Apple XServe not booting from anything (USB, CD) - Prohibited Sign

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by john11111, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. john11111 macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2013
    I have an XServe (Early 2008) which was working good before, however, I recently deleted all my raid drives because I wanted to recreate them. So now, I have nothing, no recovery partition or anything.

    I have 2 legal copy of Mac OS X Lion, and Mac OS X Snow Leopard. Whenever I try to boot from those disk, It shows the apple logo for few minutes and then it shows the prohibited sign and stops there.

    There was no way for me to get into Disk Utility so that I could recreate new raid or "fix" permission or anything like that.

    Could someone please help me on this issue, I've been stuck on this the last 2 days.

    What does the error mean and what should be next step be?
  2. mus0r macrumors regular


    Mar 27, 2005
    Install the OS on a USB or Firewire external disk and try to boot to it. That might help.
  3. TStanding, Jan 23, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2013

    TStanding macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2012
    Make sure you're booting with the option key held down on a non-bluetooth keyboard which shipped before the XServe did. That should give you the ability to select the installation dvd as the startup volume.
    I am no expert on XServe hardware but that is what I would recommend.

    If that doesn't work, you might want to install Snow Leopard onto a USB or FireWire disk and try and boot with that (again using the option key). Make sure you update the volume on the USB or FireWire disk so it has the most recent version of the OS. I seem to remember that some Xserves have a lockout option for the front USB and FireWire ports so you might want to use the connectors on the back panel.

    The nerd explanation for what is going on is that the disks with your deleted RAID volumes (assuming you're using AppleRAID) still have the boot partitions available. The EFI boot code is finding these partitions and starting the boot process. It then tries to the mount the RAID volume, which is no longer available. If you boot in verbose mode (hold the command and 'v' keys down right after you hear the chime), the last message you will see in the console is "waiting for root device." This should repeat many, many times at 5 - 10 second intervals.
  4. rlkarren macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2013
    Very good chance your Xserve optical drive is not a Superdrive. At least not capable of reading Dual layer DVD's. SL DVD's are dual layer disks.

    Using Disk Utility, you'll have to make an image of your Install Disk and then restore the image either to a external drive or flash drive and boot from there.

    I've always put my install media on a bootable flash drive.
  5. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    If it's stock ODD, no way. Early 2008 Xserves were shipped with 10.5 Server, i.e. DL disc and 8x Superdrive DL discs capable.

    OP: I assume that you're using server versions of 10.6/10.7 and your Xserve is unlocked.
    Try PRAM reset first.
    Does it have a RAID card? If so, try to pull it out and try booting from DVD again.
    You can also try to boot from Server Admin Tools disc if you have one. It contains diagnostics tools (AXD).
  6. jjomaa macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2010
    Same issue

    I have a 2008 and 2009 xserve and both of which will not boot from a mavericks USB or mavericks DL-DVD... My 2013 iMac boots fine with the usb and dvd.

    The only way I can setup my xserve is by using my Snow Leopard DVD 10.6 doing the updates to get the app store and then downloading 10.9 which by the way is only supported by Xserve early 2009 and a later.

    If someone please could please find me an easier way to do this it would be greatly appreciated

  7. AmestrisXServe macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2014
    Clarification of the above:

    There is a little, round 'button' next to your power and alarm buttons that has a hex hole in it.

    That is the system lock.

    It sounds like you have it engaged, so insert a hex key into it and turn it to the unlocked state. After this, you should be able to start the system from external media.
  8. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2013
    DMV Area
    Just wanted to say thank you for this. This System Lock has been the bane of my existence today.

Share This Page