HELP! macbook won't boot

Discussion in 'macOS' started by jakeopolis, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. jakeopolis macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #1
    hey all,

    i need some help!

    last night i installed some recent updates on my girlfriend's macbook, and this morning it won't boot - it gives me a blue screen with the spinning wheel at the bottom, and stays there. i've given it ove an hour and it's still stuck.

    the problem is, her optical drive is not working, so i can't boot from the OSX dvd and restore from time machine.

    what are my options?

    here is what i have at my disposal: the frozen macbook, the external hard drive with her (and my) time machines backups, my macbook (with a working optical drive), a 1gb usb flash drive, and the internet.

    what can i do? please help me!
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Connect the two macs with a firewire cable, and run your mac in firewire disk mode (hold down T) with the OS X DVD in it). This should then let you do an archive and install of the OS on her machine.

    If you need to backup anything put her Mac in firewire target disk mode, and you can copy the data off onto your machine.
     
  3. jakeopolis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #3
    i thought about that, but i don't have a firewire cable :(

    oh, i do have an 80gb ipod though, and i've heard it's possible to use that to boot osx... all i really need is the main boot screen from the osx dvd which will allow me to restore from time machine.
     
  4. Hmac macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    #4

    I agree, this is likely going to be the best way. The dead Mac in target disk mode, will come up as a hard drive on the other Mac. You could then run Disk Warrior to repair the dead one. I had this happen a couple of years ago on a friend's iBook. As it turned out, the hard drive was dead on it ("click of death") and I couldn't repair the disk, but I was able to get data off of it so that data could be restored after the new hard drive was installed.

    If the drive on the Macbook isn't clicking or otherwise making horrible noises, then it may be a problem with permissions or some other OS corruption, so you don't necessarily need Disk Warrior...Disk Utilities on the other Mac may do the trick, and is the first place to start if you don't have Disk Warrior. I really like Disk Warrior, though. Very powerful repair tool.
     
  5. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
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    UK
    #5
    Firewire cables are cheap and useful, one like this one on New Egg will be fine.
     
  6. jakeopolis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #6
    i may go and pick up a firewire cable then.

    but, before i do, is there any way to like, copy the osx dvd to my ipod? all i need is the disk utility app so i can restore from TM backup.
     
  7. applefan69 macrumors 6502a

    applefan69

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Location:
    Medicine Hat
    #7
    I dont know the exact steps, but basically to do that, your simply have to hack your iPod to function as an external HD. Then I THINK from there you can tell the mac to boot from external HD (i think you can do that at least) that would essentially be how you'd do it.

    As to how to hack your iPod to work like an external HD I suggest searching google. I will warn you though, hacking your iPod does void warranty and I dont necessarily suggest it.
     
  8. jakeopolis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #8
    ok, firewire cable it is!

    so now, here is my question for you guys: if i boot my (working) macbook in firewire mode and then boot the broken macbook while holding option, it then gives me the option to boot from the firewire mode macbook? in which case, can i put the OSX dvd in the working macbook, run the installer from the broken macbook, and restore from TM? in other words, basically, how do i do this...

    thank you guys so much for the advice, i really appreciate it.
     
  9. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    I'm pretty sure it should work OK like that.
     
  10. jakeopolis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #10
    ok, so, problem!

    i got a firewire cable, hooked it up, booted the working mac in firewire mode with osx dvd in the drive, booted the broken mac while holding option, and got the boot menu. i chose the osx dvd, and it looked as if it was working for a minute... until the mac logo became a NO symbol (as in "no smoking")! the gear kept spinning, but after 20 minutes that no symbol was still there and nothing was happening. i tried again - this time booting from the working mac's HD instead of the osx dvd - and the same thing happened. am i doing something wrong here, or is something really broken?!
     
  11. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #11
    Sounds like your drive is dead. Since your data's backed up, I'd just buy a new drive and restore to it once you put it in your MB.
     
