MBP 15" mid09 + Yosemite 10.10.2 = prohibitory sign at startup

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Boneslasher, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. Boneslasher macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2012
    Dear all,
    as you can read from the title I have had a nice surprise on my MBP.

    Normally I always put the machine to sleep and do not turn it off (even if before updating to 10.2 I had turned it off and on again with no problem).
    Yesterday I had to take the notebook away and so I turned it off. At the next turning on, the prohibitory sign appeared.

    Now, before you suggest something, let me list down what I have already done:
    - reset PRAM & VRAM
    - reset SMC
    - Safe Boot mode (Cmd+Shift+V) getting the message "Still waiting for root device" - I followed support.apple.com guidelines.
    - next, as soon as I went away to look for my 10.5 leopard disc, it completed the OS loading and the machine is working, slowly with let's say just fine.
    - called Apple Support this morning - out of warranty this machine is, of course - and they suggested Apple Hardware Test or reinstall the OS.
    - done AHT and got "no problem found"
    - rebooted, got the prohibitory sign, waited 2-3 mins and then the machine starts up.

    Now, as I have a whole lot of work going on I would like to know if this is a bad issue, if something can be done and if so, in what order.
    I thought about erasing disk (after backup :)), installing leopard > snow leopard > mavericks and then stop there maybe as my machine is indeed supported by yosemite but now with the last update something seems to have gone wrong.

    Thanks for all your support
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Can you boot into the recovery partition?

    If you're getting the circle with the line through it, then that means the startup volume is not bootable.
  3. Boneslasher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2012
    Thanks for this reply.
    Actually I noted that when I was rebooting, pressing alt/opt key to show all bootable drives showed only Macintosh HD and not Recovery HD.
    Didn't try yet pressing Cmd+R at startup.

    thing is: before 10.10.2 it was not doing this.
    should I reinstall OS and not update or doing so will reinstall automatically 10.10.2?
    Or should I do something else?
    Do you know what may have caused this?
    Hardware seems to work ok and I'm now writing to you from that same machine ...

  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Do you have an after market SSD or RAM

    My old 2010 can't use any OS after ML because of the firmware on the after market SSD I installed. It's v. rare but this issue can be found with aftermarjet RAM as well.....
  5. Boneslasher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2012
    Thanks, I have upgraded the RAM from 4gb to 8gb when warranty expired with two 4gb kingston modules and have never had a problem before ...
    I have read something about "permissions", a word starting with k or something ...

    I just wonder what I should do now, apple support just say it is out of warranty and will not assist me if I do not pay (which, let's say, I understand ...)

    Any idea?
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
  7. Significant1 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2014
    Have you installed a thirdparty ssd and activated trim with trim-enabler?

    If so, a pram reset might reenable kext-signing and cause boot problem. Read this link about how to boot into recovery and fix it manually:
  8. Boneslasher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2012
    Concerning RAM, I have had this Kingston RAM installed since 2 yrs and it has survived Mountain Lion, Mavericks and Yosemite install without any issue. I have updated to 10.10.2 two weeks ago and had not noticed any problem till I have shut down the machine yesterday.

    The HDD is still the original mighty Seagate 320GB 7200rpm and I have no intention of replacing it.

    I wonder if they are issuing updates to force you to buy a new machine, which I wanted in any case to do by the end of 2015 but still ... now I need this! :)

    Thanks btw for the links, I had already read them but as the case was not exactly the same, I resorted to writing on the forum.
    It does indeed seem that the Recovery HD is not available right now ... what should I do to fix this?
    Will a reinstall of Yosemite install 10.10 or 10.10.2 directly?
  9. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Let's just face it, your HDD could very will be dead and hence not being able to be accessed.

    So you still may have no choice but to throw it into the trash can.
  10. Boneslasher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2012
    It could be of course, but then why the computer IS working and in the end IS accessing the OS? It stays 2-3 mins on prohibitory sign and then works.
    The Apple Hardware Test says everything is fine.
    Is there any other thing I could do?
  11. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    That could still be a failing hard drive.

    It could still be a failing HD, apples hardware test is far from foolproof. If you have another HD throw it in and see how it goes or clone your HD to an external and boot from that to see if that could be the issue. If you get the same problem with booting from an external HD it could be a software incompatability problem now that is a pain to identify.

    Have you reinstalled the OS?? You could always do a clean install from USB.
  12. Boneslasher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2012
    I have the time machine backup, would that be a good option to try and boot from that one?
    On the other hand I do not know how to clone my HDD... Do you have a link for a guide?

    In case it does indeed work, should I consider my actual HDD on its way to Heaven?

    In case the prohib.sign reappears, as you said before, it might be a software incompatibility and then I would just throw in the 10.5.7 disc with which this machine shipped and update up to Mavericks, leaving Yosemite for more equipped hdwares.

    Would you agree with this solution path?

    If I need to change my HDD, what would you suggest me to do? How much could that cost and, would it be worthy on this machine?

    Thank you so much everyone

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11 February 13, 2015