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Lanzado en octubre de 2008 / 2.4, 2.53, 2.66, 2.8 o 2.93 GHz Procesador Core 2 Duo

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Can't install OS X on late 2008 MBP 15" Unibody

I know that this is a super old model and I'm not sure if there's anyone that has had a similar issue. My model is the first unibody MBP 5,1. Just to hopefully nip this comment before it shows up. This model of the unibody is the only MBP that had a removable battery, so I was able to test with and without a battery rather easily.

The core of the issue is that I cannot install any version of OSX on this machine. When I try to get the installer to go, I either get a boot loop where the loading bar under the Apple logo goes about 3/4 of the way and then the screen goes black followed by the chime. Or if I'm using a DVD, I'll get a kernel panic that grays out the screen and tells me to restart.

I have a retail disk of Snow Leopard that I've tried, as well as bootable USB that was created using another Mac and with official downloads from Apple first with El Capitan, and then Yosemite.

I have also removed the battery that is still good with several hours of charge, and tried just using the power adapter. Still the same result. This was a known issue when I first got this laptop. It was a project computer for me, so I wanted the challenge and this isn't my daily driver by any means. I was able to get around the boot loop by installing Linux Mint and it worked without issue. Booted right up and had all the accessories available like wifi, bluetooth, USB, ethernet etc. The RAM showed both sticks without any issues, and the SSD that's in there had no errors when I ran a scan on it.

I am getting ready to sell it off and I would like to just have some form of OS X even if it's no longer supported by Apple. If there is just no solutions that will allow me to install OS X, I'll just go back to Linux.

Is there something I'm missing here? Is there such a thing as safe boot installing?

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The highest this series supports is El Capitan OS-X 10.11.6

You can download it from here: How to get old versions of macOS

You will need to use a second Mac to create a bootable OS installer CD or a FireWire drive. Its been awhile I don't think this series supported USB booting.

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So I'm thinking that there may be something up with the optical drive since the Snow Leopard disk is causing kernel panics, and I know the disk is good based on a separate install I did with it earlier.

I should also mention that at some point prior to me installing Linux, there was a version of OS X (couldn't tell you which) but it caused some issues where it would freeze anytime I restarted it, and when starting up there was a good chance of boot loops, which is why I switched over.

When I've made USB boot sticks, I can start the laptop up and hold the Option key to bring up boot devices. It shows the install device and the OS X name. I can choose it, but it will only load about 3/4 before restarting.

I know there were firmware cds you could make for some models of Mac Pro and Xserve. I haven't found anything like that for mine and I'm not sure if this is a firmware issue or something else.

This is just a project computer for me, so I have no problem with disassembling it and getting into it.

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@sparklepimp - Well you'll need to clean the optical drive optics using a CD cleaner disk if you think it has issues. Otherwise you'll need to find a FireWire drive to prep up using another Mac system. You likely need to reformat the drive fully as the boot sectors are likely messed up with the Linux install.

Remember OS-X/macOS uses GUID partition mapping an the older OS-X and early macOS releases use Journaled File System. High Sierra and newer uses APFS so make sure you've setup the drive correctly.

The other option is taking the drive out and using a SATA to USB adapter so you can prep the drive off of the other Mac or at least clean the drive fully.

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