The Bloody rImac Black Screen of Death

HighTime

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 20, 2014
91
1
Hey folks,

I've run into a black screen of death on the rImac on trying to boot up, all I see is a cursor. I've Googled it and tried a lot of what I've read online, holding down shift etc, pram reset or something of the sort, nothing at all works.

What's the solution? Would've been nice if all it needed was a simple reinstallation of Yosemite but I wouldn't be able to do that since I have no idea how to, and I've just had this a few days and just yesterday got an Airport TC to backup to but didn't get the chance to do it.

Surely there must be a solution.
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,284
229
Do you have another drive you could use to boot it?

Have you tried a safe boot? or to boot into the Recovery Partition?
 

HighTime

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 20, 2014
91
1
Do you have another drive you could use to boot it?

Have you tried a safe boot? or to boot into the Recovery Partition?
Tried safe boot, didn't work.

So I came across a YouTube video where the dude mentioned pressing cmd and R to try a factory reinstall, and surprisingly that key combo did work. So I got in there, erased the Macintosh HD and am now reinstalling OS X, I hope this works and solves the problem. I was quite happy to get this far actually, since I was dreading having to pack it up and take it to a service centre to get fixed. The OS components are downloading and it's saying it will take about 6 odd hours, so we'll see how it goes. It's a new machine, only had it a week, so I had nothing of importance on it yet.

Anyway, let's see how this turn outs.

Thank you for your reply.
 

MacVidCards

Suspended
Nov 17, 2008
7,506
1,029
Hollywood, CA
If it was a black screen with a blinking white cursor in top left corner that is usually caused by machine looking for a Windows disk. Typically happens during a Bootcamp install. Answer is usually a PRAM reset or inserting a Windows install disk.

If it was a grey screen with black cursor, i would try "repair disk" and "repair permissions" before a complete reinstall.
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,395
6,962
If it was a black screen with a blinking white cursor in top left corner that is usually caused by machine looking for a Windows disk. Typically happens during a Bootcamp install. Answer is usually a PRAM reset or inserting a Windows install disk.

If it was a grey screen with black cursor, i would try "repair disk" and "repair permissions" before a complete reinstall.
On some newer Macs and all Retina ones, the Yosemite boot screen is black instead of gray.
 

HighTime

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 20, 2014
91
1
If it was a black screen with a blinking white cursor in top left corner that is usually caused by machine looking for a Windows disk. Typically happens during a Bootcamp install. Answer is usually a PRAM reset or inserting a Windows install disk.

If it was a grey screen with black cursor, i would try "repair disk" and "repair permissions" before a complete reinstall.
I tried PRAM reset, and the repair disk and repair permissions then tried restart but it didn't work. I was just glad cmd + r worked. OS X successfully reinstalled now thank god.
 

n-evo

macrumors 65816
Aug 9, 2013
1,357
820
Amsterdam
On some newer Macs and all Retina ones, the Yosemite boot screen is black instead of gray.
Yeah, I was wondering what the hell is up with that. My 2013 27-inch iMac suddently went from grey to a black boot screen after upgrading to OS X Yosemite, while my neighbours iMac from 2010 (I think) stayed grey.

Apparently Apple created a rift between newer and older Macs running OS X Yosemite. Weird.
 

HighTime

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 20, 2014
91
1
What are the precautions you guys take if something goes wrong like this? I've just moved over to Macs, do you guys have bootable install drives or something? I know on a Windows machine I would've just reinstalled from a USB disk, what if in this case the Cmd R hadn't worked, how would you get a Mac to boot up from a USB drive?
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,395
6,962
What are the precautions you guys take if something goes wrong like this? I've just moved over to Macs, do you guys have bootable install drives or something? I know on a Windows machine I would've just reinstalled from a USB disk, what if in this case the Cmd R hadn't worked, how would you get a Mac to boot up from a USB drive?
You can create a USB OS X installer, which is a good idea if you don't want to wait for the OS X installer to download (due to the limited space available for Recovery) or your hard drive fails. You'd have to hold down Option to see it in the boot menu (if you can't get to System Preferences > Startup Disk) and boot from it.

