How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Mike Your Own Question

Mike
Mike, Mac Medic
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 6591
Experience:  Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
25267123
Type Your Mac Question Here...
Mike is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Cannot restart my Mac... White screen...apple logo...."Circle

Customer Question

Cannot restart my Mac...
White screen...apple logo...."Circle of doom" constantly revolving.
Can you help?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Put the Snow Leopard disk in and then hold the power button for about 10 seconds to shut off, and then start up holding down the letter C key until you see the Apple logo. Choose your language then you get to the install screen DO NOT INSTALL, you will see at the top of the screen a Utilities menu drop down. Go the Disk Utility, Highlight your hard drive (usually Macintosh HD) and click on Verify Disk on the right. If that is OK and only if that is OK click on Repair Permissions. If Verify Disk is not OK try to Repair. If Repair is successful then Repair Permissions if it is not successful let me know.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Put in Snow Leopard disc. Held the power button for 10 seconds. Held down the letter "C".....Nothing happened?
Pressed the power button....Same screen as i have described...No change?
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Hold the power button for 15 seconds then start it but you have to keep holding the C key until you see the Apple logo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Did as you recommended....I heard the disc try and do something, but alas, no joy...Back to Screen with logo, "Circle of doom"!!!
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
It may take longer to boot from the system DVD do you hear it working?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No!!!
Disc only made a noise for a few seconds, then nothing.
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Not good there may be a hardware failure. Ok try again but this time just hold the Shift key until you see the Apple logo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Something is happening!!!
Apple logo...'Circle of doom"...Underneath a bar, slowly filling up!!!

Bar filled up...Then disappeared...Now what?
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
OK it is in Safe Mode let it go it is checking the disk and trying to repair.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Okay!!!
But still the Apple logo. "Revolving circle of doom", and "NO" noise from the disc!!!

Is it still repairing itself...Given that the screen is still the same?
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
It could be yes it is not using the system disk, give it 15 minutes
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We're knocking on 25 minutes....Still nothing new...Same old screen...Any suggestions?
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
We would need to start up from the system disk to see what is going on but I would guess the hard drive is too corrupt to fix that way or the power outage caused some other kind of hardware failure. Do you have an aircan to try to blow out any dust that might be in the drive?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Tried that!
Still the same...I don't understand how one minute my computer is fine, and the next, total system breakdown...Let alone all the valuable data i have stored on there!!!

What next?
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
When the electricity goes off abruptly as the computer is writing to disk or erasing, etc.. it can be disastrous as it makes the disk's directory corrupt. Try this so we can at least see what is happening.

Start up your computer in single-user mode to reach the command line.
1. Shut down your Mac if it is on.
2. Press the power button to start the computer.
3. Immediately press and hold the Command (Apple) key and the "s" key for single-user mode. (Command-S)
You have successfully entered single-user mode when you see white text appear on the screen.

At the command-line prompt type: 

/sbin/fsck -fy

Press Return. fsck will go through five "phases" and then return information about your disk's use and fragmentation. Once it finishes, it'll display this message if no issue is found:
** The volume (name_of_volume) appears to be OK 
If fsck found issues and has altered, repaired, or fixed anything, it will display this message:
***** FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED ***** 
Important: If this message appears, repeat the fsck command you typed in step 2 until fsck tells you that your volume appears to be OK (first-pass repairs may uncover additional issues, so this is a normal thing to do).

When fsck reports that your volume is OK, type reboot at the prompt and then press Return.
Your computer should start up normally and allow you to log in.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Okay!!!
Did as instructed...

Got the HD is okay, Volume is ok. Typed "Reboot"....Just waiting now....

Back to same screen!!!

Apple logo, and "Revolving circle of doom"....How long should this take?
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Ok there is something else wrong then you will need to boot from that disk and try a reinstall. If you can't with the internal drive you will need to try an external DVD drive or take it in to Apple. Sorry wish I had better news.

Put the Snow Leopard disk in and restart holding down the letter C key until you see the Apple logo. When you get to the install screen DO NOT INSTALL, you will see at the top of the screen a Utilities menu drop down. Go the Disk Utility, when it opens select your drive on the left and select Verify Disk if OK also repair Permissions. If not OK try to Repair if Repair completes then Repair Permissions. Then quit Disk Utility and then you will see the install screen . Install choosing the option to Archive and Install if you don't have that option just install. Restart and run Software Update until no more updates are available. Let me know.

NO Answer is final, PLEASE DO NOT Rate to Finish unless this Answer is correct and you are satisfied. If so then you can Accept and Rate my Service. If it does not solve your problem, please Reply to Expert and let me know, I am here until we can fix the problem.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The Snow Leopard disc is still in the drive, and i obviously cannot strike a key function to retrieve it!
What next?
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Not sure what you mean. Restart and hold the mouse button to eject the disk.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Okay...Here is where we stand...
Back to square one!!!

Still same screen as when first started...

Everything we have tried has not worked...

I am a school teacher, and my whole years worth of lesson plans are some where on that computer....What if anything can we do next???
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
You need to give me more information please. Did the disk eject?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, the disc did eject...Back to the same ole screen!!!
Sorry i did not pass on that info...Just a little frustrated...Not at you, but the computer!!!
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
I understand your frustration but I already told you what you have to do. You HAVE to get it to boot from the Snow Leopard disk or take it in to Apple, even if I was standing next to you that is what I would suggest:

If you can't with the internal drive you will need to try an external DVD drive or take it in to Apple. Sorry wish I had better news.

