MBA Boot Failure

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by pocketsophist, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. pocketsophist macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2015
    Hello all!

    Having some trouble getting my MBA (13" Early 2014) to boot. Looking for a little reassurance that this is not a hard drive failure, because there's some important info that has not been backed up (I know, I know...)

    Noticed some system issues such as sluggishness, failure to load webpages and internet connectivity. MBA automatically rebooted due to system updates, but now will not successfully boot - the progress bar stops in the middle, and after about 5 minutes, will shut off.

    I have tried booting from a fresh OSX install on an external drive, and the computer will repeatedly boot and shut off, never fully loading past the login screen.

    I am really only worried about the information on the SSD, because I have been unable to boot the drive in target disk mode using my other Mac. When I authenticate the drive with my credentials, nothing happens and the drive is not mounted on my desktop.

    I have run disk utility and verified/repaired the drive, and it is saying that the drive is OK - which gives me some hope. FSCK also says the drive is OK.

    System will not start in safe mode. Diagnostic is giving error code PPM002 - related to system memory (RAM?) Could this be the issue?

    Hardware is still under 1-yr warranty - planning on a Genius Bar visit as soon as I can. Any insight in the meantime would be great! Thanks
  2. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    It sounds like you can boot into the recovery partition (or do internet recovery) if your'e able to run Disk Utility.

    This being the case, you will have access to the command line.

    What you can do is use the command line tools (tar or zip) to archive the files you want. Then you can use ftp to upload them to a server somewhere.

    (You might be able to mount an external disk and copy the files there but I've never done that, I've just used ftp before.)

    Then you can be less stressed out about data loss when you get to the Genius Bar...
  3. pocketsophist thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2015
    Hi Motrek!

    Unfortunately, recovery partition boot is causing the computer to shut down and restart about halfway through the boot sequence. Also, targeting the Macintosh HD during internet recovery prompts a password entry - which causes the system to think for about 30 seconds - and then it disappears from the list of drives available for internet recovery. Very strange.

    I don't have experience using the command prompt to browse file directories, let alone zip & upload to FTP, but I'll look into that as an option. Hopefully there are good instructions somewhere that I can google. Thanks for the suggestion!
  4. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    I can't remember if the recovery terminal has zip but I'm pretty sure it has tar. You can find instructions online on how to tar your files.

    Once you have a tar, you can use ftp (or more likely sftp) to connect to a server online and upload your tar file. Do you have web hosting somewhere? That should be a good intermediate destination.

    Let us know if you can't figure out some step of this process.

    Another idea is to get an external USB interface for the internal SSD. I believe some SSD upgrade kits include such an external interface but I don't know if you can buy them separately. Then take off the bottom panel of the laptop, take out the SSD, put it in the external enclosure, plug it into some other Mac, and start copying your files. Should be good to go, unless the SSD is actually breaking or broken, in which case there's not much you can do other than possibly send it to one of those super expensive recovery services.
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Yep... that is bad memory and would definitely cause this. Off to the Apple Store you go.

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