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#27755 - 12/26/13 09:07 AM Mac won't boot after updates
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
One of the desktop Macs here is only used for backups. Yesterday I switched it on and backed up all our data to it, successfully.

Today I thought to update its software using Apple > Software Update. I clicked on reboot and went away for a while.

When I came back, it is stuck on the grey screen with spinning cogwheel. Eventually I held down the start button, to shut it down, and then again to start. It got stuck on grey screen with spinning cogwheel.

This time I restarted with shift key held down, and it went through a process with an activity bar across the screen, then got stuck.

I have shut it down again; it's too late at night for more troubleshooting, but what would you try next, tomorrow morning?

For Information, it's a desktop iMac with 10.6.8 Snow Leopard, the same as all the others. (All the others conducted System Update and automatic reboot successfully, as they should.)

Thanks

Edited to add: there are no peripherals plugged into that Mac. It is wirelessly connected to the others and to the internet, if that helps. Obviously the wireless connection works, since I'm typing on this other Mac, and it did the backups yesterday seamlessly.



Edited by Bensheim (12/26/13 09:09 AM)

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#27756 - 12/26/13 10:30 AM Re: Mac won't boot after updates [Re: Bensheim]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Can you boot it into Target Disk Mode, and if so, does another Mac see it when connected? If that's successful, try running a utility (Disk Utility if you have nothing else or something more powerful, like Disk Warrior, if possible). You should also check SMART status with DU or DW.
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.14.3, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#27757 - 12/26/13 10:32 AM Re: Mac won't boot after updates [Re: Bensheim]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
You did not say what update you attempted/made, but assuming it was the OS X 10.6.8 update the standard "fix" would be to redo the update using the OS X 10.6.8 Combo Updater. Of course that is a bit of a trick to accomplish on a machine that won't boot. The simplest work around to that would probably be attaching the non-booting Mac to another booting Mac with a firewire connection, booting the non-booting Mac into firewire target disk mode by holding down the T key during the boot. Then you can run the install from the other computer.

Just to be on the safe side, I would run Disk Utility > Repair Disk before attempting the reinstall.
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joemikeb • moderator

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#27758 - 12/26/13 03:19 PM Re: Mac won't boot after updates [Re: Bensheim]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
If you run the 10.6.8 Combo Updater (as per joemikeb) your Safari will revert to an earlier version and will have to be updated.
_________________________
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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#27760 - 12/27/13 03:04 AM Re: Mac won't boot after updates [Re: jchuzi]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
This morning I've done the following:

Reset the PRAM. Result nil. (except for loud start-up ding from now on)

Run Disk Warrior. Only minor errors found; directory replaced. It still won't boot by itself.

Booted into Verbose mode, I've never done or seen that before. It stopped on AirPort: Link up on en1. When I held down the power button to reboot again, Verbose said "sleep prevented:

(I am waiting a long time for anything else to happen in between these attempts.)

Rebooted with alt key down in order to eject Disk Warrior disk.

It seems to me that my sole remaining option is to boot from the Instal DVD. confused


edited to add: I have no firewire cable here.


Edited by Bensheim (12/27/13 03:05 AM)

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#27762 - 12/27/13 06:22 AM Re: Mac won't boot after updates [Re: Bensheim]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
I booted off the instal disk and ran Disk Utility successfully. Then rebooted but the grey screen is still there.

Looking around the internet, it seems that many people have had this identical problem: Mac sticks on grey screen after Software Update. shocked

This is just one example: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5118247

Since I wasn't offered the option to Archive and Instal, I'm now installing the OS again on that Mac. frown

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#27763 - 12/27/13 09:00 AM Re: Mac won't boot after updates [Re: Bensheim]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Update. I'm adding this in case it helps anyone else in the same situation.

I finally got my system back. The first instal which takes about 45 minutes, got 3/4 through then failed with a message to the effect of 'we can't instal on your computer'.

I said out loud 'I don't believe you', since both Disk Warrior and the instal disk's own Disk Utilities had determined that the disk was ok.

I re-ran the instal (another 45 minutes) and went elsewhere. From elsewhere, I heard a Ding, meaning that the Mac had rebooted itself. cool

Finally it came fully back up, with all user files intact. Phew.

