Please help! OS X update went wrong, can't boot in safemode

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jmwicks, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. jmwicks macrumors newbie


    Oct 21, 2016
    I'm having a bit of a panic attack.

    Yesterday I upgraded to OS X Sierra from the App Store on my late 2014 Retina MacBook Pro. It restarted and brought me to my login page, where I entered my password.

    Then I got a bunch of black and white writing in the top-left corner of the login page, in the middle of which says "Mac OS version: Not yet set"

    Alright, obviously something happened with the update and I'll need to try booting up another way....

    And here's where I'm stuck. My MacBook doesn't chime at startup (I can't remember if it ever did) and when I use any of the commands for safemode, etc, the screen stays black - no grey, no apple logo.

    Does anyone have a clue what might be happening? I'm not terrible with computers, but I've been trying to figure out how to boot in safemode (tried holding shift at startup) for hours.

    I can get to the login screen with Resart and Shutdown, so most of the tutorials I've seen don't really apply to me.
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    If you hold CMD+R on startup, does that take you into OS X Utilities? If so, select 'Reinstall macOS' and then that will reinstall the operating system. It will only reinstall the OS components, so you won't lose any of your user data/applications.

    If that doesn't work, you can try hold down the power button for 1 minute. Then press the power button again and hold CMD + ALT + P + R on startup until you hear the Apple boot chime 3 times, then let go.

    Please quote this and let me know how you get on. :)
  3. bbnck, Oct 24, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016

    bbnck macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2009
    I know you don't want to be reading this, but you should have taken a full backup before you upgraded. If you can't get into the recovery partition, you should be able to reinstall the operating system using Internet Recovery by holding down the Command + Alt + R keys when you start up your Mac (keep them held down until you see a spinning globe icon on the screen). A word of warning - you'll probably lose all your data if you go ahead with this.

    After you have reinstalled the operating system, I would strongly advise you to look at enabling Time Machine (you can find this in System Preferences) to help protect your data going forward. You just need a USB or Thunderbolt hard drive to use Time Machine. You can read more about it here:

    I don't know whether or not you'll be able to recover your files and data if the only easy choice to get your Mac working again is to reinstall the operating system. Your best option might be to call Apple and see if they can help you. If you are outside your warranty period, you may need to pay for 'single-incident support,' but if they ask you to do this, I would suggest first to try and persuade them to help you free of charge, considering your issue has been caused by an upgrade they made available to you. It's not their fault though, you definitely should have taken a backup before upgrading.

    Good luck, let us know how it goes.

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