Mac OS X can’t install? You can still repair disk

Call it the Catch-XX: To repair your startup disk in Snow Leopard, you must use your Mac OS X installation DVD. But if you’ve updated your OS beyond the installation disk, you get this error: “Mac OS X can’t be installed on this computer.”

And all menu choices — including Disk Utility — are grayed out.

Yes, really.

I’m a bit obsessive about updating my computer, so my computer was up to Mac OS 10.6.8. Unfortunately, my installation disk was Mac OS 10.6.4. Hence, the dreaded Catch-XX.

I did discover a workaround:

  1. Instead of restarting, choose Restore from Backup. Don’t worry; you aren’t actually going to do it. You just want to get rid of the error prompt.
  2. You’ll get a big Restore Your System window with all kinds of information on it. DO NOT click the Continue button. Instead, go to the Utilities menu; the choices are no longer grayed out.
  3. Choose Disk Utility and repair that disk.

Thought I’d share since I found no suitable solution for the Catch-XX in the Mac forums I searched. Happy repairing!


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