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Question: What does this mean?

Been trying to fix a late 2009 iMac. When trying to startup normally I get the Apple logo and then a prohibitory symbol. Tried booting to safe mode and got the same result. Did command-r and command-option-r which resulted in the Apple logo and a spinning wheel but never progresses. Used option to bring up the startup menu and tried Macintosh HD and recovery 10.9.2 which both resulted in the Apple logo and spinning wheel as well. Decided to try single user mode to see if I’d get a different result which brought up the screen in the photo. What exactly does this mean? I’ve been thinking I might just need to reinstall the OS X program but I only have a windows laptop and I do not know anyone at the moment who owns a Mac so I would have to buy the snow leopard disc from apples website or go to an Apple store which the nearest one is over 30 minutes away. I don’t want to waste the money if that is not the solution and this is potentially a hard drive issue or something else.

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It means that there isn't a bootable macOS installation on the hard drive.

You have no choice at this point other than to re-install the OS. If you don't have the installation disks for the machine, you will have to buy a copy of Snow Leopard. Before you drive to the store, call them to see if they even have a copy in stock.

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Nov 14, 2017 7:45 AM in response to Tm0624 In response to Tm0624

It means that there isn't a bootable macOS installation on the hard drive.

You have no choice at this point other than to re-install the OS. If you don't have the installation disks for the machine, you will have to buy a copy of Snow Leopard. Before you drive to the store, call them to see if they even have a copy in stock.

Nov 14, 2017 7:45 AM

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Question: What does this mean?