Question 2009 Macbook Pro - OS Issues

Jan 28, 2020
Morning all

I have a Macbook Pro (early 2009) in for a new hard drive. Customer brought OS DVD (Leopard). She bought it second hand and it came with Mavericks installed although no installation media for it was provided.

I bought a mavericks USB drive but the machine won't boot from it (I am holding down option at boot). The machine does not have the internet recovery option. Any ideas as to how to move forward with this?

That computer will run macOS El Capitan. The latest officially supported version. You can download the DMG directly from Apple (step 4 in Apple Support Article). Then use the appropriate version of DiskMakerX (version 6) to create a bootable flash USB. This can also be done via Terminal commands but DiskMakerX is easier. If you are using Windows you can also create a USB via Transmac (free trial) from the Apple ISO. I've only ever done it from macOS though.

Apple Support Article:
Windows Method:

I could not say why the Mavericks installer you bought does not work. Apple never released it as a physical option. Whomever created it may have done something wrong or never verified that it works. I believe Lion was the last version Apple ever sold physically as a USB installer.

At any rate. As El Capitan is the latest compatible version. They should be running it. To maximize software compatibility. Security may also be better. As I recall, Apple stops releasing security patches two years after an OS is discontinued. So, El Capitan is no longer patched.