MacBook Won't Boot From Hard Drive OR DVD

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by OmegaRed1723, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    The Waste
    #1
    My brother's 2006 MacBook is crapping the bed. He told me he turned the computer and got the flashing question mark at the boot screen. When I turned the computer back on, I got the Apple at the boot screen (not the question mark), but the circular indicator just spins, and the computer won't boot. Trying to boot from the Install disc that came with the unit doesn't work, nor does trying to boot from the new Snow Leopard disc. Here is a complete list of what I've tried:

    1) Reset PRAM (hold CMD + OPT + P + R at startup)
    2) Reset NVRAM (hold CMD + OPT + N + V at startup)
    3) Safe mode (hold Shift at startup)
    4) Boot from CD (hold C at startup)
    5) Force boot from CD (hold CMD + OPT + Shift + Delete at startup)
    6) Manually select boot volume (hold OPT at startup)
    7) Boot into firmware (hold CMD + Shift + O + F at startup
    8) Boot into Single User Mode (hold CMD + S at startup)

    When I was in Single User Mode I ran "fsck" and then tried to remount the disk using "mount -uw /" and booting by typing "exit". No luck.

    Any ideas on how I can get the computer to boot from the CD? Is the HDD simply dead and needs to be replaced? Thanks for the help!
     
  2. BittenApple macrumors 6502a

    BittenApple

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    #2
    Try booting without the HD and see if it boots from the optical drive.
     
  3. OmegaRed1723 thread starter macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

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    #3
    So if it boots from the optical drive with the hard drive disconnected then the HD is the culprit, correct?

    I have a bad feeling it's something other than, or in addition to, the HD. Prior to this happening, the Airport Card stopped functioning and Snow Leopard refused to install. It would start, install for a bit, then reboot and go back to 10.5.8. I'll disconnect the HD and give it a shot though!
     
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #4
    Missed target disk mode...

    Alternatively.

    Take the drive out, and stick it in an external case and use your machine to fix it.

    Take the drive out, start with no drive and select the DVD as the boot volume, and stick the HD back in.

    ---

    All the above means is the system is corrupt enough to interfere with the intitial bootstrap process for the boot process, where it is checking for keypresses (loads a file and then checks for a keypress.)

    The flashing ? mark usually means 100% dead drive, or corrupt drive (though you have to wonder why it got corrupted.)
     
  5. H&Kie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    #5
    Wasn't this boot from CD holding C at startup?
     
  6. OmegaRed1723 thread starter macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
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    #6
    I didn't mention Target mode because I don't have a firewire drive to boot to. If I enter Target mode on startup I do get the large FW symbol on the screen.

    I tried BittenApple's suggestion of removing the drive and booting from the optical drive. No dice. I get the flashing folder/question mark because the drive is missing, but it will not boot from either the System Install Disc or the new Snow Leopard disc.

    Could the problem still be just the HD, or is this symptomatic of a larger hardware failure (logic board)?
     
  7. OmegaRed1723 thread starter macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

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    #7
    That was a typo. I was holding 'c' at startup. Thanks for pointing that out.
     
  8. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
  9. OmegaRed1723 thread starter macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

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    #9
    Oh wow, I didn't realize that you could use another Mac as the target disk; I thought that mode was simply for external hard drives. I'll try to dig up a FW cable and connect his MB to my MBP.
     
  10. OmegaRed1723 thread starter macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

    Joined:
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    #10
    I was able to access the contents of the hard drive using Target Disk Mode. I'm in the process of copying my brother's data onto my MBP. Then, I'm going to reformat his drive and attempt to install Snow Leopard via Target Disk Mode. We'll see what happens!
     
  11. OmegaRed1723 thread starter macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    The Waste
    #11
    I was able to pull data off my the MacBook hard drive (music, movies, documents), reformat it, and install Snow Leopard using Target Disk Mode. After about 20 minutes of using the computer once the install was finished, I got a system hang and had to perform a hard reset. When I rebooted the machine I got a kernel panic.

    I put the Snow Leopard disc into the computer and tried to boot from the disc....no luck. So once again, I went back to Target Disk Mode and tried to repair the disc permissions and repair the disc (using the Snow Leopard disc). Unfortunately, this didn't work—still got the kernel panic.

    I wiped the drive again and performed another clean install of Snow Leopard via Target Disk Mode. The computer is functioning; however, the computer will NOT boot from a disc. After completing the install, I wanted to see if the optical drive was working properly, so I put the Snow Leopard disc into the machine, and held 'c' while booting. It booted to the hard drive as if I wasn't holding the key. Same with holding 'd' at startup to enter the hardware test.

