your disk almost certainly uses the Apple Partition Map (APM) instead of either MBR or GPT.) If you just convert from Linux filesystem(s) to HFS+ without changing from MBR to GPT, Mac OS X will refuse to install on your disk. Also, I've found that OS X sometimes refuses to install on HFS+ created by GParted.

    For these reasons, I recommend you delete all your partitions and either wipe the MBR or GPT data or create new GPT data structures, then let the OS X installer create new partitions and filesystems. You can do this in several different ways:


    • Don't do anything from Linux; just launch the OS X installation disc and, when you get a menu bar at the top, launch Disk Utility from the appropriate menu. (I don't recall which one it is.) You can use Disk Utility to partition the disk using a new scheme. There's an option in there to select from MBR, APM, and GPT options, but I don't recall the exact buttons you press to get to those options. I think it's an "advanced" or "options" button on the partitioning tab of the utility.
    • Launch GParted from an Ubuntu live CD or other emergency disk, select Device->Create Partition Table, click Advanced, select "gpt" as the partition table type, and click Apply. This will create a blank GUID partition table. When you install OS X, it should be able to create new partitions, but you'll probably need to use Disk Utility in OS X to create new partition(s), as above. The only advantage to this method is that you won't need to specify the partition table type.
    • Start and Ubuntu live CD, open a terminal window, type "sudo apt-get install gdisk", type "sudo sgdisk -Z /dev/sda" (assuming /dev/sda is the disk you want to wipe), and reboot into the OS X installer. The "sgdisk -Z" command wipes all MBR and GPT data, so you can then create new partitions in OS X. I think that you'll need to do this manually in Disk Utility, but it's conceivable that the installer will do it automatically. If the OS X installer creates partitions automatically, this will be a little quicker and easier once in the OS X installer, but otherwise it has no advantages over the other methods.



    If you've got a PowerPC-based Mac, you could do similar things, but you'll need to create an APM partition table rather than GPT.
    If I've suggested a solution to a problem and you're not the original poster, do not try my solution! Problems can seem similar but be different, and a good solution to one problem can make another worse. Post a new thread with your problem details.

  4. #4
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    Re: How to reinstall OSX over Ubuntu on a mac?

    Good reply srs5694.

    I've bookmarked it for future use. I wonder if you ought to add it to the wiki?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Re: How to reinstall OSX over Ubuntu on a mac?

    Hi, thanks for the tips! After many attempts with gparted, I solved the problem formatting the hard drive using the OSX installation disc and then following the standard installation process

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