Help Resetting Old Macbook 2,1 due to virus. No recovery...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by linuxjustworks, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. linuxjustworks macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2014
    None OF, Your Buisiness
    Hi, I am new to the mac world in general and am currently trying to fix a friends macbook pro. It's an old one, the 2,1 edition:

      Hardware Overview:
      Model Name:   MacBook
      Model Identifier:     MacBook2,1
      Processor Name:       Intel Core 2 Duo
      Processor Speed:      2.16 GHz
      Number of Processors: 1
      Total Number of Cores:        2
      L2 Cache:     4 MB
      Memory:       2 GB
      Bus Speed:    667 MHz
      Boot ROM Version:     MB21.00A5.B07
      SMC Version (system): 1.17f0
    There is no recovery partition and I don't have any backup disks. It is running Maveriks 2.7.5 and I cannot find a copy. I would assume Apple would help me out here because obviously the system was purchased at some point, since every new mac has OSX on it. I'm from the Linux world and am struggling despite mac's similarities to the linux kernel. I tried making a Maveriks USB flash drive with a later edition. I also have a 2008 iMac running Yosemite. Can anyone please point me in the right direction?

    My friend got the infamous "mackeeper" virus and I've successfully removed it except it still hijacks Safari, no matter what I do. I need to reinstall the OS. Other people seem to have this problem too. What is the next step? Should I contact Apple or a boot disc..?

    Any help would be appreciated. I can't get it to boot to a USB disc I made with my iMac. Thanks.
  2. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    First off Mavericks is not supported on that Mac. It can be installed, but it's a faff, and for reliability you would be better installing Lion.

    MacKeeper is not technically a virus. It is, however a pice of software that many consider Malware, and the closest category that fits is a trojan horse.

    You have 3 options, take it to an Apple Store, they will install Lion on it, if you ask them to.

    Or it will cost $20, but Lion can still be downloaded.

    If your friend bought the mac new, they may have some discs that they bought along the way. This is the third option.

    Ask them for Mac OS X Snow Leopard. It will have a picture of Snow Leopard on the box and on the disc itself.

    Install this by putting the disc in the DVD drive, then reboot the Mac, holding down C when it chimes until you see the Apple logo.

    From there you can do an erase and install.

    CAUTION: make sure all data is backed up before you do this. It will reformat the disk.

    Once that's been done, update using the Apple menu, software update, and it should update it to 10.6.8...

    At this point, data can be restored, but do not restore applications from backup. Your friend will have to re-install them from scratch. Advise them NOT to do this from Time Machine, as they will likely restore the problems with MacKeeper.

    To update the operating system back to Lion (the latest this Mac can go that is supported by Apple) after carrying out the above steps to reinstall Snow Leopard, get your friend to log into the Mac App Store. Have them sign in with their Apple ID, and go to the purchases tab. In there, one of the options should be OS X Lion. Click download. Once downloaded, click on Install OS X Lion, and it should install 10.7.5 as an upgrade install. You're done.
  3. linuxjustworks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2014
    None OF, Your Buisiness
    thank you, just a couple more questions...

    Excellent information, thank you very much. I have the computer since I was hired to fix it, and my friend whom owns the computer purchased it used and she has no recovery disks. I just want to clarify a couple things, forgive my ignorance please as I have never worked on a mac before.
    • What exactly is a 'faff'?
    • I read somewhere that "downgrading" OSX can make things messy, but in this case it should work okay?
    • Isn't Snow Leopard Server Edition available for free download, and could I use that? As long as I can get the computer to boot & it's secure I will be hapy. Is Snow Leopard available on a 64 bit architecture (& for free)?
    • So Apple will sell me a Mountain Lion boot disc for $20? That sounds like the best option, would you agree? I can do the rest as long as I can get it to boot.
    • Can you tell me all the different boot options? Example, I thought either 'alt' or "alt+R" is recovery, but does that vary from model to model? So holding "C" (without or with alt?) boots to opticial drive, correct?
    • We have no time machine backups or other backups whatsoever, or recovery partition, and my friend is fine with having to manually redownload everything. Is that ok?
    • Is there a service manual somewhere online for this machine? I have repaired countless Linux/Windows PC's and never had such a hard time doing things like getting into the BIOS and booting to external media, so a service manual would be very useful...

    Once again, thank you for your answer. This is enough information for me to get started in the right direction. Truly appreciated.
  4. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    I read your OP and you must be mixing things up quite a bit. The computer cannot be running OS X 10.9 Mavericks and not have a recovery partition. That gets installed along with the OS whether you like it or not. Same goes goes for any OS X version later than(and including) 10.7 Lion.

    Thus, with no recovery partition present, the computer is most likely running 10.4 Tiger(which it originallly came with), 10.5 Leopard or 10.6 Snow Leopard.

    With that said, here's your questions, answered to the best of my knowledge.

    1. Not a clue.

    2. That CAN be true, if you try to install it overtop an existing installation. A good rule of thumb for Macs is that you cannot install an OS X version that is earlier than the one it came with. So basically, for that computer, anything later than 10.4.X (can't remember exactly which one it was for that model) will install fine. Support for such an old computer was dropped in Lion (10.7) I believe, you should check Apple's website for that. If you erase the disk and start from scratch, downgrading OS X will not be a problem.

