Help us to help you on these forums

Last modified: Jul 21, 2013 10:38 PM
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11 2 likes 4,872 views Last modified Jul 21, 2013 10:38 PM

Hello and welcome to the Apple Support Forums

These forums are mainly a User to User support forum monitored by Apple staff for moderation issues. We don't speak on the behalf of Apple nor can direct what Apple will or will not do.

If I directed you to this User Tip it's likely because you didn't provide enough information that can help use assist you with your problem.

For the most part all we can do here is advise about fixing software related issues, backup procedures, third party software and advising about RAM and storage drive upgrades/replacement. Some hardware issues we have seen before and thus can advise.

Hardware issues like grinding/clicking hard drives, video artifacts on the screen, stuck pixels, lines, keyboard/trackpad or Superdrive or if Hardware Test gives anything but a MEM or HDD (which you might be able to fix yourself if it's allowed and out of warranty/AppleCare), then take it all into Apple for a appointment.

Beeping noises is bad RAM or poorly seated seated take it to Apple if it's their RAM.

Please do as much as the following as possible and report back on the thread you created.

If your machine is booting, but gets stuck. Hold the power button down to force a emergency use only hardware shutdown, then reboot the machine holding the SHIFT key down on a wired or built in keyboard for Safe Mode.

If you see a folder with a flashing question mark or a "type any key to begin" then instead hold the Option/Alt key while booting and see what your boot options are.

If your machine is booting up.

Emergency backup procedure

Drag and drop copy your users file folders (music, pictures, documents etc) to a regular external powered drive as soon as possible.

Do not use, setup or trust only TimeMachine at this troubled time as it will copy corrupted data and we need just your users files safe just in case. TimeMachine cannot be used with a Windows PC.

Unmount and Disconnect all external drives once the backup process is completed.


If you have any over 4GB sized files, those won't copy to a standard formatted FAT32/MSDOS drive from the factory, if you need to save these 4GB+ files use another blank/empty drive and use Disk Utility to format it 1 Partition, Option: GUID, Format: OS X Extended Journaled (the standard default)

Mac's cannot copy to nor format a NTFS drive. exFAT format to be used with a Windows machine must be right click formatted by Windows, not OS X (does it wrong) XP macines can install a free exFAT update from Microsoft. Vista-Win 8 can format exFAT. OS X 10.6.5 and up can use exFAT.

Formatting a drive will erase all data on it, so make sure there is nothing you want remaining on the drive.

Provide details of your hardware

If your machine is running. The Model Identifier (example: MacBook Pro 4,1) and other info is located under the Apple Menu > About this Mac > More Information or by using System Profiler in your Applications > Utilities folder. Do not post serial numbers.

If your machine is booting, but gets stuck. Hold the power button down to force a (emergency use only) hardware shutdown, then reboot the machine holding the SHIFT key down on a wired or built in keyboard for Safe Mode.

If your machine is not running: It's possible to clean the information if you can boot Hardware Test from Apple's servers.

Note: The D key must be held down for quite some time on a Internet connection:

We need to know:

  • Model Identifier (example: MacBookPro 4,1)
  • Operating System Version (example: OS X 10.8.3)
  • RAM amount (example: 4GB)
  • Hard drive or SSD (any modifications to hardware)
  • What Hardware Test said after it completed if you ran it.
  • Do not post serial numbers, but if that's all you have, then the last 4 digits only are ok for hardware serial numbers for lookup purposes.

  • Provide details of your software

    We also need to know:

  • Activity monitor > Disk amount and >Disk Usage > Percent filled
  • Anti-virus installed if any
  • MacKeeper if installed
  • If your booted into Safe Mode or visiting here via Safari in RecoveryHD/InternetRecovey

  • Provide more details via Console

    If your machine is running (not via RecoveryHD) then open your Console program and provide a copy of the System Diagnostic Report

    User uploaded file

    Provide more details via Terminal

    If your machine is running (not via Recovery) then open the Terminal program in your Applications > Utilities folder and copy/paste each line below into Terminal and press enter after each. No Admin password required, so your safe.

    kextstat -kl | awk ' !/apple/ { print $6 } '>~/Desktop/kextstat.txt

    ps -A >~/Desktop/process.txt

    ls -@AOen L*/Preferences>~/Desktop/preferences.txt

    Then double click to open the three files appearing your Desktop using TextEdit, then Select All text and Copy/paste the results from each of the files into your problem post thread.

    This will tell us your running kext files (if any), your active processes and your preferences files.

    Also please tell us if your in Safe Mode or not as some kext files are not loaded being disabled by Safe Mode.

    Tell us what you see and what you have tried to resolve the problem yourself

    We need a lot of detail like, this happened, then I tried this, then I did that and then I saw this and that, my friend did this and that and now this is the result I see.

    The more information the better, you are our eyes and ears.

    Tell us what you hope to accomplish

    If we know why your doing what your doing, we might have better methods to go about it.