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MacTechTrainer, Sr. Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 1700
Experience:  Apple Certified Desktop & Portables Technician, A+, Cross-Platform (Mac/PC) Tech - for over 14 Years
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mac wont boot -goes to grey screen with spinning circle tried

Customer Question

mac wont boot -goes to grey screen with spinning circle tried safe mode but dont work , also tried single user fsck -fy says ok but not stil stays on start up screen
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 6 years ago.
Hello, and thank you for asking your question, with
I am Sr. Mac Tech Support Specialist, Terry, glad to assist you.

I am going to have you take your Mac into Safe Mode to see if we can't remove a possible folder(s) that may be affecting your Mac's start up function.

Try these steps:


• Reboot your Mac
• Upon restarting your Mac, press the Shift key.
• Hold the Shift key until you see a White Screen with Gray Apple icon and eventually a spinning gear.
• When you see the Spinning gear, release the Shift key.
• Allow the Mac to continue booting up. Also this may take a little while
(NOTE: this may take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to load to the Safe mode screen depending on the performance of your Mac, but if it exceeds this time, shutdown your Mac and try just once more. It may have just frozen up the first time around for you.)

• You are going to enter the Safe Mode (which looks like your main desktop enviroment the only difference is certain startup items are disabled.)

• Once within the Desktop in Safe Mode
• From the Finder Menu, click Go> Go to Folder
• Type in this line: /System/Library/StartupItems
• This path, is going to take you to the System Library folder which has all of your Mac OS X Startupitems.
• Remove all of those folders to the Trash.

*Reboot your Mac normally and see if you can access your normal User desktop environment.

If you have any more questions, regarding your technical issue, please feel free to reply to this post.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX be looking forward to your reply.



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
tried this it does not go into safe mode
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for your reply.

If you have not tried this and you do have the Mac OS X installation disc, check to see if you are able to boot to the Mac OS X installation and attempt to run disc utility
to perform a repair disk procedure.


Insert your Mac OS X Startup disk
•Reboot your Mac
•At the Apple Chime, press the C key and hold it until you see a White screen, gray Apple and eventually a Spinning gear.
• Release the C key only after you see the Spinning gear.
•Mac will boot from the startup disk to the Installer environment
• From the Installer Menu bar, click Utilities > Disk Utility and open up Disk Utility application.
• Click on on the hard drive at the top of the window in the left sidebar and
• Select "Repair Disk"
**Let Disk Utilities run this repair the disk until completion
• At the end of this process, reboot your Mac

I am only having you try this to see how far your Mac will go, despite not allowing you to boot up to your hard drive- hopefully you will be able to boot up to the install disc instead.

Keep me posted. The outcome of your trial here, will let me know where to proceed next.

Thanks for your patience!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
dont have start up disk
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for the update.

Your Mac issue could be the result of a corrupt Mac OS X directory or with the hardware, however it is hard to tell without being able to run more tests.

What I would recommend since you do not have the install disc, if you can is to take your Mac in to your local Apple retail store genius bar or local Apple authorized reseller, to at least have a diagnostics performed on your Mac.

I would like to provide more support for you, but the signs are too evident that this may be more of a hardware issue than a software issue and by having a diagnostics performed, you can get a more detail account of just what is going on and how you will need to proceed.

This is honestly the best step you can take considering what you have tried has not worked so far and there are actually no more options I can provide other than this suggestion.

If you have more questions, please feel free to reply back to this post.

I thank you for allowing me to assist you thus far.