Macbook 13" won't start all the way

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Rodonnelly, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. Rodonnelly macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    #1
    Hello everyone,
    I love my macbook and it breaks my heart that it won't start up. I turn it on and it won't load past the grey apple sign and shows a loading bar. Then shuts off within 30 seconds. I have tried all of the keys to try and start in safe mode but the catch is my keyboard works intermittently. I have taken it apart to try and see if anything is damaged but all appears to be fine( I don't know what bad looks like) so I'm looking if there's any other avenues I can take before I have to toss her
     
  2. Velin, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014

    Velin macrumors 65816

    Velin

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Hearst Castle
    #2
    Do you own another Mac that has a firewire port? If so, you could use Target Disk Mode to at least attempt to connect to the Macbook and see if the hard drive is working and retrieve files. Target Disk Mode is great for troubleshooting, you could go in and run some diags, check HD etc.

    If Target Disk Mode is available to you, yet you cannot connect to the laptop, then you know for certain it has a major malfunction. Most likely culprits are a blown HD, defect with video graphics or dedicated GPU (if so equipped), or a blown logic board. If its the logic board, it will have to go back to Apple for repair.

    If you upgraded RAM, you could try to pull the ram sticks and see if that makes a difference, as bad RAM can cause any Mac to not boot. But this is a real longshot and most likely not the problem. I have, however, had aftermarket RAM go bad in both desktops and laptops, and they prevented startup in both. Removed the RAM, booted right up. Emphasizing again, however, this is highly unlikely to be the problem.
     
  3. msevild macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Location:
    Schaumburg
    #3
    Computer is starting in safe mode, hence the loading bar during startup. It is shutting down because it is failing to repair the file system on the drive. RAM can be a factor in that bad RAM can cause data to become corrupted on a drive (very rare but I have seen it occur in my experience as an Apple Genius), but culprit is likely to be a bad hard drive or just a corrupt filesystem (hopefully just a bad filesystem for your situation). How old is the MacBook? Is it white or silver? Unibody design?
     
  4. Rodonnelly thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    #4
    It is a white 2007 macbook. Not a unibody either. I will check the ram when I get home. I'm going to try and get a second hard drive to swap out and see if I get further. Also I have tried to start up using the os disk and no luck the computer just ejects it.
     
  5. Rodonnelly thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 4, 2014
    #5
    So now that I am home I tried pulling out the ram one at a time and still no luck. Now just waiting to borrow a hard drive to replace and see if anymore luck there
     
  6. Rodonnelly thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 4, 2014
    #6
    Success! I put a friends hard drive into my computer and it actually booted all the way into safe mode. What's next?
     
  7. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #7
    Get a new internal hard drive and use your backup to get your data back. What no backup?
     
  8. Rodonnelly thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 4, 2014
    #8
    How do I go about getting the info on my old hard drive
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    [[ I put a friends hard drive into my computer and it actually booted all the way into safe mode. What's next? ]]

    Sounds like the problem was "hard-drive related", and that the MacBook itself is OK.

    In that case, you need to:
    - Get a new drive
    - Get a fresh copy of the OS onto the drive
    - Try to access the old drive to get your data off of it.

    I -think- the 2007 MacBooks have SATA drives in them.

    If that's the case, I suggest you get a USB3/SATA docking station to use in the restoration and recovery process. They don't cost much ($25 USA or less), and it will become THE MOST USEFUL piece of equipment that you can have.
    To see what these are, go to amazon.com and enter "usb3 sata dock" in the search box -- you'll see many choices. Also, get USB3 -- it's backwards compatible with USB2, and someday you'll be getting a new Mac and will be able to utilize the higher speeds.

    Can you get booted BEYOND "safe mode"?

    What I would do if I was in your situation:
    - Get the dock and a "fresh drive"
    - Take your friend's drive OUT of the MacBook, put the fresh drive in (at least for now)
    - Put your friend's drive into the dock
    - Reboot, hold down the option key until the startup manager appears, select the friend's drive in the dock, hit return
    - Can you get a "full boot" (not "safe boot") from your friend's drive in the dock?
     
  10. Rodonnelly thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    #10
    It won't boot beyond safe mode. Should I run diagnostics on it? Find out if I should repair any other drives?
     
