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  1. #1
    Exclamation MacBook Pro Mid 2009 won't boot, detect USB and can't reinstall OS on new SSD
    Good morning,

    Iím hoping someone can help me. I have a MacBook Pro Mid 2009, itís no longer booting properly from the existing hard drive and just gets stuck at the loading screen and eventually reboots in a loop. Ive tried all sorts of things to repair it, as well as replacing the Hard drive with a Crucial MX500 SSD but nothing is working properly.

    I suspect the current disk is failing, I can boot it into recovery mode but have only been able to run first aid on the disk once which failed. Iíve also gone in through safe mode to run the various verify and fsck-fy commands which are failing Ė so I think itís a bad disk

    Carried out PRAM & SMC Resets which have made no difference

    I have replaced the hard drive with the SSD which at first wasnít detected until I formatted it. Then I used TransMac with an El Capitan image, restored the image to a USB drive in an attempt to boot into recovery mode and install using the new image onto the new SSD, which fails to work.

    Firstly, it wonít boot into recovery mode, Iím guessing itís because there is no recovery mode available as it was on the old HDD and this older Mac has no internet recovery option. When I use the ĎOptioní key at boot to select a boot device it only detects the blank SSD, it doesnít detect the USB. In fact, it doesnít detect any external drive I've used with TransMac or a DVD with El Capitan on. The only USB drive it detects is a Transcend external USB which was used for time machine backups but as I canít get into recovery mode with the new SSD I canít restore it. When I've tried restore from time machine backup with the old hard drive in, no backups are detected. Iím not sure why it only picks up the Transcend driveÖ

    Iíve tried to get into hardware diagnostics mode using ĎDí but that doesnít work
    Iím really at a loss with what to try next, if I canít get the MacBook the install media I canít think of a way to reinstall on the new SSD.
    Bit of background info, I donít have a spare Mac or Apple device, Only a Windows 10 computer. Any help would be much appreciated!!

    Kind regards

    Trevor

  2. #2
    MacBook Pro Mid 2009 won't boot, detect USB and can't reinstall OS on new SSD
    Rod's Avatar
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    Does the device recognize the Transcend USB (I assume it's an external HD) as bootable when you start up holding the Option key. If so you have a chance of reinstalling the OS if not the only solution I can think of would be to purchase (online) a bootable USB thumb drive installer for El Capitan. That will enable you to erase/format/map the SSD and install a fresh copy of El Capitan. It sounds like you have a Time Machine backup so you can restore your data from that.
    Your problems are further complicated by the fact that your device is vintage now and the only Mac you have.
    I cannot stress strongly enough the importance of having a full, current backup, preferably a bootable clone if you are a single device owner. The advantages and convenience far outweigh the modest cost of such applications eg. Carbon Copy Cloner at around US $50.00


    Sent from my iPhone using Mac-Forums
    I used to be conceited but now I'm perfect.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    Does the device recognize the Transcend USB (I assume it's an external HD) as bootable when you start up holding the Option key. If so you have a chance of reinstalling the OS if not the only solution I can think of would be to purchase (online) a bootable USB thumb drive installer for El Capitan. That will enable you to erase/format/map the SSD and install a fresh copy of El Capitan. It sounds like you have a Time Machine backup so you can restore your data from that.
    Your problems are further complicated by the fact that your device is vintage now and the only Mac you have.
    I cannot stress strongly enough the importance of having a full, current backup, preferably a bootable clone if you are a single device owner. The advantages and convenience far outweigh the modest cost of such applications eg. Carbon Copy Cloner at around US $50.00


    Sent from my iPhone using Mac-Forums
    Hi Rod!

    The Transcend USB device strangely is the only external USB device that the Mac picks up, I don't know why, though this was the drive the time machine backups were taken with. It does show it as a boot option if I hold the Option key. The Mac isn't mine, one of the things I tried to do is use EASEUS to clone the old HDD to the SSD, the clone was successful but it won't boot, just get a white screen with directory icon and ? symbol....

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    MacBook Pro Mid 2009 won't boot, detect USB and can't reinstall OS on new SSD
    chscag's Avatar
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    The Mac isn't mine, one of the things I tried to do is use EASEUS to clone the old HDD to the SSD, the clone was successful but it won't boot, just get a white screen with directory icon and ? symbol....
    Welcome to our forums.

    We do not recommend EASEUS to clone from one drive to another. The only two programs that we do recommend and that work well are Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper. You can do a search for them and download a trial copy. Both are fully functional and will clone a boot drive to another drive and render it bootable.

  5. #5
    MacBook Pro Mid 2009 won't boot, detect USB and can't reinstall OS on new SSD
    pm-r's Avatar
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    I suspect the current disk is failing, I can boot it into recovery mode but have only been able to run first aid on the disk once which failed.

    Do you have the original map OS install disk that came with that Mac, and if so, use it to boot from and run Disk Utility.

    It would have come with Pre-Installed MacOS: X 10.5.7 and an equivalent CD/DVD bootable install disk.



    - Patrick
    ======

  6. #6
    MacBook Pro Mid 2009 won't boot, detect USB and can't reinstall OS on new SSD
    krs's Avatar
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    In fact, it doesn’t detect any external drive I've used with TransMac or a DVD with El Capitan on.
    Trevor,
    You mentioned you tried it with a "DVD with ElCapitan on" Could you explain in some detail what you mean by that?
    Apple never offered any El Capitan install disks - is that a DVD you created or received from somewhere else?
    I'm trying to understand if what you have, should work.

