Leopard installation problems



I have problems installing OS X Leopard on my Macbook Pro.
I had problems with the computer crashing all the time (spinning ball of death) and brought it to a mac shop, where they did some testing and said all the hardware is fine, but it would be better to re-install Mac OSX.
So I tried several times and it fails to install.
It says at about 30% of installing, that it is not able to install some support files.

So I tried to install Mac OSX on a external harddrive. This works.

Does anyone know what I should do? Buy a new internal Harddrive, although with all the testing it says it is okay?

Thank for your help.



Here's what can help...
Restore your installer DVD to a hard drive partition.
8GB is a great size for the installer partition for the Leopard installer.
Another choice is an 8GB USB flash drive. You can find those for less than $10 everywhere.
Use your Disk Utility/Restore function to copy the installer DVD to that USB flash drive, or a dedicated partition on an external hard drive.
You can use Disk Utility to add a partition, which you can then set for 8GB, or erase that 8GB flash drive, and make sure it's a MacOS Extended format. Use the Restore tab, and drag your installer DVD to the Source line, and drag your newly made 8GB partition to Destination.
Click Restore. Your installer DVD will then be copied to that partition or flash drive.
You'll find that's a much more reliable method to install from a USB drive (Firewire is even better), than the original DVD.

Your issue can also be faulty memory, so do try reseating the RAM sticks.

finally, if you could install OS X successfully to an external hard drive, but not the internal - then you should suspect the internal hard drive (even if it tests good)
I know some folks that replace the boot hard drive after a maximum of three years. I don't know if I could justify that, but 3 or 4 years is actually a pretty good life for a spinning hard drive.

And, then it's a good opportunity to consider replacing that hard drive with a SSD - your MacBook Pro will be amazingly fast!

Claudio Cea

Hi DeltaMac,

thanks for your input.
I have done several things to get closer to the problem.
I have bought a new internal Hard Drive and tried to install Mac OSX, but every time I tried, it wouldn´t do a full install. So what I did is, I took the internal Harddrive out of my computer, and put it into my HD Dockingstation and tried to install Mac OSX and it worked.
So I put the Harddrive from my docking station back into my computer. The computer works, but not with sometimes having the spinning ball.

That could mean that there is a problem on the BUS or on the MOTHERBOARD?!
My question would be, if it is worth bringing it in or you think that fixing a problem on the BUS/ MOTHERBOARD will be really expensive.

Thanks for your help.


Claudio Cea!
Can you give more information, please?
What model of Mac do you have? The Model Identifier in your System Profiler will tell us what you have exactly...
What is the capacity of your new hard drive?

Do you see the spinning ball during boot, or only during normal use?

You installed OS X on your hard drive through an external dock.
If the hard drive gives you minor problems when you place it internally - then try downloading and installing your current OS X combined updater. I would post a link to the correct updater, but I don't know what version of OS X you have now.

Claudio Cea

Hi DeltaMac,
I am not sure if I will give you my model number it will help. It is a MacBookPro7,1

The harddrive worked perfectly on the exterior doc (now a 320GB Hitachi Drive, before a 250GB)
When the harddrive is incorporated in my MacBook Pro it has trouble, but as I say I don´t think it is the harddrive. I think it is the bus or the whole Motherboard.

I have spinning ball, just whenever the computer feels like it. It takes 2 minutes or so to stop the spinning ball.
What I have too is, that I can´t copy large from an external harddrive to my internal one.

Big I mean stuff that is about 3-4 GB and over.
When the internal harddrive was hocked up to my docking station i could copy onto it without any problems.

Thank you so much for your help and time!


When the hard drive seems to be flaky, but then works fine when used from an external case - then you could be correct about the internal bus.
You didn't say what version of OS X you have.
The OS X combined updater is still something that you should try while the hard drive is installed internally.
If that doesn't help, then you would want to try replacing the internal SATA cable. Those fail MUCH more often than the bus or logic board.

After all of that - why did you replace the OLD hard drive? Were you also having similar problems with the old one?
Again, that would be a good reason to try replacing the SATA cable now.
Just to help out, here's one link to a site that sells replacements for that cable.
The 922-9062 is Apple's correct part number for that...

Claudio Cea

Hi DeltaMac,

I have OSX 10.6.8 and it is the latest version. All is updated.
I will look into replacing the cable. I guess if it is not the cable, it could be the bus.........

Thank you so much!!!!
Have a great weekend.


Claudio Cea

Hi DeltaMac. Something come sup to my mind now. I am not sure it can be the cable, since the spinning ball o death comes approx every 5 minutes, even when I am on the the internet. SO I might be able to move the skype window and another app around that is open, but then again on of the window is affected, like safari for instance.

Can open big disk images. Can´t copy big files.

So I really wonder if it is the cable......



Can I ask this again?

Why did you replace the old hard drive?
Were you already having similar problems with the old drive, too?

You can also check in your Activity Monitor - to watch for other activity that happens when you get the spinning wheel...

There's a lot of posts on the internet about the same issue that you are having, and it is often fixed by replacing the hard drive cable.
Replacing the cable is not difficult, and much cheaper than other repairs.

And, even easier, download and install your 10.6.8 combined updater. That will often help, and doesn't cost anything except your time.
Get that combined updater here: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1399

In any event, please answer the above questions :)

Claudio Cea

Yes, I had the same problem with the other hardrive. I guess I replaced it because the people form the mac store told me that it probably is the disk.

Well actually now it doesnt work at all. I had to take my disk out of my laptop, as it was showing a folder. So you might be right and it is the