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Archived - OS X: Reinstalling software using Remote Install with Leopard and Snow Leopard

Learn how to reinstall software on your MacBook Air or Mac mini with Remote Install Mac OS X or Mac OS X Server.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

OS X Lion and later

Remote Install is designed for use with OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard. If you're using OS X Lion or later, you should install or reinstall OS X by using OS X Recovery, Internet Recovery or the Mac App Store instead. If you're using OS X Server with OS X Lion or later, consider using NetBoot, NetInstall or NetRestore instead.

Leopard and Snow Leopard

Use Remote Install Mac OS X on another computer whose optical disc drive you want to share to do one of the these tasks on your MacBook Air or Mac mini:

  • Reinstall Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, or other software that came with your computer
  • Reset your password
  • Use Disk Utility to repair the hard disk

Note: You can also do these tasks using a MacBook Air SuperDrive (available separately from Apple). If your MacBook Air came with the MacBook Air Software Reinstall Drive, use that to reinstall the operating system, iLife, or iWork applications. If your computer came with OS X Lion, remote install is not required. 

To use Remote Install Mac OS X or Mac OS X Server:

  1. Insert the Mac OS X or Mac OS X Server Install Disc into the optical disc drive of the other computer.
  2. If the other computer is a Mac, open /Applications/Utilities/Remote Install Mac OS X. On Windows, choose "Remote Install Mac OS X" from the Install Assistant.
  3. Read the introduction and click Continue.
  4. Choose the install disc you want to use, and click Continue.
  5. Choose a network connection: AirPort, if you are using an AirPort network, or Ethernet, if the other computer is on an Ethernet network and you have an optional Apple USB Ethernet Adapter connecting your MacBook Air or Mac mini to the same network. Click Continue.
  6. Restart your MacBook Air or Mac mini and hold down the Option key as it starts up, until you see a list of available startup disks.
  7. Click Continue in Remote Install Mac OS X.
  8. If you chose AirPort as your network in step 5, on your MacBook Air or Mac mini choose your AirPort network from the pop-up list.
    If the network is secure, you will be prompted for a password. You can enter a private network name by choosing the ellipsis (...) and typing the name.
  9. If you chose AirPort as your network in step 5, when you see the AirPort status icon indicating signal strength, click Continue in Remote Install Mac OS X.

You can now reinstall software, reset your password or run Disk Utility using instructions from the User's Guide.

Learn more

The following articles include additional information about using Remote Install with OS X.

The Remote Install feature is supported only with OS X Leopard and OS X Snow Leopard, and when using Remote Install from a Microsoft Windows computer to install OS X v10.5 or v10.6 on a Mac. The ability to remotely install Mac OS X is not supported for installing OS X Lion or later, and the related utility cannot be used from a Lion computer to install other versions of OS X on other computers. 

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Apr 2, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Apr 2, 2014
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