----------

Yeah, I was wondering what the hell is up with that. My 2013 27-inch iMac suddently went from grey to a black boot screen after upgrading to OS X Yosemite, while my neighbours iMac from 2010 (I think) stayed grey.

Apparently Apple created a rift between newer and older Macs running OS X Yosemite. Weird.
My 2010 boots to gray as well, didn't know the 2013 got black.
 

HighTime

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 20, 2014
91
1
You can create a USB OS X installer, which is a good idea if you don't want to wait for the OS X installer to download (due to the limited space available for Recovery) or your hard drive fails. You'd have to hold down Option to see it in the boot menu (if you can't get to System Preferences > Startup Disk) and boot from it.


Thanks.
 

davidb367

macrumors member
Feb 13, 2007
73
10
With any new Mac I buy I always make a bootable image of the drive to a USB3 disk before doing anything and use a second partition on that disk to keep an up to date backup. Carbon Copy Cloner is excellent for this.

This is especially important when the initial OS is custom and has not been rolled into the general OS X releases. If your Mac crashes and burns, you are down for long periods of time waited

I had similiar issues with nMP hanging at boot with the early releases of Mavericks. I came to the conclusion that the graphics drivers were the cause. If this is the case, it's going to be a bumpy road with your riMac until the drivers mature.
 

HighTime

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 20, 2014
91
1
With any new Mac I buy I always make a bootable image of the drive to a USB3 disk before doing anything and use a second partition on that disk to keep an up to date backup. Carbon Copy Cloner is excellent for this.
Thanks for that, I'll look into CCC, but my question is what is the difference between that and a backup copy I will make on Time Machine?
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,703
266
Oregon
Thanks for that, I'll look into CCC, but my question is what is the difference between that and a backup copy I will make on Time Machine?
The TimeMachine backup is not bootable. Having the clone is a real time saver if you need to restore your system, and as a bonus if you end up with more than one Mac you can boot up any Mac from from any cloned boot drive (if the OS version is compatible with the Mac).
 

HighTime

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 20, 2014
91
1
The TimeMachine backup is not bootable. Having the clone is a real time saver if you need to restore your system, and as a bonus if you end up with more than one Mac you can boot up any Mac from from any cloned boot drive (if the OS version is compatible with the Mac).
Please excuse my ignorance, when I had the black screen of death and pressed Cmd R, I had an option to back up from Time Machine, so that is not what is meant when we say a bootable disk?
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,703
266
Oregon
Please excuse my ignorance, when I had the black screen of death and pressed Cmd R, I had an option to back up from Time Machine, so that is not what is meant when we say a bootable disk?
No, it's not the same. With a bootable disk, hold down the Option key when booting and the system will show you all the bootable disks and disk partitions. Normally you see your system drive and the recovery partition, but with a bootable disk attached you will see that as well. Select it, and the system boots from that drive. You can log in and run from that drive pretty much like it were your internal system drive.
 

HighTime

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 20, 2014
91
1
No, it's not the same. With a bootable disk, hold down the Option key when booting and the system will show you all the bootable disks and disk partitions. Normally you see your system drive and the recovery partition, but with a bootable disk attached you will see that as well. Select it, and the system boots from that drive. You can log in and run from that drive pretty much like it were your internal system drive.
Ok thank you for that.
 

albebaubles

macrumors 6502
Feb 9, 2010
439
354
low Sierra
Please excuse my ignorance, when I had the black screen of death and pressed Cmd R, I had an option to back up from Time Machine, so that is not what is meant when we say a bootable disk?
Actually your option was to RESTORE from backup -- which would have put your computer to the state of it's last backup.

Look into SuperDuper for clones -- excellent tool.