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Recently I couldn't get my Mac (bought in April - 2009) to boot. The hard disk was quite full and honestly speaking I kept ignoring a number of warnings from OS X to 'free up some space'. I have been trying to fix it for the past month, and I have tried a lot based on information available on Internet.

The problems are:

  1. The startup DVD I have takes me to Disk Utility but it fails to re-install Mac OS X.
  2. The disk has errors and they are there even if I erased the disk completely.
  3. fsck -fy is not able to repair the disk.
  4. I created bootable USB for OS X El Capitan and I used it to boot the Mac: I get to the Apple logo and the progress bar filled up as well (after 1-2 hours)... but nothing happens after that.
  • Sounds like trying another HD might be the next step. – Tetsujin Sep 8 '16 at 15:33
  • 1
    Are you saying that your Mac won't boot from the USB installer? Have you tried Apple Hardware Test (AHT). Hold the D key while booting from a powered off state with the AC adapter connected. – Allan Sep 8 '16 at 16:48
  • Your 1st part of your description is a system disk full. This problem is solved with normal user method: archive old files and remove them. [return] The 2nd part of your description is a damaged disk. Follow the advice from @Allan, and if the test confirm the damage, change your disk. – dan Sep 8 '16 at 21:15
  • I tried to perform AHT as suggested by Allan but I couldn't get it working. I have already erased the disk so I think I have to somehow install OS X to get AHT to work. I am also missing the 'recovery mode' on my Mac so only option I had was to use a USB. Thanks! – Ashish Sep 8 '16 at 22:06
  • @Allan: Yes, if I use USB as installer, then I get to the apple logo and progress bar, but nothing happens after that. (See point number 4 in my question). Thanks. – Ashish Sep 8 '16 at 23:28

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