MacBook Pro won't start up - "launchd died"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by barcode00, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. barcode00 macrumors member

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    UK
    #1
    Hello,

    Upon starting up my MacBook Pro (mid 2010), the loading screen appears and after a time I am presented with an error message and then it restarts (this process would continue if I left it).

    It's worth noting two things that happened out of the hundreds of times I must have booted up:

    1.) I did manage to get it to boot into OS X once, but it was very slow and unresponsive - for example, Safari did not load any pages, and I couldn't move any files due to an error "code -50".

    2.) It's also worth noting that on a handful of occasions it appeared to get past the boot-up loading screen, and I was presented with the message "Unapproved Caller / SecurityAgent may only be invoked by Apple Software" (this message is never sated so I ultimately have to restart).

    I have tried booting into safe mode but this seems not to be successful.

    Attached a picture of the boot-up error message I initially described.

    I'd welcome any suggestions or comments - thank you.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. barcode00 thread starter macrumors member

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    #2
    I just wanted to update this thread, although I can't comprehensively document what the current state of the MacBook Pro is.

    Last night, I managed to boot up into OS X and I was using it semi-reliably for several hours. I'm not sure if the performance was "good", or just normal for what I have come to expect from its performance. I will comment that when I tried to capture a screen shot, the image saved to my desktop was broken up (only the top horizontal section of the capture was present, the rest was grey).

    Since then, I have restarted and it is no longer usable. I have started up in single-user mode many times, and each time the volume has attempted to be repaired, while listing what error and abnormalities existed on the disk (catalog, missing records, etc). It also said there was an I/O error on the disk. The final comment before it shut down was "The volume could not be repaired after 3 attempts".

    Now, when I try to boot up, the start up screen appears (Apple logo and loading bar) and it ultimately turns itself off without the error I gave at the start of this thread.

    I have been unable to run Apple Hardware Test using the various methods available (how is this initialised?)
    I tried running the AHT by holding down Alt+D, which I believe is a remote service, but it results in an error (with ethernet).


    Comments welcome.
     
  3. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    Delaware
    #3
    Your symptoms should mean that your hard drive is failing.
    And - it's getting worse.
    Hope you have a good backup (whatever is important to you)

    You could boot to your recovery partition by starting while holding Command-R.
    Trying running Disk Utility from there, and test your hard drive. (Repair Disk button)
    Chances are good that if your hard is failing, then that won't work (because it's all on the same failing hard drive.)
    You could also try booting to internet Recovery (hold Option-Command-R until you see the rotating world, showing that you are booting to Apple's servers. be warned that internet recovery boot can take quite a long time, maybe more than 10 minutes - particularly if you are on a wireless connection. Use a wired ethernet, if available, for best results)
     
  4. barcode00 thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    Thanks for the reply.

    I managed to access internet recovery and selected to Reinstall OS X - I didn't think this would resolve the problem, but I thought I would give it a try. Of course, it didn't work and said Macintosh HD was "locked" and that the installation couldn't continue.

    I then tried verifying the volume using Disk Utility and it gave errors such as "Keys out of order", the volume was "found corrupt and needs to be repaired".

    I did manage to copy over important documents to an external hard drive when these problems first occurred.

    If I replaced the drive, could I reinstall OS X as new by using Internet recovery?
     
  5. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #5
    You COULD try some of the dedicated directory repair software, such as Disk Warrior. That can take care of problems like "keys out of order", etc.
    However, you might also just be wasting your time trying to repair, when the drive probably needs to be replaced with new. And, you may spend more for the repair software than the replacement hard drive.
    Yes - after putting a new drive in, you can use Internet Recovery to install OS X as new. Keep in mind that if you put a new hard drive in place, you have to partition the drive using the Disk Utility, before you can install OS X.

    So, as you should replace the hard drive with new - you might also consider getting an SSD. Cost for SSDs continue to come down, and your 5-year old MBPro will have better-than-new performance.
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #6
    Yeah... I'm with DeltaMac here, you have a bad drive. Your machine is on this list, so yes you should be able to do Internet recovery with a new drive.
     
