Macbook Pro Stays on Gray Screen and Will Not Recognize Boot Disk

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macbookpro08, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. macbookpro08 macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2012
    I have a Macbook Pro (late 2008) that was running Lion. I want to sell my Macbook Pro, but I did not have the bootable CDs. So, I proceeded to manually back-up and delete all of my files. I followed the instructions on to change the account name to the name of the new user.

    Unfortunately, when I deleted the original user account via the Users & Groups pane (as explained on, it did not work as expected. It only deleted my original account in the Users & Groups pane, but the files were all still in Macintosh HD> Users. I then drug my original account folder (from Mac HD> Users) to the Trash so the new user would not have access to any of my data. When I clicked on System Preferences> Users & Groups, it came up with an error message that said it could not access Users & Groups. I put my original user file back in Users, but this did not solve the problem. I then decided to restart the computer since that often seems to clear up any glitches.

    At this point, when the computer attempted to restart, it stayed on the gray screen with the spinning circle and Apple logo. I have read a ton of forums online, but have not had any success with their recommendations yet. As a last resort, I purchased and downloaded Lion and made a bootable DVD. However, my Macbook is not recognizing anything besides the HD. I have tried a DVD, thumb drive, and external hard drive and none of them appear when I boot while pressing the option key.

    I would really appreciate any suggestions on how to fix my Macbook or recommendations on what might be wrong. Thank you SO much!
  2. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    and your holding option when you hear the chime?
  3. macbookpro08 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2012
    Yes, I press option as soon as I press the restart button and keep it held down until after the chime and I see the Macintosh HD.
  4. CBR954 macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2012
    Any luck?

    I'm having the same problem with it not recognizing the disk through the startup manager.

    Anyone have a solution?
  5. Spikestrip macrumors member


    Apr 1, 2011
    If you boot holding the "C" key it should attempt to boot directly to your optical drive. Being stuck at the spinning gear is often a software issue, but it can be the hard drive. Try holding Command, Option, P, and R as you reboot. Keep holding through at least two startup chimes. This will reset a few settings, but it will not erase any password or lose any content. After that's done, try resetting holding the "C" key or Option again and see if you can boot from the disc. Report back here either way, please.

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