Boot up issue (can't get past black screen)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Tyler23, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. Tyler23 macrumors 603

    Tyler23

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #1
    Hi all,

    My co-worker has an issue that has me stumped.

    He has a 2011 MBP. As of this past weekend, every time he attempts to use his computer, he'll turn it on, and it will show the grey boot-up screen with the Apple logo, and then will change to a black screen. The funny thing is, he can see his mouse pointer on the screen and move it around, but he's stuck at that black screen.

    He says his keyboard backlights still illuminate. He's tried booting into safe mode (worked once) and holding option-R, but that hasn't worked.

    Any ideas what the issue might be, and what he can do to fix it?

    Thanks!
     
  2. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #2
    I wouldn't expect anything to happen when booting with Option-R
    That's more likely Command-R, which, holding that on a restart, should boot to the recovery partition, and give you the choice to run Disk Utility, or reinstall OS X. The recovery partition may not exist for several reasons, such as a 2011 MBPro that came with Snow Leopard, and has not been upgraded to a newer OS X version.
    Try restarting while holding the letter D - which should boot to the hardware diagnostics. You can run both the standard and extended tests.

    If the OS X system is still Snow Leopard, then you may have a Snow Leopard installer DVD, which can be used to both test the hard drive, and reinstall OS X, if that is needed.
     
  3. Tyler23 thread starter macrumors 603

    Tyler23

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #3
    Sorry should have mentioned he's running Mavericks. Does this change anything?
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #4
    No, doesn't change anything. Option-R still wouldn't perform any system boot function. It's command-R. And, that doesn't guarantee that a Recovery system would exist, although it should.

    If the hard drive is backed up with Time Machine, then there's an advantage with Mavericks - the Time Machine backup should be bootable, or you can erase/restore the hard drive with that.
    I think the FIRST step would be Disk Utility to test the hard drive. If that has failed, then it would need to be replaced...
     
  5. Tyler23 thread starter macrumors 603

    Tyler23

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #5
    Thanks for your help! I'll have him give that a try first. He does back up to Time Machine - he thinks the last backup might be about 40 days old but that shouldn't be a huge deal.

    If the HD seems ok, how exactly would he go about booting from or erasing/restoring the HD with his backup?

    Appreciate it!
     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #6
    If the hard drive appears to test OK, then you can just reinstall OS X.
    If you boot to the Time Machine backup, and decide that you want to eraser and restore, then you can erase the hard drive from Disk Utility, and use Time Machine to restore the drive.

    I would suggest that the first step is to double-check that "command-R" does, or does not function, as I prefer to do that from the Recovery partition, if it exists.
     

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