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The optical drive of a "late 2007" MacBook broke recently. I'm starting to think that it's not possible to install Linux on this machine via an USB device. I've installed Ubuntu (still running) on one of the partitions before. The optical drive was working back then.

To no avail, I've tried all combinations of the following that I can think of:

I also tried this a couple of times without success: How to install on a MacBook Air 3,2 without an external CD drive?

If an USB install is not possible, are there other possibilites?

Thanks in advance.

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what specifically isn't working on the usb installs? – Ctuchik Jul 29 '11 at 20:29
The USB device is not displayed as an option in the rEFIt menu. – gitparade Jul 29 '11 at 20:41
Straight from apples support page: Intel-based Macs support starting from an external USB storage device's volume that: * Has been formatted with a GUID partition type * Contains an installation of Mac OS X 10.4.5 or later, or To start from a USB storage device that meets the above requirements, connect the device, then select it in Startup Disk preferences. Or, connect the device, restart, and immediately press and hold the Option key to access Startup Manager. – Ctuchik Jul 29 '11 at 20:57
well that clustered horribly but i hope it's still readable. – Ctuchik Jul 29 '11 at 20:59
@Ctuchik. Thanks. Yes, I had seen the Apple "support" page. I have tried to boot Ubuntu from a USB device with a "GUID partition type". From this, shall we conclude that it is not possible? – gitparade Jul 29 '11 at 21:06

Extract the Hard disk drive, put it on a different computer, begin the installation and finish it... After that, simply put the hard disk drive back into your computer and try to boot.

Both computers should be the closest to "twin" in order to avoid issues but this trick worked for me in several installs for different OS.

If you wish to try this please inform if you succeed. People who WON'T TRY IT will downvote this.

Good luck.

share|improve this answer

How is the USB not working? Is it not showing up as an option to boot? Is it failing to boot? Does the install fail? You may want to try troubleshooting that. You may need to enable something in Disk Utility to make the USB drive bootable?

Also, what are you trying to do? Do you want to wipe the hard drive and install only Ubuntu? Could you just expand the Ubuntu you have installed to fill the whole disk?

Some alternative install options:

Both of those are links I found on the community documentation's Installation page.

share|improve this answer
Thanks. The USB is not showing up as an option to boot. enable something in Disk Utility. What "something"? For what it's worth: setting "GUID partition type" for the USB device in Disk Utility does not help. I installed Ubuntu some time ago already, and want to simply re-install. Finding it hard to believe that it's not possible via USB... – gitparade Jul 29 '11 at 21:20
I don't have a macbook, so I can't tell you what, but maybe you'd need to post on askdifferent? – idbrii Jul 30 '11 at 22:10

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