Please Help cant boot my mac!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mrserv0n, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. mrserv0n macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2012
    Macbook pro 2009 Model A1286

    OS 10.5.2

    Computer Boots to "?" mark icon

    I replaced the hard drive and still boots to "?" icon

    Cannot boot to cd using C command

    Only thing I can do is hold Option down, it asks for firmware password which I do have and enter it and it takes me to a blank grey screen and sits there.

    I cannot reset the PRAM because of the firmware password.

    I am stuck basically. I tried removing RAM to take off firmware pw so I can reset PRAM which I was told you want to do when adding new hardware. But that did not work. The password remains there.

    What am I supposed to do? I have been reading forums for 2 hours trying different things and getting nowhere. I find it absurd you can just pop in the cd and boot up the OS like a PC. There are so many forums with these types of problems apple should be ashamed.

    Thanks for help
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Did you insert your grey Restore DVD or the Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Upgrade DVD to format your HDD?

    If that is what you did, you also need to install Mac OS X onto the new HDD.

    If you did neither, did you clone your old HDD to the new HDD?

    If you did not do that too, then the behaviour is normal, as there is nothing to boot from, as new HDDs come empty.

    The 2009 MBPs came with 10.5.6 btw.
  3. mrserv0n, Sep 6, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012

    mrserv0n thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2012
    Thanks for your reply I have a disc that says


    MAC OS VERSION 10.5.2

    Thats all the disc really says on it. I cant boot to it using the C command as mentioned in the OP

    If I plug my the original drive into my other mac it comes up as big cats time machine so I know even the original drive is in working order. But if I put it back into down machine it boots to "?" so where the drive is the blank one or the one with OS already on it I get the "?" screen

    Let me add I also have a MAC OSX SNOW LEOPARD Install DVD, that when I try to boot to that it doesnt and gives me the same "?" after waiting awhile then spits the disc out
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    That DVD will not work, as it is for a MacBook and for an older one, a 2008 model probably. It will not work with any other Mac then the model it is supposed for.

    What is "big cats time machine"? Is that the name of the HDD? If so, it probably is a Time Machine backup and not bootable.
    If the HDD or the DVD show up in the Boot Selection Menu (accessible via pressing that OPTION key after the startup sound chimes), then the HDD or DVD is bootable. If nothing happens after being selected to boot from, then something is awry.

    I have a hard time wrapping my brain around this and I am currently unable to understand, but that may also be due to me being tired.

    You could try some of these steps with your old HDD, if it is not a Time Machine backup HDD, but the old HDD with your OS on.

    Is it the 29 USD Upgrade DVD (white) or is it a grey one?
  5. mrserv0n thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2012
    I have a lot of macs so I must have another install disc, I am going to keep looking then. Hopefully thats the case.
  6. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    Mid-2009 Models shipped with 10.5.7 or higher. Earlier version MAY work, but in your case you've found that it doesn't.

    If you can find the correct restore disc, or if you can create a bootable 10.7 or 10.8 USB drive, you should be able to restore using that.

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