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After login screen I just get a gray screen (Mac Pro)

810 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Mar 22, 2013 12:56 PM by Cody Wright RSS
Cody Wright Calculating status...
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Mar 19, 2013 5:09 PM

I'm hoping someone might be able to help me get my computer rebooted properly, because I'm stuck!


I wish I could give exact tech specs for my Mac Pro, but I don't have them written down anywhere besides System Profiler...


  • I've had it since 2008 or 2009
  • There are four internal drives
  • Two external drives
  • 12GB RAM
  • Running the latest version of Mountain Lion


Here's the story:


I had to force shut down my machine because it locked up in screensaver mode. I have it set to never sleep because when it does, I often can't wake it back up and have to force shut down.


I turned it back on, and it returned to the login screen.


I received a message saying my computer was not shut down properly, and do I want to reopen my apps. I hit OK and logged in.


After that, just gray. I hear drives spinning for a while, but then everything quiets down and remains at a gray screen. I can see the mouse cursor and move it around, but that's it.


I forced shut down again, and this time said Cancel when asked if I wanted to reopen apps. It didn't make a difference.


I force shut down again, and this time unplugged all peripherals and external drives. Still goes to gray screen after logging in.

Mac Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.3)
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,095 points)

    Hold down the Shift key as you restart.


    This will boot into Safe mode, which spends five minutes running Disk Utility ( Repair disk ) then boots form your regular Hard Drive with a limited set of Apple-only extensions loaded, and asks for your username and password, even if you normally auto-login.


    Safe Mode runs the display in simple mode, because it does not load the display driver for accelerated operation.


    You can use Safe Mode to do software update, enable and disable things, and check out your Mac.


    If booting into regular mode gets you back to the same problems, one of the extensions loaded may be the problem. A common problem on older Mac Pros is the display card is no longer willing to work in accelerated mode, because it has failed.

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), & Server, PPC, & AppleTalk Printers
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,535 points)

    you have the Recovery partition - which is where I would have gone.


    from there try repair; try to backup or clone anything you have not, and always be ready to restore your system.


    And do set up a bootable backup for sure.


    then you are never up the creek really except time and any last minute changes.


    oh, and don't put anything on the boot drive as far as data and such.

    you can easily relocate and use Accounts to change the path to home account location

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,095 points)

    As Hatter has indicated, not completing the Disk Utility ( Repair Disk ) indicates deeper disk drive problems on your Boot Drive.

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), & Server, PPC, & AppleTalk Printers
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,095 points)

    You only get two this helped and one Solved.


    Hold down Command-R at Startup.

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), & Server, PPC, & AppleTalk Printers
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,535 points)

    Give Grant 400 pts, so he can roll over 40K  :-) 


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