5 Replies Latest reply: Mar 17, 2008 12:50 PM by myhighway
David Walser Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Hey, my sister is having a problem with her Intel Macbook 13 in. It was moving really slowly, so she decided to restart it. Now it only gets to the start up screen (the grayish one with the apple) and doesnt seem to want to move past it. Any ideas on how to fix this? Thanks!

Intel MacBook 13 in, Mac OS X (10.4.1)
  • myhighway Level 5 Level 5 (7,270 points)
    This should work - Read the below linked short articles, then boot into safe mode. Once that has been completed, restart the Mac.

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107392
    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107393
    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107394
  • psychedelic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am unable to start up my macbook. I'm stucked at a grey screen. There is a dark grey folder icon with a question mark in the middle that keeps flashing in the middle of the screen.

    I tried the abv mtd to get to safe mode but failed. Pls help.

    Thank you.
  • SBZB Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    My new Macbook has already been sent in for repair within the first month I owned it. They had to "reseat" the PRAM. I'm a windows user so this is all new to me. I really like my new Mac but I'm very upset. It worked for one week once I got it back. Now when I turn it on, it comes up with a grey sceen and a box that says, "You need to restart your computer. Hold down the Power button for several seconds or prss the Restart button." OK...I do that, but nothing happens. Just keeps coming back to the same screen. I tried looking through the support section, tried all the suggestions, nothing works. What's up with this thing? I am ready to send it back for good and get my money back. Anyone have any idea what to do to fix this thing?
  • myhighway Level 5 Level 5 (7,270 points)
    There is a dark grey folder icon with a question mark in the middle that keeps flashing in the middle of the screen.


    Hello psychedelic!

    For some reason, your Mac is unable to recognize its startup disk, and the "Startup Disk" System Preference needs to be reset. Since you can not now access System Preferences to reset that preference, you'll have to reset it by doing the following.

    While the question mark is flashing, insert "Install Disc 1" of the currently installed OS (Tiger disc if Tiger installed; Leopard disc if Leopard installed - don't mix up the use of these discs) into the optical drive. Within a minute or two, your Mac should recognize the disc as a startup disk, and should boot to it.

    If it does not, press the power button until your Mac shuts down hard. Then startup your Mac and immediately after hearing the startup chime press down the "c" key until you see the spinning progress indicator beneath the Apple logo, then release the "c" key.

    Once you see the first screen of the installer, the language selection screen, select your language and continue to the next screen where at the top you'll see a menu bar with various pull-down menus, one of which is "Utilities."

    Open "Utilities" and select "Startup Disk." Once it opens it will scan for all available startup disks, one of which will be the disc that you inserted into the optical drive. If another disk is shown, that should be the internal HDD named with your installed OS X version on it. Select that disk and then select "Shut down" from the "Startup Disk" menu. Your Mac will shut down.

    When you next startup your Mac it should startup as normal. Eject "Install Disc 1" from the optical drive. Check the rest of System Preferences to see if any other settings were also unexpectedly reset.

    If "Startup Disk" does not find your usual HDD when it scans, Quit from the menu. Return to the "Utilities" menu and open "Disk Utility" to see if it can find your internal HDD. If not, select "Quit" in the menu, Quit the Installer, and click the "Restart" button.

    Immediately after hearing the startup chime, hold down the "d" key until you see the spinning progress indicator beneath the Apple logo, then release the "d" key. Your Mac will now startup to the Apple Hardware Test. Run the "Extended" version of the AHT and write down the error message. Call AppleCare and report the message to get your Mac repaired under warranty.

    If there is an error message, you probably have a failed hard drive. If you have important data that you failed to backup, the best chance you have to save it is to immediately copy it from your Mac to another computer using FireWire target disc mode, with the problem Mac as the "target." Refer to the following Apple Support article:

    How to use FireWire target disk mode
  • myhighway Level 5 Level 5 (7,270 points)
    Welcome to Discussions, SBZB!

    They had to "reseat" the PRAM.


    They reset the PRAM. In the future you can do this yourself. To reset the PRAM:

    1. Shut down the computer.
    2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.
    3. Turn on the computer.
    4. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears.
    5. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
    6. Release the keys.

    Afterwards, you will need to open the "Startup Disk" panel of System Preferences and reselect your startup disk.

    For more info, refer to: Resetting your Mac's PRAM and NVRAM

    However, the question is "why" was that necessary? I have no way to know that.

    "You need to restart your computer. Hold down the Power button for several seconds or prss the Restart button." OK...I do that, but nothing happens.


    Your Mac should shut down when you hold down the power button. What you are now seeing are "kernel panics" which can be caused by either a software or hardware issue. You may have installed some incompatible software or hardware. For more info, refer to the Apple Support article:
    What's a "kernel panic"? (Mac OS X)

    To yourself resolve the kernel panics if you do not already have a good idea what is causing them, refer to this lengthy help:
    Resolving Kernel Panics

    Anyone have any idea what to do to fix this thing?


    The short answer is to remove the third party conflict, whether software (on the Mac side) or hardware. If multiple items of both hardware and software were installed without first verifying they worked, the problem requires more effort to back away from each and identify it. Fortunately, most externals can be easily unplugged, and RAM isn't too hard to remove and replace with the original. If the problem is caused by software on the Mac side, it may take some patience to ID it.

    If there were no third party items added, you might have a hardware fault. Run the extended version of the Apple Hardware Test located on the Install DVD. Start up from the Install DVD by pressing and holding down the "d" key after the startup chime until the spinning progress indicator is seen beneath the Apple logo, then release the "d" key. The AHT boots and runs without any help from your OS X. If the problem continues even when booting and running AHT, that specifically indicates the problem as a hardware issue such as logic board, video card, memory, hard drive, etc. Best of luck with it:)

    Message was edited by: myhighway