Welcome to MacTalk Australia

the largest Australian community for Apple discussions and topics

Join the discussions, Register Now!
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default MacBook won't start,flashing apple grey screen

    Hello,
    When I press the start button on my MacBook the start up sound comes on and the screen is grey and then there is a flashing apple alternating with a folder with a question mark and a circle with a line through it (like the kind I've seen over pictures of dogs to indicate no dogs allowed). This alternating pattern goes on for about three - five minutes then the screen goes black.
    Is there anything I can do from home for this?
    Thanks in advance,

  2. #2
    ClockWork's Avatar ClockWork is offline I'm the Urban Spaceman, baby

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Royston Vasey
    Posts
    9,550

    Default

    I would suggest attempting to start up your MacBook using the DVD Installer that came with it.

    To do this, turn on your MacBook - but don't worry about the flashing question mark, and slide in your Mac OS X Installer DVD.

    Shut down the MacBook by holding the Power button down for 6 or 7 seconds.

    Now start it up again, and immediately hold down just the C key on your keyboard and keep it held down.

    This forces your MacBook to start up off the Mac OS X Installer DVD, instead of its Hard Drive.

    Keep the C key held down until you can see both the grey Apple logo and the little grey spinning mill underneath it. Then let go of the C key.

    It may take a little longer to start up, so have patience.

    When it does start up, you'll see a blue screen and a panel asking you to choose your language.

    Just press the return key on your keyboard once.

    It will then present you with an Installation window.
    Completely ignore this window and click once on the very top menu item named: Utilities - and scroll down to: Disk Utility, and click it.

    The Disk Utility window will open.

    Look at left panel, and click once on the Macintosh HD icon, to highlight it in blue.

    Then look to the right hand side of the window, and click once on the Verify Disk button.

    It should then begin examining your Hard Drive. This shouldn't take more than 2 minutes.

    It may present things that are wrong with it in red text, in the window just above the Verify Disk button.

    When its blue progress bar stops, the examination has ended.

    Next click once on the Repair Disk button.

    This should now repair whatever problems it found the first time round, and if it repairs them successfully, it should show you this, as green text at the bottom.

    If however, it produces red text again and ends with something about it not being able to repair the Macintosh HD, post exactly what is says back here.

    If it passes with a successful repair in green text, click once on the Verify Disk Permissions button to the left of the Verify Disk button.

    This might take just a little longer, yet when it has finished, click once on the Repair Disk Permissions button beneath it.

    When it has Repaired Disk Permissions, and Verifying the Disk has come back as a positive in green text, click on the top-left menu item: Disk Utility and scroll down to: Quit Disk Utility.

    Next, click once on the top-left menu item: Installer and scroll down to: Quit Installer.

    Next, three other buttons will appear. Simply click on the Restart button, and your MacBook should restart normally.
    Once fully restarted, you can eject the Mac OS X Installer DVD by clicking on its icon and dragging it down to the Trash (which will turn into an Eject icon).

    If the Disk Utility reported that it could not fix the problem, and shows this in red text, make an exact note of what it said, and repost that info here.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default macbook won't start also

    Dear Clockwork:

    Your reply to original problem posted led me to you.
    I am now in Disk Utility. On the left hand side there is no Mac HD. Instead it shows 5.1 GB HL-DT-ST DVDRW GSA-S10N.
    And on the right hand, only Verify Disk Permissions is clickable.
    I clicked Verify Disk Permissions and it came out with this red message: Error: No valid packages.

    What should I do next?

    Thanks in advance for the help.

    jeff1105

  4. #4
    Exocet's Avatar Exocet is offline We're gonna need to move you down into storage B.

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    5,333

    Default

    Your hard drive has died, its not recognised by the Mac. Off to your nearest servicing centre, hope you've got back ups and Applecare.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default

    oh no. thanks for the reply.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default

    hi, i found this because I am having the same exact issue. I followed the instructions, and about a minute after I hit verify disk a box popped up saying "first aid failed. Disk utility stopped verifying because the following error was encountered" the underlying task reported failure on exit."

    Then in red in the first aid window it said "the volume needs to be repaired. The underlying task reported failure on exit"

    When I click repair, the same message pops up, and the window underneath says in red "volume check failed. Error:the underlying task failed on exit"

    1HFS volume checked
    1 volume could not be repaired because of an error.


    HELP!!!

