How can I revive an old MacBook pro that won’t recognize its internal or an external CD/DVD drive?

shmuel November 10, 2011
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My brother has a MacBook and when I turned it on there was only a folder with a question mark inside, so I realized the machine was looking for the hard drive.

I installed a new hard drive, but saw that the internal CD/DVD was not working. I attached an external CD/DVD drive through a firewire and I switched it on holding the option key. Then I got a grey screen with the Apple logo and the spinning circles, but then nothing happens.

I tried calling Apple support and they don’t have any answers. His Apple Care warranty has expired. Does anyone have any ideas how to revive this MacBook?

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  1. Mike
    November 10, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    As you correctly diagnosed the "folder with a question mark" means that the MacBook Pro was not able to found a bootable media.

    After changing the Hard Drive you obviously need to install Mac OS X.

    From your description I couldn't read out if you "only" connected the external CD/DVD drive or also inserted a Mac OS X Installation CD/DVD.

    Since your Hard Disk is "clean" I suggest to insert a Installation DVD and then press and hold C during boot. This will force the MacBook Pro to boot from the optical drive and start the installation.

  2. FIDELIS
    November 10, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Hello, if you replaced the hard drive, there is no operating system on it.  I guess, you will have to get an installation disk for your operating system compatible with your mac and once you have that, insert disk in external dvd drive and see if you can install it.  Or you could the usb option if available.