Can't boot past apple logo, what effect does re-installing have on the machine?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by AmuroRay2, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. AmuroRay2 macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2013
    [MBP 5,3 OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard (I think)]

    I've run into this problem. My machine is pretty much identical to the the one in the link. I did manage to boot into the system once and it said I needed to do a repair disk, which I did via booting through the mac CD which didn't work.
    If I reinstall OSX how do I protect my files?
    Also the real kicker is when this started I was about to back up using time machine for the first time in 5/6 months.

    I copied and pasted this from a topic I made on Reddit, I didn't get any answers and I was told this place is quite good for support. I think I'm going to need to resinstall OSX. I have a back up on time machine from June but if I restore through that I'll loose a lot of stuff over the past few months wont I?

    Funny thing is it started having these problems on the same day I started looking for my time machine disk since I hadn't backed my files up for a while.
  2. raptor402 macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2011

    I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Why don't you try booting from USB? You can make a live Linux boot disk (check out GParted). If that works, you can use the same to copy your files onto an external HDD. After that, a reinstall (with a proper reformat) should work.

  3. AmuroRay2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2013
    Thanks for the tip, I don't have a spare HDD to dump it all onto though. That's why I was hoping time machine could solve it. I also read re-installing doesn't delete all your data.
  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I think the problem the user in the Reddit user had may have been caused by the rEFIt boot utility he was using. You issue sounds more like disk corruption, and this if often a sign your disk drive is dying.

    You mentioned you tried to repair the disk by booting to the installer DVD... what happened when you did that and ran Disk Utility to repair the disk?

    Reinstalling the OS will not erase your data. The risk is if your drive is dying, a OS reinstall may push it over the edge and not fix anything anyway. If you did not change or install anything to cause this, the OS does not just spontaneously get corrupted and need to be reinstalled.
  5. AmuroRay2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2013
    My problem seems to be exactly the same, I thought it might be the HDD dying but my windows XP partition works just fine.

    The repair disk and repair disk partitions completed and said the disk was in good condition.
  6. raptor402 macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2011
    Hmm... I had my money on dying drive. Nevertheless, when you reinstall, delete all partitions and setup a new one. That will remove your data. Don't try to preserve your data; it will prevent the resolution of your issue.


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