MacBook OSX Leopard to Snow Leopard upgrade questions


Hello Folks,

I am a newbie to MacBooks. I just "created" two MacBooks using "donor" parts (which I affectionately call "FrankenMacs" LOL). Both MacBooks are Model A1181, late 2007-vintage with the Intel 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo processor and running Leopard 10.5.8. Thankfully, both work quite well :)

I purchased a Snow Leopard "Family Pack" CD through eBay which had 4 uses left. I installed Snow Leopard, then made upgrades, on the computer I am using now and there are no issues.

I have several questions with regard to this upgrade:

First, the original hard drives were 120GB, and there were 80GB (for OSX) and 40GB NTFS (for Boot Camp/Windows) partitions on each drive. I plan on leaving the 120GB drive on one of the MacBooks and putting in a 320GB or 750GB hard drive on the other. I would like to either repartition the drive on the 120GB so the NTFS partition is much smaller, or eliminate that partition altogether. I tried changing that using the Disk Utility but it will not do it, presumably because it is the primary drive. Is there any other way I can do that? Regarding the larger drive, which was originally all NTFS format, can I install that drive (I will use Seagate Sea Tools for DOS to erase that with my Linux OS desktop computer) in the MacBook, boot it using the Snow Leopard Disc, then formatting and installing Snow Leopard? If I can, how is that done?

If I cannot install Snow Leopard with an erased drive, can I install it on another drive and clone that drive using Seagate Sea Tools for DOS? I tried cloning the 120GB drive (which had Leopard on it) to the 320GB drive, but I ended up with an 80GB partition and the remainder was NTFS. That drive booted up but, like the 120GB drive, I could not repartition or erase/eliminate the NTFS.

I would like to use the 64-bit version of Snow Leopard (according to Apple, this processor is 64-bit capable); will that install automatically, or is there something I need to do?

Finally, would it be worth my while to eventually upgrade to Lion? I don't think I can go to Mountain Lion with this MacBook, but Lion would be OK if it would be worth spending the extra quid.

Thanks so much in advance for your advice.



You can remove the Windows partition by using your Boot Camp Assistant (in your Applications/Utilities folder)
If the Windows partition was originally created by Boot Camp, then when you run the Boot Camp Assistant, it should ask you if you want to delete the windows partition. That will remove that windows partition (along with anything on that partition), and restore the one large partition. IF YOU GET AN ERROR, such as "partition cannot be removed", then it's likely the partition was NOT orignally created using Boot Camp, and you'll have to use some other method, such as removing all partitions with Disk Utility, and reinstalling OS X on the completely blank hard drive.
You can easily do that by booting to the Snow Leopard installer DVD, and choosing Disk Utility from the Utilities menu.
There is no "64-bit" version of OS X. It simply runs whatever is needed by the processor that you have. The system software will be both 64- and 32-bit. You don't have to choose anything to get that installed.

If you boot to the Snow Leopard installer, and run Disk Utility, you can do anything you like to the hard drive. Erase, making sure that the erase is set to make a Mac OS Extended (journaled) format. It will be self-explanatory when you try Disk Utility.

Lion is fine, if you want to do that. Newer software (and some printers and other devices) may need Lion or newer, but you can wait if you need to. You can't upgrade or install to Lion, unless you call Apple and get a special redemption code, which will allow you to download the Lion installer. You may find that staying with Snow Leopard will still give you some advantages (such a running some older software and games that may be for PPC only. Snow Leopard would still support those "PPC" apps.

And, yes, you can't go to Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8.x) with your MacBooks.

But - if you have not yet done so, you can upgrade to a maximum of 6GB of RAM memory - there's no downside to having more memory.
And, of course, you could go with an SSD instead of a hard drive, for much faster performance. One downside to THAT, is that larger SSDs, are still a substantial cost.


Thanks so much for your help! I went to Boot Camp Assistant and removed the NTFS partition with no problem. Later I will do the same with the other FrankenMac.

I will keep the other answers in mind as I learn more about Macs and upgrades.

Thanks again for your help!