I suppose the only lesson to be learned is that sometimes Apple Software Updates can mess up your Macs (as reported here and elsewhere on the net), but OTOH we are in their hands and have to trust them. Also that it is vital to keep copies of one's data elsewhere and copies of all instal disks, but we already knew that.

I hope this thread helps someone else.

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#27764 - 12/27/13 12:03 PM Re: Mac won't boot after updates [Re: Bensheim]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I'm happy to hear that you're back up, running, and intact, but I'm curious about which software update you ran that got you into trouble? (You said that the Mac in question was already running OS X 10.6.8.)
_________________________
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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#27767 - 12/28/13 08:38 AM Re: Mac won't boot after updates [Re: artie505]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Hi Artie

I looked at the list but didn't write it down, does anyone? It was the typical average standard list of updates for Safari, OS Security, Javascript, etcetera.

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#28426 - 03/15/14 10:05 PM Re: Mac won't boot after updates [Re: Bensheim]
JM Hanes Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
MacPro 2008
OS 10.6.8

I'm afraid I have no solution, but I can confirm that the issue is not unique -- it's ongoing here -- and add a little more info. I've pretty much given up, myself, and plan to solve the problem by biting the hardware bullet and springing for the new MacPro, but I'll go ahead and describe my own experience. I've included what I believe is the relevant Software Update listing below.

So, for what it's worth:

Start-ups, when successful, require multiple attempts, during which the system continuously tries to reboot itself (after a few discouraging clicks) until shut down with the power button. After incrementally testing peripherals, including shutting off my external speakers, I eventually even detached the USB connecter that lets me use my Wacom Cintiq 22 as a tablet, instead of just a monitor. Wacom tablets have always been somewhat problematic (most notably interfering with sleep mode). I tried starting up once with the Tablet, itself, actually turned off, but, strangely, I was unable to turn it back on till I shut back down. In these current straits, the MacPro will not wake at all, if allowed to sleep.

It may be worth noting that the problem gets progressively worse over time. Lately this has included spontaneous restarts within the first half hour or so of an actually successful boot (during which internet apps are particularly slow to load and the finder is extremely sluggish). If I spend that time elsewhere and leave it alone, it seems to run normally thereafter, but I've only tried that a few times so far. It generally won't even finish booting up in safe mode, where it quits halfway through the gray apple screen progress bar. Oddly enough, tonight I started it up in Target Disk Mode, then forgot to eject it from the desktop before powering down and disconnecting it. Immediately after that, it booted up perfectly, and has been patiently awaiting my attention for over an hour.

I have had problems like this before the last update, and suspected they were related to, or at least exacerbated, by Photoshop and an aging graphics card. I'm still not sure that isn't the case, perhaps with Wacom conflict in the mix. On my first trip to the repair shop, we replaced a defective secondary internal disk. More recently, the technician found nothing wrong at all, and upon return everything did, indeed, seem to be running smoothly (which might seem to implicate the Cintiq). The problems returned with a vengeance, however, after my last software update.

I'm extraordinarily slow about installing the recommended items (because I'm usually deep into PShop when the messages arrive), so the following -- most of which of which were released last fall -- may well be the same ones that plagued the original sponsor of this query:

Remote Desktop Client Update 3.5.4
Security Update 2013-004 1.0
iTunes 11.1.5
Migration Assistant Update for Snow 1.1
Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 17 17.0

None of this seems particularly revealing, but maybe it will be helpful to someone.

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#28430 - 03/16/14 03:01 AM Re: Mac won't boot after updates [Re: JM Hanes]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Perhaps this is too simple, but I'll suggest it anyway. Have you replaced the internal backup battery? I had startup/shutdown problems that were solved when I did this.

Worth mentioning, anyway.
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.14.3, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#28431 - 03/16/14 10:24 AM Re: Mac won't boot after updates [Re: jchuzi]
JM Hanes Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
After all this gnashing of teeth…. a battery? Jeez!

Sounds logical, though, and easy to overlook. Would it be tricky to replace the battery myself? I've only opened up a computer once, to install third party memory, and it scared the hell out of me. Of course my MacPro was new brand back then, and it ain't new now.

