macbook pro startup problem

10 posts / 0 new
Last post
Last seen: 11 years 5 months ago
Joined: Mar 8 2005 - 17:54
macbook pro startup problem

this is stupid, but anyway...

i have a macbook pro core duo 2.16/17". power and everything is fine, but nothing initializes, the little thing on the screen just keeps spinning. i've giving it as much as ten minutes. i've tried all the basics, like "in the manual" stuff, and everything checks out with disk utility and the hardware test.

the real problem, i think, is that i used up too much hard disk space. there is only 5gb left of the 120. another stupid thing....i restored a dmg image of os 10.4.6 for ppc to the hard drive (that's what brought my available disk space down to 5gb) so that i could burn it to a dvd. things on the desktop started acting funny, like some letters of icon names were missing. still, i tried to burn a dvd and i think that's when it froze, so i turned the computer off and ever since then it won't startup.

i've even tried reinstalling the system software but the same thing happens when it restarts. i really need to recover my data before i do a full install and erase the disk.

can someone please tell me why my mac is so confused, and exactly what i could to access the hard drive again? i really don't want to in invalidate the warranty at this point, so nothing that extreme.

Last seen: 11 years 5 months ago
Joined: Mar 8 2005 - 17:54
boot cd intel macs

what would be the best boot cd option for recovering data on intel macs?

dvsjr's picture
Last seen: 1 year 6 months ago
Joined: Jun 8 2004 - 15:14
some ideas

Heres some ideas to try, if one doesn't work, try another.

First, boot holding down SHIFT. Does it boot? If it does, your system has a conflict with an extension. Disable the extension, or post here for more help.
Next, try booting with command - v held down same time. Take note of what text is on the screen when it stops responding. Google, or post to find out a resolution.
Next try booting into single user mode (hold command -s at boot)
once you boot up, type "fsck -yf" (no quotes, with the space between) and hit return. This runs a repair on your macbook. Run it over and over until you see a message that your mac is ok. once you're done, or if it reports all is well, type "reboot" or "shutdown -h now" to restart or shutdown your mac.

To get your data off, you could:
Get an external hard drive, boot off the recovery disks, try to install X on the new hard drive, or image your MBP to the external hard drive using disk utility.
Get a friend with a mac. start your mac holding the T key until your mac starts with the firewire logo. Connect your mac to your friends mac with a firewire cable. Copy your files from your mac (your mac will mount on the desktop of your friends computer like an external hard drive)

hope these help, post if you have questions or need further explaining.


Last seen: 11 years 5 months ago
Joined: Mar 8 2005 - 17:54
no luck so far

Thanks so much for the response.

No luck on any of the booting options. The first time I entered "fsck -yf" it said everything was fine but no change on reboot.
After the command -v boot it ended with an entire page of text. It's all jargon to me, so it would take me a while to do my own research, but i might post the whole thing in a couple of days, if i get desperate.

When i started with firewire, the other computer didn't recognize the drive and wanted to initialize it. It was a g4 and only running 10.2.8.

I'll see what happens with an external hard drive and do a lot of web searches.

Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38

APPLE SUPPORT SAYS: "Boot from you restore/install disk and repair permissions."

This is a solution for you. Well, not a "solution" in my book, but it will get you back up... Nobody wants to carry around a boot disc just incase.

My buddies 17" does the same bleeding thing. I took him through safe boot, fsck, etc... Same as your machine. fsck says, "all is cool," but it is not.

This worked for my buddies 17". Why fsck wouldn't find a problem? I don't know. I also poured through Mac OS X Help Line for a solution... basically got nothing.

For now you can solve this problem through booting off a dvd and repairing permissions. Sounds like a firmware update/fsck patch is in order to me. I would be torqued if my "Pro" machine pulled this on me.

I hope this post finds you before you have started over from scratch.

Mac on...

Jon's picture
Last seen: 7 years 1 month ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
fsck is a File System ChecK o

fsck is a File System ChecK of the structure and block allocation. Permissions are a part of the file system, but they aren't a part of the structure. Checking permissions depends highly on the software installed. Checking the file system structure shouldn't make any difference what is installed, only the locations of files and directories.

cassinispace's picture
Last seen: 7 years 6 months ago
Joined: Jan 6 2011 - 01:55
Re: some ideas

Start up with pixelated apple logo - wheel icon spins then does not boot

The fsck -yf idea worked well and lasted 24 hours,

then the screen started flickering and the start up problem returned - its an A1226 2007 model - what steps should I follow next?

any advice appreciated


Macinjosh's picture
Last seen: 7 years 4 months ago
Joined: Feb 12 2004 - 13:05
Re: some ideas

Screen flickering, how? Right at boot? After it's started loading OS X (the spinning gear?) Or at totally random times?

The fsck working for 24h suggests either a very heavy corrupted install, or a hardware problem that persisted and re-caused the issue. Ditto with flickering, without more info.

Got an OS X disc, or the Restore disc your Mac came with? Pop it in and hold down the C key, continue holding and power up. If it boots to the Installer, dont click a thing, just leave it there, for an hour or two. Describe to us what happened.

FYI , "it just loaded the disc and sat there doing nothing" is a totally valid response.

After an hour or two BTW, you can quit the Installer.

Last seen: 5 years 7 months ago
Joined: Jun 2 2009 - 00:14
Re: macbook pro startup problem

I would recommend installing a fresh copy of the OS to an external hard drive (from an Intel MacOS install disk, of course, not a PPC one) and booting from that external drive. Then you should have no problem getting at your old drive and trying to repair it. If you get to this stage somehow you might try rebuilding the directory file with DiskWarrior or something similar.

You could also try target disk mode again and install diskwarrior on the machine you're booting with. DiskWarrior should be able to see your hard drive regardless of whether or not it is mounted. When you plug it in and it asks you if you want to format it just hit cancel or ignore or whatever. The drive should also show up in Disk Utility whether it's mounted or not, though the older version of Disk Utility that comes with 10.2.8 on your friend's G4 may not be able to repair your permissions.

But I'm curious...when you say you "restored" that .dmg to the hard drive, do you mean you used disk utility to restore it to a volume of the hard drive other than the boot volume? I imagine you must mean that you did that, because you shouldn't have been able to boot at all if you somehow managed to restore it to the boot volume; I don't think it will even let you do that to the currently active boot volume.

I assume you know that you cannot boot an Intel Mac from a PPC MacOS installation or install disc.

If you restored the image to a volume other than the boot volume, then maybe the machine is trying to boot from that volume instead of the proper boot volume. Did you try holding down the option key when you turn it on to see what bootable volumes you've got? I'm not sure whether a PPC installation would show up at that point as bootable or not.

Last seen: 5 years 7 months ago
Joined: Jun 2 2009 - 00:14
Re: macbook pro startup problem

Oh, wow...replied to the OP....long-dead thread. My bad.

Log in or register to post comments