Constant unexplained crashing and failed booting

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by alphaod, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I'm trying to diagnose problems with a friend's MacBook Air who due to language barriers cannot get help from the Apple Store. He has a Rev. A MacBook Air (with the 1.6GHz and 80GB HDD) and Snow Leopard. My friend is new at computers (this is his first computer) and only goes online to read the news, check the weather, travel research, etc. So the Air is the perfect machine for that.

    The issue started with a few weeks ago, he called me to ask me how to fix his internet. I wasn't sure where to start, but I suspected the Airport card. After testing the USB-to-Ethernet adapter which did not work, I figured it was something else. He told me everything gave him the "red" dot in Network Preferences (Well he didn't know to check there, as I had to tell him where to go). A PRAM reset fixed that which is good and he was able to go online again.

    Over the past few days he has called again because his computer would constantly freeze. At first it would be freezing and then it would work again after a few minutes. Sometimes it would just freeze and would require a forced shutdown (power button—5 seconds). Now of late it sometimes does not boot. I have been notified that it does boot past the gray screen, but stop right before when the desktop loads.

    Here is where it difficult: I do not know how to continue. I can't have him run hardware tests off the Installation DVDs because he does not have an optical drive and even if he did, he would not be able to relay me the results of any test. I cannot have him take it to the Apple Store because well they wouldn't be able to speak his language). All my family friends come to me for computer help, so that's no good and his neighbors are well not Mac proficient and again call me for computer help. He does not email, text, send MMS, etc. So I can't even get the console files. I would like to suggest a Erase and Install, but again with no optical drive and the difficulty of explaining things over the phone—I don't think I can do it. :eek:

    Any one has suggestions on how to proceed? Maybe even what's wrong?

    The only thing I can think of is to give him my MacBook Air and have him give me his and then I can figure it out later, but that's a bit inconvenient (but I'm definitely willing to do that if that's the only solution).
  2. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    How about setting up a usb flash drive to install snow leopard? An 8GB flash drive + postage is a lot less than an external superdrive.

    I understand there's the explanation barrier, but I don't see too many better options.
  3. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007

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