  7. #7
    ClockWork's Avatar ClockWork is offline I'm the Urban Spaceman, baby

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Royston Vasey
    Posts
    9,550

    Default

    arilvdc:

    Your Hard Drive has failed.
    Back to an Apple Service Centre, quick stick!

    cw

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    melbourne
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Hi, am having same error after trying above fix, error message reads exactly the same as previous post. The suggestion was to take mac for repair as hard drive dead. What about if you're not worried about the data?

  9. #9
    ClockWork's Avatar ClockWork is offline I'm the Urban Spaceman, baby

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Royston Vasey
    Posts
    9,550

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by macozzy View Post
    What about if you're not worried about the data?
    Well - that's ideal then!

    Yet for future problems, best consider a quality External Drive.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default same issue

    after i tried to repair the disk it gave me this error message in red

    "the volume Macintosh HD could not be repaired"
    "error: Filesystem verify or repair failed"

    Whats wrong???

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ClockWork View Post
    I would suggest attempting to start up your MacBook using the DVD Installer that came with it.

    To do this, turn on your MacBook - but don't worry about the flashing question mark, and slide in your Mac OS X Installer DVD.

    Shut down the MacBook by holding the Power button down for 6 or 7 seconds.

    Now start it up again, and immediately hold down just the C key on your keyboard and keep it held down.

    This forces your MacBook to start up off the Mac OS X Installer DVD, instead of its Hard Drive.

    Keep the C key held down until you can see both the grey Apple logo and the little grey spinning mill underneath it. Then let go of the C key.

    It may take a little longer to start up, so have patience.

    When it does start up, you'll see a blue screen and a panel asking you to choose your language.

    Just press the return key on your keyboard once.

    It will then present you with an Installation window.
    Completely ignore this window and click once on the very top menu item named: Utilities - and scroll down to: Disk Utility, and click it.

    The Disk Utility window will open.

    Look at left panel, and click once on the Macintosh HD icon, to highlight it in blue.

    Then look to the right hand side of the window, and click once on the Verify Disk button.

    It should then begin examining your Hard Drive. This shouldn't take more than 2 minutes.

    It may present things that are wrong with it in red text, in the window just above the Verify Disk button.

    When its blue progress bar stops, the examination has ended.

    Next click once on the Repair Disk button.

    This should now repair whatever problems it found the first time round, and if it repairs them successfully, it should show you this, as green text at the bottom.

    If however, it produces red text again and ends with something about it not being able to repair the Macintosh HD, post exactly what is says back here.

    If it passes with a successful repair in green text, click once on the Verify Disk Permissions button to the left of the Verify Disk button.

    This might take just a little longer, yet when it has finished, click once on the Repair Disk Permissions button beneath it.

    When it has Repaired Disk Permissions, and Verifying the Disk has come back as a positive in green text, click on the top-left menu item: Disk Utility and scroll down to: Quit Disk Utility.

    Next, click once on the top-left menu item: Installer and scroll down to: Quit Installer.

    Next, three other buttons will appear. Simply click on the Restart button, and your MacBook should restart normally.
    Once fully restarted, you can eject the Mac OS X Installer DVD by clicking on its icon and dragging it down to the Trash (which will turn into an Eject icon).

    If the Disk Utility reported that it could not fix the problem, and shows this in red text, make an exact note of what it said, and repost that info here.
    Totally bumping this thread, I have been online for 2 days trying to figure out my stuff... I just bought my macbook 4 months ago, (no applecare, was told that my IMAC applecare would cover both... not the case) like everyone else I turned my computer on and found the spinning apple sign, prohibit and question mark, did everything (disk utility etc) EXCEPT the archive and reinstall or erase and reinstall, upon doing the disk utility repair unlike everyone else from the very beginning it said my Macintosh HD appears to be ok... I have not gotten any red text only green good ok text...lol but I still did the permissions etc...

    I have no problem doing the archive and reinstall however I am a photographer and I was in the middle of backing up my sessions, went to bed, turned my computer on and wham... not able to boot it up, is there any way to retrieve my files? I have hesitated to do any sort of reinstall for fear all my files will be gone... i can handle losing everything else because most if not all of my reg files are backed up its just those last photography sessions I cannot lose.... They are just in folders/subfolders, I was told I could get some files from one mac to the other thru firewire however I have the newest version of macbook.. that they DELETED the firewire port.... so if there is any way to retrieve files.. please let me know.... and yes I cloned my HD onto an external... but i am not sure what that includes..

    sorry for the many questions...
    Last edited by lyndenhunter; 4th August 2010 at 12:22 AM.

