What year MBP?
He has a 2011 model Macbook Pro, if it came with Snow Leopard then he should use the 10.6 disks that came with the machine.
Late 2011's and later came with OS X 10.7 Lion, there are no more disks and holding D at boot time should work for either actually (D does work on mine)
One has to hold D or option D down for a LONG TIME while booting up to load Hardware Test from Apple's servers.
Using Apple Hardware Test on computers with OS X 10.5.5 to 10.6.7 (section from that article that applies to you).
You need Applications Install Disk 2 that came with the unit. If you don't have it then you have to contact Apple to see if you can obtain a replacement... As DS suggested you can always schedule an appointment at an Apple Repail Store and have it done there, then can even perform an MRI. Good luck.
FYI - Your unit originally shipped with 10.5.6 (Source: MacTracker)
I have a MacBook Pro 8,2 early 2011 running Mavericks. I was unable to get Apple Hardware Test to run with the "d" key held down at boot. This is because there is no Apple Hardware Test on these machines. To run AHT you must have a .diagnostics folder (containing the correct AHT files) here: /System/Library/Core Services/.diagnostics
Here's how I was able to get AHT to work:
1. You don't need to take any action from this page (I wrote it up below) but this is where I started:
there's a link on that page to go here to download many of the AHT DMGs:
I downloaded the DMG for the 6,2 (here's the direct link to the DMG if you want). There is no AHT DMG for 8,2, but 6,2 worked fine for me:
Open the DMG and you'll see: System/Library/Core Services/.diagnostics
NOTE: If you can't see the .diagnostics (which is a hidden file) - any file with a dot in front of it is invisible in unix, so to see it you'll need to turn hidden files on. Here's a simple "show/hide invisibles" script I've been using forever and it has worked with Lion all the way up to Mavericks. I didn't write this simple script and I don't remember where I got it, but I've posted it up here, or you can find your own:
open that zip and double click the script inside to show invisible files. (note: I keep this script in my ~/Library/Scripts folder). Now you can see .diagnostics in that Core Services folder in the DMG.
Go to System/Library/Core Services/ on your MBP (again, mine is the MBP 8,2 early 2011). Drag the .diagnostics folder from the Core Services folder in the DMG into the same folder (Core Services) on your mac. AHT is now "installed" in your system.
Reboot the Mac with "option D" held down (worked for me, maybe try just the "d" if that doesn't work) until you see the Apple Hardware Test icon in the center. The test showed my correct hardware, and I was able to successfully test my mac.
I hope this works for you.
last note: If you want to stop seeing invisible files just double click that script again.
On my mcbook pro, 13 inches, just restart and befor the graf screen press ALT + D, until 5 seconds later, it shows the web icon.
As it could not find my wifi network (too many of them and the list has a fixed lenght, i guess), I used my iphone's shared one. That one appeared almost on top of the list.
I tried the steps you mentioned.
But I sitll cannot bring up the hardware test with D / Command D / Option D.
My macbook pro is mid 2010
Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro6,2
Processor Name: Intel Core i7
Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 2
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 4 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Processor Interconnect Speed: 4.8 GT/s
Boot ROM Version: MBP61.0057.B0C
SMC Version (system): 1.58f17
Serial Number (system): W8020YL3AGW
Hardware UUID: A70823EC-3897-57A0-BD2B-0F35CF62FA3F
Sudden Motion Sensor: