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Boots to grey screen, then hangs.

414 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Dec 15, 2012 2:03 PM by Grant Bennet-Alder RSS
volluzphoto Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Dec 15, 2012 11:45 AM

My early Mac Pro, not sure which one, but early, is sick - it boots to the grey screen and then hangs.

 

When I turn it on, I get the dark grey apple and spinner on the light grey screen.  That works for a while and then goes to just the light grey screen.  I continue to hear the hard drive work but nothing changes on the screen, ever.  Later I try to change programs with the keyboard and quit some, but I never hear anything from the drive again.  It doesn't sound like my anti-virus is checking files or anything.  This is consistent, there is no other screen symptoms and I've tried several different things to try to fix it.

 

I've tried the various shortcut key startup modes, but no difference.

 

I tried to boot to a DVD or CD of Snow Leopard, but no luck.

 

I tried swapping banks of memory in both the top and bottom memory card slots.

 

I tried taking out my video card, vacuuming it and the slot of dust, and putting it back in.  (I had the same type of video card fail a year or so ago, but this is the Apple original, a GeForce 7300 - I think)

 

Any suggestions?

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,045 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 15, 2012 11:49 AM (in response to volluzphoto)

    Sounds like the hard drive may need to be reformatted.

     

    Do this:

     

    Repair the Hard Drive and Permissions

     

    Boot from your Snow Leopard Installer disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu. After DU loads select your hard drive entry (mfgr.'s ID and drive size) from the the left side list.  In the DU status area you will see an entry for the S.M.A.R.T. status of the hard drive.  If it does not say "Verified" then the hard drive is failing or failed. (SMART status is not reported on external Firewire or USB drives.) If the drive is "Verified" then select your OS X volume from the list on the left (sub-entry below the drive entry,) click on the First Aid tab, then click on the Repair Disk button. If DU reports any errors that have been fixed, then re-run Repair Disk until no errors are reported. If no errors are reported click on the Repair Permissions button. Wait until the operation completes, then quit DU and return to the installer.

     

    If DU reports errors it cannot fix, then you will need Disk Warrior and/or Tech Tool Pro to repair the drive. If you don't have either of them or if neither of them can fix the drive, then you will need to reformat the drive and reinstall OS X.


    If your hard drive fails to appear in DU's sidebar, then it's dead. If it does appear and you are able to repair, then you may only need to reinstall Snow Leopard:

     

    Reinstall OS X without erasing the drive

     

    Do the following:

     

    1. Repair the Hard Drive and Permissions

     

    Boot from your Snow Leopard Installer disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu. After DU loads select your hard drive entry (mfgr.'s ID and drive size) from the the left side list.  In the DU status area you will see an entry for the S.M.A.R.T. status of the hard drive.  If it does not say "Verified" then the hard drive is failing or failed. (SMART status is not reported on external Firewire or USB drives.) If the drive is "Verified" then select your OS X volume from the list on the left (sub-entry below the drive entry,) click on the First Aid tab, then click on the Repair Disk button. If DU reports any errors that have been fixed, then re-run Repair Disk until no errors are reported. If no errors are reported click on the Repair Permissions button. Wait until the operation completes, then quit DU and return to the installer.

     

    If DU reports errors it cannot fix, then you will need Disk Warrior and/or Tech Tool Pro to repair the drive. If you don't have either of them or if neither of them can fix the drive, then you will need to reformat the drive and reinstall OS X.

     

    2. Reinstall Snow Leopard

     

    If the drive is OK then quit DU and return to the installer.  Proceed with reinstalling OS X.  Note that the Snow Leopard installer will not erase your drive or disturb your files.  After installing a fresh copy of OS X the installer will move your Home folder, third-party applications, support items, and network preferences into the newly installed system.

     

    Download and install the Combo Updater for the version you prefer from support.apple.com/downloads/.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,045 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 15, 2012 12:02 PM (in response to volluzphoto)

    Booting From An OS X Installer Disc

     

      1. Insert OS X Installer Disc into the optical drive.

      2. Restart the computer.

      3. Immediately after the chime press and hold down the "C" key.

      4. Release the key when the spinning gear below the dark gray Apple logo

          appears.

      5. Wait for installer to finish loading.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,045 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 15, 2012 12:36 PM (in response to volluzphoto)

    I believe you may have a bad hard drive.

     

    Five ways to eject a stuck CD or DVD from the optical drive

     

    Ejecting the stuck disc can usually be done in one of the following ways:

     

      1. Restart the computer and after the chime press and hold down the

          left mouse button until the disc ejects.

     

      2. Press the Eject button on your keyboard.

     

      3. Click on the Eject button in the menubar.

     

      4. Press COMMAND-E.

     

      5. If none of the above work try this: Open the Terminal application in

          your Utilities folder. At the prompt enter or paste the following:

     

            /usr/bin/drutil eject

     

    If this fails then try this:

     

    Boot the computer into Single-user Mode. At the prompt enter the same command as used above. To restart the computer enter "reboot" at the prompt without quotes.

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,110 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 15, 2012 2:03 PM (in response to volluzphoto)

    If your Mac is not responding to various "snag keys" at Startup, make sure the keyboard is plugged into a port on the chassis, not on a Hub or on the display.

     

    My favorite is holding Alt/Option at Startup to get the Startup Manager, because its code is all in ROM. It draws an icon for each potentially bootable volume and then the Eject key on the keyboard goes "live".

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), & Server, PPC, & AppleTalk Printers

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