    3. No version of Snow Leopard was ever free. Snow Leopard is a 32 and 64bit hybrid. It can run 64 bit apps even when booted in 32 bit mode. Since the computer you are speaking of can only address 3.25GB of RAM, 64 bit doesn't matter one bit.

    4. Lion was a downloadable app on the App store, you cannot get a physical disc for it, there never was one. You can probably still get 10.6 Snow Leopard retail discs.

    5. CMD+R is the correct keystroke, not ALT. That could be why you're not seeing any recovery. Alternatively, you can hold the Option (ALT) key (alone) during bootup to see the boot options to it. If there is a recovery partition, it will be listed there.

    6. Sure. Just make sure you give a sharp whap to the back of the head of your friend for not keeping backups for me, that is just begging for lost data. All hard drives eventually die.

    7. There was one that came with the machine. You will not find instructions regarding the BIOS as Macs do not have one. They've been running EFI since the switch to Intel so there isn't much you can do on that front as the EFI is locked down nice and tight.

    Your friend should have recovery discs though, they are the grey discs that came with the machine. Unless he/she threw out all the packaging and its content, he/she still has them.
  5. linuxjustworks, Nov 22, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014

    linuxjustworks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2014
    None OF, Your Buisiness
    Perfect, this is exactly what I needed to know. Things are starting to make much more sense. I will report back once I try this out... And yes, btw, there are no recovery disks or backups of any kind. :rolleyes: I did indeed say something to her for not using any of the preemptive measures or tools available, although that is why she bought a mac (to be fair). If she had, we would not be in this boat. Also she had no administrative password set, and what I would consider "the worst, loosest security settings I've ever seen." ... like firewall disabled, no password, etc.. this thing was begging to get infected at some point lol. Thanks again, I truly appreciate the help guys!
  6. linuxjustworks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2014
    None OF, Your Buisiness
    one more thing...

    Will any given release of OSX work on both Mac laptops & desktops? Or does Apple issue seperate versions of the OS for different machines? If so, how does Apple label those versions?

    For instance, I have an '08 or '09 iMac (education edition, intel core2dou with 6 gigs of ram and 20" display), and I might have the recovery disks for that machine somewhere. If I can find them, would they help me out at all in this situation? I believe it was running Mountain Lion when I purchased it.
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Recovery discs (the grey ones that used to come in the computer's box) are machine specific. Retail discs are compatible with any Mac provided it follows the rule of thumb of not being an earlier version than what the machine came with.

    Btw it can't have been running mountain lion back in '09, ML came out in 2012.
  8. linuxjustworks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2014
    None OF, Your Buisiness
    Thanks, that clarifies things quite a bit!
  9. linuxjustworks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2014
    None OF, Your Buisiness
    Installed Snow Leopard, And Now it Won't Boot!

    Hello everyone. I ended up purchasing a retail Snow Leopard disc from Apple. After installing it, the system prompted me with a login screen, but would not accept my password. I rebooted the system because in my experience that often fixes weird quirks, and now it just won't boot up at all. With the disc in the drive, it just goes to a blank screen and hangs there. With no media in it, it just flashes a question mark. I tried entering recovery, safe mode, holding x right after the chime, and everything else I could find, to no avail.

    I am assuming that for whatever reason, Snow Leopard will not boot my machine. So how do I fix this boot issue? Is there a way to install anything on this machine in this current state? I am lost.
  10. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    The HD could very well be dead, that'd result in the no booting you're seeing.
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    If you come to the conclusion that your friend's MacBook needs a new hard drive, perhaps a low-capacity SSD might serve as a decent replacement. You can find 240gb SSD's now in the $100 range, or even a bit less.

    I -think- this may be the hard drive replacement guide you need to look at:

    If you decide to do this, be sure to use the correct tools for the job.

    I would strongly advise you to "prep" the new drive BEFORE you install it into the MacBook. Do you currently have available an external USB enclosure, or a USB/SATA docking station?
    If not, you might pick one of those up for yourself -- very handy item to have at one's disposal.
    Go to amazon, and enter "usb3 sata dock" into the search box, and you'll see many choices.

    Another alternative:
    Have your friend pick up something like this:
    (external USB3 enclosure, should be backward-compatible with Macbook with USB ports)

    It could serve as a backup drive once she gets the MacBook running again.

    Last thought:
    Since that MacBook goes all the way back to around 2006, might be time to start shopping for something new!
  12. linuxjustworks, Dec 8, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014

    linuxjustworks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2014
    None OF, Your Buisiness
    Thanks, I was starting to suspect to that, but it was booting before the Snow Leopard install so either that was the last straw for the drive, or maybe the EFI boot firmware is corrupt? I have an excess of laptop hand drives around, but I'm not sure about Mac compatibility. So thank you, I will check the drive. I do indeed need to invest in a hard disk station of sorts too. Does anyone know if this disk can be connected to a pc to check integrety?

    ps I agree a new machine would be ideal, and at this point this one may not be worth my time, but I also enjoy turning old computers into servers and have gotten lots of life out of my old pc's simply by switching them over to linux. I may try that as a last resort.. If I can get it to boot, that is.
  13. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    A Mac is just a PC with a pretty case since the switch to Intel. So long as the drive has a SATA connector and physically fits in the case, it's compatible.
  14. linuxjustworks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2014
    None OF, Your Buisiness

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