Macbook Pro doesn’t want to boot from any drive

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rnddnls, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. rnddnls, Dec 11, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015

    rnddnls macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2015
    #1
    2010 Macbook Pro running Snow Leopard. One day a few weeks ago, I dropped it -- short distance, but alas, hard surface. It performed totally normally for a few hours, then it started freezing for a while, coming back to life for a second, then freezing again. I turned it off to reboot it. Since then, I turn it on, it displays the white screen, then the apple logo, then sticks on the blue screen indefinitely.

    I can’t boot to safe mode or recovery mode (edit: apparently there's no recovery mode in 10.6.8, anyway), nor can I boot from the OSX DVD. I can, however, boot to single-user mode. fsck found a few minor errors and claimed to repair them. I was able to retrieve everything that wasn’t already backed up. Want more evidence that it’s not a hard drive failure? I put in a new SSD and I’ve still got the same problem.

    The DVD drive appears to be readable as well. The Apple Hardware Test on the DVD ran and said everything was fine. USB storage is readable and writable -- that’s how I retrieved my data. I just can’t boot.

    Any idea what component is to blame here?
     
  2. Kissmyne macrumors 6502

    Kissmyne

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
  3. PapaGino macrumors member

    PapaGino

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2015
    Location:
    Londonderry NH
    #3
    Your hard drive could be damaged unless you have a SSD installed. Your Hard drive could of had a head crash which is when the read head smashes into the wall of hard drive and the read head becomes damaged. Was the Mac running when it was dropped? If it was this could be possible if it wasn't running a head crash is less likely due to the read head on the hard drive being put into a fixed position.
     
  4. rnddnls thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2015
    #4
    Yes, I tried reseating the RAM. Maybe other RAM issues are something to think about further? Kind of sounds like a RAM problem... though the hardware test turned up fine. I'll be exploring this.
     
  5. rnddnls thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 11, 2015
    #5
    I could swear I tried repairing permissions already, but I just did it again and I'm seeing a lot of errors and warnings, things that can't be repaired. Makes me think the hard drive was shaken after all. As for why the new SSD didn't work, I fear I formatted it wrong (how to format a drive for Mac using Linux seems to be an ungooglable question).

    What's weird to me is that I couldn't boot from the OSX DVD. Could corrupted system folders on the HDD be responsible for that somehow?
     
  6. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #6
    It very well could be a damaged hard drive from the fall. It will be difficult to format your new SSD without access to a booted Mac that can run Disk Utility. Do you have access to a friend that has a Mac?

    Corrupted System folders or a should not effect starting from the OS X DVD.
    Please don't be offended but a few basic questions. Have you booted from the DVD before? How are are you trying to boot from the DVD? The normal is holding the c key at startup, but there is an alternative of using the Startup Manager (option key at startup). Here is a list of startup key combinations, unfortunately some may not apply because of your MBP model and OS 10.6:
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201255
     
  7. rnddnls thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2015
    #7
    Not offended by any means, I appreciate the help. Yes, I have booted from the DVD in the past. I have tried both the C key and the Startup Manager. The latter shows the DVD. I select it and wait, but I get stuck at the kernel-loading Apple logo screen.

    It won't boot from the DVD even without a hard disk attached -- I forgot about that. And apparently a lot of those permissions-repair warnings were relatively normal. It would appear that hard drive damage, if it's a problem, can't be the only problem.

    I've also reset the PRAM and the SMC and done other things I should have probably written down... Everything I can find on troubleshooting checklists, whether it makes any sense or not.

    I should have access to another Macbook next weekend. I can swap out the RAM and see what that does. I'm mostly resigned to the probability of having to get a new computer. Would be nice to figure this out, though.
     
  8. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #8
    It looks like you have tried many things already. There isn't much else you try without more resources to isolated where the problem is. Unfortunately you may also be dealing with more than one problem. A cloned bootable external drive would be a good test that would eliminate the possibility of the internal HD cable. At least access to the friends Mac should allow formatting the new SSD if you have an external enclosure for it. It would be ideal to also install OS 10.6 while you are at it. Then try booting the MBP from the SSD in a external enclosure. If it works then you can install the SSD internally.

    Best of luck on resolving the problem. :)
     
  9. rnddnls thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2015
    #9
    Funny you should mention the HD cable. I just came across a blog post describing a problem that matches mine better than any other I've found. Turns out it was precisely that. I actually considered that early on, but shrugged it off because I didn't see how a bad HD cable would prevent booting from the DVD. But somehow it can.

    Anyway, I think I'll try replacing the SATA cable and report back. Other ideas are welcome in the mean time, of course.
     
  10. rnddnls thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 11, 2015
    #10
    Sorry to bump the thread, but I promised... No luck with the new cable. Probably something on the logic board, I guess.
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    A suggestion, you may have tried this already.

    Take off the back, remove and then RE-seat the RAM modules.

    Could their contacts have come loose in the fall?
     

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