Help! Macbook Pro Startup

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by twomonger, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. twomonger macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    #1
    I'm currently volunteering in Nepal and my trusty Macbook Pro which I've have for two years is having issues. A few days ago it froze while I was using it (endlessly spinning circle thing) and upon rebooting it it becomes stuck at the startup screen with the Apple while the loading circle thing spins and spins. There is the start-up sound and the sound of the CD drive engaging but all I can do is sit and stare at an Apple and the loading spinny thing underneath. It's not that my Macbook is permanently stuck in this state when I attempt to turn it on--the strange thing is that I'd say about 1/30 times when I try to turn it on it's able to go past this state, in which case a number of things may happen. Sometimes the screen (a) turns blue while loading my desktop and becomes stuck in this state, (b) loads and works for about 30 seconds until I click on something, and then proceeds to freeze again (I'm still able to move the spinny colorful mouse around when this happens, but everything is nonresponsive) or (c) magically works. When it magically works it again either freezes unpredictably after a few hours or again leaves me stuck staring at the gray apple in the start up screen next time I try to turn it on. When I close the screen and the computer goes into standby it freezes when I open it again within 30 seconds. What causes it to work in some cases and not work in others completely stumps me, but its functionality seems to ebb and flow--it will not load anything, then work and freeze immediately, then work for a while, then leave me stuck at the white start up screen for a couple nights as I continually reboot it. The strange thing is that this also happened to me when I was in China around the same time last year, but the stuckness at the startup screen only happened around ten times, and after that my Macbook worked perfectly for an entire year. Also maybe worth noting is that whenever I turn on the laptop its startup screen was on the brightest setting, but the last time I turned my computer off it the screen was on the lowest setting, and now it's stuck that way whenever it tries to turn on. The vast majority of instances I'm left starting at the start up screen while the loading circle spins and spins, wondering whether it will (randomly and spontaneously, it seems) work.

    I don't have that much technical expertise, so any help would be very much appreciated!
     
  2. Detrius macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    #2
    You almost certainly have a bad hard drive. Back up any important data as soon as possible, if you haven't already.
     
  3. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #3
    i don't know what is happening, but you'll definitely want to have at least one backup just in case.
     
  4. Detrius macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    #4
    This is classic flaky hard drive. I can't say that it *is* the hard drive without testing it. There's the possibility it could be the hard drive cable, but it's almost certainly a bad hard drive. I would be shocked to find that it's anything else. This isn't how hard drive cables usually fail. It is one of the ways hard drives fail.
     
  5. twomonger thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    #5
    Thanks for the help guys--fortunately I brought my external with me so I was able to back up my important files. I'll try to get the hard drive replaced as soon as I get back to the US.
     

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