Help with old MAcbook Pro - how do I make it boot up?

Soldato
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Hey all. I have an old MacBookPro here. It came without a hard drive in it. I've put one in, but can't get it to boot up, or enter recovery mode by pressing Option and R at bootup. I just get a flashing picture of a folder with a ? in it.

With Windows, I can just make a bootable USB, plug it in and away I go. I have no other Apple gear here, and don't really have much idea about the Apple OS. The machine was my mates one. Unfortunately he's no longer with us, so I can't ask him lol! If I swap the SSD with one with Windows 10 on it, the machine boots into Windows fine, so I guess I need some way of getting the OS on it somehow? I believe it's not a very new one.

Would appreciate any pointers. Ta
 
Soldato
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Cheers for the replies. Nothing underneath, but after getting it to boot back up with the Win 10 disk, I did find out it's running a P7550 chip, so that puts it at a 2009 using the link @visibleman put above. OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion is the last fully supported OS that works, going to see if I can use that to make an install USB.
Ta for the help so far.
 
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Well I'm still struggling. Downloaded 10.8, 10.10 & 10.11 from the APple links above, and tried using Transmac and Anyburn to make a boot disc, but whenever I plug it in ant turn on the MCP and hold Option, the MCP doesn't see the USB stick. Never thought it would be this difficult lol! Any more pointer please? Cheers
Edit: If I put in a Windows 10 ISO and power on and hold Option, that ISO then shows to install win10
 
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Soldato
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@haaammit - Mac's are fussy and it's a lot easier to create a USB installer within OSX/MacOS. But, try extracting the the 'BaseSystem.dmg' from the OSX installer using TransMac and restoring that to the USB drive (again with TransMac), rather than restoring the entire OSX installer - obviously make sure you either convert the partition to GPT or use the 'Format Disk for Mac' option within TransMac.
This and this may be helpful.
Cheers again - using the info in the first link, the MCP would then boot from the USB drive. Using 10.7 and 10.8 builds, it gets to the point where it says "Checking with Apple for installation" or similar, then says there was an error and to try again. Rinse and repeat! Getting closer though lol!
 
Soldato
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Still couldn't get it to work with the official Apple OS. Got a version of 10.8 working, only to find Youtube won't play on that version of Safari, and it wouldn't install Firefox. The Win 10 install has no audio. I was going to put a Linux distro on it, but to be quite honest, I cba! I've scavenged the ssd out of it, is the unit any good to anyone on here as a spares or something to tinker with? FOC obvs.
Thanks for the help thus far though, it's just not to be!
 
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