8 Replies Latest reply: May 29, 2012 11:58 AM by Linc Davis
ModlIV4u Level 1 (0 points)

Help -

My macbook air has crashed, I get a gray screen, I'd like to use my Time Machine to restore it from a back up.

(or am open to other ideas to get it to run again).

I tried to use Contol G - when I opened it... no luck.


Not sure WHAT to do.

MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,709 points)

    The following support article is somewhat outdated. Where it refers to booting from an installation disc, you should boot into Recovery (if running 10.7 or later) by holding down the key combination command-R at the chime. If your startup volume is encrypted with FileVault, you’ll have to unlock it in Disk Utility before you can do anything with it.


    Mac OS X: Gray screen appears during startup

  • ModlIV4u Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks -

    "command R" got me to the OS X Utilites page, with it's 4 options.

    (and I'm glad to see it do something other than that gray screen)


    I choose "restore from Time Machine Back up"

    However -

    When I got to the page that read's "Back Up Source" and clicked on my disc - it says
    "The backup can not be opened"  I know I used the right password (or I'm 99% sure)
    "otherwise the backup may be damaged"


    SO -

    I tried the second option - "re-instal OS X"

    However it says my hardrive is locked
    "this disk is locked"


    I didn't encript it with FileVault - as you noted.


    What do you think I should do from here?

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,709 points)

    Launch Disk Utility, select the startup volume, and run Repair Disk and Repair Permissions, in that order.

  • ModlIV4u Level 1 (0 points)

    Ugh -

    Followed steps to "run Repair Disk"

    Now I get "Disk Utility can not repair this disk"

    it says to "backup as many of my files possible - reformat the disc"


    hmmmmmmmm ?

    Trip to the Genious Bar today?
    Of should I reformat the disc? 

    - How does one reformat a disc? 
    - this is an Air - with no drive... and no discs....

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,709 points)

    You will have to reformat the volume, but first you have to determine the status of your backups. Are they encrypted? If so, and if you don't know the password, you're in a very bad situation.

  • ModlIV4u Level 1 (0 points)

    re: "status of backups"
    - do you mean the Time Machine? - I know my password - but it didn't seem to work when I tried it.


    - is there another way to back up my files from this point? (as an added percaution)


    re: encrypting

    - I use passowords but no added protection from there - which is what I think you mean by encripting.


    Q -

    I've never "reformated a volume"  - how does one go about doing that?



    Thanks for you help - much apreciated.

  • ModlIV4u Level 1 (0 points)

    Is it safe to assume that once I reformant - I'll be able to access my time machine -and pull files out from there?

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,709 points)

    You wrote earlier that you got an error message to the effect of "The backup can not be opened" when you entered a password. It sounds like you were entering an encryption password, which was rejected. If that's not what you were doing, I'm not sure I understand.


    To answer your other question, after you reformat (that is, erase) the boot volume, you should be able to restore it from a Time Machine snapshot -- provided your backups are accessible. Some files may be corrupted, because the drive malfunctioned at some point.