mac book stuck at gray screen

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by indefatigable, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. indefatigable macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    #1
    I know there are a number of threads on this issue, and a number of causes for it. But basically, my husband's mac book started acting weird while I was out own town. He was unable to get it to start up, but eventually did, backed up his important data, and then I had him attempt to verify and repair permissions. I guess it indicated there were errors but could not fix them. Once again, his mac book stalls at start up and will not get past the gray screen with the apple and the wheel. Last night at this point it kernel panicked.

    Today ( since I'm back now ) I tried to boot it in safe mode, and it still hangs. I zapped the PRAM, and that didn't help.

    My next step is to try and boot from his install discs, when he finds them. My question is, should I bother trying to verify and repair, or should I just do an archive & install (if possible) or an erase and install (if necessary)?

    Any other thoughts or ideas are helpful!

    This is a mac book from 06-ish running 10.4.?
    My hubby claims to not have installed or updated anything recently.
     
  2. BobZune macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    Good next steps. You should definitely do a repair of the disk (booting from the DVD/CD that came with the machine). The hard disk may be failing -- so take a look at the console logs to see what the kernel panic message you get and you may get some pointers to the failure. Before you reinstall, you may also want to run the hardware diagnostic tests. If you are reusing the harddrive, definitely keep the backup updated (even otherwise, having a backup is an excellent plan).
     
  3. indefatigable thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    #3
    I was worried about a hardware issue since his mac book problems happened over the course of a few days, and not all at once. I'd kill to look at the console, but as of yet, i'm still stuck at that gray screen.
     
  4. BobZune macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    Connect to the other mac (assuming YOU have one also) using Firewire Target Mode and see how it behaves? Also try a repair if DiskUtilities sees it.

    See http://forums.macosxhints.com/showthread.php?t=81118 for log file location (see msg#3 for Tiger log location).
     

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