How to Boot a Mac From a CD

By Brendan O'Brien

A Mac is a type of computer made by Apple. The Mac typically runs from data and applications on a hard drive that is part of the hardware structure of the computer. On occasion, you may need to boot your Mac from a operating system or utility disc rather than its hard drive to check your computer for problems, fix issues or upgrade the system. This process is fairly simple and takes about five minutes to complete.

Things You'll Need

  • Mac computer
  • Operating system or utility disc

Step 1

Turn on your Mac and let it complete its normal booting sequence. Close all applications that may be running.

Step 2

Insert the operating system or utility disc into your drive. Go to the "Apple" icon at the top left of your desktop and click. Click "Restart." You must do this within two minutes or the system will abort the restart process.

Step 3

Hold the "C" key down as the Mac restarts. This will force the system to refer to the disk drive rather than the hard drive. You can also go to your "Hard drive" icon and click it. Highlight the "disc" icon on the left side of the next window. Click the "Install" or "Restore" icon in the main window to the right. You will not need to hold down "C" during the reboot if you use the icons.

Step 4

Check the disc if your Mac ejects it. Be sure you are using the correct disc. To use a Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger Install DVD, you must have an Apple internal DVD drive or an Apple SuperDrive. If you do not have these type of drives, you must use the Mac OS X 10.4 Install CDs.

Step 5

Click on the "Hard drive" icon on your desktop again. Find the "disc" icon on the left side and click it. A menu will appear. Go down to "Eject" and click. The CD will be ejected from the drive.