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The optical drive in my macbook (aluminum late 2008) is broken totally. Instead of buying a new drive, I'm planning to install a SSD on that bay. I'll also buy an external DVD drive (connects with USB) as a replacement for my broken optical drive.

I would like to wipe everything on the current hard disk and start fresh (by installing the OS & Applications on the SSD).

This is what I was planning to do.

  • Replace current optical drive with the SSD
  • Connect the external DVD drive, with Snow Leopard OS disk
  • Install the OS on the SSD

But my friend said that it is not possible to install the OS from an external DVD drive, especially if it connected using USB. Is it so? If yes, are there any alternate options?

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There are plenty of possibilities ..… – slhck Oct 27 '11 at 12:16

According to the apple manual for installing Snow Leopard, you can use an external drive.

"To upgrade to Snow Leopard or install Snow Leopard for the first time, you must have a Mac with:

  • An Intel processor
  • An internal or external DVD drive, or DVD or CD Sharing
  • At least 1 GB of RAM (additional RAM is recommended)"
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