    I don't know anything about TransMac but it seems to me I have seen posts in this forum previously where people are trying to install Mac software using some special Windows application and were unsuccessful.

    PS: Checking on the net - I assume you tried making a Mac USB installer using instructions like these:
    How to quickly make a Mac OS X bootable USB on Windows • Pureinfotech
    Last edited by krs; 10-18-2019 at 06:49 PM.

  7. #7
    MacBook Pro Mid 2009 won't boot, detect USB and can't reinstall OS on new SSD
    Rod's Avatar
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    Your Mac's Specs
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    So you have a Time Machine backup that appears as an option to boot the device. If you boot from that you will see a Recovery window. It will be slow. You should see options Restore from Time Machine Backup, Reinstall macOS, Get Help Online and Disk Utility. Here I would choose Disk Utility.
    Now you mention the Mac isn't yours, is the Time Machine backup yours? If the TM backup is yours then you may be able to Boot, erase, format and partition the disk with Disk Utility but you still need to have a macOS installer to put an operating system on it.
    So kris may have the best solution for you.
    I used to be conceited but now I'm perfect.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    Welcome to our forums.

    We do not recommend EASEUS to clone from one drive to another. The only two programs that we do recommend and that work well are Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper. You can do a search for them and download a trial copy. Both are fully functional and will clone a boot drive to another drive and render it bootable.

    Thanks for the info, the issue is I don't have access to another Mac to use Carbon copy or Super Duper

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    So you have a Time Machine backup that appears as an option to boot the device. If you boot from that you will see a Recovery window. It will be slow. You should see options Restore from Time Machine Backup, Reinstall macOS, Get Help Online and Disk Utility. Here I would choose Disk Utility.
    Now you mention the Mac isn't yours, is the Time Machine backup yours? If the TM backup is yours then you may be able to Boot, erase, format and partition the disk with Disk Utility but you still need to have a macOS installer to put an operating system on it.
    So kris may have the best solution for you.
    Hi Rod, ive been told there is a time machine backup on it, it picks up the drive as a boot device but doesn't see any backups on it...

  9. #9
    Hi Krs,

    I've followed the instruction using transmac and every USB device I have tried just doesn't get picked up by the Mac. The image I had was downloaded off the internet, not great I know but ive used it in the past before, I don't have easy access to another Mac. The only USB device which gets picked up is the transcend external drive which is supped to have a time machine backup on it, the Mac sees this but can't see any backups....

  10. #10
    MacBook Pro Mid 2009 won't boot, detect USB and can't reinstall OS on new SSD
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevstonbury View Post
    Hi Krs,

    I've followed the instruction using transmac and every USB device I have tried just doesn't get picked up by the Mac. The image I had was downloaded off the internet, not great I know but ive used it in the past before, I don't have easy access to another Mac. The only USB device which gets picked up is the transcend external drive which is supped to have a time machine backup on it, the Mac sees this but can't see any backups....
    When you start up, do you hold the ďoptionĒ key down or ďcommand+RĒ?


    About macOS Recovery - Apple Support or How to select a different startup disk - Apple Support


    Sent from my iPad using Mac-Forums
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  11. #11
    I've tried both, with the new SSD in 'Option' button only detects the blank SSD, if I press Command+R nothing happens as there is no recovery partition on the new SSD. If I try the old HDD it just brings up the Macintosh HD and does go into recovery mode but doesn't see the external USB. The only USB or external device detected is the Transcend external drive which is supposed to have the time machine backup on, which also isn't detected....

  12. #12
    MacBook Pro Mid 2009 won't boot, detect USB and can't reinstall OS on new SSD
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevstonbury View Post
    I've tried both, with the new SSD in 'Option' button only detects the blank SSD, if I press Command+R nothing happens as there is no recovery partition on the new SSD. If I try the old HDD it just brings up the Macintosh HD and does go into recovery mode but doesn't see the external USB. The only USB or external device detected is the Transcend external drive which is supposed to have the time machine backup on, which also isn't detected....
    Even with the Time machine backup connected?


    Sent from my iPad using Mac-Forums
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    Even with the Time machine backup connected?


    Sent from my iPad using Mac-Forums
    Yeah it's really odd, I can see the transcend drive and when I go to restore from time machine backup ( with the old HDD in) no backups are showing. I must add that it's not my drive and I didn't take the backup so I can't confirm of it was done properly. What is strange though is that this is the only external drive which is even detected by the Mac..

  14. #14
    MacBook Pro Mid 2009 won't boot, detect USB and can't reinstall OS on new SSD
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    I must add that it's not my drive and I didn't take the backup so I can't confirm of it was done properly.
    What? Are you saying that the backup isn't really a backup of YOUR system but from some other? That's why it is not visible. It's not yours. Apple has pretty strong security to prevent any disclosure of data to anyone other than the original user.
    Jake

  15. #15
    MacBook Pro Mid 2009 won't boot, detect USB and can't reinstall OS on new SSD
    krs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    What? Are you saying that the backup isn't really a backup of YOUR system but from some other? That's why it is not visible. It's not yours. Apple has pretty strong security to prevent any disclosure of data to anyone other than the original user.
    No....
    As I understand it, the Mac itself is not Trevor's - he mentioned that in one of his posts.
    So I assume the backup is a backup of that particular Mac - so it should work.

    As to the 'strong security' aspect - when did that start?
    I have backups, via SD and CCC, of various Macs in my family and I can boot into all of them on my Mac.
    This is with ElCapitan - are you saying that this won't be possible in later macOSs?

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