'prohibitory' icon on startup has me stumped

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by terzdesign, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. terzdesign, Mar 25, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015

    terzdesign macrumors newbie

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    #1
    RESOLVED:

    Hello

    Last night I tried starting up my Macbook pro 15" (early 2009). It is running Yosemite 10.10.2. The mac started up as usual but locked up so I did a hard reset with the power button. Upon restarting, I am greeted with the usual apple logo and load bar just below it but about halfway through I get the 'prohibitory' sign (circle with cross bar sign for no entry). I keep getting this restart after restart.

    I formatted an external hard drive using another mac to perform as a boot up disk for Yosemite and plugged it into the macbook. I boot to that and *sometimes* am able to get to disk util. When there, the internal hardrive is not showing up at all... thus I can't do any disk repairs with this method.

    The HDD is spinning, I confirmed this. It seems to be a read issue. Any thoughts on what I should try next?
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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  3. terzdesign thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 7, 2010
    #3
    No go with this. Thanks for the link, I have tried all of those things though. Trying to boot into safemode doesn't work if you can't even find the HDD, no?
     
  4. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

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    Apr 25, 2012
    #4
    Try taking the internal drive out and connecting it with a USB -> SATA adapter. It's possible the internal cable died on you.
     
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #5
    Or the logic board is fried

    It is a 6 year old computer yopu are in the realms of logic board death. Especially the graphics cards on those 15 inch 2009 ones.
     
  6. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #6
    If the hard drive does not appear in Disk Utility it or the data cable has likely gone bad.
     
  7. terzdesign thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    I couldn't get the internal HD to appear from my disk utility booted from an external HD so I just now tried an old Snow Leopard boot disk. From there, Disk util was able to locate the internal HD. I got the spinning wheel of death upon trying to go further. Just seemed like everything was moving very very slowly.
     
  8. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #8
    Were you able to repair the drive from there?
     
  9. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

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    #9
    My first thought would be the SATA cable. I've burned through several of those on my mid-2009 13" MBP. I had to do hard restarts pretty frequently because of a sleep/wake issue. Might be time to replace the HDD and the cable if they're both original.
     
  10. terzdesign thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 7, 2010
    #10
    another forum mentioned that. I also have an imac same year and all. Is it possible to swap harddrives to get the data off of the macbook pro's HD? It would also allow me to see if the HD was busted.
     
  11. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

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    #11
    I'm a hobbiest when it comes to this stuff, so I'm not sure about that :/ I don't have an iMac.
     
  12. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    Auckland
    #12
    No, iMacs run 3.5" drives, MBPs 2.5"

    ALL your symptoms point to HDD or cable. I'd swap the HDD first as if it turns out to be the cable you still have a drive that can be of use...cost is probably similar, both are very easy to change.
     
  13. freeskier93 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #13
    The prohibitory symbol means it's a software issue, not hardware. Specifically, with the introduction of kext signing in Yosemite, it could be a driver issue. The fact that you get the load bar means it's not a hard drive or cable issue.

    I would read through this: https://www.cindori.org/trim-enabler-and-yosemite/

    It has good information and you might try the steps outlined for rebuilding the kext files. If that doesn't work try re installing Yosemite.
     
  14. superstrikertwo macrumors 65816

    superstrikertwo

    Joined:
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    Location:
    California
    #14
    This literally happened to me a few days ago.

    Follow this:

    https://support.apple.com/kb/PH18872

    And it'll fix it for you.

    All your data will still be there. It just reinstalls the system files keeping personal data (including apps) intact.
     
  15. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #15
    My mistake, I thought that was the ? symbol...
     
  16. terzdesign thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 7, 2010
    #16
    update:

    The last few days have been... well interesting. I took the MBP to the Genius Bar and the guy said it was very likely some bit of information in the OS that was off and not allowing the computer to load. He said a complete and utter clean install would fix the issue, so home I went to clear the HD of relevent data.

    I picked up a USB > SATA cable and took out my internal HD and it showed up immediately when plugged in that way. I took all of the data off of it, put it back in the machine and ran a bootable disk to do the clean install. After that, no luck. Same thing.

    so.... What the hell. Is it the cable? I'll take it back to Genius Bar tomorrow but I can't imagine what else it could be.
     
  17. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #17
    Definitely seems like the hard drive cable is at fault. Just to make sure, were you able to boot from it while it was attached using the adapter cable?
     
  18. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

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    #18
    I think there was some confusion amongst us posters. IIRC, the prohibitory symbol is different from the question mark on startup. I know I was thinking of issues that relate to the question mark which are usually the hard drive cable or the hard drive itself.

    I think freeskier93 knows what they're talking about. Follow their advice and see where it takes you.

    ----------

    I think we've got it reversed. The ? usually means HDD or SATA cable while the prohibitory symbol like "No Smoking" is something different.
     
  19. terzdesign thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 7, 2010
    #19
    Good grief. Now it boots to a grey screen with flashing folder/question mark icon...
     
  20. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #20
    See post #2.
     
  21. blwade macrumors 6502

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    Sep 16, 2014
    #21
    I had a similar issue with my 13 inch 2009 mbp...

    I tried a repair several times, but it never completed... I tried erasing the hdd and it would never complete...

    I finally pulled it out and put it in my windows desktop. I erased it and formatted it for Windows. I found that I could copy files to it, but it was moving REALLY slow (I'm pretty sure I was seeing a kb/s transfer number)... I ended up giving up on it and buying a new hard drive and it is working fine. I then gave the computer to someone else... hope they don't have any more problems!
     
  22. terzdesign thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 7, 2010
    #22
    UPDATE:

    Took the thing back to the Genius Bar and just had them swap in a new hard drive ribbon cable. This did the trick. The cable was only $18 but they charged me $60 total with labor. If you ask why I didn't just do it myselft, it's because Apple doesn't allow you to buy service parts without the actual service. Oh well, $60 is cheap.

    Glad it's fixed. How on earth a cable that never sees movement goes bad is beyond me. Now off to add 16 gigs of ram to this sucker :)
     
  23. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #23
    If this is your 2009 15-inch MBPro, 8GB is the maximum.
    No 15-inch supports 16GB before the Early 2011 models.
     

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