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John T. F.
John T. F., Mac Druid
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 2951
Experience:  20+ years in the computer/Mac industry
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No bootable device message is coming up and none of the keys

Customer Question

No bootable device message is coming up and none of the keys do anyting
JA: What OS X (Operating System, e.g. Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, etc.) or iOS are you runninng?
Customer: Not sure it is a 2009 macbook pro that has not been running since mid 2014
JA: Have you installed any updates recently?
Customer: It has not been running since 2014 so nothing since then
JA: What troubleshooting have you tried?
Customer: I have held option option command command r option + command with rtyuiop after I have tried everything thing I have seen on the forums and every time I get the no bootable device screen no keys seem to do anything
JA: Anything else you want the Mac expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: I think thats it
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  John T. F. replied 3 months ago.

Hi,

do you have the original OS X install disc that would have come with this MacBook?

Thanks,

John

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I do
Expert:  John T. F. replied 3 months ago.

Great,

Insert the OS X install CD.

Restart the computer and as soon as you hear the startup chime, press and hold the "C" key to boot from the disc. You can release the "C" when you see the Apple logo and progress indicator.

Choose your language and click to continue.

When you are sitting at the Introductory Installer screen (DO NOT INSTALL), go up to "Utilities" in the menubar and choose Disk Utility.

In the left hand sidebar, choose your Mac's hard drive (usually "Macintosh HD").

*If you do not see the drive, stop here and let me know what, if any, drives are listed.*

On the right hand side of the page, click "Repair Disk"

If it finds errors, repeat the process until it reports the drive is OK.

Next, click "Repair Disk Permissions"

Once the process has completed, choose “Disk Utility” > “Quit Disk Utility” in the menu bar at the top of the display.

Then, restart your Mac.

John

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
After installing the disk and holding down "c" it still went to the no bootable device screen. This time the only difference is that the line of code is shown twice.
Expert:  John T. F. replied 3 months ago.

Ok,

Restart the Mac

As soon as you hear the startup chime, press and hold the following keys;

COMMAND, OPTION, P, R

Hold them until you hear the chime a second time and then release the keys and allow the Mac to boot normally.

Now, repeat the prior procedure to boot from CD...

John

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hey John,Never Chimed a second time and still took me to the "no bootable device" screen.
Expert:  John T. F. replied 3 months ago.

Ok,

Shut off the Mac.

Plug in the power adapter to a power source, connecting it to the Mac if its not already connected.

On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.

Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.

Press the power button to turn on the Mac.

Is there any change in how it boots?

John

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Nope still went to the no bootable device.I tried that 3 times just to make sure I didnt mess anything up.
Expert:  John T. F. replied 3 months ago.

Ok,

you mentioned this MBP had not been running since 2014. Is that when it stopped working originally, or had it simply not been used and will not function now?

John

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
That was when it stopped. I did not know anything about computers at that point and I tried to delete my bootcamp partition and after that this is what always happened. I now know more about computers and got a new macbook pro 15 so I figured I would try to get it running again.It worked fine until the first restart after I deleted the bootcamp partition.
Expert:  John T. F. replied 3 months ago.

Ok, that would seem to indicate a software problem with the partitions on the drive...

Make sure the CD is still inserted in the MacBook.

Restart and immediately press and hold the OPTION key until the boot menu appears. Do you see the OS X Install disc?

John

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Still nothing. I tried both the left and the right side, and I tried immediately and waiting till the chime. Same result every time. No bootable Device.
Expert:  John T. F. replied 3 months ago.

Ok, since you have another Mac handy. My next suggestion would be to make an OS X installer on a flash drive and try re-installing OS X.

There's a pretty good guide here:

http://osxdaily.com/2015/09/30/create-os-x-el-capitan-boot-install-drive/

John

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
alright let me give it a try
Expert:  John T. F. replied 3 months ago.

Good luck!

John

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok I made the flash drive now how do I install this on the computer that won't boot?
Expert:  John T. F. replied 3 months ago.

You will turn off the Macbook and insert the flash drive.

Then, hopefully, restart, immediately hold down the OPTION key and it will recognize the flash drive.

John

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I did that followed all the instructions and now the message is "error loading operating system"
Expert:  John T. F. replied 3 months ago.

How far did you get?

John

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I got to the same spot. After the white screen it went to the same black screen. This time instead of saying no boot disk it is saying "error" loading operating system"
Expert:  John T. F. replied 3 months ago.

Ok,

It would seem there is something seriously wrong with the file system on the hard drive. I'm curious if it can be read at all.

There is a process that can be used to view the hard drive in one Mac on another as if it were an external drive. This is called Target Disk Mode.

In order to do this you would need a FireWire cable (possibly with a Thunderbolt adapter depending on models) to run between the two computers.

Make sure that both Mac's are turned off.

Make sure each is plugged into its AC power adapter.

Use a FireWire cable to connect the target (the sick Mac) to the host (the healthy Mac).

Turn the host on.

Start up your sick Mac and immediately press and hold down the T key until the FireWire icon appears.

The hard disk of your sick Mac should become available on the host. It should appear in the Finder as a mounted external drive.

If so, you made be able to use Disk Utility on the host to re-partition the drive properly.

Press the power button on your Mac to turn it off.

Unplug the FireWire cable.

Done!

Then use the flash drive installer to install OS X.

John

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok I have thunder bolt cables at my office but none at home. I will try this tomorrow and let you know what happens.Thanks
Josh
Expert:  John T. F. replied 3 months ago.

Ok, sounds good. If I'm not online at the time I will reply as soon as I see your response.

Good luck!

John

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Awesome. Have a great evening.
Expert:  John T. F. replied 3 months ago.

You too!

John

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi John,I just tried connecting the sick machine to the good one and booting it up holding "T" and it still went to the Error message. let me know what I should do next.Thanks
Expert:  John T. F. replied 3 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear that. I think, sadly, we are coming to the end of the road as far as what you can do as an end user to resolve this. Going off what you told me happened originally, this should not be an insurmountable problem. Normal recovery methods do not seem to be working that would not typically be failing just due to a software problem with drive partitions. However, I'm wondering if the keyboard on the Macbook is not entirely functional at this point as none of the key commands seem to have any effect. Do you have an external keyboard you might try using to repeat some of the prior steps?

John