  7. barcode00 thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    Thanks for the responses.

    I do intend to purchase a new drive, more than likely an SSD. I'm currently researching these.

    I do still want to determine if anything else is wrong with the MacBook. I have been unable to launch the hardware test (actually, I did manage to launch and it told me the machine was unsupported.

    All in all, if I took it into a store, would Apple be prepared to run a hardware test on the machine to rule out problems aside from the drive?
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #8
    Yes, they have a more comprehensive test than the AHT you tried to run.
     
  9. barcode00 thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    I'm currently researching SSD drives to replace my HDD.

    My main reservation about using an SSD is the dependency (or requirement) to use a third-party application to enable TRIM support. Somehow, I feel uncomfortable with this, and I would have thought this would be handled by the OS itself (or even the drive, or both).

    I'm using, or will be using, Yosemite, and from what I gather, if you have a newer (retina) model, one which comes with an SSD, then TRIM will be enabled by default - what happens in this case? Does TRIM support get handled by the OS?

    Drive I am considering:

    OWC Mercury Electra 3G
    Samsung 850 EVO
    Crucial BX100
     
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #10
    Of those three, I would get the Crucial. There is no reason to spend more money on the other two.

    TRIM is on by default on any Apple computer that comes from the factory with a flash storage device. If you want to enable TRIM on an aftermarket drive you will need to use an app like TRIM Enabler to turn it on. It is not that difficult or dangerous if you follow the precautions on the app's web page.
     
  11. barcode00 thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    Thanks, I have decided upon a Crucial drive.

    Prior to purchasing however, I am considering that the problem may lie in the SATA cable itself. (After some research, someone else commented on problems with an "Unapproved Caller" error was only stopped by replacing the cable.)
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #12
    It may be a bad cable. That often presents similar symptoms as a bad drive. You could put your existing drive in a USB enclosure and boot to that to see if that fixes the problem. That would take the cable out of the equation.
     
  13. barcode00 thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    I have just installed a new cable (using my existing HDD) and when I booted up I was presented with a flashing folder with a question mark in it, suggesting the bootable drive couldn't be found.

    There are no drives available when I hold down Option at start-up (there should be one, the internal HDD).

    Now, I'm not sure how to proceed.

    Could this mean the cable I bought was faulty?
    Could it mean the cable was improperly installed? (I took great care with all of the expected precautions)
    Is there anything I can try to get it to work?
    If I bought a replacement drive (SSD), is it possible it would work despite by existing HDD not working at start-up?

    I'm wary of what I should try next. If I reinstall the first cable, what would I be hoping to prove? Ultimately, the more I fiddle around with the old and the new cable, the more chance there is of it being damaged (I would think).

    Thank you.
     
  14. barcode00, Apr 18, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015

    barcode00 thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    The SSD arrived today. I attempted to install it using the new cable I bought (described in the last post), and as expected, no drive was found.

    I then reinstalled the original cable with the SSD. This time, the drive was found but when attempting to erase it prior to OS X installation, it gave me the error "Unable to write to the last block of the device".

    I'm hoping this is a case of two bad cables that are failing in different extremes, rather than a problem with the logic board.

    Also, is it possible the SSD is now damaged because the cable(s) may have been defective and because of that error I recieved?
     
  15. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #15
    I'd say it is very unlikely you have two bad cables and both drives are bad. It is starting to now look like something more serious with the logic board is my thought at this point. Do you have a USB enclosure you can try the drives in?
     
  16. barcode00 thread starter macrumors member

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    #16
    I don't have one of those. Which one should I get?
     
  17. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    #17
    OP:

    You are flopping around like a fish out of water.

    You need an "external boot source" from which to verify that the MacBook is still bootable, from a source -other than- the internal drive.

    This is why I always ALWAYS recommend that folks keep at least one bootable cloned drive close by for "I can't boot!" situations --- just like the one you're in now.

