4 Replies Latest reply: Dec 4, 2013 2:20 AM by thomas_r.
lostonrye Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi I cannot get past the turning wheel I have let the battery drain and tried restart with power lead but still same

I  think mac my have a virus?

is there any way to override the start process mac air has no cd facitities

thanks

Art


MacBook Air, OS X Mavericks (10.9), mavericks recently installed
  • 1. Re: cannot boot up just get the wheel turning
    thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (27,925 points)

    This is not caused by a virus, or any other kind of malware.

     

    Try starting up in safe mode. If the machine starts up fine, but won't start up when you restart normally, then the problem is caused by third-party software you have installed.

     

    If the machine will not start in safe mode, most likely you have a badly corrupt system, and possibly a failing hard drive. You should hold down command-R at startup to boot into recovery mode. From there, open Disk Utility and check the hard drive's SMART status:

     

    SMART status.png

    If the SMART status says anything other than "Verified," your hard drive is failing. It will need to be replaced. If you don't have any backups, you should immediately make some, which will not be easy.

     

    If SMART status is okay, try repairing the hard drive. The item you will want to repair is below the one you selected to check SMART status, called "Hyperion" in the image above. Probably "Macintosh HD" in your case, unless you have renamed it.

     

    If repairing the hard drive fails, you'll need to erase it and reinstall the system. Again, if you don't have backups, you'll have to figure out how to do that first.

     

    Finally, if all checks out okay, quit Disk Utility and try reinstalling the system. This will reinstall right on top of the existing system, leaving everything else alone. (At least, that's the way it's supposed to work, but because things can go wrong, you ought to have backups before doing this.)

  • 2. Re: cannot boot up just get the wheel turning
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (117,780 points)

    Take each of these steps that you haven't already tried. Stop when the problem is resolved.

       
    Step 1
        
    The first step in dealing with a boot failure is to secure your data. If you want to preserve the contents of the startup drive, and you don't already have at least one current backup, you must try to back up now, before you do anything else. It may or may not be possible. If you don't care about the data that has changed since your last backup, you can skip this step.
       
    There are several ways to back up a Mac that is unable to boot. You need an external hard drive to hold the backup data.
        
    a. Boot into the Recovery partition, or from a local Time Machine backup volume (option key at startup.) When the OS X Utilities screen appears, launch Disk Utility and follow the instructions in this support article, under “Instructions for backing up to an external hard disk via Disk Utility.”

    b. If you have access to a working Mac, and both it and the non-working Mac have FireWire or Thunderbolt ports, boot the non-working Mac in target disk mode. Use the working Mac to copy the data to another drive. This technique won't work with USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth.

    c. If the internal drive of the non-working Mac is user-replaceable, remove it and mount it in an external enclosure or drive dock. Use another Mac to copy the data.

    Step 2

    Sometimes a boot failure can be resolved by resetting the NVRAM.

    Step 3

    If you use a wireless keyboard, trackpad, or mouse, replace or recharge the batteries. The battery level shown in the Bluetooth menu item may not be accurate.

    Step 4

    If there's a built-in optical drive, a disc may be stuck in it. Follow these instructions to eject it.

    Step 5

    Press and hold the power button until the power shuts off. Disconnect all wired peripherals except those needed to boot, and remove all aftermarket expansion cards. Use a different keyboard and/or mouse, if those devices are wired. If you can boot now, one of the devices you disconnected, or a combination of them, is causing the problem. Finding out which one is a process of elimination.

    If you've booted from an external storage device, make sure that your internal boot volume is selected in the Startup Disk pane of System Preferences.

    Step 6

     

    Boot in safe mode. Note: If FileVault is enabled on some models, or if a firmware password is set, or if the boot volume is a software RAID, you can’t do this. Post for further instructions.

      

    Safe mode is much slower to boot and run than normal, and some things won’t work at all, including wireless networking on certain Macs.

       

    The login screen appears even if you usually log in automatically. You must know your login password in order to log in. If you’ve forgotten the password, you will need to reset it before you begin.

       

    When you boot in safe mode, it's normal to see a dark gray progress bar on a light gray background. If the progress bar gets stuck for more than a few minutes, or if the system shuts down automatically while the progress bar is displayed, your boot volume is corrupt and the drive is probably malfunctioning. In that case, go to Step 6.

     

    If you can boot and log in now, empty the Trash, and then open the Finder Info window on your boot volume ("Macintosh HD," unless you gave it a different name.) Check that you have at least 9 GB of available space, as shown in the window. If you don't, copy as many files as necessary to another volume (not another folder on the same volume) and delete the originals. Deletion isn't complete until you empty the Trash again. Do this until the available space is more than 9 GB. Then reboot as usual (i.e., not in safe mode.)

     

    If the boot process hangs again, the problem is likely caused by a third-party system modification that you installed. Post for further instructions.

     

    Step 7

     

    Launch Disk Utility in Recovery mode (see Step 1.) Select your startup volume, then run Repair Disk. If any problems are found, repeat until clear. If Disk Utility reports that the volume can't be repaired, the drive has malfunctioned and should be replaced. You might choose to tolerate one such malfunction in the life of the drive. In that case, erase the volume and restore from a backup. If the same thing ever happens again, replace the drive immediately.

     

    This is one of the rare situations in which you should also run Repair Permissions, ignoring the false warnings it may produce. Look for the line "Permissions repair complete" at the end of the output. Then reboot as usual.

     

    Step 8

     

    Reinstall the OS. If your Mac was upgraded from an older version of OS X, you’ll need the Apple ID and password you used to upgrade.

     

    Step 9

     

    Repeat Step 6, but this time erase the boot volume in Disk Utility before installing. The system should automatically reboot into the Setup Assistant. Follow the prompts to transfer your data from a Time Machine or other backup.

      

    Step 10

      

    This step applies only to older Macs (not current models) that have a logic-board ("PRAM") battery. Both desktop and portable Macs used to have such a battery. The logic-board battery, if there is one, is separate from the main battery of a portable. A dead logic-board battery can cause a boot failure. Typically the failure will be preceded by loss of the settings for the startup disk and system clock. See the user manual for replacement instructions. You may have to take the machine to a service provider to have the battery replaced.

      

    Step 11

      

    If you get this far, you're probably dealing with a hardware fault. Make a "Genius" appointment at an Apple Store, or go to another authorized service provider.

  • 3. Re: cannot boot up just get the wheel turning
    lostonrye Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    thanks for the replies which helped me resolve issue in boot up I was unable to start in safe mode

    I later found out that an  avast anti virus programe supposedly for mac was not compataible

     

    i needed to wipe the drive and reinstall mountain lion ox

    as I have no data that needed saving this was no problem

     

    one lesson is to be wary of downloading stuff that can cause these problems.

    Not sure if mac needs anti virus being a windows convert

    old habits die hard

    Art

  • 4. Re: cannot boot up just get the wheel turning
    thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (27,925 points)

    Not sure if mac needs anti virus

     

    In general, no, but you cannot simply behave as if there are no threats out there. See my Mac Malware Guide for details.