  12. jakeopolis thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 27, 2007
    #12
    i doubt it, it's a pretty new hard drive (like 4 months). however, there is still the problem of the optical drive not functioning properly, which means i can't boot from the osx disc, which means i can't restore from TM. this is really frustrating.

    right now i've got the broken mac in firewire mode and the working mac as host. the broken HD is in disk utility, but will not mount and will not let me do any kind of first aid. :confused::confused::confused::confused:
     
  13. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    May 30, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    #13

    My approach would have been to connect the firewire cable, boot the working Mac, then boot the dead Mac while holding down "T". The dead Mac should come up in Target Disk mode, and you should be able to access it and (hopefully) repair it from Disk Utilities on the working Mac.
     
  14. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    Its still possible

    The hard drive is gone, get it replaced.
     
  15. jakeopolis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #15
    dammit! well at least the drive is under warranty, and at least i did a TM backup moments before this whole thing happened.

    well, thank you all for your help and advice!
     
  16. jakeopolis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #16
    ok, update / question:

    the hard drive in question is actually a new-ish drive that my girlfriend bought simply to have more space - her old drive is in perfect working order. so, i swapped the drives, put the old one in the broken macbook, thinking it would boot up fine.... but no dice. in TD mode it does not mount, and when trying to boot up it gives the folder icon on the grey background. so, it seems THIS drive is broken too.... but i know for a fact that it isn't. so that means that something is wrong with the macbook itself, right? what the hell can i do? this thing is not under applecare, by the way.
     
  17. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    May 30, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    #17
    Could you boot from a USB or Firewire external optical drive? Or maybe from an external drive OS disk image?

    Maybe your only solution is to replace the onboard optical drive so you can boot from it...
     
  18. jakeopolis thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 27, 2007
    #18
    not sure... how can i copy my osx dvd onto my external drive (basically, clone the dvd but not to a dmg or iso file) so that i can boot from it?
     
  19. allbrokeup macrumors 6502

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    Melbourne, Australia
  20. cancallmeb macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    #20
    Same problem....

    I had the same exact problem with my Pro this morning. I will try to use the boot disk when I get home. is this problem common? I got my pro two weeks ago. Could it be that the hard drive is dead like some posters mentioned?
     
  21. jakeopolis thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 27, 2007
    #21
    so, the saga continues.

    got the macbook back from an apple repair shop (2 weeks later) with a brand new optical drive (this needed to be done to reinstall OSX). they ran their install discs and everything came up clean, so they wiped the hard drive, installed tiger, and gave it back to me. i got it home, did an erase & install with leopard (they didn't have my leopard disc so they installed tiger), rebooted it, ran the 10.5.2 combo update, rebooted it. everything was fine.... for about 10 minutes. after surfing the web and changing some system prefs, the thing locked up (cursor could move, but nothing else would respond. i forced shutdown and BAM the same problem all over again: mac won't start, blue screen of death with a spinning wheel until the end of time.

    so, what the HELL??!!?

    first of all, if i call apple and raise a stink, is there any way they'll replace the macbook? it's no longer under applecare but this problem is ridiculous.
     
  22. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #22
    Ha!

    Seriously, your best bet's to take it back to the store and show them.
     
  23. jakeopolis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #23
    it was purchased online through the apple store...

    i will bring it back to the repair place, but they didn't create the problem in the first place, they just failed to fix it. i'm actually on hold waiting for apple right now - my girlfriend gave me the list of repairs on this thing and it's crazy. the top case has been replaced 3 times, the screen once, the logic board once, the hard drive, and now the optical drive. all that in less than 2 years, on a fairly new intel macbook.
     
  24. jakeopolis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #24
    so you guys aren't gonna believe this: apple's doing a free replacement!

    they looked at the long list of repairs and said they'd send a brand new (non-refurbished) macbook. which means my girlfriend's broken 2-year old macbook is becoming a nice, shiny, pennryn-based laptop!

    i'm EXTREMELY impressed with the way apple dealt with this and we're very happy.
     
  25. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #25
    Hey, that's awesome. Good luck with the new machine.
     

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