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Model A1297 Unibody: Early 2009, Mid 2009, Mid 2010, Early 2011 & Late 2011

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Cannot restore OSX, am I missing something or am I losing my edge?

I have a 17’ Macbook Pro A1286 (2010) that no matter what I do I cannot get it to install the Operating System, I cannot even get it to boot to recovery mode. I replaced the HDD due to system booting to a white screen 3/4 of the way through the boot process. After running diagnostics on HDD it was determined that it was suffering from numerous corrupt sectors.

I have also replace the data cable for the HDD as original did have some heavy creases in it. I have tried running the recovery without success, I have tried to install new system from bootable USB drive only for the installer loading to around 3/4 way and then I get a white screen and nothing.

So new HDD, new HDD data cable, fresh complete installer still not able to get a working machine. This is seriously causing me to question my skills.

I just wish I could clone another Mac but that didn’t even work.

Solutions, advice & help needed please.

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Wich OSX are you trying to install??

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I have tried several from Lion onwards, the most recent attempt was with HS 10.13.4.

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3 Answers

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Are you able to get to the Target Disk Mode Screen when you restart the system holding the T key? (you may need to do a SMC reset first). If you can your issue is the dedicated GPU has failed and you’ve been chasing your tail thinking you has a drive/OS issue. Sorry ;-{

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Interesting, I will do those after work today.

I do see the apple logo on boot, so it is more the higher resolutions at the OS level is what the problem you say would cause. Is that correct?

Off to work now so will update my results later today.

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The system starts up under the low res services and then jumps to the higher res. When you boot up under Target Disk Mode the screen stays in low res. Which is why its a great way to isolate out the issue. If you connected your system to another Mac system you would see you have access to the drive and its data.

Understanding the Applications for Target Disk Mode

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Never think you are slipping. The crap Apple has been pulling is lately always my first suspect.

Hook that drive up to another Mac and do an erase with the security option on for at least one pass of writing all zeros. As you know, this will map out all the bad blocks. Do it externally with a USB to SATA adapter and format it GUID. Stay far away from High Sierra, especially if it is an SSHD or SSD. Install Sierra onto it, then put it into the 17” and see where you’re at. Zap the PRAM on first start up.

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No clue if this will help you at all, but I recently got around a problem similar to this on a 2012 A1278 MBP by plugging the flash drive containing the OSX installer through a generic USB hub (in this case, a cheapo Amazon Basics 5-Port Hub). For whatever reason, the system simply refused to recognize any bootable external drives unless they were plugged in through that hub. Couldn’t explain why, but it worked for me. Possibly worth a shot?

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@krowbird - Thats normal! The way USB works the system will only boot up with a direct connection to the drive not though a hub device.

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