For some reason, I'm not able to load recovery mode utilities on my late 2008 MacBook (running Mavericks).

I've referenced the technical steps here but none of the startup keyboard sequences appear to work. I've tried:

  • CommandR
  • CommandOptionR
  • CommandOptionShiftR

In all cases, I just get taken to the ordinary desktop login screen. Am I missing something? I'm not a mac user so I'll be the first to admit that it could be user error on my part...

My ultimate goal is to reinstall macOS, and as this is a 9 year old system, I can't find the original OS CD.

There are a couple of options, the first would be to buy a new copy of macOS 10.6 Snow Leopard from Apple:

Alternatively you can use this Mac or another to download a copy of Mavricks via the App Store, which can be used to create a USB bootable macOS Installer, there are instructions here as they are quite long:

The main consideration however is that if you never downloaded macOS Mavericks on your App Store account you will not be able to download it in order to create the bootable USB, and will need to ask around friends.

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