Client's Macbook Pro 8 installed with OS X 10.7.5 Lion would boot up with out any chime, display the user login, but the cursor would just spin without completing the login process.
The client didn't have a backup so our first goal was to get a backup of the drive. That proved a bit of a challenge as it would not mount under any other system prior to v10.7.5. The system booted fine into the Disk Recovery partition, which allowed the disk repair to be run, however it found no issues.
A client gave us a MacBook Pro Mid 2009 that had some issues booting. The MacBook had El Capitan installed but it would not reinstall. After backing up the user files we then attempted to perform a recovery which attempted to restore the system to Yosemite, but that failed as well. Out of a last resort we had a copy of Snow Leopard v10.6.0 that we were able to use to reformat the drive and then install the OS. Here are the remaining steps we took to get the system retored to El Capitan.It is important to remember that when installing any Mac OS that you don’t have any non-Apple peripherals connected such as a mouse or keyboard as these will often cause the install to fail.Upgrade from v10.6.0 to v10.6.8 this is the base version needed prior to installing El Capitan.Update the v10.6.8 which will then install the App Store tool.Go to the Apple web site to “Get El Capitan from the App Store” https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT206886Scroll down the page to find the link “Get OS X El Capitan”. You can try this direct link.https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/os-x-el-capitan/Click the Get button in the upper left of the page.You will now need to enter your Apple ID and password to continue.The install will begin, it is about 6.21 GB and may take an hour or more to complete depending on your Internet connection speed.Once the install completes and the computer reboots, the system should now have El Capitan.
We hope that this information is helpful. Please let us know how this has helped you or if you have additional questions. As always Firestone Technical Resources, Inc. is here to help with your computer support issues - "Providing personal service for your impersonal technology."