Prohibition sign on startup

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by coercri, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. coercri macrumors newbie


    Aug 12, 2008
    Shrewsbury, UK
    I get the prohibition sign on startup, then the apple logo comes up, then the prohibitions sign again, then the apple logo, then finally my mini boots with no errors at all.

    Ive started in safe mode, verified the SSD with disk utility with no errors.

    Any ideas please?
  2. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    Hard to say without further information.

    Download Etrecheck, generate report and post it in the thread.
  3. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    Make sure your hard drive is selected in the Startup Disk preferences panel.
  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Just to clarify.... so it boots fine in safe mode but not otherwise? Safe node stops any third party login and startup/launch items from running, so it may be that you have one of those items causing this issue. Post up an Etrecheck report like Ebenezum mentioned for us to take a look.
  5. coercri thread starter macrumors newbie


    Aug 12, 2008
    Shrewsbury, UK
    I will post a report from Etrecheck below.

    It boots up completely normally, with no interaction from me at all, but after turning on, it comes up with a prohibition notice, then changes to apple logo, then notice again, then apple, then loads normally, no safe mode - I do nothing, thats just how it seems to startup. Not in safe mode, normal.

    I just want to get to the bottom of it.

    Etrecheck Report

    EtreCheck version: 2.9.3 (253)

    Report generated 2016-02-09 18:49:06

    Download EtreCheck from

    Runtime 1:43

    Performance: Excellent

    Click the [Support] links for help with non-Apple products.

    Click the [Details] links for more information about that line.

    Click the [Check files] link for help with unknown files.

    Problem: Other problem


    Prohibition logo at startup, then boots normally with no interaction from me at all.

    Hardware Information:

    Mac mini (Late 2012)

    [Technical Specifications] - [User Guide] - [Warranty & Service]

    Mac mini - model: Macmini6,1

    1 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 CPU: 2-core

    16 GB RAM Upgradeable - [Instructions]

    BANK 0/DIMM0

    8 GB DDR3 1600 MHz ok

    BANK 1/DIMM0

    8 GB DDR3 1600 MHz ok

    Bluetooth: Good - Handoff/Airdrop2 supported

    Wireless: en1: 802.11 a/b/g/n

    Video Information:

    Intel HD Graphics 4000

    HC194D 1280 x 1024 @ 75 Hz

    System Software:

    OS X El Capitan 10.11.3 (15D21) - Time since boot: about 7 hours

    Disk Information:

    SanDisk SDSSDA120G disk0 : (120.03 GB) (Solid State - TRIM: Yes)

    EFI (disk0s1) <not mounted> : 210 MB

    SSD HD (disk0s2) / : 119.04 GB (76.26 GB free)

    Recovery HD (disk0s3) <not mounted> [Recovery]: 650 MB

    USB Information:

    Apple, Inc. IR Receiver

    Apple Inc. BRCM20702 Hub

    Apple Inc. Bluetooth USB Host Controller

    Apple, Inc. Keyboard Hub 31.46 GB

    Kingston DataTraveler 2.0 31.46 GB

    EFI (disk2s1) <not mounted> : 210 MB

    Install OS X El Capitan (disk2s2) /Volumes/Install OS X El Capitan : 31.11 GB (24.80 GB free)

    Apple Inc. Apple Keyboard

    EFI (disk1s1) <not mounted> : 210 MB

    External HD (disk1s2) /Volumes/External HD : 499.25 GB (45.91 GB free)

    Recovery HD (disk1s3) <not mounted> [Recovery]: 650 MB

    Microsoft Microsoft® LifeCam HD-3000

    Thunderbolt Information:

    Apple Inc. thunderbolt_bus

    Configuration files:

    /etc/hosts - Corrupt!



    Unknown Files:



    2 unknown files found. [Check files]

    System Launch Agents:

    [loaded] 157 Apple tasks

    [running] 79 Apple tasks

    System Launch Daemons:

    [loaded] 200 Apple tasks

    [running] 87 Apple tasks

    Launch Daemons:

    [loaded] com.adobe.fpsaud.plist [Support]

    [loaded] com.bombich.ccchelper.plist [Support]

    [loaded] com.macpaw.CleanMyMac3.Agent.plist [Support]

    [loaded] [Support]

    [loaded] com.teamviewer.Helper.plist [Support]

    User Launch Agents:

    [loaded] [Support]

    [loaded] com.macpaw.CleanMyMac3.Scheduler.plist [Support]

    User Login Items:

    iTunesHelper Application (/Applications/

    Google Drive Application (/Applications/Google

    Google Chrome Application Hidden (/Applications/Google

    Mail Application Hidden (/Applications/

    Other Apps:




    Internet Plug-ins:

    FlashPlayer-10.6: Version: - SDK 10.6 [Support]

    QuickTime Plugin: Version: 7.7.3

    Flash Player: Version: - SDK 10.6 Outdated! Update

    nplastpass: Version: 3.2.41 - SDK 10.11 [Support]

    Default Browser: Version: 601 - SDK 10.11

    Safari Extensions:




    3rd Party Preference Panes:

    Flash Player [Support]

    Time Machine:

