So I recently made a post about my Mac not recognizing USB's or Boot. here's the link : MacBook Wont Boot or Recognize USB. Anyway this is an update. So my 2009 MacBook is still not working. It doesnt show the question mark folder, rather it goes to a command like screen with text saying "missing operating system". I know now my Mac CAN recognize USB's since it recognized a USB that had Refit on it. But it just doesnt recognize my bootable USB's with a OS on it. Also when I press opt(or alt if you want to call it that) it shows a HD called "Windows" but I never installed Windows or used bootcamp ever! I still cant use cmd + r for OS Utilities or cmd + opt + r since it doesnt have internet recovery ( 2009 Macs dont support internet recovery ). If anyone could please help I would thank you a lot! I need this MacBook for future projects! It's a MacBook 2009

  • Can you get to the recovery console (hold the command key + R) on a boot up? If so, what's the time on the system (open a terminal and type in date). Also, can you confirm that the USB you are using will boot another Mac?
    – marshki
    Aug 25, 2018 at 4:50
  • like I said. I cant enter recover mode or internet recover mode Aug 25, 2018 at 17:19
  • Can you confirm that the USB you are using boots off of another Mac correctly (i.e. you get to the OS X install menu)?
    – marshki
    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:36
  • well atm I dont have another Mac, but I assume it would since my MacBook recognized it before I deleted the HD Aug 26, 2018 at 18:22

1 Answer 1


An option would be to purchase the Mac OS X Snow Leopard for $20 USD. Once you have installed Snow Leopard and upgraded to 10.6.8, then you can download and install El Capitan.

BTW, the icon labeled Windows indicates the Mac Startup Manager is detected the installation of a legacy BIOS booting operating on your Mac. This does not mean the operating system was Windows.

According to everyman.com a 2009 MacBook was shipped with OS X 10.5.6, OS X 10.5.7 or OS X 10.6.1 preinstalled. You did not provide enough information to determine which 2009 MacBook model your have. Apple does not provide enough information to determine which version of Snow Leopard you would be buying. One can assume this would be OS X 10.6.x, but what x is I do not know. You would have to ask to Apple. I assume you are buying a DVD and that your DVD drive works. The idea was to install Snow Leopard from the DVD, then download and install the Mac OS X 10.6.8 Update Combo v1.1. Next, you can download and install El Capitan from the Apps Store. This would avoid using a USB port.

To get the Mac to recognize the DVD, you would need to hold down the option key at startup until the Startup Manager appears. Select the DVD icon to boot from the Snow Leopard DVD.

  • Would it be able to recognize the disc? Also that would make since that it would be a LEgacy BIOS, since when I opened Refit, I chose an option to boot a Legacy OS Aug 25, 2018 at 17:19
  • @Galaxy Enliv: I updated my answer. Aug 26, 2018 at 1:43

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