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#28435 - 03/16/14 01:12 PM Re: Mac won't boot after updates [Re: JM Hanes]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
It's only slightly tricky. Your user's manual should have the instructions but if you no longer have it, you can download it here. You may have to remove a PCI card to do it, or at least move it (that's what I had to do with my Mac Pro). You can buy the battery from NewerTech although Radio Shack probably carries it.

The main problem is that it's hard to get a grip on the old battery to remove it (it just slides out). I suggest pliers, used judiciously.
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.14.3, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#28441 - 03/17/14 07:02 AM Re: Mac won't boot after updates [Re: jchuzi]
JM Hanes Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
I think maybe I'll call for assistance on this one! I've started shooting photos with a wider aperture lately, because my hands aren't quite as steady as they used to be, and those slippery little suckers already drive me crazy, even when they're easy to reach.

Thanks for your help. If this works, I'll file it under miracles.

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#28443 - 03/17/14 09:52 AM Re: Mac won't boot after updates [Re: JM Hanes]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Good luck. I can't guarantee that battery replacement will work, but the battery itself is cheap enough. You're smart to call for assistance if you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself.

As to the steadiness of your hands, do you have a vibration reduction feature either built into your lens or the camera? I find that it helps a great deal. I use a tripod whenever my steadiness is questionable. Tripods are not the most convenient things but they are often a necessary evil.
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.14.3, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#28445 - 03/17/14 12:52 PM Re: Mac won't boot after updates [Re: jchuzi]
JM Hanes Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
I'm using Canon lenses with image stabilization, which definitely helps. I'm usually covering a lot of (very uneven) ground at one go -- mostly in the woods, these days -- taking pix from multiple angles, so, unfortunately, a tripod slows me down to an unproductive crawl. I need good depth of field, though, so I shoot in aperture priority mode. While it's far from ideal, I can generally get to at least f7.1 without ill effect. I've just bought my first full frame camera, which is purported to be especially good in low light conditions, so I'm hoping I can stop it down a little further.

I used to use a small, telescoping steel & brass tripod, inherited from my father, which was really great -- small enough to hang from my belt, but heavy enough to support my camera when extended, with independent legs you could position at will, and just push in and out. The threads which secured the ball head locking screw finally wore out, alas, and I haven't been able to find any substitute parts, let alone anyone who can repair such "antique" equipment.

My TrekPod was a relatively useful alternative. It's a combo walking stick/monopod with a magnetic camera mount which makes it easy peasy to go back and forth. The drop down stabilizers are pretty useless, though, unless you're standing on a cement slab. Unfortunately, my staff came apart (entirely my fault, as it's really quite sturdy), just as TechTrek embarked on an extended "corporate restructuring." I've only just gotten the new contact info to see about getting my non-antique repaired.

What I really need is an archivist and a curator!

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#28448 - 03/17/14 01:56 PM Re: Mac won't boot after updates [Re: JM Hanes]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> The threads which secured the ball head locking screw finally wore out, alas, and I haven't been able to find any substitute parts, let alone anyone who can repair such "antique" equipment.

Have you looked for a *skilled* "just plain" machinist who may be able to ream out the old hole, re-tap the resultant smooth hole, and provide a screw to fit?

Years ago, I took my daughter into the nearest optometrist's shop when she needed a new screw for her glasses - as with your tripod, the original threads had worn out - expecting nothing more than a longer, thinner screw with a nut to hold it in place, and was amazed when the proprietor did just that.

OK, he was an elderly, obviously old-school European immigrant, and competence such as his may be hard to find, but it still exists. smile
_________________________
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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#28449 - 03/17/14 03:09 PM Re: Mac won't boot after updates [Re: artie505]
JM Hanes Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
A competent, elderly, obviously old-school, European immigrant? I admit, I never thought of that! laugh I'm glad to know such repairs are possible, though, because I've got more than one piece of threadbare equipment.

Absent the sentimental attachment, I'd just buy a new (old) one. Considering the asking prices, maybe I should do that in the interim anyway. Or even cannibalize the parts. I never thought of doing that before, either. This Empire Tripod isn't even the least expensive one I've come across, but the pix are better than most. Mine is 56" tall, when the the brass slides are fully extended, and it collapses down to a mere 16" -- which actually fits into an airline carry-on bag. I believe my father took his with him all over North Africa in WWII.

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