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SavageWaffle

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 9, 2018
4
0
Alright, so I got this from a raffle. It’s a June 2009 MacBook Pro 13inch A1278. When I first got it it would load about halfway on the progress bar, restart and boot straight to os utilities. Everything read good. Would not let me use internet recovery for OS X El Capitan and it came with no install disk. My buddy at a computer shop was able to put my hardrive in his Mac and he said it acted crazy, but he erased it and put a fresh install of OS X Sierra on it and it works in his MacBook. When it’s put in mine it shows the circle with the slash through it, it will not let you boot from usb or anything. We also tried the hdd cable and that wasn’t it. Everything that could be reset has been reset. We’re stumped and need some help. Thanks guys.
 

MBAir2010

macrumors 603
May 30, 2018
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there
the macbook should run on snow leopard when installing a new HD.
but
did you try restarting then press the "option" key?
that will give you an option of what drive to use.
or
while restarting, press the "r" to see if you can run the second option under time machine which should be "el Capitan after selecting the language.
if you get that far, press OS X and that should run.

you could always erase the HD in utilities and re install via internet (command r) after language for a fresh reinstall of snow leopard, and then go from there to upgrade.

i hope this helps, i did this for 2 hours on a macbook air 2010 just yesterday.
 

SavageWaffle

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 9, 2018
4
0
the macbook should run on snow leopard when installing a new HD.
but
did you try restarting then press the "option" key?
that will give you an option of what drive to use.
or
while restarting, press the "r" to see if you can run the second option under time machine which should be "el Capitan after selecting the language.
if you get that far, press OS X and that should run.

you could always erase the HD in utilities and re install via internet (command r) after language for a fresh reinstall of snow leopard, and then go from there to upgrade.

i hope this helps, i did this for 2 hours on a macbook air 2010 just yesterday.

Tried all of that. We couldn’t even erase the hard drive in that computer. Had to put it in another one. We can boot from something, but it immediately shows the circle with a slag and Sade mode won’t work. I can’t even boot into it.
 

MBAir2010

macrumors 603
May 30, 2018
6,436
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there
then you need a exact copy of snow leopard on usb or even a DVD because that came with the computer.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
13,343
4,342
Delaware
If the hard drive still has Sierra installed, then that's why you get the "prohibited" symbol at boot.
The Mid-2009 MacBook Pro will not boot to Sierra (macOS 10.12.x) natively. Maximum is El Capitan (OS X 10.11.6)
Also, the 2009 models are too old to boot into Internet Recovery.

The Mid 2009, 13-inch MBPro originally shipped with Leopard (OS X 10.5.7), not Snow Leopard. (I have one, with original DVDs)

So, it will boot to any system from an updated Leopard (10.5.8) system to El Capitan (OS X 10.11.6).
Just to repeat, Sierra can't work (without hacking a Sierra install)
It's possible that you may not have enough RAM installed to boot to something like El Cap, so you should open it up and double check which RAM sticks are installed.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
13,343
4,342
Delaware
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MBAir2010

macrumors 603
May 30, 2018
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there
The Mid 2009, 13-inch MBPro originally shipped with Leopard (OS X 10.5.7), not Snow Leopard. (I have one, with original DVDs)
thanks, i was trying to make that point of needing the original OS X that came with the mac.
but
my macbook air did not boot with the original USB of snow leopard after erasing el capitan.
the ssdcard is original, but 84GB and not used that much, as a secondary card.
in the near future i will fix that baby up when i get one of those external ssd casings.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
13,343
4,342
Delaware
Good point - but I was also pointing out that the MBPro could boot to any supported system --- not just the original.
But then, I have all system installers from Leopard to Mojave, so I can just choose one. If that doesn't work, then it's only a few seconds to find one that does work.
Perhaps you know that when a Mac shipped new with a system, the system often was a newer build than the normal system install, so it's possible that your Snow Leopard installer might not boot a Mac that shipped with Snow Leopard (because the build was different, and you only have the purchased Snow Leopard installer, which Apple never updated past 10.6.3. I have one MacBook Pro (mid-2010, I think) that shipped with 10.6.3, but the build is newer than the standard OS X install, which is also 10.6.3, but won't boot the 2010 MBPro. Just have to use a couple of work-arounds if I want to reinstall Snow Leopard for that MBPro (bought that used without the original restore DVD), with the simplest using Target Disk mode to install while connected to an older Mac that doesn't need that special build :cool: )
 

SavageWaffle

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 9, 2018
4
0
That makes comp
If the hard drive still has Sierra installed, then that's why you get the "prohibited" symbol at boot.
The Mid-2009 MacBook Pro will not boot to Sierra (macOS 10.12.x) natively. Maximum is El Capitan (OS X 10.11.6)
Also, the 2009 models are too old to boot into Internet Recovery.