  12. #12
    Brains's Avatar Brains is offline Still stuck in 1984

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Inside your head
    Posts
    6,559

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lyndenhunter View Post
    I just bought my macbook 4 months ago, (no applecare, was told that my IMAC applecare would cover both
    Any newly-purchased machine comes with a twelve month international warranty. AppleCare is an extra purchase and is specific and unique to each machine; provided you purchase AppleCare Protection Plan within twelve months of purchase (that is, whilst the original warranty is still in effect) you can extend that warranty to two or three years.

    is there any way to retrieve my files? I have hesitated to do any sort of reinstall for fear all my files will be gone
    As you have a MacBook without FireWire, Target Disk Mode is out, as you have correctly stated. You have two choices, both will require the use of an empty USB external hard drive.

    First is a repair-and/or-recovery, which also entails purchasing a copy of Alsoft DiskWarrior. Buy it online and download the image file to your iMac and burn it to a fresh DVD, then use that to boot the sick MacBook. Don't let it do a directory repair, and you will be given the opportunity to recover any files as it will place a locked copy of the sick hard drive on the desktop -- plug in your external USB drive, and copy all the files you need.

    Second choice entails installing a brand new OSX onto your external USB drive, and then booting from it. You should be able to access all your files from the internal drive, and copy them to the external where the new OS is.

    Once you are sure you have got all the files you needed, boot off the Mac OS X Install DVD that came with the MacBook, erase the internal drive and start over.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    195

    Default

    A live linux cd should boot up and be able to mount the hard drive to copy the files off before formatting and reinstalling OS X.
    People reckon I'm too patronising (That means I treat them as if they're stupid)

  14. #14
    Brains's Avatar Brains is offline Still stuck in 1984

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Inside your head
    Posts
    6,559

    Default

    If he has an external HD and his OSX installer, then he doesn't need to run the risk of killing his MacBook's CPU with linux.

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Grey screen restart issue

    Quote Originally Posted by ClockWork View Post
    I would suggest attempting to start up your MacBook using the DVD Installer that came with it.

    To do this, turn on your MacBook - but don't worry about the flashing question mark, and slide in your Mac OS X Installer DVD.

    Shut down the MacBook by holding the Power button down for 6 or 7 seconds.

    Now start it up again, and immediately hold down just the C key on your keyboard and keep it held down.

    This forces your MacBook to start up off the Mac OS X Installer DVD, instead of its Hard Drive.

    Keep the C key held down until you can see both the grey Apple logo and the little grey spinning mill underneath it. Then let go of the C key.

    It may take a little longer to start up, so have patience.

    When it does start up, you'll see a blue screen and a panel asking you to choose your language.

    Just press the return key on your keyboard once.

    It will then present you with an Installation window.
    Completely ignore this window and click once on the very top menu item named: Utilities - and scroll down to: Disk Utility, and click it.

    The Disk Utility window will open.

    Look at left panel, and click once on the Macintosh HD icon, to highlight it in blue.

    Then look to the right hand side of the window, and click once on the Verify Disk button.

    It should then begin examining your Hard Drive. This shouldn't take more than 2 minutes.

    It may present things that are wrong with it in red text, in the window just above the Verify Disk button.

    When its blue progress bar stops, the examination has ended.

    Next click once on the Repair Disk button.

    This should now repair whatever problems it found the first time round, and if it repairs them successfully, it should show you this, as green text at the bottom.

    If however, it produces red text again and ends with something about it not being able to repair the Macintosh HD, post exactly what is says back here.

    If it passes with a successful repair in green text, click once on the Verify Disk Permissions button to the left of the Verify Disk button.

    This might take just a little longer, yet when it has finished, click once on the Repair Disk Permissions button beneath it.

    When it has Repaired Disk Permissions, and Verifying the Disk has come back as a positive in green text, click on the top-left menu item: Disk Utility and scroll down to: Quit Disk Utility.

    Next, click once on the top-left menu item: Installer and scroll down to: Quit Installer.

    Next, three other buttons will appear. Simply click on the Restart button, and your MacBook should restart normally.
    Once fully restarted, you can eject the Mac OS X Installer DVD by clicking on its icon and dragging it down to the Trash (which will turn into an Eject icon).

    If the Disk Utility reported that it could not fix the problem, and shows this in red text, make an exact note of what it said, and repost that info here.
    I was having the same issue and followed everything step by step, got the green text when I verified the disk, no problems there, but once I tried to restart my laptop it went right back to the grey restart screen. I'm on a MacBook Pro that I purchased in September of 2009 and I see that this was posted over a year ago, so is there something else I might have to do with a newer MacBook? I have yet to try reinstalling anything because I have papers for college that I really don't want to lose, but if worse comes to worse, I'll do that. I was just wondering if there would be a way to fix this issue without erasing the hard drive. Any help would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

    UPDATE: I rebooted the laptop using the install dvd and was able to get into the disk utility and do a disk verify. It said "The volume Macintosh HD appears to be ok" but then when I verify disk permissions it comes up with three warnings

    SUID file "system/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Admin.framework/Versions/A/Resources/readconfig" has been modified and will not be repaired.

