Mac won't get past startup screen

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by eah2119, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. eah2119 macrumors regular

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    #1
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    So My brother is on safari yesterday and he gets the spinning beachball, so, being an idiot, he holds the power button and shuts down the computer instead of force quiting safari. He then turns it on and he gets the white screen with the spinning loading sign but no apple logo. In place of that is a circle with a line through it. I try turning it on and I get the same thing. I continuesly shut it off and on and nothing works (not sure if this is good for the computer). I'm assuming when he shut it off the computer was doing something important, and now it won't even load the OS. Should I load the OS via CD? I'm not sure if the disks that came with it are the right disks, but I guess there's nothing else to do. Do I have any other options? I've had it for a year and never experienced anything like this.
     
  2. Dave H macrumors 6502

    Dave H

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #2
    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but have you tried safe boot?
    I hope this helps.
     
  3. eah2119 thread starter macrumors regular

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    The link you provided has the same image that I have in place of the Apple logo at startup. And thanks for the help but none of it seems to do much good.

    I have tried every little keyboard shortcut imaginable. I tried the 2 disks that came with the computer. For a few minutes I couldn't eject one of them. However, I just tried it again after a few hours and I got to the login screen, logged in, opened iTunes, then safari, and BAM!!!! Safari froze up. iTunes froze up. The menu bar froze up. I tried force quit from the dock and then that froze up. And for this entire time, that annoying spinning beach ball. At that moment I tried every keyboard shortcut imaginable again, but nothing. And then when all hope was lost, iTunes and safari disappear, they finally quit, but still a spinning beach ball.

    This may sound a little far fetched, but I think my Mac has a virus. I think it has something to do with Safari, and possibly facebook. I was also able to access spotlight search and when I clicked on it, it said MENU_SEARCH instead of Spotlight. Does that make any sense? Then my taskbar icons and spotlight crashed. Also, I feel like the computer has no RAM or it keeps disconnecting. I am staring at the screen as I speak (or type). I don't want to hold the power button and shut it down because that may make it worse. I think I should open disk utility and check the HD for errors and run some tests if I ever get it working properly again. Any other ideas? Has anybody experienced anything like this? Are there any known viruses for Mac with these symptoms? Can somebody confirm this is not a virus and only my own fault?

    Update: every time I insert a disk into the optical drive it will buzz like 20 or 30 times as if it's reading it, then spit it back out.
     
  4. bmcgonag macrumors 65816

    bmcgonag

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    No viruses in the wild currently for OS X. Sounds like you may have some hardware issues.

    I would check the RAM. Make sure it's seated completely. Unplug, remove the battery (if a laptop), and then remove the RAM and replace it securely.

    Next, make sure your HDD isn't dying. First thing, boot off the install DVD if possible. and run Disc Utility from there. Repair permissions, Verify permissions, Repair the Disk, and verify.

    If that doesn't fix it, then try to back up any data you have that is important to you, files, photos, music, videos, etc. Try not to run any programs other than finder to copy the files to an external drive.

    Consider replacing the hard drive.

    If it's still not repaired after that, then you are most likely looking at an issue somewhere else on the board, but you can take it to an apple store, or contact apple tech support for more help.

    Best of luck,
     
  5. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #5
    I concur that it sounds like a hard drive problem. Of course, that's only from experience and not from a direct examination of the computer, but it seems likely (especially considering the trouble you had booting off the install disks). As the previous poster suggested, check the RAM first because that's easier to diagnose generally, but definitely back up if you can and haven't already (though it sounds like it may be difficult to do that at this point).

    jW
     
  6. eah2119 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Well nothing works. The apple logo appears than disappears. Sometimes I don't get the apple logo at all. And I'm too afraid to open it up and check the battery, HD, and RAM, because the last time I did that the rubber feet on the bottom fell off. And plus I'd probably never get all the components and screws back where they belong anyway. I guess my only option is to go back to the Apple store. I was there not to long ago, for those rubber feet.

    I still think somebody hacked my computer or me or my brother screwed something up. Like maybe the kernel got thrown in the trash, or deleted some important file to the system. Anyway thanks for the help. If I ever figure out what's wrong with it I'll be sure to tell!
     
  7. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #7
    Nobody hacked your computer.

    If your brother has a habit of powering it off unnaturally then he could have damaged the file system.

    Can you boot from the system restore disk?
    Run repair disk and reinstall.
     
  8. eah2119 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Okay I just got logged in. I went strait to disk utility and tried repairing the disk and all that. I also backed it up. I went to system profiler and checked a bunch of stuff. Then I tried to "verify disk" on disk utility and it froze than in the left pane, the Macintosh HD just disappeared. My backup drive, optical drive and a .DMG remained. After that nothing worked again. I'm assuming there is something physically wrong with my HD, like it keeps disconnecting or it got fried. Maybe the motherboard is screwed up. I'm going to disconnect and then reconnect the HD and memory. If all else fails, the apple store. Any other advice is appreciated!!
     
  9. eah2119 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 20, 2010
    #9
    Alright!!! I went to the Apple Store. I told them what's wrong, they plugged in an external HD, booted off that, ran some diagnostics, and they said I need a HD replacement. They took it and they gave it back to me 3 days later. And this was free of charge even though the one year warranty was gone!! I'm completely amazed at this!! So, I had everything backed up before and so I restored it. It works like a charm!

    But there's still one thing I'm confused about. Why couldn't I boot off the OS X Install Disk? Does the HD need to be working to do that?

    Overall, thanks for the help!! If anyone else has this problem, you most likely have a HD failure.
     

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