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Old Aug 27, 2011, 11:02 PM   #1
Diogones
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Snow Leopard will not boot after update

Hello,

I have a friend who recently upgraded from Leopard to SL on his black Macbook. After checking for updates recently, he found that he was still at version 10.6.3, and I recommended that he update to 10.6.8. After downloading the update, the Mac asked to restart the computer to finish installing the new version, as usual. Unfortunately, the laptop was running on A/C power, as the battery was completely drained. At some point during the installation, when the Mac was busy transferring the updated files around, the charger cable disconnected from the laptop, and it lost power.

When my friend attempted to boot it up again, he found that the Mac would sound its start-up chime, but the Mac would hang at booting, and only display the prohibitory, or NO sign. Usually, this means that the Mac cannot find a bootable kernel or a valid set of System files to load into memory, and with the botched update, I wasn't at all surprised.

So I attempted the slew of repairs, including booting to the SL install disc and running Disk Utility in order to repair the drive. The hard drive itself was reported as being undamaged, but when I tried to repair permissions, it would get within 2 minutes of finishing repairs before locking up. I tried repairing permissions this way twice, with the same results. I attempted to boot into Safe Mode, but no dice, I still got the NO sign. I tried booting into Verbose Mode, and according to the output, the Mac would load up fine, and then reach a point where it would simply loop the message, "Waiting for the disk to be ready." over and over again. I tried booting into Single User Mode, but it was just like Verbose Mode: I couldn't get the chance to enter any disk repair commands, because the Mac would simply error out waiting for the disk.

I think that the only two options that remain for my friend are: 1.) Head to the Apple Store or another certified Mac repair shop and get it looked at. 2.) Let me hook it up to my Mac via firewire and enter Target Disc Mode, and recover any data that we can from it, and then just do a complete reformat and reinstall of SL. We can't install Lion on it because he only has 1GB on the laptop, and Lion requires 2GB minimum.

So there you have it. Are there any other troubleshooting techniques I might have forgotten? I'm completely baffled, and I think that the SL install is hosed due to the failed update. I don't suppose there is anyway to undo the update installation, or restore the Mac to a prior point in time, like Windows' Last Known Good Configuration option, is there? Naturally, he didn't keep a Time Machine backup, so restoring from a disc image or drive backup simply isn't possible. Does anyone here have any ideas?

Last edited by Diogones; Aug 31, 2011 at 02:21 PM.
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Old Aug 27, 2011, 11:11 PM   #2
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I think you will waste a lot of time trying to repair disk, I would just stick with option two. If you have another hard drive laying around (or something with enough space that is partitionable) you could use CCC and clone his disk to that one, then while installing SL from scratch you could use migration assistant. That should act just like restoring from a backup.

Good luck.
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Old Aug 29, 2011, 03:13 AM   #3
Diogones
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Thanks for the helpful reply upayme! You are probably right: I'm not sure if any Apple technicians would be able to do any better than what we've tried. I do like your CCC idea though. As luck would have it, we do have a 300GB Firewire external drive my friend could use. I do have one question, however. Should I clone the drive via Target Disk Mode, or could I make a bootable disc with CCC on it that I would run and boot his computer from that to make the disk image?
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Old Aug 29, 2011, 12:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogones View Post
Thanks for the helpful reply upayme! You are probably right: I'm not sure if any Apple technicians would be able to do any better than what we've tried. I do like your CCC idea though. As luck would have it, we do have a 300GB Firewire external drive my friend could use. I do have one question, however. Should I clone the drive via Target Disk Mode, or could I make a bootable disc with CCC on it that I would run and boot his computer from that to make the disk image?
I'm not sure i completely understand the second option. I was thinking just clone it in Target Disk Mode to the 300GB drive, then install Snow Leopard on the MacBook hard drive. I just remembered, while installing, don't do erase the drive or anything, and see if there it will let you install without erasing the old content. This might make migrating from the the 300GB hard drive unnecessary.
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 12:47 PM   #5
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I'm sorry for the confusion upayme, let me rephrase the second option. What I meant was, could I take CCC, burn it to a blank CD/DVD, and then insert that disc into the Macbook. Once the Macbook had started, I would boot to the CD/DVD, and access CCC's GUI and controls from there.

However, after looking at CCC, I don't think there is a way to create a bootable version of it, so I'll just stick with Target Disk Mode. That was a great suggestion to just let the SL installer run a repair install instead of a fresh install; unfortunately the installer wouldn't work properly, giving us error messages about the validity of the drive. So a CCC copy, and then a fresh install, and then importing the data from the CCC copy, should do the trick!
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 09:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogones View Post
I'm sorry for the confusion upayme, let me rephrase the second option. What I meant was, could I take CCC, burn it to a blank CD/DVD, and then insert that disc into the Macbook. Once the Macbook had started, I would boot to the CD/DVD, and access CCC's GUI and controls from there.

However, after looking at CCC, I don't think there is a way to create a bootable version of it, so I'll just stick with Target Disk Mode. That was a great suggestion to just let the SL installer run a repair install instead of a fresh install; unfortunately the installer wouldn't work properly, giving us error messages about the validity of the drive. So a CCC copy, and then a fresh install, and then importing the data from the CCC copy, should do the trick!
Yeah, I would just try the fresh install thing then.

I have had a LOT (about three months of summer) of time trying to figure out how to do a similar thing with my computer. The only problem is mine is a hackintosh without an optical drive and about 52 other problems I finally got it booted today though, so I'm happy.
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Old Aug 31, 2011, 02:19 PM   #7
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Hooray!

I got the Macbook running again, and my friend is overjoyed! Thank you for your suggestions upayme: the CCC idea was extremely helpful.

I'm glad to hear you got your computer running OK; after three months of work on it, it had better boot or you probably would have booted it out the window! Yes, those Hackintoshes can be tricky: I tried doing one myself, but it was just too involved for my taste.

Thanks again for your help! I'm marking the thread as solved.
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Old Aug 31, 2011, 04:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogones View Post
Hooray!

I got the Macbook running again, and my friend is overjoyed! Thank you for your suggestions upayme: the CCC idea was extremely helpful.

I'm glad to hear you got your computer running OK; after three months of work on it, it had better boot or you probably would have booted it out the window! Yes, those Hackintoshes can be tricky: I tried doing one myself, but it was just too involved for my taste.

Thanks again for your help! I'm marking the thread as solved.
Yeah, I am really happy it finally booted. These hackintoshes to require you to always be learning and thinking of new ways to solve problems.

Glad I could help.
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