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Grey screen boot up MacBook air

1539 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Jan 3, 2013 2:13 AM by Aimhigh71 RSS
davidkassan Calculating status...
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Nov 29, 2011 3:51 PM

My MacBook air won't boot up past it's grey screen.

MacBook Air
  • shldr2thewheel Level 7 Level 7 (25,375 points)
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    Nov 29, 2011 8:51 PM (in response to davidkassan)

    it is plain grey?  Do you see anything else on it, such as a folder with a question mark?  Please be more descriptive if possible in order for other to be able to help you in a more efficient manner.   Also, what operating system are you running as it is not listed in your profile.

  • SuzanneDel Calculating status...
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    May 28, 2012 2:06 PM (in response to davidkassan)



    So here is my experience. I restarted my macbook air yesterday, SPECIFICALLY so I could back up some new movie files onto my back-up drive in my office... However, BOTH, my 2011 macbook Air AND my trusty  IMAC 24" suddenly would not book past the gray screen, just watched the wheel spin for a couple of hours-

    (I had very recently installed Snow Leopard updates onto both of them and they were both backed up using Timemachine, but my Time Machines backups were 2-3 days old!


    Here's everything I tried- researched here and other sites for clues...I tried zapping PRAM, booting up in Safe Mode, (Would not do it) booting up from original reinstall OS disk, reinstalled OS 10.6 several times, fixing disk issues with Disk Utility & tried booting up with DiskWarrior DVD (  DW v. 4.4 did not work!) no change. My worst Mac nightmare ever. Tons of work due, (working 2 jobs, deadlines looming near for both!)...


    Disk Utility kept finding serious directory issues, (no hardware issues though) and said it had fixed them several times, but  time after time, I still could not boot up past grey screen!


    I did not want to erase and reformat my airbook drive because I had a new Imovie I had just spent about 8 hours on that day, as well as dozens of large video files that I had just downloaded for special effects- dozens of hours of time/work, and YES,  I had a time machine back-up but it was about 3-4 days old, not containing these video files!


    I refused to beleive I could not salvage my video files externally somehow, prior to re-formatting & reinstalling all fresh- Also, I did not want to spend more $$$  because I had just bought Disk Warrior less than 8 mo. ago & I had to resort to other measures  to fix an issue, found it useless!), and if Disk Warrior could not boot my macbook air, then I really doubted my Data Rescue software could do the trick...(Was correct on this too)


    Suddenly, I realized I had been holding onto an Ace in my sleeve all this time! I teach AutoCAD for a living,(which is still pretty PC-centric) so I had a fairly small BootCamp Windows partition I previously created on my drive. (about 40 GB)-


    I used Disk Utility to erase and reformat the Windows partition and assigned it as my bootable MAC OSX extended journeled drive & put a minimal install of OSX.6 snow Leopard on it- and then simply set it as the start-up drive ...


    & VIOLA, I could easy boot back up on the new partition, connect my back-up 1TB external hard drive and back up the 10 GBs of video data I would have otherwise lost!


    So, I have decided from now on to ALWAYS create a small 12 -14 GB partition on my Macs for this very reason!


    I also think Apple seriously needs to address data loss issues more in it's OS DVD install disks, because many times a user resorts to booting up from the original OS disk it is a last resort, and it would be wise if the installer program, Time Machine, or Disk Utility allowed some type of external back-up disk to mount too so we could retrieve critical files prior to reformatting, (just in case, like here, the reinstallation & fixing errors on the original OS does nothing.)


    Giving up some GBs is well worth it if you are faced with losing any amount of critical data.


    I hope this helps someone out of the situation I was in and save you some of the hours I lost. Unfortunately you need to be pretty techy to do all this stuff, but if you are reading this now, chances are you ARE, or you at least know someone who is.


    Here's to happy Macs.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,930 points)
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    May 28, 2012 5:48 PM (in response to SuzanneDel) would be wise if the installer program, Time Machine, or Disk Utility allowed some type of external back-up disk to mount too so we could retrieve critical files prior to reformatting...


    It does.


    How to back up and restore your files

  • Aimhigh71 Calculating status...
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    Jan 3, 2013 2:13 AM (in response to SuzanneDel)

    Everything you shared is foreign to me. You speak of using disks but MacBook Airs have no disk drive. Can anyone use Layman's terms to help me get past the grey screen? I'm sick of the spinning donut!!!


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