Circle with a slash on startup


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 7, 2006
I have a mid2012 13" MacBook Pro when I start it it has a circle with a slash through it. I have tested the the hard drive and its ok. I installed two different brand new solid state hard drives into it. After installing the OS on them I get the same circle with the slash through it. I took a hard drive cable from another mid-2012 MacBook Pro and I get the same results. I swapped the hard drive cable on the non-working MacBook Pro to another laptop and it worked great.

Since I know the hard drives and hard drive cables are good what do you think is causing my problem?

Thank you for looking.


macrumors 68010
Oct 30, 2006
Maybe an issue with the logic board connector? If you have a good drive, cable, and install, that’s the next logical place to look. Can you boot from USB?
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macrumors 68020
Dec 7, 2016
Seattle, WA
The circle with the slash is the “phohibatory symbol”. It means your Mac can’t find a startup volume to boot to.

Try installing via this, and also use disk utility while in that mode to make sure your drive shows up correctly. APFS gets a little wonky if you wipe the drive sometimes and then try to install Sierra as opposed to High Sierra (often requiring you to boot back into recovery, wipe the drive a second time, and then re-install again).

To manually start up from macOS Recovery over the Internet, hold down Option-Command-R or Shift-Option-Command-R at startup.

Edit: also try booting from one of those drives in another Mac (it seems you have two of them).
Last edited:


macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2015
Honolulu HI
Sometimes the HDD cable will work with a HDD but not a SSD. So you need to test the cable and try to boot with a SSD in a different computer. (It's not clear to me from the post if that was tested.) If that works, I would follow the suggestion in post #2 - try booting from an external enclosure via USB with the SSD in the MBP and see if it's recognized and can be set as a boot disk and go from there. If the SSD works in a different computer and you are doing High Sierra, then post #3 may help.

Note that the prohibitory symbol may also appear if the disk hasn't been properly setup as a boot disk or if you're trying to run an OS too old for the computer (has to be at least Lion 10.7.4). So trying to boot from the SSD in a USB enclosure will indicate whether that's the problem or not.
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macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 7, 2006
Thank you all for your support. When I hooked up the old spinning HD via USB I was able to boot to it. I could not boot to the SSD via USB (it didn't see it after pressing alt/option upon startup).
I will look at suggestion #3


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 7, 2006
After formatting a working spinning hard drive to APFS and booting to an external hard drive with High Sierra the hard drive is not recognized. Does this seem to be a logic board problem? If so, how best can I test it?


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 7, 2006
wrong info
Thank you jerryk. I have the hard drive cable on the problem laptop with a similar laptop and the cable works. I then put a working hard drive cable from the a different laptop and it didn't work on the problem laptop.


macrumors newbie
Jan 7, 2019
SOLVED: MacBook Will Not Start Up After macOS Update

I have a MacBook pro running MacOS Mojave.

For the past year or so, every time a new MacOS update rolls out, and is attempted to be installed on my MacBook, it ends up displaying the circle slash (Prohibitory Symbol). Rebooting still produces a prohibitory symbol. I’m still able to boot into recovery mode (CTRL-R at Startup), however running disk repair on my MacBook HD does NOT solve the problem. I have also tried: (a) specifying the startup disk (problem still persists); (b) attempting to start in safe mode (problem persists); doing the NVRAM reset (problem persists). In the past, the only way i was able to get around the problem, is by re-formatting my HD, installing latest version of Mojave OS, and then migrating all my data from my TimeMachine backup.

This happened again the other day with the recent Mojave update 10.14.2.

My computer automatically installed the update overnight, and in the morning, my screen was showing circle slash. This time i did some more research, and discovered that the issue may be caused by UNSIGNED KERNEL EXTENSION (KEXT) files existing on my HD.

Kernel Extension is a piece of code that extends the capability of the base kernel of an operating system. The kernel typically manages I/O requests, and in OS X, the file ends in “.kext.”

Starting with Yosemite, kernel extensions must be code signed by the developer with Apple authorization or OS X won’t load them. Sometimes these un-signed kernel extensions cause this headache after an OS X or macOS update.


After I removed the following KEXT files from the /Volumes/<your system's drive name>/Library/Extensions/ directory, my MacBook booted up properly, and finished installing the Mojave update.


<your system's drive name>/Library/Extensions/

(note: this is DIFFERENT directory from /System/Library/Extensions/)

BJUSBLoad.kext (Creator: Canon)

CIJUSBLoad.kext (Creator: Canon)

ParagonSnapshot.kext (Creator: Paragon)

ufsd_NTFS.kext (Creator: Paragon)

VDMounter.kext (Creator: Paragon)

LittleSnitch.kext (Creator: LittleSnitch)

Note: When I removed these KEXT Extensions, the “circle slash” problem did not resolve until i finally removed: ParagonSnapshot.kext and VDMounter.kext


Below is a link to a useful article which provides some helpful information regarding:

MacBook Will Not Start Up After macOS Update, How-To Fix

In that article, the section titled “Un-Assigned Kernel Misfiring” explains how to boot into recovery mode and launch Terminal utility. However, one problem with that article is that the kextstat command is not available in Terminal utility running in recovery mode.

As a work-around, these are the steps i took to solve the problem:

1. Boot to Recovery (with CMD + R or CMD + Shift + R if you don't have recovery partition)

2. First, pick Disk Utility, select your main disk and Mount it; this is required if your disk is encrypted and requires password to be mounted

3. Now select Disk Utility -> Quit; then Utilities -> Terminal

4. Begin typing in Terminal following commands:

4a. cd /Volumes/

4b. cd <your system's drive name>

(Note: If your system drive has any spaces in it’s name, then put the name in single quotes. For example, my MacBook boot drive is called “MacBook HD”, so the command I would type is: cd ‘MacBook HD’

4c. cd library

4d. cd extensions

4e. ls

(Note: first letter is a lower case L)

After you type ‘ls’, you should see a list of KEXT extensions like this:

ACS6x.kext CIJUSBLoad.kext

ATTOCelerityFC8.kext CalDigitHDProDrv.kext

ATTOExpressSASHBA2.kext HighPointIOP.kext

ATTOExpressSASRAID2.kext HighPointRR.kext

ArcMSR.kext PromiseSTEX.kext

BJUSBLoad.kext SoftRAID.kext

The KEXT extensions listed above are all ones properly signed by Apple.

These KEXT extensions can remain, but if you have other KEXT extensions listed, chances are that some or all of those others are causing the issue.

If you see any of these extensions (listed below), you should be able to safely delete them in order to fix your problem. I’d recommend removing each extension, one at a time, then rebooting to see if it worked, and if not, repeat steps above and delete next one. Based on my limited research, the ones i’d recommend deleting first are:

ParagonSnapshot.kext (Creator: Paragon)

VDMounter.kext (Creator: Paragon)

LittleSnitch.kext (Creator: LittleSnitch)

ufsd_NTFS.kext (Creator: Paragon)

While in Terminal utility (in Recovery mode), to delete (or remove) a desired KEXT extension (eg., LittleSnitch.kext) type:

rm -r <full name of extension>

(eg, “rm -r LittleSnitch.kext”)

9. quit the terminal and restart

Hope this helps! :)

Good luck!!
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