Put the Snow Leopard disk in and restart holding down the letter C key until you see the Apple logo. When you get to the install screen DO NOT INSTALL, you will see at the top of the screen a Utilities menu drop down. Go the Disk Utility, when it opens select your drive on the left and select Verify Disk if OK also repair Permissions. If not OK try to Repair if Repair completes then Repair Permissions. Then quit Disk Utility and then you will see the install screen . Install choosing the option to Archive and Install if you don't have that option just install. Restart and run Software Update until no more updates are available. Let me know.

Mike, Mac Medic
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 6591
Experience: Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
Mike and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Sorry I forgot one thing, thank you, try this:

Resetting the SMC & PRAM for Mac Pro, Intel-based iMac, Intel-based Mac mini, or Intel-based Xserve

1. Shut down the computer.
2. Unplug the computer's power cord.
3. Wait fifteen seconds.
4. Attach the computer's power cord.
5. Wait five seconds, then press the power button to turn on the computer.
6. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.
7. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts.
8. Release the keys. 

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Managed to load the Snow Leopard disc...
Got to the point where "Repair permissions"...

It said...'1 Hour 11 minutes....

Then it froze again!!!!!!!
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
If Verify Disk was ok just let it go. Without a backup I am a little reluctant to say go ahead with reinstall unless that finishes. The time is usually way off.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I give in!!!
Tried everything.

Back to the same ole' screen!!!

Don't know what else to do?
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Did you reinstall?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Tried to reinstall...Nothing happening.
It was going great until I clicked onto 'Repair Permissions". It then said 1 hour 11 minutes to finish....And then it just froze.
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Ok try again but this time if Verify Disk is Ok skip Repair Permissions and just quit Disk Utility and reinstall 10.6 restart and run Software Update.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Will do...If it will let me reload the disc???
Must have tried 20 times...Only once has it come to fruition.

Will keep trying, until i decide to throw the computer!!!;)
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Don't do that, please. LOL
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Okay....
Mac installer screen came up ....What next?

Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Just install, then run Software update after restart
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Installing....Will keep you posted!!!
44 minutes and counting down.
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
OK my fingers are crossed but I wish you had a backup please get one in future. Let me know
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
When you mean "Backup", what do you specifically mean?
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
I mean you need a backup of your computer to be safe you know about backup correct?
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
You should get a Mac formatted external drive at least twice as large as your internal drive and use Time Machine as a backup system. Let me know if you need help with that.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm Using my main computer to ask you these questions, but my work computer..(With ALL my lesson plans for teaching) is the one that's giving me grief. Both are i-Mac's!!!
Let's try and fix the one computer right now!!!

Okay...Disc reloaded...At Language question...Now next step?
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Sorry had to take the dog out. I thought you already reinstalled? Where are you at?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Language question?
Want this time to count!!!
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
I don't know what you mean. Can you clarify?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Disc has loaded..."Install Mac OSX" has appeared...Now what?
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Just choose your language and install, run software update after.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Did that a while ago...During installation...it stopped saying it could not install?
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
That helps, thanks. That was the exact message?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Don't understand?
Have tried to load Snow leopard....Did not install...

Tried Disc utility..repair permissions...Froze...

Next try?
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Sorry then you have a hardware problem you need to take it in for repair. Nothing more you can do on your own.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your help.
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Ok good luck sorry I wish I could help you more at this point.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Hi John, Thank you for your expertise and, more important, for your kindness because they make me, almost, look forward to my next computer problem. After the next problem comes, I'll be delighted to correspond again with you. I'm told that I excel at programing. But system administration has never been one of my talents. So it's great to have an expert to rely on when the computer decides to stump me. God bless, Bill Bill M. Schenectady, New York
< Last | Next >
  • Hi John, Thank you for your expertise and, more important, for your kindness because they make me, almost, look forward to my next computer problem. After the next problem comes, I'll be delighted to correspond again with you. I'm told that I excel at programing. But system administration has never been one of my talents. So it's great to have an expert to rely on when the computer decides to stump me. God bless, Bill Bill M. Schenectady, New York
  • The Expert answered my Mac question and was patient. He answered in a thorough and timely manner, keeping the response on a level that could understand. Thank you! Frank Canada
  • My Expert answered my question promptly and he resolved the issue totally. This is a great service. I am so glad I found it I will definitely use the service again if needed. One Happy Customer New York
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Mike

    Mac Medic

    Satisfied Customers:

    6256
    Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/macthelife/2009-10-20_1899_mikesebaharsquare64.jpg Mike's Avatar

    Mike

    Mac Medic

    Satisfied Customers:

    6256
    Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AS/ashiknasameen/2012-5-15_141836_final2.64x64.jpg Ashik's Avatar

    Ashik

    Mac Helper

    Satisfied Customers:

    5282
    7+ Years of Experience in troubleshooting Macs, iPhone, iPad, iPod etc
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DP/dpean/2012-6-6_172828_avatorme1.64x64.JPG Daniel's Avatar

    Daniel

    Mac Genius

    Satisfied Customers:

    4670
    Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VI/vinodvmenon2005/1.64x64.jpg Vinod Menon's Avatar

    Vinod Menon

    Support Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2068
    worked as a Tech support Associate for Apple products
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/beboo/2011-1-14_201648_n5063313142021801763.64x64.jpg Brandon M.'s Avatar

    Brandon M.

    Mac Support Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1501
    10+ Years Mac Support as contractor and currently an IT Manager for law firm
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MA/MacDruid/IMG_0232.64x64.JPG John T. F.'s Avatar

    John T. F.

    Mac Druid

    Satisfied Customers:

    1408
    20+ years in the computer/Mac industry
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MA/MacHelpdesk/1d2d506.64x64.jpg David's Avatar

    David

    Mac Support Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1236
    BSc, H.Dip, Apple Certified