Macbook Pro Will Not Boot From Retail Snow Leopard DVD

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I am a PC tech working on a Macbook Pro mid-2010 15" aka MacbookPro6,2 for an acquaintance (really) and I really appreciate any help/tips on this. As given to me, the MBP was totally non-responsive. Also, the owner does not have the original DVDs that came with the machine nor did she have the power adapter (long story).

Here is the summary: The MBP will not boot to a retail Snow Leopard 10.6.3 DVD; it only gets to the light grey screen with the darker grey Apple symbol and no spinning gear.

Here are the details:

1. After procuring a new AC adapter and installing a new battery, it would boot up and run but displayed an error with Steam startup. It connected to the internet via wifi, launched and ran a video dvd, etc, etc. Looked good except for the Steam error screen.

2. I went to the Steam website and downloaded the current version. After the software installed I did a normal shutdown and restart and the MBP would not boot, just went to grey Apple screen and spinning gear.

3. Booted up in single user, ran fsck -fy which reported "Invalid node structure (4, 24755)" which I understand is not good and it also reported that "The volume Untitled could not be repaired". Just on a whim I ran the fsck a couple more times not expecting anything different and that's what I got - nothing different.

4. Power up with Command R. Goes to grey screen and then tries to boot off of the bad hard drive with previous results.

5. Talked to Apple Care. To make it short, they sold me a retail Snow Leopard.

6. Installed a new blank hard drive (500GB, SATA II, WD Blue) and loaded the Snow Leopard into the Superdrive.

7. Power up and press C. Just goes to grey screen and grey Apple.

8. Power up with Option. DVD is there, click on it to launch, goes to grey Apple and that's all it does.

9. Just for grins, I popped in a Windows 7 Recovery DVD and did the power up/option to launch that and the MBP actually loads the Windows files and screen but it will not proceed because Win7 recovery doesn't recognize the MBP. At least the DVD worked.

10. Installed a different new blank hard drive and tried to launch Snow Leopard install but no dice.

11. Just for grins number two, I tried a remote install on my local network. On initial DVD access, the MBP displays a spinning globe along with the grey Apple, accesses the DVD on the remote laptop three times, but then the spinning globe disappears and everything stops. I left it for an hour and nothing else happens.

That is where I am stuck. I really appreciate any ideas on how to proceed. I can hear Genius Bar already, but was just wondering if I missed any possible steps to take myself.
 

chscag

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On a hunch, it sounds like you may have a flaky or bad SATA cable. That's the cable which connects the hard drive from its slot down on to the logic board. When you popped in the Snow Leopard DVD and booted holding down the Option key, it should have picked up the new hard drive in addition to the Snow Leopard boot DVD.

The hard drive you removed definitely was bad and should have been replaced - which you correctly did. Why don't you go to the ifixit site and take a look at the breakdown and replacement instructions for the MacBook Pro you're working on. Maybe that will key some ideas for you to go on in addition to what I suggested.

www.ifixit.com
 
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Thank you, chscag. I will explore ifixit.com.

When I option boot with the old hard drive and the snow leopard dvd I see both of them.

When I option boot with the new blank drive and the snow leopard dvd I see only the dvd.

Just to be clear, the new blank hard drive does not have the Apple format like a direct Apple replacement would have. The new blank hard drive is just a Western Digital Blue SATA II.

Given that additional information, should the new blank hard should show up regardless?
 

chscag

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Just to be clear, the new blank hard drive does not have the Apple format like a direct Apple replacement would have. The new blank hard drive is just a Western Digital Blue SATA II.

Given that additional information, should the new blank hard should show up regardless?

OK, thanks for the additional info. Different ball game now.... Yes, the blank hard drive should show up regardless of its format. The SATA cable should be OK if when you insert the old hard drive it's picked up by Disk Utility.

I've stuck a blank hard drive in my Mac before and it showed up in Disk Utility. Otherwise how would you be able to format it and prepare it to install the OS? I'm wondering now if you have a DOA Western Digital drive?

Do you by chance have an external USB SATA carrier that you can place the WD in, attach it to the Mac and see if it's picked up by Disk Utility?
 
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I do not have an external HD carrier. I should pick up one tomorrow.

In the mean time, I tried a second new blank drive with the same results.

There is one thing, though. I do not know much about Mac so forgive me if I ask a dumb question.

If I cannot boot to the OS X install DVD, in order to install the OS and everything that goes with it, how would I get to Disk Util? Is there a path or a key combination I can use to get there? Right now there is absolutely no code on the MBP except for the microcode in the CPU, but if I can use something to invoke Disk Util then I could do something with the new hard drive.

Thank you for your patience.
 

chscag

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If I cannot boot to the OS X install DVD, in order to install the OS and everything that goes with it, how would I get to Disk Util? Is there a path or a key combination I can use to get there? Right now there is absolutely no code on the MBP except for the microcode in the CPU, but if I can use something to invoke Disk Util then I could do something with the new hard drive.

It is a bit confusing. When you boot with the Snow Leopard DVD it will immediately offer to install Snow Leopard. Obviously, you can't do that without a working hard drive. What you need to do is accept the language after it boots, skip the install and instead go to the top menu "Utilities", then to "Disk Utility". Are you doing it that way?

Of course if the hard drive does not appear when you open Disk Utility from the Snow Leopard DVD, you can't format it. Two hard drives can't be bad. There's something else going on if you can't see either blank hard drive from Disk Utility when booted from the Snow Leopard DVD.

Try something for me: Do a PRAM reset before proceeding with anything else. Follow the instructions for a PRAM reset from this Apple KB Article.
The article says it's for Mavericks but the same procedure is used for all versions of OS X. After clearing the PRAM, let's see if the new hard drive is picked up.
 
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Steam Requires maverick or newer

snow leopard wont launch anything in steam and on another note steam is now 64 bit which means you need a newer o.s maverick mountain lion lion and snow won't work
 
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also why didn't she have the charger or battery???

sounds like she purchased a dead mac ebay and amazon sellers sell bad and defective macintoshes by removing the battery and the charger
 
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ahhh i got what is happening you need a 10.6.3 with the drivers for the macbook because the macbook had custom cd restore disks for the hardware
 

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Steam Requires maverick or newer

snow leopard wont launch anything in steam and on another note steam is now 64 bit which means you need a newer o.s maverick mountain lion lion and snow won't work

Are you talking about a specific aspect of Steam? I just checked the Steam system requirements…and it says "Snow Leopard 10.6.3 or later":

Steam, The Ultimate Online Game Platform

- Nick
 
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Tried 10.6.3 steam itself will install but the terminal commands to run games won't launch certain titles because they require a newer o.s
 

pigoo3

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Tried 10.6.3 steam itself will install but the terminal commands to run games won't launch certain titles because they require a newer o.s

If Snow Leopard doesn't work well for everything…I would think that Lion or at least Mountain Lion would be much better.:) A minimum of Mavericks (mentioned above) seems like an awful steep OS requirement (maybe just for some titles).

- Nick
 

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