13 Replies Latest reply: Aug 1, 2008 4:28 PM by arteest103
perezngc Level 1 (0 points)
my MBP just got its first blue screen of death last night. i've been looking on threads to find out more about it. i've found a lot of solutions for how to get past it. but i have yet to find out what it is exactly (i.e. what is the computer doing when it happens). can someone enlighten me or refer me to a thread?

MacBook Pro 17-inch 2.4 gHz, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • Baby Boomer (USofA) Level 9 (57,115 points)
    Use Google.
  • Kenneth Gorelick Level 3 (590 points)
    The "Blue Screen of Death" is a Windows phenomenon. When your MBP is booting up, sometimes it needs to do more internal stuff than usual. While this is happening, there is a plain blue screen that shows. All you need to do is wait and it will open into Leopard. Occasionally it has taken more than one minute for me, which seems like forever on a Mac, but I have never had it stick there. On the other hand, if you are in the airport and they call your flight, just turn the computer off and restart it later.
  • J D McIninch Level 5 (4,060 points)
    Your Mac doesn't have a blue screen of death.

    The pale blue screen is what is displayed when the computer starts and it remains blue until the point in the boot process where it loads the login prompt.

    Generally, this is a short period of time, BUT there are certain events that make this take longer. If you received any software updates or installed some new software, often they defer updating/replacing some files until the next reboot. If some of those files were libraries, plugins, or metadata importers, OS X will also take some time to reindex all those (how long will depend on how much stuff you have installed). Lastly, it's common for UNIX systems to reserve some time on during the boot process to check the hard disk every once in a while...

    Generally speaking, boot up should happen in a few seconds. However, under any of those circumstances the boot time could go up another 30 seconds to a few minutes (firmware updates are particularly slow).

    Generally speaking, you don't want to interfere with the computer when this happens. If there is an actual problem, the boot process will time out and you'll get an icon telling you that it failed to boot for some reason. Otherwise, you'll get a prompt if you wait a little bit.
  • perezngc Level 1 (0 points)
    not knowing what to do, i forced the computer to shut down. i started it again a few minutes later without a problem. should i be worried that i may have messed something up by forcing it to shut down?
  • Kenneth Gorelick Level 3 (590 points)

    However, to be safe I would repair permissions.
  • J D McIninch Level 5 (4,060 points)
    Generally, the process is pretty robust. If it was only slow to start because it was checking the disk, then no harm. If it was finalizing a software install, it's hard to say -- often the process is designed to retry if it is canceled. Sometimes you'll see software update telling you it's going to apply an update that you had already received; that's typically because something intefered with the previous update completing so the process simply goes again.

    If it was mid-way through reindexing the libraries and whatnot, the index may not be complete. If this happens the symptom is noticeably slower loading of applications and even slower booting (how much so depends on how far it got). You can force the process of reindexing those things. Open Terminal.app and type:

    *sudo updatedyld_sharedcache -force -root /*
  • perezngc Level 1 (0 points)
    i don't believe i was installing any updates-- the last software update i performed were a week ago or more. assuming it was reindexing, how often does this process occur. is there any other way i can make it do it again other than open terminal (i've never used it-- being a fairly basic user, using code makes me scared i'll mess stuff up).
  • J D McIninch Level 5 (4,060 points)
    I don't know of a GUI way to force the reindexing except for to install an application that triggers it (anything that has an installer instead of dragging the app to the Applications folder).

    The reason the installer exists is to fire off the indexing and a couple of other things so that new file associations are made, plugins are recognized, preference panes added, etc. That, and to create a receipt (/Library/Receipts) so that "Fix Permissions" in disk utility will fix file permissions related to that application.
  • perezngc Level 1 (0 points)
    the stuck blue screen has returned. i'm trying not to get overly concerned about it as i have received some reassuring comments. however, the processor sounds idle-- there does not seem to be any activity of any kind. is this still consistent with the reindexing process?

    as i wrote this, the MBP finally did end up booting up completely. i attempted to restart and it is just hanging there, seemingly frozen. is this a normal part of the process?

    Message was edited by: perezngc
  • Courcoul Level 6 (12,725 points)
    Whenever any Unix computer boots up, an internal utility known as fsck runs to verify that the startup volume is ok. If there's damage, it will try to repair it. This can take time, depending on how much there is to repair. On the Mac, that's what's happening when you get a blank screen and the "toothed wheel" spinning away.

    I'd suggest starting up the Mac with the Installation DVD #1 (you do have them, don't you???) by pressing C before the chime, going past the language selection screen, then selecting Disk Utility from the Utilities menu. Select the startup volume, Macintosh HD, and do a Repair Disk. Redo until no errors are found. If Disk Utility can't repair the errors, you will need stronger stuff, like Disk Warrior (commercial product).

    If, on the other hand, you're a Unix nerd, just boot in Single User Mode and run +*fsck -fy*+ until no errors.
  • arteest103 Level 1 (5 points)
    I love that bug!! BabyBoomer's that is.

    Message was edited by: arteest103
  • Courcoul Level 6 (12,725 points)
    I love that bug!!

    Well, rumor has it that some sleepy user confused it for the real thing and there's a dead screen out there as a result...
  • arteest103 Level 1 (5 points)
    LOL! I actually did touch my screen.