At a lose with my Macbook Pro A1286

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by crashboogie, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. crashboogie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2016
    Location:
    Arizona
    #1
    So a friend gave me his boss's old Macbook Pro from 2009, model A1286, no serial number anywhere on the thing. Said the thing died and he couldn't get his files off. The computer was just giving the prohibitory symbol upon startup no matter what I tried so I just took out the drive, plugged it into my windows machine and there were the files, clear as day, so it clearly wasn't the hard drive. I suspect it's the cable but I'm not 100%. The guy said he didn't want it anymore so I wanted to get it back up and running, hopefully boot it off a USB. Everything I've tried has failed though.
    Tried internet recovery and every other startup key combo I've found online and nothing. The closest I've come so far is by downloading Mavericks and making a bootable USB with Transmac (I've got MacDrive Pro as well) and when I plug it in and hold the option key it will show it as an option to boot from but when I choose it the computer just keeps restarting. I'm at my wits end though, looking for any good suggestions of what to do. I'm not even sure the OS it originally came with, nor does the guy I got it from. I saw that the cable is only $20 but I'm not even sure that would help if I can't even get the thing to boot from a USB. Any suggestions? I appreciate any help.
     
  2. blairian89 macrumors regular

    blairian89

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    Sounds like it is either a cable failure or a board failure...only one way to find out in my books. Replace the cheapest part and go from there.
     
  3. crashboogie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2016
    Location:
    Arizona
    #3
    So if it is just the cable though, the computer would likely still boot from USB right? Even if I got an OS that's newer than what was originally on there it would still try and say something like "not compatible" or something right? because my thinking is that if it just keeps restarting after selecting the USB then its more likely that it is a board failure. Thanks for the input.
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #4
    If it was "just" the cable: A bad cable might cause the same problem as a bad hard drive attached to that cable - no boot...
    Try removing the hard drive, and the cable, too.
    Then, try out the USB boot - Mavericks SHOULD boot any A1286.
    Keep in mind that the A1286 covers a broad range of models, all 15-inch made from 2008 to 2012. If it is a 2009, then it would need some later version of Leopard, and Snow Leopard would be a great test, too, if you have that.
    The "prohibited" sign is actually a good thing. It does mean that the system installed on the hard drive is likely corrupted, and if you can see the files on the hard drive from Windows, then that may mean the hard drive is (possibly) OK, but you don't know about the boot files and operating system.
    Something to try: Test the hard drive with an external case, attached to your suspect MacBook Pro. The internal SATA cable should still be removed. You want to try an Option-Boot to see if it detects a boot from the external drive, and that you can boot to it - Might work that way, and will be another proof that the cable is bad.

    (BTW - a 2009 MacBook Pro cannot boot to Internet Recovery. It's too old. Oldest models that can do Internet Recovery are 2010 models. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202313 )
     
  5. crashboogie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2016
    Location:
    Arizona
    #5
    Great! That all makes sense. I'm about halfway through a download of Snow Leopard right now so hopefully that works. I took out the hard drive while I tried to boot from the Mavericks USB, but I left the cable in figuring it wouldn't make a difference. I'll try to boot Snow Leopard from both the USB and an externally attached hard drive to see if that works. I'll post what happens after. Thanks for the ideas.
     
  6. crashboogie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2016
    Location:
    Arizona
    #6
    Snow leopard did the trick. Had to update the system a few more times to get it to a point where Chrome or Firefox would still update the security patches for it but it works like a charm now. Thanks for the help guys.
     

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