Discussion in 'macOS' started by lindsaykaye04, May 7, 2008.

  1. lindsaykaye04 macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2008
    I hope this is an appropriate forum in which to ask this question. My computer has been running extremely slow lately, and today I had to restart several times. Then... it wouldn't turn on. At all. Finally I got it to turn on, but on the grayish/blue screen in place of the apple was the symbol from the no-smoking sign. (I have no idea what that symbol is actually called, but you know what I'm talking about.) This happened several times.

    Finally, I got it to turn on and I'm attempting to backup all of my files onto my external. (Considering it's finals week, I would have a mental breakdown if I lost them!) I will hopefully have no more issues, but I was just curious what that symbol means and if there is anything I can do to remedy the problem. If it continues, I will obviously take my computer to the Apple store, but I'm hoping it's something I can fix myself.

    This is my first Mac, which I purchased in November of 2006. I have not had any problems with it. When I would have really bad problems like this with my old Windows computers, I would reformat the drive and then reinstall everything, but I have no idea how to troubleshoot problems with my Mac, as I have never had them!

    Anybody care to share some knowledge to a Mac newbie?
  2. e.m. macrumors 6502

    Mar 18, 2005
    San Francisco
    the symbol you're talking about means that it can't find the root device, can't verify disk, or can't find the startup disk driver. i would suspect that either your hard drive (software file format or the actual physical disk) or logic board is failing.

    try starting up from a different boot volume, see if it works or not. if it works for a prolonged period of time, most likely your board is fine. Backup all your data from your internal drive (if you can mount it), and reformat the drive and reinstall os x. i would run a sector scan of the drive with something like drive genius before you did that, though. that'll tell you if there's a physical failure with the disk.

    sorry to say, i suspect board more so than drive from your explanation (it stopped booting); just a gut instinct, so i hope i'm wrong. the not turning on thing may simply be a pmu/smc/smu malfunction, and those are easy to reset. every mac has a different way to reset it, so look it up in the apple support site.
  3. lindsaykaye04 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2008
    Thanks for the quick reply. It seems to be working for right now, and luckily everything will be finished backing up to my external soon. I used to be great with computers when I owned Windows operated ones - probably because I was always having to fix something. To be honest, though, that's all Greek to me. :) I will probably take it to the Apple store, as they probably have a better idea than me. I'm out of warranty, though, and that terrifies me a little, as I don't quite have the money to pay for repairs right now!

    I'm not as panicked now that I've backed up my school information and my music. :) Thank you again for all of your help - I really wanted to have some idea of what might be going wrong and what I can expect. I really appreciate it.

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