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Why won't my MacBook Pro start up from the grey prohibitory sign?

50966 Views 32 Replies Latest reply: Nov 4, 2013 11:25 AM by wynt22 RSS
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Mattkkm Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 10, 2013 1:57 PM

My MacBook Pro won't turn on from the grey screen. I have tried refreshing the RAM, and that has not worked. I tried placing the start up disk into the computer when turning it on and that still has done nothing.

 

It takes a while for it to get to the prohibitory sign. Before the prohibitory sign it usually has an apple and it just sits there for a while.

 

I don't know what to do.

 

Help is wanted.

 

Thank you very much!

MacBook Pro
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (220,960 points)

    Mac OS X- Gray screen or prohibitory sign appears during startup

     

    The usualy fix is to reinstall OS X. If your are running Lion or Mountain Lion:

     

    Reinstalling Lion/Mountain Lion Without Erasing the Drive

     

    Boot to the Recovery HD: Restart the computer and after the chime press and hold down the COMMAND and R keys until the menu screen appears. Alternatively, restart the computer and after the chime press and hold down the OPTION key until the boot manager screen appears. Select the Recovery HD and click on the downward pointing arrow button.

     

    Repair the Hard Drive and Permissions: Upon startup select Disk Utility from the main menu. Repair the Hard Drive and Permissions as follows.

     

    When the recovery menu appears select Disk Utility. After DU loads select your hard drive entry (mfgr.'s ID and drive size) from the the left side list.  In the DU status area you will see an entry for the S.M.A.R.T. status of the hard drive.  If it does not say "Verified" then the hard drive is failing or failed. (SMART status is not reported on external Firewire or USB drives.) If the drive is "Verified" then select your OS X volume from the list on the left (sub-entry below the drive entry,) click on the First Aid tab, then click on the Repair Disk button. If DU reports any errors that have been fixed, then re-run Repair Disk until no errors are reported. If no errors are reported click on the Repair Permissions button. Wait until the operation completes, then quit DU and return to the main menu.

     

    Reinstall Lion/Mountain Lion: Select Reinstall Lion/Mountain Lion and click on the Continue button.

     

    Note: You will need an active Internet connection. I suggest using Ethernet if possible because it is three times faster than wireless.

     


    If you are running Snow Leopard or earlier:

     

    Reinstall Snow Leopard without erasing the drive

     

    Do the following:

     

    1. Repair the Hard Drive and Permissions

     

    Boot from your Snow Leopard Installer disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu. After DU loads select your hard drive entry (mfgr.'s ID and drive size) from the the left side list.  In the DU status area you will see an entry for the S.M.A.R.T. status of the hard drive.  If it does not say "Verified" then the hard drive is failing or failed. (SMART status is not reported on external Firewire or USB drives.) If the drive is "Verified" then select your OS X volume from the list on the left (sub-entry below the drive entry,) click on the First Aid tab, then click on the Repair Disk button. If DU reports any errors that have been fixed, then re-run Repair Disk until no errors are reported. If no errors are reported click on the Repair Permissions button. Wait until the operation completes, then quit DU and return to the installer.

     

    If DU reports errors it cannot fix, then you will need Disk Warrior and/or Tech Tool Pro to repair the drive. If you don't have either of them or if neither of them can fix the drive, then you will need to reformat the drive and reinstall OS X.

     

    2. Reinstall Snow Leopard

     

    If the drive is OK then quit DU and return to the installer.  Proceed with reinstalling OS X.  Note that the Snow Leopard installer will not erase your drive or disturb your files.  After installing a fresh copy of OS X the installer will move your Home folder, third-party applications, support items, and network preferences into the newly installed system.

     

    Download and install the Combo Updater for the version you prefer from support.apple.com/downloads/.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (220,960 points)

    So you are saying that even when you boot from an installer DVD the startup does not get beyond a gray screen? That could well mean the hard drive or the controller is shot.

     

    Does the dark gray Apple logo appear? Does the spinning gear appear below the logo? Are you able to do the following:

     

    Resetting your Mac's PRAM and NVRAM

    Intel-based Macs: Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC)

     

    Please tell us what version of OS X you were using and specifically which model MBP?

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (220,960 points)

    I'm not sure why you can't reset the SMC:

     

    Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC)

    Resetting the SMC on Mac portables with a battery you can remove

    Note: Learn about removing the battery on MacBook and MacBook Pro.

     

    1. Shut down the computer.
    2. Disconnect the MagSafe power adapter from the computer, if it's connected.
    3. Remove the battery.
    4. Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds.
    5. Release the power button.
    6. Reconnect the battery and MagSafe power adapter.
    7. Press the power button to turn on the computer.

    Resetting the SMC on portables with a battery you should not remove on your own

     

    Note: Portable computers that have a battery you should not remove on your own include MacBook Pro (Early 2009) and later, all models of MacBook Air, and MacBook (Late 2009).

     

    1. Shut down the computer.
    2. Plug in the MagSafe power adapter to a power source, connecting it to the Mac if its not already connected.
    3. On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.
    4. Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.
    5. Press the power button to turn on the computer. 
      Note
      : The LED on the MagSafe power adapter may change states or temporarily turn off when you reset the SMC.
  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,400 points)

    What OS are you using and what specific model MBP do you have?  Kappy asked this earlier.

     

    Ciao.

  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,400 points)

    An A1278 is an early 13" 2011 MBP.  Did your MBP come with a Snow Leopard install disk or did it come with Lion installed on it  (then there would be no disk with the MBP)? 

     

    Ciao.

  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,400 points)

    If you can find that Snow leopard disk, do what Kappy says in his instructions:  REINSTALL SNOW LEOPARD WITHOUT ERASING THE DRIVE.

     

    Ciao.

  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,400 points)

    It appears that your HDD may be dead and will have to be replaced.  There is a possibility that the internal connection is faulty.  If you install a different HDD, and it also does not appear, you may have a bad cable which would have to be replaced.

     

    Ciao.

     

    Message was edited by: OGELTHORPE

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (220,960 points)

    Yes, I concur with Oglethorpe. Your HDD needs to be replaced at the least. This assumes no other hardware problem. Connecting a disk that is known to be OK should appear in DU.

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