MacBook Pro boots to blank desktop

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by abeni, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. abeni macrumors newbie

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    Aug 6, 2015
    #1
    My MacBook Pro which I bought June 2014 now only boots to my desktop with no files (on the screen), no grey bar at the top of the screen, and no dock. Before this happened, I noticd that my computer was running very slowly, often giving me the spinning wheel of death everytime I clicked on something, but i brushed it off assuming it was because of the immense volume of documents, music, and photos I have. When I log into the guest account, everything is fine, although I had previously enabled it to only use Safari, but that has given me no trouble. Does anyone know how I can fix this before going to the Apple to store and waiting an hour to be serviced?
     
  2. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    Jul 30, 2003
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    Delaware
    #2
    How full is your hard drive? (how much free space is there?) A very full boot drive, particularly if you allow it to go below 1GB of free space) can have dramatic struggles.
    Boot to your recovery partition, and run Disk Utility/Repair Disk, and come back with the results.
     
  3. abeni thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 6, 2015
    #3
    So I have asked my question on many different forums, so I tried the disk utility and repair disk and all that and it still didn't help. I even restarted my computer so that I could go through the process in one shot without a hiccup. But when it finally worked, it still booted to the blank desktop after about 7 hours total trying to repair it.
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #4
    What did Disk Utility report (even if it didn't actually solve your present problem)?
    Did Disk Utility show you that no problems were found?
    How much free space do you have on your boot drive. This actually is relevant, and can affect your situation directly!

    If the hard drive checks OK (no errors), and has sufficient free space...
    The next step that I would suggest is to reinstall OS X.
    You can boot to the recovery partition to do that, but a faster process would be to download your present OS X installer from the App Store, create a bootable USB stick (which then allows you to reinstall without waiting for the long download first). Follow on-line directions to create your bootable installer, or download and use DiskmakerX, which eliminates the need to go into the terminal - if you don't care to do that :D That process will then give you a USB stick that you can use at any time that you need to reinstall.
    If you are concerned about losing any of your files, the reinstall does not erase your drive, but simply installs OS X on top of the existing system. Your music, documents, apps, and other settings will be intact. It's similar to a Windows repair install, and achieves the same purpose (to get your system to boot properly.
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #5
    Try a boot to safe mode by holding down the shift key at boot. That boots a stripped down system and bypasses any login or startup items, so can eliminate that as the problem. If it works well in safe mode, run the app Etrecheck and post the report it produces. That will list everything running so we can help you troubleshoot.

    When you say guest account. Is this the Safari only guest account you are referring to? That runs off the recovery partition, so is not a very good test. Try making a second (temp) admin account and login to that account and tell us what happens.
     
  6. abeni thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 6, 2015
    #6
    Thats's good to know about my files, thanks, and it said 498.88 GB total and underneath it 394.16 GB available if that helps. It never said anything about any issues found. Also, when I try to install OS X, there is a grey bar that gradually fills up with blue, and says how much time left, as the time gets to 0, the bar is filled with blue, then the time resets and directs me back to the grey box with the option of Disk Utilities, Use a the time thing , or go online for help. Do you know why this is?
     
  7. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #7
    When you install OS X, it downloads the system files. That is what the first progress bar shows. It may take 20 minutes or longer, depending on the speed of your internet connection. Then, your Mac should reboot, and install those downloaded files. That may take another 30 minutes, maybe less. When complete, you should then see your normal finder desktop, with the Dock, and menubar, etc.
    If the installer just puts you back to the menu screen (instead of automatically restarting), then you could try restarting at that point. Make sure your Mac boots correctly by holding Option when you restart. That will restart to the Option-boot screen. Click on your hard drive, then press enter.
    This is what should happen then: You should see another progress bar, showing that OS X is actually being installed. It might restart when that is complete, although most often it will just end up at the desktop, and you are ready to go.
    BE PATIENT. Be prepared to let it sit, particularly if you just see the grey screen. Give it 30 minutes or more, just to see if something else happens.

    That last screen that you finally see - Is it Safari, Time Machine, and Help?
    Anything else on that screen, such as any error code or other error message?
    It may help to take a picture of that screen, then post that picture here.
     
  8. abeni, Aug 7, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015

    abeni thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 6, 2015
    #8
    okay so I completed the entire utility process again, everything went as you described above, and it asked for my password and everything seemed normal, then I logged in and still a blank desktop. unfortunately I walked away and the computer went to sleep so I pressed the space bar once and the screen was just black then the cursor was there for a bit then without me clicking anything it changed to the spinning wheel of death. I really don't want to wait another 2 hours for the utility thing to finish with no results, any suggestions?
    UPDATE: I shut down the computer (using the power button) and started up as normal, there was no guest option, only my account, so I out in my password then it gave me the loading bar with my name and picture on top, then it completed I guess because it chimed and showed the apple logo again, then repeated the process, leading to the blank desktop again with spinning wheel of death.
     
  9. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #9
    The
    Your description leads me to believe that you had a restart, when your Mac should have simply ended up at the desktop.
    That symptom now makes me more suspicious of the boot drive. I think you need to replace it.
     
  10. abeni thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 6, 2015
    #10
    I'm really not computer savvy by any means, so how do I go about doing that? Do I take it to the store or a licensed Apple repair store?
     
  11. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    #11
    Before you do that try this first. Create a new user, reboot and login to the new user. If you can try copying some items to the new user account desktop, maybe from an external hard drive. Now reboot and login to the new user account. Is the desktop blank?
     
  12. abeni thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 6, 2015
    #12
    well I can't do any of that since the guest account has disappeared and my admin account shows up with no dock and no bar at the top.
     
  13. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    California
    #13
    Try this process from single user mode to rerun system setup open reboot. From there make a new admin account with a new name to test.

    You also might try the safe mode boot I mentioned in post #5.
     
  14. abeni thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 6, 2015
    #14
    I tried safe boot with the same blank desktop results before. But should i try the linked process in safe mode?
     
  15. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #15
    Have you tried the suggestion given Weaselboy in post #5 above to try booting into safe mode?
     
  16. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    #16
    No.... you do that process from single user mode (command-s boot). Just enter the commands in that article one by one.

    One of those command is fsck that checks disk integrity. I'm curious what that shows also.
     

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