Struggling to install OSX on HDD

Shed209

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 11, 2014
73
1
I'm in the process of downgrading a 2009 MBP from an SSD to an HDD, and thought I knew what to do, but apparently not. I have taken out the SSD and put in the HDD, and I have a High Sierra USB drive ready to go, but I can't seem to format the new HDD. I tried using CMD+R and Option+CMD+R to get into the disk utility, but every time I get the 'no entry' or 'prohibited' sign. I also tried booting from the USB drive, but that gave me the prohibited sign too. I'm sure the USB drive is set up correctly because I've used it before.

Can anyone tell me what I might be doing wrong?

Thanks in advance.
 

Shed209

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 11, 2014
73
1
Thanks for your reply. I still should be able to format the disk somehow with OS-X journaled, right?
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,267
2,697
Delaware
If the new HDD was blank, then there's no recovery system (yet). It's also too old to give you access to internet recovery.
If the SSD that you removed, still has the system that you used to boot from - put that in an external case/USB connection, and boot to that. You will be able to format the new internal HDD then.
And, as stated above, your 2009 MBPro won't boot natively to High Sierra.
El Capitan, or some other older system will work fine.
If you must go to High Sierra, you will need a patch method like the DOSDude patcher app.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,444
6,740
OP wrote:
"I still should be able to format the disk somehow with OS-X journaled, right?"

No.
If you're trying to boot the 2009 with High Sierra, NOTHING'S going to work.

Solution:
Get a copy of the OS that will boot and run the 2009 MBP.

What I'd suggest:
1. Put the SSD (that worked) BACK INTO the MBP.
2. Boot from it.
3. Connect the HDD via USB
4. At this point, you can either
- Try a clean OS install onto the HDD (but again, it must be a copy of the OS that will boot and run the MBP)
or
- Download CarbonCopyCloner (FREE to download and use for 30 days), then use it to "clone" the contents of the SSD to the HDD.
5. With a cloned copy, just delete the stuff you don't want to be on the HDD.
6. Do a "test boot" (power down, press power on button, immediately hold down option key and keep holding it down until the startup manager appears, select external drive and hit return).
7. If you get a "good boot" from the HDD now, power down and swap the drives out.
 

Shed209

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 11, 2014
73
1
I did end up downloading a copy of El Capitan and making a bootable USB stick with it. That has worked and the Macbook is using the HDD on El Capitan now.

There is one other thing that is puzzling me about the machine: it is taking about 20 seconds from the chime to even show the Apple logo (and then about 30 to boot OS-X). I've never seen a Macbook take that long just to show the logo. Can anyone suggest how to fix that?
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,267
2,697
Delaware
Do you have the boot drive selected in System Preferences/Startup Disk?
You have to unlock that pane to make the selection.

Also, don't forget that a downgrade from an SSD to an HDD will now have a longer boot time.
The newer macOS systems are not well optimized for a spinning hard drive, and can feel extra slow after using an SSD with that same system.
Once you go "SSD", you can't go back :cool:
And, now that you can find SSDs for less than $25 (for 120GB capacity, enough for my purposes on an older laptop, anyway), and 240GB for less than $40, it's a no-brainer to go with an SSD, at least for many uses.
 

Shed209

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 11, 2014
73
1
I do have the boot drive selected, but no improvement. It was also doing this with the SSD - back then it was 20s for the Apple logo to come up and then 15s to boot OSX. Now it's 20+30. I think the Apple logo should come up in about 5 seconds so I'm not sure what the delay is.
[doublepost=1538849553][/doublepost]I should mention - I'm told the bluetooth is nonfunctional on this machine (I don't use it anyway). Could this be causing the delay?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,444
6,740
OP:

If the MBP is using a platter-based hard drive (HDD), it's going to be slow.
There's no "cure", except one:
Put an SSD into it.
That will speed it up.
 

Shed209

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 11, 2014
73
1
It's not the boot time. It's the logo display time. This was the same abnormal time with the SSD.
 
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