MacBook 13" boot issues - any advice?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jp182, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. jp182 macrumors newbie


    Mar 28, 2016
    Hi all,

    Have been having some booting issues with my MacBook Pro '13 (Summer 2012) as of today and was hoping I could get some help here. I've had this laptop since Jan '13 and asides from some kernel panic issues which were causing it to restart that were resolved when I updated to Mavericks from Yosemite last year I haven't had any noticeable problems - until now, that is.

    The MacBook starts and gets through to the Apple logo + progress bar screen fine. The progress bar is slower than usual and gets to just over 2/3rds and then remains stuck there. After a few minutes, the progress bar turns into a white rectangle (have uploaded a pic as wasn't able to find any info on this online) for a couple of minutes before changing back to the usual bar and staying there. It's remained stuck there for roughly 40 minutes so far.

    Some things I've already tried:

    - Gone into recovery mode and used Disk Utility to perform First Aid on my hard drive
    - Used fsck - fy in single user mode, volume was modified once then ran the prompt again and got the "...appears to be OK" message
    - Reinstalled the OS X (currently on El Capitan, as I was before the issues started)
    - Tried booting in Safe Mode to no avail - however unsure if I've been doing this correctly as can't hear the start up sound as volume on MacBook is muted, probably a really easy solution to fixing that though?

    I haven't used Time Machine as far as I'm aware (super clever, right?) but I have a 1TB USB 3.0 hard drive which I understand I can use to get any important files from the MacBook if it comes to that?

    Any help in resolving this issue would be vastly appreciated - been going through some stress-related medical issues this year and a busted MacBook is certainly not going to make me feel any better. Thanks!

    Attached Files:

  2. Fishrrman, Mar 28, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016

    Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    When you're having "boot issues", there is nothing else that can help like having an external, second bootable drive.

    It will get you "up and running" when your internal drive won't.

    I suggest you pursue this course of action.

    Is yours a "non-retina" MacBook Pro? With an internal SATA 2.5" drive?
    If so, I'd suggest that you consider buying a 2.5" SATA SSD and a USB3 external enclosure.

    Put the SSD into the enclosure.
    Initialize it using Disk Utility.
    Install a clean copy of the OS onto it.

    Now, reboot from the external and set up a "temporary" account on it so that you can get to the finder.

    Can you get up and running this way?

    If so, you might consider swapping out the internal HDD for the SSD.
    It will make the MBPro -MUCH- faster!
  3. jp182 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 28, 2016
    Yup, it's the non-retina version - unsure about the SATA 2.5" drive but assuming that's what it comes with from the factory that'll be what I have as haven't made any adjustments since purchasing it from Apple. Will grab both the SATA SSD + USB3 enclosure as recommended - was hoping to avoid expenditure if I could but considering with my MacBook lies my source of income it's integral I fix it ASAP.

    As an update, I did manage to get through to the login screen after an arduous wait - however, the only user that was available was 'Other...' which prompted for a name and password when selected that I'm unsure of having never used nor seen this profile. A little digging told me this was something to do with the root user, which I'm guessing I may have enabled somehow when in single user mode? Any advice on how to get my user to show up again on the login?
  4. IowaLynn macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2015
    You could resize your 1TB drive to put a system there.

    Invest in CCC http://www.bombich.con

    SSDs are cheap and makes a nice 2nd boot drive even if you leave it on ext USB3 interface.

    Disk Warrior costs a lot but handy in such situations almost always.

    Add TimeMachine to CCC routine. You can have both on same drive separate partitions though not ideal and a WD Passport is much slower than SSDs.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009

    If you decide to get an SSD, I'd suggest either a Crucial or perhaps a Sandisk.
    I've had good results with both.

    The idea here is to get a "known-good", bootable working OS going.

    Here's something you could try.
    This assumes the problems with your current internal drive are "OS-related", rather than "account related".

    At the close of the OS installation process, the setup assistant will ask if you want to migrate data from your old drive or computer.
    See if the setup assistant can "bring over" your existing accounts, apps, and data. It may take a little time.

    When done, reboot from the SSD.
    If you've never done this before, you have to
    - press the power-on button
    - as soon as you hear the startup sound, hold down the option key and KEEP HOLDING IT DOWN until the startup manager appears.
    - select the external drive with the pointer and hit return.

    Do you get a good boot?
    Look around to see if things are "as they were before" -- it should look pretty much like your internal drive did.

    If you can get this far, now it's time to think about swapping the drive. has an illustrated guide on how to do that.
  6. jp182 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 28, 2016
    Thanks to both of you for your assistance with my issue!

    Purchased both the enclosure and the SSD and did as instructed and the MacBook booted fine. Proceeded to migrate the data from the old hard drive over to the SSD which went without a hitch. It was a bit slower than usual logging into the user account directly after the migration ended but I'm guessing that's the computer getting 'adjusted' to all the new data! Otherwise, very smooth.

    Running from the external is a bit of an inconvenience as I use my MacBook portably so I'm going over to a family friend's place tomorrow who will swap out the busted hard drive for the SSD. Having looked at how to do it I could possibly do it myself but I don't have the specific tools listed and would rather someone with experience doing this kind of thing and the exact tools handled the job considering the delicacy of it all!

    Will definitely look into using CCC - I see they offer a trial period so will likely make use of that first. Will also make sure to turn on Time Machine straight away!
  7. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Once you have the drives "swapped out", take the old HDD and put it into the external enclosure.

    Run Disk Utility on it.
    What kind of results do you get?
    Post the answer here.

    If Disk Utility says it's "ok", REPEAT the "repair disk" procedure FIVE TIMES.
    Do you get "a good report" every time?

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6 March 28, 2016