MacBook won't boot

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Cams, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. Cams macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Location:
    Isle of Arran, UK
    #1
    I'm getting rather panicky now. I was trying to connect to a network drive on my MacBook when I got a beachball. Nothing would work, not even force quit would come up. So I held down the power button until it went off, and then switched it back on again. It got as far a blank blue screen but no further. I tried it again and this time it didn't get past the grey screen with the Apple logo and the spinning wheel.

    So I took the battery out, unplugged from the mains and held the power button down for over 10 seconds. Then held down Command Alt P R to reset the PRAM. That didn't solve anything.

    This is the first reboot since some security updates on Saturday past. I'm running Leopard and it's an oldish Macbook, Core 2 Duo with 2 x 2 GB sticks of RAM. Applecare has expired.

    Any suggestions anyone? This is very scary.
     
  2. Pax macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    #2
    I doubt it's a hardware problem, so don't panic could be a corrupted disk.

    Try booting into safe mode (hold down shift as you boot)

    Try booting from the install DVD (insert the DVD, hold down option at boot and select the DVD drive)

    Try booting from your backup. You have a backup ... right?

    If you've got another Mac try connecting via Firewire and entering Target Disk Mode, you should see the disk mount on the other Mac's desktop.
     
  3. Cams thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 7, 2006
    Location:
    Isle of Arran, UK
    #3
    Yep, I'm all backed up so no worries on that score. It's just the worry of being without until I can get this sorted. Thanks for the pointers. I'll get to work and see if I can get it working.
     
  4. Cams thread starter macrumors regular

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  5. Pax macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Nice to hear from someone who has a backup, everyone I know gets very bored with me telling them to get a backup regime.

    Your situation is pretty scary esp. if your backup is quite old

    Let us know how you get on. Good luck!
     
  6. Cams thread starter macrumors regular

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    Isle of Arran, UK
    #6
    I did repair permissions and repair disk from disk utility and have the following:

    So does this point to a failing hard drive d'you think?
     
  7. Pax macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    #7
    Not necessarily. I had the same or similar problem with a G4 iMac and it was caused by file corruption. With a reformat and a re-install it worked well for years afterwards.

    If you look in System Profiler under Serial ATA you'll get a SMART status which on mine says "Verified". I think that means disk is OK. What's yours?

    On the other hand..... for £40 or $60 or whatever you could get a new HDD and be 100% confident it was OK....
     
  8. Cams thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
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    Isle of Arran, UK
    #8
    Mine said verified as well.

    Is there a way of cloning this drive to a new drive, then swapping them over? I know how to do that on Windows, but not on the Mac. I've got an iMac so I could try this target disk mode thing. Would that help?

    I actually have the original drive that came with the MacBook in an external case with the original OS install on it. I cloned it over to a bigger drive then swapped them, but I did that from the original disk with the OS running. I can't get the OS on the current drive to boot now. I think it was SuperDuper I used to do it.

    Or is there a way to do a repair install over the top of what's there like you can with Windows?

    Basically, I either want to repair the drive that's in there now, or clone it to a new drive and swap them over after the clone is complete. Can either of those things be done? Mac is hard!
     
  9. Cams thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 7, 2006
    Location:
    Isle of Arran, UK
    #9
    I firewired it to the iMac and it wouldn't mount on the iMac. I booted from the iMac drive on the MacBook and tried disk utility, but again got the error message. That firewire target disk mode is a clever thing though! I can see that a disk clone would work, however I wonder whether that would simply clone the corrupt files that are causing the problem. Does that seem likely? If it's a file system corruption, would the files themselves be all right and therefore the drive would be cloneable?

    Would it be worth forking out for a copy of Disk Warrior to see if that would do the trick? it's quite pricey for a disk maintenance utility, although I did pay a similar amount for SpinRite 6.0 on the PC side so I guess it's worth that it it will recover a disk and its data.

    Or perhaps this would be an oportune moment for a fresh install. It'll take longer than I would like as I have the Tiger OS disks and a drop-in upgrade disk for Leopard so I guess I'd need to install Tiger first then upgrade.

    So how about that Disk Warrior? Is it any good? Does it sound like it would help in my case?

    Thanks for the great help.
     

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