How can I reinstall Mac OS X on my computer without a CD drive and no access to another Mac?

Haley M March 24, 2014
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I have a iMac 10.1.  I have a broken optical drive. I have two hard drives one that is currently running Windows the other was running Mac OS X. I had a failed boot camp install. My drive got wiped now I don’t know how to install Mac OS X back on my hard drive. I have installed boot camp on my Windows hard drive. How do install Mac OS X again with no CD drive and no access to another Mac?

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  1. Oron J
    March 25, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    I agre with Jeff and Hovsep. Basically, you need some bootable system, if not on the built-in drive and not on DVD, then perhaps on an external drive, but if you haven't got that, your best bet is to get the optical drive repaired and then reinstall. I don't know how the price of repairing the drive compared to just reinstalling compares, but at least with a working drive you'll be able to tackle such problems if they occur again in the future.

    If you have access to another Mac, then you have one more option, which is to connect them up with a cable, start up the broken Mac in target mode nad hold down the "T" key until the screen shows changes appropriately. It will then show up as a hard drive on the other Mac and you'll be able to install the system on it.

  2. Hovsep A
    March 25, 2014 at 11:44 am

    you have to find MAC image to proceed.
    you can use TransMac, i think there is free trial version
    http://www.acutesystems.com/scrtm.htm
    to copy the disk image to your USB drive, this can be done from Windows and with valid MAC image.

    DiskMaker X (formerly Lion DiskMaker) is an application built with AppleScript that you can use with Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, OS X 10.8 and 10.9 to build a bootable drive from Mac OS X Lion, OS X Mountain Lion Installation or OS X Mavericks Installer program.
    http://liondiskmaker.com/

    Install OS X Snow Leopard from a USB flash drive
    http://www.maciverse.com/install-os-x-snow-leopard-from-usb-flash-drive.html

    Install Snow Leopard from External Firewire or USB Hard Drive: How to Upgrade to Mac OS X 10.6 Without a DVD Drive
    http://osxdaily.com/2009/09/02/install-snow-leopard-from-external-firewire-or-usb-hard-drive-or-how-to-upgrade-to-106-without-a-dvd-drive/

    Contact Apple for support and service
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HE57

  3. Jan F
    March 24, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Unfortunately the iMac10,1 does not offer Internet Recovery so the only option left would be to go to an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider and ask them to reinstall it.

    However, unless you have valid Apple Care they are likely to charge you for it. Depending on the costs you might aswell get your internal drive fixed or get an external DVD drive for the installation.

    All other option would require another Mac at hand – Remote Disc, creating a bootable installation media on a USB drive or external hard drive
    http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/apple-in-the-enterprise/how-to-create-a-bootable-usb-to-install-os-x/
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5287?viewlocale=en_US