    SUID file "system/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Admin.framework/Versions/A/Resources/writeconfig" has been modified and will not be repaired.

    SUID file "System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/MacOS/ARDAgent" has been modified and will not be repaired.

    I have no idea what any of this means. I want to just reinstall snow leopard on my mac but because I can't get in to back up any of my files I'm afraid I will lose a lot of my data. Is there a way to get around that if possible?
    Last edited by atin87; 16th August 2010 at 02:13 PM.

  16. #16
    ClockWork's Avatar ClockWork is offline I'm the Urban Spaceman, baby

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Royston Vasey
    Posts
    9,550

    Default

    Reinstall Snow Leopard by booting off the Snow Leopard Installer Disc, but instead of performing a Clean Install, make it do an Archive & Install.

    Read here from the Apple Knowledge Base on how to do an Archive & Install, right under the heading: How to use Archive and Install.

    An Archive & Install installation reinstalls Mac OS X moves the corrupt System to a new folder which it names: Previous System folder - yet it retains your User settings, Home directory and Network settings back into the fresh installation of Mac OS X.

    After an Archive & Install, you'll need to download Software Updates once again to bring everything up to Mac OS X 10.6.4.
    Then make sure it's all working as it was before, and you can then ditch the Previous System folder.

    All of this, including the large Software Updates after an Archive & Install can be avoided in the future by purchasing an External Drive - see here for a list of the good-uns - the sturdy and the fast (FireWire) Drives, and then use Time Machine or SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner to backup all your stuff.

    Those massive Software Updates can also be downloaded from the Apple site as .dmg files, which one can then store these away on the External Drive, so that should one require a reinstallation again in the future, one has all Software Updates backed to an External Drive.

    cheers,

    cw

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default No Archive and Install option

    Thank you so much for responding. I was reading about it on the link you posted. But when I go to the install page there is no options button. Here is all that comes up.



    And then when I double click on the Mac HD volume, this all that I see.



    I'm not sure how to get into Archive and Install without the options button you mention.

  18. #18
    ClockWork's Avatar ClockWork is offline I'm the Urban Spaceman, baby

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Royston Vasey
    Posts
    9,550

    Default

    Is this Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6) DVD an upgrade installer from Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5) ?

    If so, you'll need to boot off the Leopard Installer DVD instead.

    If not, I believe the process may be a little more complex - I myself do not run Snow Leopard, thus I have no way to test it, yet it may involve booting off the Snow Leopard DVD, entering Disk Utilities (under the top Utilities menu) and using the Terminal.

    Instructions shown here.

    But I'll post a moderator here to come in and answer the question, as it's some ways out of my jurisdiction.

  19. #19

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default In the same boat!

    Hi all, just jumping in on the thread, as I have been having the exact same issues. Here is what I am getting from Disk Utilities:

    for Macintosh HD - red text "keys out of order" and "The volume Macintosh HD needs to be repaired"
    Weird thing is - I talked to an Apple tech person and they had me do an Extensive Hardware Test that took about an hour and it came back saying my hardware was fine.

    When I try to reinstall my OS X, it gets to Select a Destination and there is nothing to select. It is totally empty!

    In Disk Utilities if I try to Verify Disk Permission for my Mac OS X Installer DVD it says red text "Error:The underlying task reported failure on exit"

    If I take the Installer Disk out and try to start up - it goes to a blinking folder with a question mark. YIKES!

    My issue is more with the actual laptop, as I keep pretty current backing my info up on an external hard drive, it is just that I have only had this macbook for about a year and a bit....I spent like $2000 CDN on it, so is it toast???

    Another issue is, I live about 4 hrs drive from the nearest Mac store, so just running it down to an apple retailer is out of the question. And no, I did not get Apple Care...

    Any suggestions???

  20. #20
    mmulhern's Avatar mmulhern is offline Classic!

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,232

    Default

    Have look at DiskWarrrior DiskWarrior 4 - The Disk Utility for Mac Disk Repair, Mac Directory Repair, Mac Disk Recovery, Mac Data Recovery in the big scheme of things, it doesn't cost too much, and may just recover the hard rive, or at least allow you to copy your data off the drive.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •