Did you try to reset the SMC?
Resetting the SMC for Mac Pro, Intel-based iMac, Intel-based Mac mini, or Intel-based Xserve
1. Shut down the computer.
2. Unplug the computer's power cord.
3. Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds.
4. Release the power button.
5. Attach the computers power cable.
6. Press the power button to turn on the computer.
After that try again from a diskdrive (maybe Firewire?)...
Did you plug off all external devices (USB / Firewire)?
If not, do it and reboot with the original CD and the internal CD-drive.
If this does not work, I think you got a hardware prob... :-(
Another idea could be, that you use SL- and Lion-DVDs which came with other computers. These DVDs does only work with computers with the same hardware they came with.
I dont know how that answer got marked as "This solved my question", but I'm still having an error ):
I've tried CD's, USB, and nothing worked. That is so stupid that it's hardware specific. This is my first time going apple and never coming back again.
Could you provide a way I could diagnose the issue ? All I get is a Prohibited Sign so I have no clue at all what the problem. Is there a way to go into terminal mode so I can atleast get the error code and such
Also, Is there a way I could find out which hardware is giving me the problem ?
On the first CD that came with the Xserve is a hardware diagnostic tool. But I think you cannot run it because your Xserve stops booting before.
You can try to start in verbose mode (cmd+v at booting).
Also you can try to boot in singleuser mode (cmd+s) or in secure mode (holding shift right after startup signal und release it if you get the spinning wheel).
If you got a second mac you can start in target mode (holding "t" at startup) and connect the xserve with firewire to another mac. So you can repair the harddisks...
Also take a look here:
I've got the same problem, can't boot to stupid USB or DVD drive.
Xserve early 2008. Currently has 10.5 Server installed, but I don't know the password to it. I'm trying to boot to a 10.7 USB stick, which is known working, and the USB port is known working. (at least the mouse/keyboard work when in that port)
But I can't get the stupid thing to boot to the USB stick. I've got an older Mac keyboard, holding down the option key, it keeps booting to the OS on the RAID drives. In fact, holding down the option key, it doesn't even take me to the choice screen like it should.
I've made sure the system is not locked via the silly little hex screw thing.
I've also tried booting to the original install DVD (10.5 server) that came with the Xserver, that won't even boot.
What a pain. I'm giving up and ditching this piece of carp unless someone comes up with a brilliant idea, other than ditching the thing that is...
I had this problem on a 2009 XSERVE. I solved it by using the following instructions and a USB drive and the latest 10.10.2 installer I pulled from the App store. I imagine it would work with any installer provided it is supported by your hardware. Once the USB boot drive was created successfully, I set the Startup Disk to that USB drive in System Preferences and restarted. This got me to the OS X Utilities where I could format disks and setup for installs and other work. I have a 2006 XSERVE but have not tested this method on it. If you are unsuccessful, please let me know and I'll see if I can help further.
Please read the full instruction list before attempting so you have full understanding of what is to be done.
Web link to instructions:
Text of link to instructions:
Create a bootable installer for OS X Mavericks or Yosemite
With OS X Mavericks and Yosemite, you can create a bootable OS X installer which can be used to install the operating system while started from removable media, such as a USB flash drive.
Before you're able to create a bootable OS X installer, you'll need to do the following first:
Download the OS X Installer app from the Mac App Store.
Mount the volume you want to convert into a bootable installer. This could be removable media such as a USB flash drive, or a secondary internal partition.
You can then use the createinstallmedia tool to convert the volume from step two into a bootable installer based off the installer app from step one. To learn how to use createinstallmedia, use the following command in Terminal:
OS X Yosemite
/Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Yosemite.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia
OS X Mavericks
/Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia
For example, assuming you have a volume mounted at /Volumes/MyVolume and the OS X installer app is at /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app you could erase /Volumes/MyVolume and convert it into a bootable installer with this command:
OS X Yosemite
sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Yosemite.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Yosemite.app
OS X Mavericks
sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app
You may need to adjust the path to the OS X installer app and/or your removable media device's name in the command.
createinstallmedia is an advanced option for system administrators and as such, requires some knowledge of the command line in order to be used properly. It is only intended to be used with the version of the OS X Installer app it came with.
Last Modified: Nov 6, 2014