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 Michelle Your Own Question

Michelle
Michelle, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 750
Experience:  Apple Computers and Mobile support with 10 years of exp.
70409726
Type Your Mac Question Here...
Michelle is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Unable to open my MacBook Air. Grey screen with the logo and

Customer Question

Unable to open my MacBook Air. Grey screen with the logo and sinning circle underneath. Tried shutting down and restarting several times.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Michelle replied 1 year ago.

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, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 750
Experience: Apple Computers and Mobile support with 10 years of exp.
Michelle and 5 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Michelle replied 1 year ago.
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 1 year 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

Expert:  Michelle replied 1 year ago.
Awesome to hear! I am glad it worked out just fine :)

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