  11. isaacrdz, Feb 8, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014

    isaacrdz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #11
    This is a long shot and it may get technical. You mentioned that you had opened the MacBook though. There is a chance the issue is with your top case, basically the cover that composes of the keyboard, power button, and trackpad. Has there been a liquid spill on the MacBook? One way to check and see if it is would be to disconnect the top case from the MLB and then short the power pads on the MLB itself. Doing this takes out the possibility that you may have "stuck" keys on the keyboard or possibly a short with the power button.

    Here's a pic of where those power-on pads are from an old post:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=11164618&postcount=16
     
  12. Rodonnelly thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    #12
    I was able to start with the insert of the small driver to the mlb but now that I have the new hard drive in the keyboard is working fine
     
  13. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #13
    So... what is the status of the MacBook now?

    Is it booting normally?

    Or.... ??
     
  14. Rodonnelly thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 4, 2014
  15. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #15
    Some additional questions and thoughts.

    BEFORE any of this happened, were you using some kind of "firmware password" or "EFI password" to protect the machine (security) before it booted to the finder?

    The hard drive you're trying to boot from -- does it have valid user accounts on it?
    The hard drive you're trying to boot from -- can it boot a DIFFERENT Mac? And can it "get all the way to the finder"?

    I find it odd that the computer can boot to single-user functionality, but can't do a "full boot" to the finder.

    Do you have an Apple Store anywhere nearby?
    This sounds like a question for them.

    I would suggest that you start considering the possibility of purchasing another Mac laptop, either new or perhaps Apple-refurbished...
     
  16. Rodonnelly thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    #16
    When I put the hard drive in the original macbook it came from it starts in safe mode as well. When I run disk utility, it says everything is ok.
     
  17. Rodonnelly thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 4, 2014
    #17
    My laptop with my friends hard drive in it. Apparently in safe mode ( shows Apple logo at beginning with spinning loading bar
     

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  18. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #18
    [[ My laptop with my friends hard drive in it. Apparently in safe mode ( shows Apple logo at beginning with spinning loading bar ]] (pic in post 16)

    That doesn't look like "safe mode" to me. But then, I've only had the need to boot in "safe mode" a very few times in the ten years I've been using OS X. I could be wrong.

    To me, that looks like a Mac that is "fully booted", in the finder, signed into an account.
    The account may be your friend's (and not yours).

    More questions (referring to your MacBook with your friend's drive inside it):

    I don't see the dock. If you go to System Preferences, and click the "Accounts" (or, "Users & Groups") tab, what do you see? It should tell you who the current user is.

    Are you booting with the shift key held down?
    Or, no?

    If you're getting that far on your MacBook, it doesn't look to me to be a problem with the computer itself.

    Again, I could be wrong.
     
  19. Rodonnelly thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    #19
    Under accounts it's my friends user name. And I'm not booting holding shift button down. So maybe it is nomal and I just can't tell the difference
     
  20. Fishrrman, Feb 11, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014

    Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #20
    [[ Under accounts it's my friends user name. And I'm not booting holding shift button down. So maybe it is nomal and I just can't tell the difference ]]

    My diagnosis:
    There's nothing wrong with the MacBook itself.
    There IS something wrong with your old hard drive.

    My solution:
    - Get a new hard drive and put a clean system onto it (you can do this by putting the "bare" drive into a USB3/SATA docking station)
    - Do a test boot to make sure the OS is working BEFORE you install it into the MacBook (restart, hold down option key until the startup manager appears, select the new drive, hit return)
    - Do the initial setup. I suggest you create a "dummy account" named "administrator". You will migrate your old account over later. You might also use Software Update to bring the OS up to its most current state.
    - Install the new hard drive into your MacBook.
    - Connect the old drive (I recommend using a USB3/SATA docking station), and see if it "mounts" on the desktop.
    - If it mounts, you could try using "Migration Assistant" to migrate over your old account, apps, and data.

    If this "gets you where you want to be", then I suggest re-initializing the old drive. If it re-initializes and checks out ok (using Disk Utility's "repair disk" function), I'd use CarbonCopyCloner to create a bootable clone of your (new) internal drive onto the re-initialized older drive.

    You'll now have a "second boot source" for emergencies...

    Note: to see what a USB3/SATA docking station is, go to amazon and enter "usb3 sata dock" into the search box. You'll get many choices, most cost less than $25. I recommend this one by plugable.com:
    http://plugable.com/products/USB3-SATA-U3
    or this one:
    http://plugable.com/products/pss-dd1
    (disclaimer -- I have no financial interest with plugable other than being a paying and satisfied customer)
    The docking station will prove to be VERY useful in helping you resolve your problems, and very handy to have around in the future.
     

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