Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I installed Ubuntu (Precise) on my Macbook Pro but now I'd like to go back to OSX but I can't boot off the OSX Snow Leopard DVD to do a reinstall. I have tried booting and holding down "c" or using "Option" and then selecting the OSX install media but after selecting the OSX media the grub menu loads and tried to boot Ubuntu instead of booting off the DVD.

I tried booting off my Ubuntu LiveUSB and removing all of the partitions using gparted but the problem still persists. Any ideas? I just want to wipe everything and go back to OSX only. When I installed Ubuntu I pretty much followed the default options.


share|improve this question
Do mac have equivalent of Bootrec.exe ? – BigSack Jun 18 '12 at 7:32
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Finally got it.

I was able to boot into internet recovery mode (by pressing Command-R). I deleted all the partitions and created a new one. The problem still persisted, I couldn't boot off the OSX DVD. Then I booted into internet recovery mode again, changed the partition type from MBR to GUID (I think this is what fixed my problem), and re-installed OSX from internet recovery (which took about 10 hours to download) and now everything is back to normal.


share|improve this answer
While you weren't able to accept this answer when you first posted it, because you have to wait at least 2 days to accept an answer you've posted yourself, you can do so now. – Eliah Kagan Jul 3 '12 at 1:12

Are you sure you are selecting the CD/DVD and not the Hard Drive (media) instead ?

Insert the Mac OSX CD into your CD Drive.

Now when your computer starts, hold the Alt/Option key. Select the boot CD.

You may also have to repartition/format your Hard Drive (because Ubuntu uses ext4) before you install Mac OSX.

share|improve this answer
Yes, absolutely sure. If I select the Mac OSX install DVD grub still loads. My Macbook Pro is 8,1 so I'm not sure if something is special about that EFI where grub overrides it. Thanks. – Benjamin Bryan Jun 19 '12 at 16:56
  • Boot MacBook Pro
  • Hold ALT/Option
  • Should give you a menu where you can choose what to boot off
  • Make sure you select the OSX disk
  • It should boot into install


If you have a backup of OSX install, boot from USB hard drive into that? Did you ever take any backups with carbon cloner? This creates an exact image of your install on USB hard drive. It will allow you boot into the live USB disk. From there you can restore your hard disk. As mentioned above you may need to partition/format it to journalled again.

When installing Linux on a MacBook I would never go ahead without taking a live carbon cloner backup. Other than either of these I don't see any other way of getting OSX back on

( Having bricked an old 13 inch myself....NOT FUN. )


share|improve this answer
When I select the OSX disk it still boots into Grub. So, maybe I don't understand how EFI works, is the EFI stored in the hard drive or is it stored in some ROM on the actual Macbook itself? I figured I could just re-install OSX to get it back so I didn't make a backup. If having a backup of the drive would help, should I be able to just buy a new hard drive and see if that works? I can still boot off of a Ubuntu USB LiveCD... Thanks. – Benjamin Bryan Jun 19 '12 at 16:59

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.