2 Replies Latest reply: Mar 14, 2013 12:51 PM by nicelaos
nicelaos Level 1 (0 points)

Hi all,


I have an intel imac that will not boot osx lion, it just hangs on the grey apple logo and then ends up at a grey screen with nothing but the mouse pointer in the upper left corner.


I've tried everything apple suggests (http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2570) to get rid of the grey screen; even putting back in the original RAM.  I did not try the Archive and Install or the Erase and Install installation.


I've also ran AHT several times with no errors reported.


I can boot into recovery mode so I bought an external backup drive and cloned my imac drive using disk utility. Then I tried booting from the external HD with the same grey screen resulting.


Before attempting to archive/erase and install I've read that reinstalling from the recovery partition created by mountain lion/lion could be a solution. Though when I attempt to use the feature my only option is to reinstall Mountain lion, even though I've upgraded to Lion.

I'm concerned if I do this that I'll make the problem worse and be stuck with an older install.

I realize I have a new clone of the drive and another external drive (that was dedicated to Time machine backups) with my last TM backup.


The imac came with Leopard installed. I'm not sure if this is why I can't reinstall Lion and only Mountain Lion from recovery, since I've read that Lion would have had to be specifically installed for it to be available for a recovery install. Terminal tells me that I'm running osx 10.8.2, even though I upgraded to Lion.


Anyway, any and all of your feedback would be much appreciated. I'd like to do as much as I can on my own, to keep the repair cost to a minimum, before bringing it to a licensed repair retailer.


Thanks much,


iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • MichelPM Level 6 (11,344 points)

    Lion was not an upgrade to Mountain Lion

    Lion OS X 10.7 came first. Then OS X 10.8 Mt. Lion.

    Trying to install OS X 10.7 Lion over Mt. Lion is how you rendered your system inoperative.

    You can't just reinstall on older OS X version over a newer OS X version.

    It's more complicated than this.

    If you want to run an older version of OS X, you first need to find a way to archive all of your important data.

    Either to optical discs, USB Flash Drives or external hard drives.


    You are going to need a copy of OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard if you do not have a retail install disc or original system restore discs that have OS X Snow Leopard on them.

    Purchase here.




    Then you are going to need to completely erase and reformat your main internal hard drive and do a clean install of OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and download and install all of its updates to get back to OS X 10.6.8

    This version has the Mac App Store icon installed in the dock.

    From there, you can decide if you want to install OS X10.7 LIon or OS X 10.8 Mt. Lion.

    If you want to run Lion, you need to contact Apple and ask for a special code to get to the paid download on the Mac App Store.

  • nicelaos Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the quick reply MichelPM,


    I feel dumb but for some reason I was thinking that Lion came after Mountain Lion, oops.


    I don't want to reinstall Lion for obvious reasons, like you said it's an older version.


    The real problem is that I can't boot up into osx and just get stuck on the grey screen.


    So since ML is the latest osx, and I have the option to reinstall it in recovery mode, then I'll go ahead and try it and

    hope it solves the problem.


    Thanks again.