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#20401 - 01/28/12 02:52 PM gray startup screen
Xavier Noria Offline


Registered: 01/28/12
My mid-2009 MacBook Pro 13''' is not booting anymore. It shows the gray startup screen and nothing else happens, no spinner, no nothing.

I've tried everything in http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2570 to no avail. Resetting NVRAM/PRAM does make it do another chime, but that's it. Trying to boot in safe mode or single user mode has no effect, I get just the gray screen.

Could bad RAM do that? What would you suggest?

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#20402 - 01/28/12 03:44 PM Re: gray startup screen [Re: Xavier Noria]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Hi, and welcome to FineTunedMac. smile

Sorry to hear about your problem. frown

Just to be be certain that I follow you, were you able to boot from your install disc, and, if so, what steps did you perform while booted from it?

Also, have you updated/graded you version of OS X recently? (Edit 2: Which version are you running?)

Edit: And have you run your Apple Hardware Test disc?

(Sorry; I'm a bit slow tonight.)


Edited by artie505 (01/28/12 05:41 PM)
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#20403 - 01/28/12 07:21 PM Re: gray startup screen [Re: Xavier Noria]
MicroMatTech3 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
If you have access to another Macintosh that has Mac OS X and FireWire, try using FireWire Target Disk Mode. There is a link to the instructions in the Knowledge Base article you cited.

If you can get the internal hard drive of your MacBook Pro to mount on the desktop of the host computer in FireWire Target Disk Mode, use Disk Utility to examine its disk directory.

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#20407 - 01/29/12 12:37 AM Re: gray startup screen [Re: artie505]
Xavier Noria Offline


Registered: 01/28/12
I purchased Lion from the AppStore and have no Lion DVDs, though I have the DVDs of Snow Leopard at home.

I have also a bootable clone made last Thursday with CCC.

I'll try to boot via USB and run Disk Utility on the OWC SSD of the laptop. Will report back.


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#20409 - 01/29/12 12:58 AM Re: gray startup screen [Re: Xavier Noria]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
If you have a bootable clone, just boot from that. Run Disk Utility after you've booted from the clone, and have it repair the main hard drive.
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#20410 - 01/29/12 01:21 AM Re: gray startup screen [Re: Xavier Noria]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Xavier Noria
I purchased Lion from the AppStore and have no Lion DVDs, though I have the DVDs of Snow Leopard at home.

I have also a bootable clone made last Thursday with CCC.

I'll try to boot via USB and run Disk Utility on the OWC SSD of the laptop. Will report back.

You should also be able to boot into your Lion Recovery Partition. (I think an option boot is how you get to it.)

Edit: It would be interesting to see whether you're able to boot into that partition.


Edited by artie505 (01/29/12 01:34 AM)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#20411 - 01/29/12 01:51 AM Re: gray startup screen [Re: artie505]
Xavier Noria Offline


Registered: 01/28/12
Originally Posted By: artie505
[quote=Xavier Noria]
You should also be able to boot into your Lion Recovery Partition. (I think an option boot is how you get to it.)

Edit: It would be interesting to see whether you're able to boot into that partition.


Good point. I booted holding Command-R and nothing different happens. This is a mid 2009 laptop so I guess it does not know how to boot from Apple servers.

I don't have the HD clone here, but will have in a few hours today.

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#20412 - 01/29/12 02:04 AM Re: gray startup screen [Re: Xavier Noria]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Xavier Noria
Originally Posted By: artie505
[quote=Xavier Noria]
You should also be able to boot into your Lion Recovery Partition. (I think an option boot is how you get to it.)

Edit: It would be interesting to see whether you're able to boot into that partition.


Good point. I booted holding Command-R and nothing different happens. This is a mid 2009 laptop so I guess it does not know how to boot from Apple servers.

I don't have the HD clone here, but will have in a few hours today.

I'm not running Lion, so I'm working from memory rather than experience, but I believe you can get to your Recovery Partition by depressing the option key when you boot. (I'm not certain whether you can do it from a restart or must shut down first, so try the latter.)

> This is a mid 2009 laptop so I guess it does not know how to boot from Apple servers.

It doesn't boot from Apple's servers; it boots into the Recovery Partition. It connects with Apple's servers only if it's reinstalling Lion. (Somebody please correct me if that "only" is incorrect.)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#20413 - 01/29/12 02:39 AM Re: gray startup screen [Re: artie505]
Xavier Noria Offline


Registered: 01/28/12
I used Command-R and commented that in addition of no booting the recovery partition didn't seem to go to internet based on this article http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4718.

Pressing Option while booting does also present the gray screen, no changes.


Edited by Xavier Noria (01/29/12 02:39 AM)

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#20414 - 01/29/12 03:04 AM Re: gray startup screen [Re: Xavier Noria]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Xavier Noria
I used Command-R and commented that in addition of no booting the recovery partition didn't seem to go to internet based on this article http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4718.

Pressing Option while booting does also present the gray screen, no changes.

Got it! Thanks for the link; I forgot about Internet Recovery. (You're correct that your Mac is not new enough to take advantage of it.)

I don't remember where, but I've read that when command-R doesn't work an option boot should (Edit: offer your Recovery Partition as an option), so your grey screen sounds ominous.

I've got my fingers crossed for your CCC clone.

Keep us posted.


Edited by artie505 (01/29/12 03:42 AM)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#20416 - 01/29/12 07:14 AM Re: gray startup screen [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
I don't remember where, but I've read that when command-R doesn't work an option boot should (Edit: offer your Recovery Partition as an option), so your grey screen sounds ominous.

The Option boot will get you to the Recovery HD bootable partition.

A bootable DVD or external drive might get further along since it is coming in by a different bus than the HD, but , but it does not sound as if this is getting even that far into the boot process before failing.

  • Are you getting a boot chime? If not then a visit to the Genius Desk at your nearest Apple Store is almost certainly in your immediate future.
  • Is the battery charged? If not try, charging the battery. In some Mac models if there is not enough battery, or backup battery, charge to keep the PRAM values the system will not boot. Since your MacBook Pro does not have a backup (PRAM) battery it relies instead on the charge remaining in the main battery. While I have not encountered this personally, I suppose a complete main battery failure might cause the same problem.
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#20423 - 01/29/12 09:14 AM Re: gray startup screen [Re: joemikeb]
Xavier Noria Offline


Registered: 01/28/12
I replaced the disk with the clone and everything is running now.

So the problem seems to be in the hard disk. It is an OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 450GB (SSD, 3G). I have an external HD case and indeed the disk does not mount at all. I plug it an it does not appear in the Finder. Of course it does not appear in Disk Utility.

That explains that I could not safe boot, or boot in single user mode, or boot from the rescue partition, or any other alternative that I tried.

Now I don't know how to repair the OWC if it does not even mount, but I guess that's another problem.

Thanks all for your help guys!

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#20427 - 01/29/12 11:26 AM Re: gray startup screen [Re: Xavier Noria]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I'm happy to hear that swapping out your HD turned the trick; I hope you didn't suffer any data loss.

A bad HD was precisely what I was thinking of when I said "ominous."
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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