How to restore your Apple iMac after a hard drive replacement

 How to restore your  Apple iMac  after a hard drive replacement
If you’ve read my other blogs or visited my site you will see that I am the author of several children’s books, the latest being Jay-Pea-Eyes aka Junior Private Investigators, a mystery whodunit for children.
November 2012 and everything was going great, my marketing for Jay-Pea-Eyes was on target and I was expecting a few sales with the run up to Christmas.
I received an e-mail from Apple stating that there might be a problem with some 1TB Seagate hard drives and it was my decision whether or not I took it into the store for a replacement drive under the 3 year Apple Care warranty.
My beautiful 27 inch iMac went into an authorised dealer in November, two weeks later it came back with the aluminium casing and stand scratched and damaged. I was not happy! It stayed with them for another THREE weeks and came back supposedly ready for me to use.
Needless to say, I was upset with the whole episode; I’d lost my marketing run up to Christmas, the iMac had come back with a basic Lion Operating System and the DVD/CD drive no longer worked and so I couldn’t even restore anything to the new drive. After several calls to Apple to express my feelings, you begin to realise that they can’t do anything for you apart from give you a brand new computer and will you get that? I doubt it. The other thing was I’d lost the time leading to Christmas, and no-one can give you that back either!
Another week went by where I read everything regarding restore/fresh installs etc and each one seemed to work for the initial set-up and then when I installed other software the iMac refused to work properly.
I finally have my iMac working how I want it work, and if you want the same, just follow the instructions below or use what you think might help – but remember – everyone has used their computer in a different way, so anything you do is your own responsibility and I will not accept any responsibility for your actions!  This is the method that worked for me and also has my own conclusions. If in doubt, go to an Apple store!
2) Get a pen and paper and write down the steps you take, sometimes you can refer back to this to make certain you did things correctly. Make a note of the date and time too if you do the installation etc over a few days, it is easier to find sections where everything went well – and sections where it went bad!
3) If your machine is connected to the internet DISCONNECT. I found that it is too easy to click on ‘update software’ and this software seemed to ruin the installation as though it may well be too advanced for the ‘older’ system you try to put back on from your CDs.
Example – say you bought your machine with Leopard 10.6. 3 and  every piece of software works with that version.
BUT – if you now update say , Safari,  BEFORE updating your OS (Operating System) you may find it will not run it because your original OS is outdated. The main priority is to get the ORIGINAL stuff back on your computer and then start updates when you’re happy the OS will cope with them.
4) I then turned off my iMac and while off, inserted the INSTALL CD that came with my iMac. On the CD itself it says to hold the ‘C’ key down.  So with the iMac off, I inserted the CD, held down the ‘C’ key and switched back on. I held the ‘C’ key down until after the picture of the grey/silver Apple logo came onto the screen and then took my finger off and the CD loads up.
Following the CD instructions, I erased my drive first, but it’s entirely up to you. I felt it was better to clear everything and make a fresh start.
So, from 4),  a menu will ask you what language you want, so click on one of these. To erase you now need to look at the TOP LEFT of your screen and here you will see a Tab with UTILITIESand click on it, then click on DISC UTILITY.
5) Once in DISC UTILITY – select or highlight the volume to erase, which is normally Macintosh HD
Note that this will erase everything on that drive, so if happy with this and you have your backup, click ERASE.
6) Now you need to QUIT the Disc Utilities so do this now by going to the top left of screen again and clicking quit from the Disc Utilities menu.
7) Now you can follow the instructions and INSTALL as follows –
8) The Mac OS X Snow Leopard Installer screen allows you to click CONTINUE.
Click AGREE to the license agreement appears.
The disk you erased. should now be highlighted with a green arrow. Click Install.
A status bar will appear on the bottom of the screen to show you how the installation is progressing. 
An Additional Information screen appears, advising you that you operating system has been installed. Click Continue.
  Install Succeeded screen appears next and you will do a RESTART, followed by a welcome video and now you can start your loading up of software.
 After reconnecting the internet, I went onto the Apple site and searched for versions of Snow Leopard and there is an update called 10.6.8  ‘COMBO’ which I then downloaded and installed.
Now that I knew the OS was up to date I knew I could check for software updates BUT  check them first! I wanted to see what the updates were and downloaded them ONE AT A TIME, recording the version e.g. Safari 5.0.5 
That’s about it – the only thing I’d say is that if it fails, just try again using the notes you’ve made and adjust what you did or what you downloaded. It worked for me and it should work for you! the place to go for other queries and don ‘t forget there are lots of Mac Forums where you will find helpful tips.

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