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I'm out of ideas here.

MacBook Pro 3,1 with a Core 2 Duo and 10.5 isn't booting an OS X Lion DVD. I get a grey circle with a line through it then the Apple logo immediately.

I've zapped the PRAM - no good.

ran fcsk -fy - no good.

Restored the DMG to a FireWire hard drive - no good.

Restored the DMG to USB and tried booting - no good.

Repaired Disk Permissions with Disk Utility.

There's no Boot Camp partition on it. I tried a Snow Leopard DVD - same results - circle with line through it and immediately to the Apple logo.

The Lion DMG is mine from my < 1 year old Core i7 MacBook Pro that I downloaded from the App Store.

Checked for updates to SMC and EFI - it's up to date.

Tried changing the startup disk in Utilities - asks for the admin password and then beeps at me with no reason.

When I go into the DVD / USB from inside OS X the installation program has the same grey circle with line through it over its icon.

The laptop is fine - he's (my father) been using it for weeks in 10.5 - doesn't care if it's completely formatted; just wants to get the latest OS.

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Would it be possible to get a screenshot with the grey circle with a line? Is it like support.apple.com/kb/TS1892? Also, does 10.5 still boot? –  Vervious Apr 1 '12 at 4:15
    
Yes, its the same image as Apple has posted on their site. I followed that guide as best as I could (apart from installing OS 9) - 10.5 still boots fine. The system is perfectly operational and has no problems other than I can't install a new OS. The only thing I can think left to do is swap the hard drive? I've tried everything else... –  lsiunsuex Apr 2 '12 at 12:23

1 Answer 1

AFAIK, you must already have 10.6 installed to install 10.7.

You mentioned trying a Snow Leopard DVD, but what kind of DVD (restore, retail, burned) and how did you try booting it (Startup control panel, installer on the DVD, boot loader)?

When starting up the system, hold down the option key to go into the boot loader. You should get a menu showing the startup drive and any bootable media. If the DVD doesn't show up, then it is not bootable on that system. The safest bet is to use a retail DVD.

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Theres articles everywhere saying burning the Lion DMG (install esd.dmg) to dvd and booting works just fine. Snow leopard was a DVD and yes holding the option key when booting shows the DVD there (or the hard drive or the usb with the image restored to it) - none of those options worked. –  lsiunsuex Mar 28 '12 at 10:19

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