Mac won't restart

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Brody77, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. Brody77 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2015
    #1
    Hi everyone! I'm looking for some help with my MacBook. She's old (7 years) and well loved... I'm well aware there may be no fixing her, but I want to at least try!

    I can't get past a screen that tells me I need to restart. Everything I have attempted brings me back to the same grey screen telling me to restart. Safe start didn't do anything. Starting while holding command and s got me to a black screen with white type... But I couldn't get any further than that.

    Can anyone offer any advice? I would really appreciate any help!
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    Could be that the internal drive has failed to the point where no bootup is possible. At this point you may be looking at:
    1. replacing the drive
    or
    2. shopping for a new Macbook.

    This next bit of advice won't help today, but WILL help in the future:
    If you had maintained a fully-bootable cloned backup drive (created with either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper), you could plug in your backup and try a boot that way. If the internal drive failed, you would still have a way to boot and run the computer until you got the other problems under control.
     
  3. Brody77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2015
    #3
    Thanks! I'm going to try reseating my RAM for now. Found some evidence that similar problems were fixed this way. At this point, it can't hurt! I just need to find a screw driver small enough...
     
  4. lstone19 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #4
    The black screen with white type is what you expect when starting in single-user mode (Cmd-S). So what exactly happened at that point that wouldn't let you go any further? Or do you mean you didn't know what to do at that point? You're not going to get a GUI - you're restricted to command line commands just the same as if you're in Terminal.

    Also was any explanation provided with the "you must restart". Contrary to popular opinion, error messages actually do provide some useful information. Without knowing what error messages you're getting, we're merely guessing.
     
  5. Brody77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2015
    #5
    Full error message says "You need to restart your computer. Hold down the power button for several seconds or press the restart button." It repeats the same message in three other languages.

    Starting in single user mode should have allowed me to type in a prompt, but it did not work when I tried.

    From what I understand, this is a kernel panic. Obviously, I am not anything close to an expert. The nearest Mac store is an hour from me, and I have a feeling I'd be wasting money taking it there. My budget is tight right now, so I don't want to drop $200 for the "genius" to tell me it's a lost cause. But I very much appreciate any suggestions on options to try and bring my MacBook back from the dead!
     
  6. lstone19 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #6
    So the single user mode prompt came up but you could not type anything? What type of keyboard are you using? Wired, Apple Bluetooth, or something else?

    For the "you must restart" screen, I recall there being some diagnostic information above when I last got one of those but that was a few years and a few OS versions ago.
     
  7. Brody77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2015
    #7
    I'm using the laptop's built in keyboard, nothing fancy there. Maybe I didn't wait long enough and it hadn't gotten to the prompt yet?

    Sadly, no other hints from the restart screen. Just that message and an otherwise grey screen.
     
  8. rc135tx macrumors member

    rc135tx

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    #8
    1. After this startup mode (single user) completes, you should be able to type & see what you type. If you can, type "/sbin/fsck -fy" (without the quotes) & hit Return to run the file system check. If it runs & completes, type "reboot" & hit Return. Might work, or might give you another message.

    2. Depending on your system software, you could turn on the laptop's power & immediately hold down the Option key until you see one or more disc images on the screen. A relatively recent system will present you with two images - one will be your normal boot disc, the other will be a recovery partition. If so, boot using the recovery partition & run disc utility on your boot disc.

    Might work, might not. :confused: Let us know.
     
  9. Brody77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2015
    #9
    Single startup mode still doesn't allow me to type anything. It mentions a kernel_task. It also states "Mac OS version: not yet set" That cannot possibly be a good sign!

    Holding down the option key got me to a screen showing a hard drive with an arrow bellow it. Clicking the arrow brings me right back to the restart your computer screen.

    Also, I did try reseating my RAM. No change there either. :(
     
  10. rc135tx macrumors member

    rc135tx

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    #10
    ===

    That doesn't sound too good. The response from Fishrrman (below) seems pretty accurate. If it were my laptop, I'd replace the hard drive.

    ===
     

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