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Michelle
Michelle, Mac Technician
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 982
Experience:  Apple Computers and Mobile support with 12 years of exp.
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Unable to open my MacBook Air. Grey screen with the logo and

This answer was rated:

Unable to open my MacBook Air. Grey screen with the logo and sinning circle underneath. Tried shutting down and restarting several times.

Appleologist :

Hi, and welcome to JustAnswer! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am excited to get started with you.


Before we get started, it is important to understand it may take more than one step or answer to solve a problem. If my answers do not work or if you are not satisfied, please do not Rate my answer bad/negatively. Instead, Reply back to me by clicking the “Continue Conversation” or “Reply” button. Remember, only Rate answers after you are 100% Satisfied. Ok, let’s get started!

Appleologist :

We will first try to reset your PRAM.



1.Shut down the computer.


2.Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command (⌘), Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.


3.Turn on the computer.


4.Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears. Let computer chime 4 times


5.Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.


6.Release the keys.



Please let me know if that didn't work, so we can continue troubleshooting


Appleologist :

I will stand by while you try those instructions

Customer: Tried three times. One chime, then goes dark, thes another chime, grey comes on with spinning circle
Customer: Tried three times. Chime, then grey screen, then goes dark, another chime grey screen back on with spinning circle
Appleologist :

When computers have trouble booting up, some possible causes are Hard drive failure or a corrupt operating system. We are going to determine which one it is.


Turn your Mac off. Turn it back on and this time hold down the Command key (right next to space bar button) and the S keys at the same time. Then type the following command...



/sbin/fsck -fy (note the space between fsck and -fy)



If you can't run /sbin/fsck - fy then type only fsk - fy



Hit return and the disk utility should run and let it finish. When it finishes and there is no error, then type reboot and hit return. Let the Mac boot up. (Disk Utility will fix all system errors, bad preferences files etc)

Customer: Tried three times. Chime, then grey screen, then dark, then chime, grey screen and spinning circle
Appleologist :

I will stand by while you try putting your computer into single user mode

Customer: Does not work.
Appleologist :

Were you able to boot to a black screen?

Customer: Yes
Appleologist :

When you typed in


/sbin/fsck -fy what happend?

Customer: Can't type anything in. I can't get beyond the spinning circle!!
Appleologist :

Lets try a different route. What operating system are you running?

Customer: I am a novice at this and do not know
Appleologist :

I understand, I will do my best to assit you. When did you purchase your computer?

Customer: Three years ago.
Appleologist :

Have you ever updated your operating system?

Customer: No
Appleologist :

I assume you no longer have the install disk too correct?

Customer: Correct. I am trying to read the serial number now. It is. W88331ACY (and either 5 or a cap S)
Appleologist :

Ok. Can you press and hold the power button until the computer powers off. Let me know when the machine is off

Customer: Off
Appleologist :

Press the power button and immediately press and hold Command+ S (the command key is located right next to the space bar) Press both buttons until a black screen appears

Customer: Got it -screen full of info
Appleologist :

Ok, now type in the following command.


/sbin/fsck -fy (note the space between fsck and -fy)


Press return


Your computer will now check to see if your hard drive is ok. This can take some time

Customer: Thank you - I'm on hold!
Appleologist :

Ok, let me know when it is done checking your computer

Appleologist :

How is it going so far?

Customer: Still the same screen full of info.
Appleologist :

At the bottom of the screen, does it appear to be checking anything

Customer: No movement at all since it downloaded all the info.
Appleologist :

Can you read me the last line on the page?

Customer: scam.apple.launchd 1 com.apple.launched l.System 2 The System boots rapper. Has crashed: Trace/BPT trap
Appleologist :

it should look simular to this


Full Size Image

Customer: Nope.
Appleologist :

When you typed in


/sbin/fsck -fy did you remember to put a space between fsck and -fy?

Customer: Just re-entered it.
Appleologist :

When you hit enter, do you now see


**Checking

Customer: No.
Appleologist :

Ok, we will need to start again. Please remember the space between fsck and -fy)


1.Turn your Mac off. Turn it back on and hold down the Command key (right next to space bar button) and the S keys at the same time. Then type the following command...



/sbin/fsck -fy (note the space between fsck and -fy)

Appleologist :

hit return

Customer: Done.
Appleologist :

Ok, allow the computer to check your system

Customer: OK - grey with spinning circle. Is that OK?
Appleologist :

Did this happen after you typed in /sbin/fsck -fy ?

Customer: Yes
Appleologist :

So the computer ran a system check and then rebooted?

Customer: It's done nothing.
Appleologist :

Hmm that is strange. Lets try to boot into safe mode. This will take some time to boot and you will see a solid progress bar underneath the apple logo.


1.Make sure your computer is powered off.


2.Press the power button. Immediately after you hear the startup tone, press and hold the Shift key.


3.Release the Shift key when you see the gray Apple and progress indicator.


4.Let the Mac boot up...(This can take some time)

Customer: Done.
Appleologist :

Did the progress bar show up under the apple logo ?

Customer: The only thing under themlogomismyhe spinning circle. Is that the progress bar?
Appleologist :

No it should look like this

Full Size Image

Customer: Not happening
Appleologist :

When you booted your computer, did you immediately hold down the command and shift key?

Customer: Sorry - you only said the Shift key. I'll go back and do it again.
Appleologist :

Im sorry, it is just the shift key that needs to be pressed

Customer: Nope - circle again
Appleologist :

Ok lets try one more time

Appleologist :

As soon as you hear the chime

Appleologist :

Press and hold only the shift key until you see the apple logo

Customer: OK. Again with just the shift key...................circle again
Appleologist :

Ok so it appears that your computer may have issues with the hard drive. Do you have a backup?

Customer: Do not think so but have an IT guy who set it all up - he probably does
Appleologist :

When you unpacked your macbook air, do you remember seeing a small jump drive?

Customer: That was almost three years ago. The same guy did it when I had my company. Do not have a clue
Appleologist :

Since your computer does not boot because of the hard drive or the operating system, we will need the installation drive to boot to. This will allow us to troubleshoot further. None of the steps we tried so far are working which leads me to believe there may be in issue with your hard drive

Customer: So.
Customer: Next step?
Appleologist :

We can try one more time to put your computer into single user mode and type in a different command. If that does not work, we will defiantly need the installation disk. If you can not find it, you will then need to take your computer to your local apple store where you can use their install disk.


1. Shut down the computer


2. Power it back on and this time hold down the Command (⌘) key and the S keys at the same time.


3. type only fsk - fy

Customer: Done
Appleologist :

Does it look like your computer is scanning for anything?

Customer: No
Appleologist :

try /sbin/fsck -fy



hit return

Customer: Done
Appleologist :

anything happening?

Customer: Nothing
Appleologist :

It looks like your hard drive is failing or has failed. Or may just need a simple re-installation. How far is the nearest apple store from your home?

Customer: Not far. I'll try them
Appleologist :

Ok best of luck. Im sorry for the not so great news. I will also follow up with you in 2 days to see if you were able to obtain an installation disk

Customer: Thanks. Good try
Michelle and 3 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Hi John,


I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Were you able to get your operating system re-installed or Hard drive replaced?


Let me know,
Michelle
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Michelle,


 


Thanks for the follow-up. My tech friend downloaded everything to a hard drive, wiped the laptop clean, re-installed all the data and I now have a hard drive attached that is backing up everything.


 


Working well, although when the hard drive goes again, it's time to buy a new one.


 


Thanks for the time spent.


 


John

Awesome to hear! I am glad it worked out just fine :)

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