Help - my Mac won't start!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by CNVAMB001, May 26, 2015.

  1. CNVAMB001 macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2015
    Alright so I've definitely done something to my Mac.

    This morning it decided it wouldn't start. I tried to talk to it, tell it I love it, nudge it a little, nothing. Eventually a gray screen pops up with the apple logo on it and it won't budge, so then I began googling. First I tried to safe boot, which it would do, get half way through and suddenly shut down. Then I tried that FSCK thing, but again the black screen would show up, text would start running then it would freeze and shut down. Then I reset the PRAM thingy, which also didn't have an effect. I then went to disk utility and tried to verify my MACINTOSH HD disk and it showed up errors and promoted me to fix these. I tried repairing only to be greeting with another error message saying I need to reformat it. I left that, went back to the repair screen and tried reinstalling OSX (maverick). Error messages kept popping up and I soon realized the dye and time was scrambled. I reset this in the terminal (manually) and tried again. This time it got all the way to where I could choose between two disks, both of which were locked. I then went BACK to disk utility, and googled how to reformat the disk. I was told to select it and erase it, which I did. But I don't think I should of... Because now it's gone. Thereafter I successful safe booted it but it took me back to the recovery screen. I then did the FSCK thing again which worked this time, but took me to the recovery screen again. Then I reset the PRAM thing and still the same. I tried to reinstall OSX but now all it gives me as a disk option is the recovery disk which is also locked. I tried creating a partition to get my MAC HD DRIVE back but it just says an error occurred and it was unable to create the partition.

    Other info:

    My work is not backed up (my error, I accept il probably lose it)
    I don't have my disk anymore

    Help anybody???
  2. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Mar 10, 2011
    Sounds like your hard drive is failing or has failed.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    It would help if you told us:
    - Which Mac do you have?
    - What year was it sold?
    - What version of the OS were you using?

    Do you have access to ANOTHER Mac anywhere?

    It -might- be possible to connect an external drive, do a "network boot", and then initialize the external drive and install a copy of the OS onto it.

    This could at least get you booted again.

    You have learned a very hard lesson.
    Without a bootable backup, you are flopping around like a fish out of water.

    If you had a bootable backup, you would probably have gotten back up and running in about 3 minutes -- and from there, "went to work" on fixing your internal drive problem.

    Go forth, from this day, and learn...
  4. vikrampb macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2015
    Before I begin, I have a mid-2009 Unibody Macbook Pro.

    I had a similar problem last week. I had my data all backed up, so I didn't lose any of it. Here's what you can do and see if you can get back up and running:

    1. The grey screen may be due to a hard drive failure OR due to the hard drive cable failure. Mine was the hard drive cable, not the actual drive itself.

    2. First and foremost, take the hard drive out. Here's a guide on how to get the hard drive out of your Macbook:

    Put it in an external hard drive enclosure, and connect it either to your Macbook using the USB cable that is provided. Given below is the enclosure I used:

    After connecting it, press the power button on your Macbook, and immediately press the Option key for a little while. If your hard drive is good, your Macbook will power up and display your data normally. Shut down your Macbook normally (Not forcibly shutting it off using the power button), and restart it a couple of times in this manner. If you still see your data, then it means your hard drive is good, and it's your hard drive cable that has failed.

    Alternately, you can connect the enclosure to a different Mac (I have a 2005 non-Intel based iMac, and I was able to connect my hard drive to it and verify that it was still good) and see if it shows up as an external drive. If it does, then you can display the details and ensure that your data is still there.

    If you find your hard drive is still good and you still have your data intact, then before proceeding with anything else, back up everything to an external hard drive using Time Machine so that you can use it as a recovery mode in the future.

    3. If you find your hard drive cable has failed, replace the cable. I used this one:

    Here's the link on how to change the hard drive cable:

    After changing the hard drive cable, take your hard drive out of the enclosure and connect it to the new cable, and power on your Macbook as you normally would. Assuming the hard drive is good, you're good to go.

    Make sure you are very careful while changing the hard drive cable, as there are a lot of small pieces and screws that can break or get lost easily in the process.

    4. If you find your hard drive has crashed (And I'm sorry if it has since you didn't back up your data), then the only option you have if you don't want to buy a new Macbook is to buy a new hard drive and replace your old one. New hard drives are available in a variety of price ranges.

    Good luck, and I hope this helps you a little.


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3 May 26, 2015