The Mid 2009, 13-inch MBPro originally shipped with Leopard (OS X 10.5.7), not Snow Leopard. (I have one, with original DVDs)

So, it will boot to any system from an updated Leopard (10.5.8) system to El Capitan (OS X 10.11.6).
Just to repeat, Sierra can't work (without hacking a Sierra install)
It's possible that you may not have enough RAM installed to boot to something like El Cap, so you should open it up and double check which RAM sticks are installed.
That makes complete sense other then why it’s giving me the prohibitory symbol for anything I try to boot with. Can Leopard or El Capitan still be downloaded? I’ll try to boot them from usb.
[doublepost=1534001252][/doublepost]
That makes comp

That makes complete sense other then why it’s giving me the prohibitory symbol for anything I try to boot with. Can Leopard or El Capitan still be downloaded? I’ll try to boot them from usb.

I also have 4gb ram 2 2gb sticks
[doublepost=1534001388][/doublepost]
Have you tried a P(ee)RAM reset? Should help... :cool:

Yep. Tried all of the keyboard resets. As of right now with that hard drive in it it won’t let you go to safe mode.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
13,343
4,342
Delaware
You can download any OS X or macOS system that you have in your purchased list (which means that YOU have downloaded those sometime previously)
There IS a link for El Capitan, which should work for you, too.
Scroll part way down the page to Get OS X El Capitan, which takes you to a direct download page.
THAT will download the installer app. The installer App will automatically launch when the download completes. Quit that app, so you can make your own bootable installer to keep. (The installer app will delete itself if you simply run it from the downloaded app, and you might want to do this install again later :D )
Apple has steps for making your own USB installer from that downloaded installer app.
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372

If you have difficulties with the Terminal commands for that, you can also download one of the third-party apps that does that trick more easily, such as DiskMakerX.

One more thing (well, two more things to mention). If you are going to a more recent version of OS X (10.10 or 10.11) then be prepared for that to be quite slow on a spinning hard drive. You can choose to replace that old hard drive with an SSD (for MUCH faster system response, particularly with the small amount of RAM that you have now)
And, there's almost never any downside to adding more RAM (other than the cost of the memory sticks) and your 2009 MBPro can be upgraded to 8GB maximum installed RAM.
 

SavageWaffle

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 9, 2018
4
0
Well this is the first Mac I’ve ever owned so I’ve never previously downloaded any os’. I really do hope El Capitan works. Specifically what fam and hard drive would be the best upgrade?
[doublepost=1534005453][/doublepost]
Well this is the first Mac I’ve ever owned so I’ve never previously downloaded any os’. I really do hope El Capitan works. Specifically what ram and hard drive would be the best upgrade?
 

MBAir2010

macrumors 603
May 30, 2018
6,436
5,911
there
Perhaps you know that when a Mac shipped new with a system, the system often was a newer build than the normal system install, so it's possible that your Snow Leopard installer might not boot a Mac that shipped with Snow Leopard (
the usb came with the macbook air and i had rebooted 7 times since 20111, just not this week!
BTW you a fine delta, mac!
[doublepost=1534008177][/doublepost]
Well this is the first Mac I’ve ever owned so I’ve never previously downloaded any os’. I really do hope El Capitan works. Specifically what fam and hard drive would be the best upgrade?
[doublepost=1534005453][/doublepost]
you can say that again!
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,101
12,253
OP:

I don't think a 2009 MacBook Pro can do "internet recovery" (I could be wrong).
You won't "get an OS" that way.

Your best bet:
1. Go on ebay
2. There are sellers there who will sell you a USB flashdrive with a copy of the Mac OS installer of your choice pre-installed and "ready to go". Will cost about $20.
3. Buy one with El Captian, and use that to boot and install the OS.

This does not preclude the matter that there may be "other things wrong" with it that might prevent booting (such as drive problems).
 
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