How to Install Snow Leopard When All Else Fails

Like a lot of Mac cult members, I picked up Snow Leopard yesterday and installed it last night. Since my Macbook Pro has a non-working DVD drive right now I knew I would have to create a disk image and put it on a bootable external hard drive. I’ve done this for the past couple upgrades and it works well plus I don’t have to worry about damaging my original DVD when I do my periodic re-installs.

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard boxBut my trusty Firewire enclosure decided to not work so it looked like I was out of luck. Remembering that the Macbook Air has a remote disk capability, I Googled and found that Mac OS X Leopard has a similar feature built in to enable remote access to a DVD drive over your local network. To use this feature you need to have enabled DVD or CD Sharing in the System Preferences of both machines. On the machine that you will be installing on you run a couple lines in Terminal found on this post. Reboot that machine and you will see the remote DVD drive show up in your Finder devices list.

It took a little over an hour to install Snow Leopard this way over my home Ethernet network which seems to be about 50% longer than if you did this from a local DVD drive. Ironically, my 5 year old Power PC-based Mac mini hosted the Snow Leopard disk which can’t run the new operating system itself. But it worked great getting the new system onto my Macbook Pro. My next project will be to get this install image onto a 16GB flash drive.

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