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You seem to have the right idea. You say you have a retail DVD and a mac and a usb stick... Have you got a usb DVD drive that you are plugging into the n510? if not you need 2 USB sticks. One 4gb stck to copy your retail dvd to and another bigger one to install osx onto. (I am using a 16gb stick) 1: put your 4gb usb stick into your mac. 2: partition it (1 partition osx journalised with MBR option) 3: restore your retail DVD onto it. 4: Use netbootinstaller to make it bootable. you now have an install usb stick that you can use the same as a retail DVD. 1: insert your second (big) usb stick into your mac. 2: partition it (1 partition osx journalised with GUID option) you now have a second usb stick you can install your OSX onto. Start your N510 go into the bios. Disable Hyperthreading. (this is what causes your machine to crash just as the install starts.) Insert your usb sticks and boot Follow the install options. (on my n510 it takes about 3.5 hours) Use google to find the darwin boot options. -f -v -s cpus=1 are all things you need to know about. if the machine freezes during install or boot. boot with -v this is verbose mode and you can see what and when it crashes. it will also show you later when you start playing with the kexts which ones don't load correctly during the install just after it asks you your language and if you want to migrate old mac data from another mac you may find the install loops. if it does. you need to: 1: boot with the -s option. 2: wait......... 3: type: /sbin/fsck -fy (this checks the disk) 4: wait......... 5: type: /sbin/mount -uw / (this mounts it read write) 6: type: touch /var/db/.AppleSetupDone (this tells the install it is finished) 7: type: passwd root (you want to set a root password) 8: type: exit 9: type: exit the machine reboots into osx ;-) your username and password are what you just set above. You now have a vanilla install running on a usb stick. (i.e. step 1 on the instructions you were asking about.) You now can start playing with the kexts and dsdt files to make the machine run better / faster. running the mac updates wouldn't be a bad idea at this point either. you also may want to get this install across onto the hard disk rather than the usb stick. Please use google before asking how to do the next couple of bits, that is all i did to get you your answers... (I am a mac noob too.)