    I reset PRAM, NVRAM, etc., but I still can't get the machine to boot from a disc. Also, it does not recognize that a disc is in the drive, and to eject it I have to reboot and hold the mouse button. Once the machine reboots, I can put a disc in and it will show up on the desktop.

    I'm at a loss here. With these optical drive problems, kernel panics, and an airport card that doesn't work I think the logic board may be failing. Anybody have an opinion? Thanks!
     
  12. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #12
    Could be logic board. Could be bad RAM. Could still be the HD, but since it wont boot from the optical, a bad HD is less likely (but still possible unless you rule it out by physically pulling it out and trying to boot from the optical).
     
  13. OmegaRed1723 thread starter macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

    Joined:
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    #13
    I did rule that out by removing the HD and trying to boot from the optical drive—no dice. My vote is for logic board; now it's just a question of whether my bro wants to spend the $$ to buy a new logic board, have me put it in, and still face the possibility of it not working. He may end up just buying a new machine, as this one is 3.5 years old.
     
  14. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816

    l.a.rossmann

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #14
    Hard drives are terrible techbology.

    The drives apple uses in these machines are A-W-F-U-L!

    I have had both crap out at the same time often.

    Install leopard onto another machine with a new hard drive, then put the drive into the machine in question. It'll probably work.

    Find a uj-857-c on ebay for $85 shipped(don't pay more) to replace the dvd burner, but know that it'll probably break again very soon. They all do.
     
  15. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #15
    Also does sound like bad RAM, as soon as the computer tries to use the bad stick it crashes.

    Take one stick out and boot, swap DIMMs and try again, then do it with the other slot until it boots.

    Just 4 different configurations to rule out, for a bad DIMM or DIMM slot -- though both could be bad.

    ---

    If they are 3rd party RAM, hunt down the factory RAM ...
     
  16. OmegaRed1723 thread starter macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    The Waste
    #16
    Thanks for everyone's helpful replies. Let me take a moment to clarify the current situation. Ultimately (after the kernel panics, etc.), I was able to wipe the hard drive and install a fresh copy of 10.6, but I had to do so via Target Disk Mode because the Macbook simply would not boot from the optical drive.

    Currently, the computer is operating "normally" with a couple notable issues. These problems have been present for a couple weeks, before the computer finally crashed a couple nights ago.

    First, the optical drive is still sketchy. If you insert a disc, the computer will recognize whatever media is in the drive and act appropriately. Once the computer is put to sleep, however, it will not recognize the media upon wake-up. The disc will not eject, and the computer has to be rebooted (and the mouse button held) to eject the disc.

    Second, computer will not boot from the disc if I try to do so. Sometimes the drive will spin, other times not; either way, it boots to the hard drive.

    Lastly, AirPort is non-functional. Trying to search for a connection results in an instantaneous "Connection Timeout".

    I guess my root question is whether these problems are isolated failures (bad AirPort card + bad optical drive + system crash) that coincidentally happened at the same time, or part of a larger, singular hardware failure (bad logic board).
     
  17. poyzindrink macrumors newbie

    poyzindrink

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Location:
    Tucson, Az.
    #17
    G4 PPC Won't Boot

    Hi everyone,
    I have a G4 Power Mac that has the message "Please restart your computer, we are hanging here" and I have tried resetting PRAM, PRVAM, I hooked it up in Target Disk Mode to the G4 Powerbook I'm on now, the hard drive was on the desktop, I ran disk utility and it said "No repairs necessary". What else can I do in TDM? I can't boot the PPC into safe or single user or verbose mode, so I can't do fsck -y either. I have applejack on the G4 that won't boot. I can only boot into Open Firmware or TDM. Once I'm there, and disk utility verifies and repairs permissions and says no repairs necessary, what else can I do?

    Both Macs are from Craiglist, I want to buy Tiger for the G4 but even the gray discs Apple sent me wouldn't boot the old G4, the G4 restore discs I bought off Ebay didn't work either. So if I buy Tiger retail, what if it doesn't work? I don't have confidence in the discs because my new Leopard disks that came with my Mac Mini didn't work either! The geniuses couldn't get them to work and ordered me 2 new sets. Anyway, rambling, but I have no disks.

    Now for the good part: I think I might have deleted a Library start up folder and thats why it won't boot. Can anyone help? Thanks in advance for not attacking me. :eek:
     

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