    Skip System Files: NO

    Mobile backups: OFF

    Auto backup: YES

    Volumes being backed up:

    SSD HD: Disk size: 119.04 GB Disk used: 42.78 GB


    External HD [Local]

    Total size: 499.25 GB

    Total number of backups: 14

    Oldest backup: 04/02/2016, 10:16

    Last backup: 09/02/2016, 18:41

    Size of backup disk: Excellent

    Backup size 499.25 GB > (Disk size 119.04 GB X 3)

    Top Processes by CPU:

    141% Mail


    17% WindowServer

    6% kernel_task

    4% tccd(2)

    Top Processes by Memory:

    1.18 GB Google Chrome Helper(9)

    1.01 GB mdworker(20)

    997 MB kernel_task

    246 MB

    246 MB Google Drive

    Virtual Memory Information:

    5.60 GB Free RAM

    10.00 GB Used RAM (8.19 GB Cached)

    0 B Swap Used

    Diagnostics Information:

    Feb 9, 2016, 11:39:25 AM Self test - passed
  6. Weaselboy, Feb 9, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016

    Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    First thing I would do it get rid of Clean my Mac. That often causes more problems that it solves.

    Try a boot to safe mode by holding the shift key at startup. Does that boot properly?
  7. DeltaMac macrumors 604


    Jul 30, 2003
  8. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    You seem to have several external USB or flash drives connected. I wonder it the prohibition sign is caused by the system trying to mount these and failing.

    Try disconnecting all external drives, reboot and see if you still have the same problem.
  9. coercri thread starter macrumors newbie


    Aug 12, 2008
    Shrewsbury, UK
    :) That got it, I removed a USB 2.5 inch HD and it booted normally.

    Thank you all for your help.
  10. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    You are welcome. The Etrecheck said:

    EFI (disk2s1) <not mounted> : 210 MB

    so I suspect that was the problem. You might want to run Repair Disk on it.
  11. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    @coercri: You may want to check what is wrong with your hosts file, while we are at it. Can you open a Terminal window, enter this command and post the result?
    cat /etc/hosts

    You should also consider reenabling Gatekeeper. It is not necessary to turn it off, because you can override it incidentally by right-clicking on an application and selecting “Open” (you only have to do this once for each new application). Turning it off will not warn you if a software has been tampered with or a certificate has been revoked by Apple. Both are serious warnings.
  12. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Go to System Preferences and in the Startup Disk pane select the correct volume as the startup disk then you should be able to boot fine with those externals connected. What happens is if you do not have a correct startup volume selected in that pane, the system tries other drives until it finds the correct one, and that is what you were seeing I suspect.

    That is normal. When booted to the OS volume, EFI would not be mounted.
  13. coercri thread starter macrumors newbie


    Aug 12, 2008
    Shrewsbury, UK
    @KALLT Gatekeeper was disabled when I got the Mac, so I left it as was, but I've reenabled it now - thank you.

    @Weaselboy The strange thing is when I go into startup disk in settings, there is only the one drive in there, the internal SSD, the USB one isn't listed - so I don't really know why it's doing what it does - but at least with everyone's help I know what it is, as long as it boots up I don't mind the small delay whilst it does it's thing on startup. Thank you.
  14. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    So you did not perform a reinstall of OS X when you got your Mac? Are you sure that no problematic programs are installed? This is usually not a good idea. I would consider setting up your Mac anew and import your personal data from a backup or with a migration.
  15. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Is the SSD selected though? Just because it is shown there does not mean it has been selected as the boot drive. If it is selected, it should look like this.

    Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 9.35.39 AM.png
  16. coercri thread starter macrumors newbie


    Aug 12, 2008
    Shrewsbury, UK
    I don't think so, as I was told it was re-installed before coming to me - but you've got me thinking........
    --- Post Merged, Feb 10, 2016 ---
    Yes, it is selected. But as I say the other USB isn't shown.
  17. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    @coercri did you find an explanation? I would have suspected a physical problem with the drive, or an HFS Plus file system inconsistency (which may be not detectable by Disk Utility).
  18. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    By the way, you should deal with the corrupted Hosts file as that can potentially cause problems with DNS resolution on your internet connection.

    You can download the freeware TextWrangler from here to inspect and amend it:

    Once you have TextWrangler installed, pull down the Finder Menu in Finder to Go To Folder and type in


    and hit return.

    This will open the hidden /etc folder and you should find the Hosts file in it. Right-click on it and choose Open With, then Other, then TextWrangler.

    The default Hosts file should look like this:

    # Host Database
    # localhost is used to configure the loopback interface
    # when the system is booting. Do not change this entry.
    ## localhost broadcasthost
    ::1 localhost
    fe80::1%lo0 localhost​
  19. darkweather macrumors regular


    Aug 8, 2013
    have you found any solution? i have same problem here:
  20. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    If you can start in safe mode, but not in regular mode, then the problem is likely an in compatible startup item.

    Start in safe mode, the open the Users preference pane. Click the lock at the lower left to unlock it if necessary, the click on the Logon Items tab. Highlight an item and hit the minus button to delete it (don't just uptick it). Then do the same with each item in turn and see if your computer now boots normally.

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