Boot a Mac from a CD / DVD

Apr 12, 2010 - 12 Comments

boot mac from cd dvd You can boot your Mac from a disk in the CD / DVD drive by inserting the disk into the drive and on system boot holding down the C key. Remember that booting from a CD or DVD is significantly slower than booting from a hard disk, so don’t worry if things are taking longer than usual to startup, it’s simply just slower to read from a spinning disc than the hard drive.

If you want to reinstall Mac OS X from a DVD reinstall disc or run Disk Utility from a disc on your main boot drive, you’ll need to do use this boot disc method. Of course, the CD or DVD must be bootable to begin with, whether that’s because it shipped with the Mac as a restore disc, or because you made your own boot DVD, either will work.

Something to keep in mind is that newer Macs don’t have SuperDrives built-in at all, and instead rely on Recovery partitions or Internet Recovery. Anything that shipped with OS X 10.7, 10.8, 10.9, will use one of these newer recovery methods, though they can continue to boot from a DVD if they have a SuperDrive or a DVD is attached through an external reader. Additionally, newer Mac models can boot from USB devices too, including external hard drives or USB flash drives.

Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:

Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

12 Comments

» Comments RSS Feed

  1. […] Core 2 Duo modelThe Easiest Way to Delete Flash Cookies on the MacWhat should I do with my old Mac?Boot your Mac from a CD / DVDPrecisely adjust volume levels on your MaciStumbler updated for Snow LeopardTwo Very Unique iPad […]

  2. […] find myself never using the MacBook Pro’s optical drive, the only time I have used it was to boot Mac OS from a DVD to reformat and reinstall Mac OS X. Now that it’s so easy to install Mac OS using an external […]

  3. Sokoya says:

    What if when I try to do this, it asks me for a password I forgot?

  4. Tom says:

    Sokoya – in that case, return the mac to the person you stole it from….

  5. Rusty says:

    I have a older Power MAC G3 here at work. When one guy left he gave to another person here. Now she is gone and everything is password protected. Botting the OS from CD hasn’t prompted me for a password. Thanks for the shortcut. I am not a Apple guy

  6. Mohammad says:

    Thanks , it works with my Macbook Pro but only through software boot, not hardware boot.

    Mohammad

  7. bonnie jay says:

    I tried it with Disc Warrior and I held it for almost a full 10 minutes and it never booted. Could that mean the version of DW is not compatible or that it really takes that long?

    What should I do?

  8. far says:

    hit the c key on boot . it will load cd.

  9. Edward Hooper says:

    I want to use CloneZilla to backup a MacBook Pro (Intel Core 2 Duo) but when I use the C key to boot from the CD-RW I get the following screen:

    1.

    2.
    Select CD-ROM Boot Type:

    And then no response from the keyboard. What’s happening here?

    (CloneZilla Live v1.2.12-67)

  10. […] and CD’s will be visible through the aforementioned boot manager, you can also start the Mac directly to DVD or a connected disc by holding down the “D” key during restart after you hear the […]

  11. Rodrigo says:

    I already checked that all the pieces are okay by holding D and now that I want to do the CD boot, it doesn’t react when I hold C. I doubt that it’s when I do it because I’ve tried several things.

  12. asthula says:

    Hi! I have G5 Power Mac and it will not start hard drive. All I get is blank screen with apple sign in the middle. I have tried to reboot it from CD/DVD many times but in vain. I try starting with option key pressed . It shows logo of my HD, but when I press enter it shows me blank screen with apple again with no improvement. I use Mac OS X v 10.2.
    Any help will he greatly appreciated.

Leave a Reply

 

Shop for Apple & Mac Deals on Amazon.com

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates