Skip navigation

HT1455: Mac OS X: Starting up in Safe Mode

Learn about Mac OS X: Starting up in Safe Mode

HT1455 MacBook Pro not starting up despite SMC reset and attempted Safe Mode start

795 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Apr 15, 2013 6:29 AM by ds store RSS
AdamEnos Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Apr 14, 2013 1:36 AM

My MacBook Pro has worked great for approx past 4 years (mid 1999 version)


I have just started to use Spaces and thought this was working well.  Not sure if I may have had too many docs and programmes open but yesterday it played up and started freezing on me.  Could not get the individual programmes to quit nor could i get the mac to restart so held power button until it closed.  I then left it for the afternoon before trying to restart but the mac is now having none of it!


After a bit of searching mac helps/ forums I have checked the Apple support site ( and followed instructions to reset the SMC but that has not made any difference.


I have since tried to start up in safe mode ( but despite looking promising (I seen the progress bar this time as well as the spinner) this did not start despite waiting over 30 minutes.


Any ideas? Or do I need to sweet talk my wife in to letting me have a new one :)


In anxious anticipation ...



MacBook Pro, Still running Snow Leopard - OSX 10
  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,550 points)

    Look at this user tip and see if you can find a solution here.  If no luck, take it to an Apple store genius bar.  If still no satisfaction, then plead with the wife (flowers can do wonders at times).


  • andyBall_uk Level 6 Level 6 (17,515 points)

    you hear the chime when trying to start ?

    You have the snow leopard, or original install dvd ? - does it start from that ?

  • andyBall_uk Level 6 Level 6 (17,515 points)

    in Disk Utility, when started from the dvd - how much disk space is free ?

    are you backed up already ? (important before continuing yourself, or at the store)


    if not backed up yet, read the section 'Instructions for backing up to an external hard disk via Disk Utility'

    at unless you have another mac & can use this mbp in Target Disk Mode


    There is verbose mode to possibly see where startup is hanging, but easier to reinstall Snow Leopard from the install disc, followed by software update until no more updates how.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    AdamEnos wrote:


    Tried to restart but still shows gray screen with spinner. 


    Well you made it though some of the Steps, so it shows there is no hardware or disk issue


    The #8 Resinstall Just OS X + Software update fully afterwards should fix your gray screen spinner issue.



    A few third party programs may not work just reinstall those from fresh original sources.



    AdamEnos wrote:

    I am on the last steps on this page with the following left to do:


    - - Perform an Archive and Install installation of Mac OS X


    If the above steps do not resolve the issue, and you can successfully start from your Mac OS X Install disc as noted above:


    Insert your Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5 installation disc


    Those instructions are for OS X 10.5, you stated you have OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.


    There is no "archive and install" any longer, OS X 10.6 and later versions can reinstall over itself.


    Follow my Steps #8 + Software Update will do what you require to fix the Gray Screen issue.


    The Genius can only assist if there is a hardware problem and on a old machine they are just going to advise you buy a new one.


    ..Step by Step to fix your Mac


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.