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MacBook stuck on gray startup screen with rotating dial....

11489 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Dec 31, 2007 9:00 AM by Soft Reset RSS
wlfpacmom Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Dec 15, 2007 6:56 AM
Stays at the gray on gray apple logo screen with the rotating dial. I have tried all of the listed fixes with no change. I can't even get the MacBook to reboot with the Install CD. It doesn't seem to read it. I was able to recover all my data from my MacBook. I hooked it up by FireWire and used the transfer disk mode.

Now I am just not sure how to proceed? Please help!
MacBook, Mac OS X (10.4.11), purchased 10/2006
  • troy enn Level 5 Level 5 (4,250 points)
    +all of the listed fixes...+

    You might want to mention what you've tried so others can suggest things. Also, were you doing anything different before this happened, and might you have the 'firmware' password enabled?
    Blackbook C2D, Mac OS X (10.5.1), 120Gig, 2Gig, Superdrive, Nano '3rd'
  • JasonFear Level 5 Level 5 (4,935 points)
    The open firmware password is different from your account password. Open Firmware is the firmware version that all of the PowerPC machines used, when Apple switched to Intel they went to something called EFI. But they still kept the "open firmware" naming as it's a common term in UNIX.

    You said that you already reset the PRAM, if you had a firmware password than you wouldn't have been able to reset the PRAM. A password "locks" that feature until you authenticate.

    At this point in time, if you have all of your data recovered off the drive you've pretty much done all the easily performed troubleshooting. The final option would be to perform a reinstall of the OS, perhaps there's some software corruption that goes deeper than something easily detected.
    MacBook Pro 2.2Ghz, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • troy enn Level 5 Level 5 (4,250 points)
    +3. Restarting computer with install disk.+

    You mention restarting with the DVD ...but then you also mention not being able to startup from it? Make sure it's the No. 1 Install DVD could try booting to it (hold 'C' on startup) and then launching Disk Utility when the topmenu appears. You could also hold 'D' at startup and launch the Apple Hardware Test.

    If you can do any of these ...what are the results?
    Blackbook C2D, Mac OS X (10.5.1), 120Gig, 2Gig, Superdrive, Nano '3rd'
  • laplumea Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm having the same problem with my MacBook. Difference: My laptop seemed to be a bit erratic, so I started quitting apps, had to ForceQuit Firefox, I think it was. I accidentally clicked on Force-Quitting my FINDER.

    Since then, I can't start it up, only get the dong sound followed by grey screen/Apple logo/spinning gear.

    I too have tried several things, re-setting PRAM, SafeBoot, to no avail. I have not tried to boot from install disk, etc.

    Any suggestions?
    iMac Core Duo, MacBook, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • baikazaa Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Having the same issues as laplumea.... anyone got an idea what do to?
    Is diskwarrior an option?
    I have a firmware password enabled.

    MacBook Black 2.2, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • JoePocky Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    UGH same thing happening to me. My computer was running fine last night, I went to bed and shut it down.

    This morning I woke up and plugged in my iPod. I got a message that said that there was an error and something was corrupt with my music files and communication with the ipod was lost. I then tried to open iPhoto - I received the same message - but this time about my image files being unavailable. I tried rebooting and have been stuck on the gray screen with the rotating wheel forever now...

    Also, could this be a hard drive issue? Apparently my MacBook falls into that early category with the faulty hard drives... anyone else?
    Macbook (White) Core Duo, 2GHz, 2GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.4.9), 4GB iPod Nano (Red), LaCie 500GB external HDD designed by Porsche
  • JoePocky Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I got it working again! I booted up from the OSX disk (by holding the "C" key). I ran Disk Utility - at first it didnt recognize the hard drive but I did a Repair Disk and then Verify Disk. I rebooted and voila!

    Weird though. I still wonder if the hard drive is on its way out. Luckily I backed it up.
    Macbook (White) Core Duo, 2GHz, 512MB RAM, Mac OS X (10.4.9), 4GB iPod Nano (Red), LaCie 500GB external HDD designed by Porsche
  • baikazaa Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hello troy enn,

    I've tried booting with the No. 1 install disk (holding c or d) but it doesn't seem to launch...

    It tries to read the disk but just stops and gives me the logo and rotating dial...

    Do you have a clue of what to do next?

    I got leopard with firmware password enabled

    MacBook Black 2.2, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • Soft Reset Level 4 Level 4 (1,790 points)
    Hi baikazaa!

    Your inability to boot off the CD with a firmware password enabled is functioning correctly. Please visit the link below:

    With an open firmware password "enabled" you won't be able to do the following:

    1. Hold the "C" key to start up from an optical disc
    2. Hold the "N" key to start up from a NetBoot server
    3. Hold the "T" key to start up in Target Disk Mode
    4. Hold the "D" key to start up the Apple Diagnostic Utility
    5. Hold the "Command & S" key combination to start up in Single-user Mode
    6. Hold the "Command-Option-R-R" key combination to reset the PRAM
    7. Hold the "Command & V" key combination to start up in Verbose Mode
    8. Hold the "Shift" key to start up in Safe Mode

    You'll need to disable the open firmware password for the purposes of troubleshooting further, that is, if you wish to boot off the install DVD.
    Macbook "SR" (2.0GHz/2GB/80GB), Mac OS X (10.5.1)


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