    Here's what I suggest:
    - Get an external USB3 enclosure, or a USB3/SATA "dongle" adapter.
    Here's a drive enclosure that will work for you:
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003VKTJGW...UTF8&colid=R75PP4I2A0BE&coliid=I3DOKZ31SP7539

    You have a couple of ways to go.
    Try this first:
    Put your OLD HDD into the enclosure, attach it.
    Boot and hold down the option key continuously until the startup manager appears.
    Do you see an icon representing the old drive (which indicates a bootable OS)?
    If so, select it with the pointer and hit return.
    What happens next?

    If that doesn't work for you, next course of action:
    Put the new SSD into the external enclosure, and connect it.
    Of course, there is no OS on this yet, so you can't boot from it.
    You'll need a way to "get booted" -- do you have the original install DVD's?
    If you don't have them, you might try to boot to internet recovery (I've never tried it on my own April 2010 MacBook Pro).
    IF you can get a boot from internet recovery, you need to initialize the SSD in the external enclosure, then install a fresh copy of the OS onto it.
    I would STRONGLY SUGGEST that you use an Ethernet connection (NOT wireless) by which to do this.

    Once you get an OS onto the external SSD, now try to boot (again, hold down option key until startup manager appears). Can you get booted that way? Can you set up an account?
    If you get that far, you can surmise that the MacBook is OK other than the problem with either the old drive or the connecting cable.

    At this point, I would try to install the SSD into the MacBook, using the original connecting cable.
    If that doesn't work, swap the cables for the replacement one that you bought.

    What happens?
     
  18. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #18
    Since you just need one for this quick test, just get any USB 2.5" drive enclosure you can find. Any will work.
     
  19. barcode00 thread starter macrumors member

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    UK
    #19
    Thanks for the replies, they have been useful.

    I used my enclosure on my existing/old HDD and tried to boot from it. It was unsuccessful and shut down the computer (panic/as described earlier in this thread).

    So, that drive is not bootable, but I may still be able to get data from it with my new USB enclosure if I mount from OS X (?)

    I launched Internet Recovery and installed Yosemite on the new SSD drive. I then booted from it successfully.

    I note that TRIM support isn't possible from SSD over USB - is it bad practice to continue using the SSD over USB in the interim with this in mind?

    I have yet to try this, but I shall do and post my results.
     
  20. barcode00 thread starter macrumors member

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    #20
  21. barcode00 thread starter macrumors member

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    #21
    I tried the SSD with another SATA cable and it did not work. This cable was supposedly brand new, although it did not look this way when it arrived.

    I then tried my SSD with my original SATA cable and I was able to boot into OS X. This was just a curiosity though.

    Original cable:
    - The cable itself is presumably damaged
    - It likely caused damage to the original HDD
    - It allows me to boot from the SSD, although it will corrupt the SSD. (I know this is true because I had to repair the drive when I first booted via USB, after testing the original cable.)

    Replacement cable #1:
    - The cable may be (1) damaged or (2) not compatible, or both
    - The cable did not work with the original HDD
    - The cable did not work with the SSD

    Replacement cable #2:
    - The cable may be (1) damaged or (2) not compatible, or both
    - The cable did not work with the original HDD
    - The cable did not work with the SSD​

    Based on the above, and in particular, that the original cable works at least in terms of recognising the drive, I would conclude that the replacement cables I have tried are damaged or not compatible. (I'm not certain I can rule out there being a problem with the connection point on the logic board -- does the above tell me enough to know?)
     
  22. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #22
    It could be

    The logic board connector try cleaning it with a rubbing alchohol and a cotton bud.
     
  23. yuren09 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 2, 2010
    #23
    I have the exact same issue on my mid 2010 MBP with a Crucial SSD and Intel SDD in the optibay. I had placed an order of the sata cable. Hopefully that will solve the issue.

    Did you managed to solve the problems after all?
     
  24. barcode00 thread starter macrumors member

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    #24
    Hello,

    Yes, I eventually managed to purchase (and fit) a new SATA cable that worked.

    I also disabled Trim support.
     

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