Welcome ,I will give a full and clear answer to your question, please make sure to reply to any questions I have. They may be essential to my reply.
Hi , Sounds like a problem with the system.
Do you have the Mac OS install DVD?
you can also do the below to see if any problems are fixed :
A safe boot can help fix any Mac HD errors,Turn off the Mac .Power on the Mac .Hold shift on the keyboard using a "USB keyboard or for laptops use the built in keyboard , while powering on the Mac just after the chime and starting up keep holding the Shift key , this should boot to safe mode.Once booted to safe mode , restart and boot as normal .Full details here :-http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1455
Ok stuck in the Computer , to eject , power on and hold left mouse button .
The disk should eject .
you can use a usb mouse , any PC mouse etc will do.
Or try to boot to DVD. hold C on power up .
yes if you have buttons hold the left one .
holding c does not boot the mac?
can you try eject the CD . hold left click power on .
click the left side of it .
can you check the DVD is clean?
is it the correct install DVD?
disk 1 is normally .
what OSX version is it ?
yes and a number . 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 ?
or a name , tiger , leoaprd etc .
10.4 ok tiger. is this the dvd that came with the mac . its quite old .
clean is good .
do you know if the CD drive worked last time used?
please keep the dvd as side for the moment , and try a safe boot .
power off , power on while holding the shift key .
keep holding shift .
note , not the caps lock button .
ok . on screen?
do you get apple logo ?
and chime ?
ok good .
please try a pram reset .
Lets try resetting your Mac's PRAM and NVRAM:Please follow the full guide for your Mac :-http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379?viewlocale=en_US
the below .
Shut down the computer.
Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously on power on.
keep holding till you hear a second chime .
that resets the pram.
did it chime twice ?
ok reset is ok .
is the battery removable ?
please do the below :
To reset the SMC ,1 Turn off the computer and disconnect the power.2 Remove the battery and then hold down on the power button for 5 seconds.
3 Reinstall the battery and turn the computer back on.
once done , replace battery , replace power .
disconnect any other USB hubs etc , just the mac only .
we will try booting to command line .
Power on the Mac as normal , but as soon as you hear the Startup chime hold the Command S keys.
You'll get a Unix command line after a short wait .
any luck ?
next to the space bar .
yes . apple or clover leaf key also .
Sounds like a hardware issue .
You can remove the ram and refit it , see if it makes a change .
Otherwise I think the Mac is having a bad day .
ok , your mac data should be fine
it can be recovered quite easy .
Lets see if you can boot target disk mode .
Power on hold T .
Ok it the mac in target mode ?
ok , thats good , if you have a second mac?
yes the firewire icon .
no second mac ?
ok well , target mode is possible but youd need a mac to gain access to the data .
when the mac is in target mode .
you can then , and then only connect a firewire lead from your mac to another mac.
the mac will show up as an external HD on the working macs desktop .
a firewire lead is like a USB lead .
but its firewire .
You would need to buy the lead so that both ends connect .
you must make sure the connectors on your firewire and the other macs firewire are the same or the lead to you get matches the connectors .
I.e so you can hook it up .
once you have booted target mode , and then only made this connection with the lead , you can use migration assistant . to copy your user to the working mac .
to do this launch migration assistant from the applications , utilities folder on the working mac . pick the Mac HD for the other mac and follow on screen to migrate the Your user from the old mac .
its quite simple .
For now , the only option we have is to try booting to DVD again .
put the DVD in .
then power off the mac , hold power button till powers off .
yes power down , hold power button .
after a few seconds the mac powers off .
once off , power on and hold C down .
holding C , forces boot to the DVD if working normally .
it can take a while to boot .
If you get the same error , it wont boot and has already failed.
keep holding C .
if you can get booted to the DVD please do . We can check the Mac HD .
also forcing target mode , may have reset a glitch .
is the mac booted normally?
if you get it up and running , backup if possible then will will check the disk .
yes turned on normally , i.e working .
ok we may have fixed it .
we should check the mac HD for errors .
does not matter . to check .
we can check via normal boot .
also repair permissions while normal boot is better .
do you know how to ?
ok , you may still have problems .
1 please check how much space is on the Mac HD ?
also empty the trash .
the mac osx install is fualty .
try a safe boot . most easy .
power off .
power on hold shift key till booted .
then we can check the Mac HD for errors .
For Permissions , you can Repair without booting to the Mac OSX startup disk :Open Disk Utilities from the Applications/Utilities folder. click on the Mac HD , click first aid . see lower click repair Permissions .
keep holding .
dont touch anything while booting safe mode , it can take 10mins.
if booting safe mode , a mac HD repair will take place in the back ground while booting , hence taking longer .
its automatic .
hopefully a safe boot will work as the system actually booted normally just now.
yup keep holding , if you suspect its working you can remove your finger :)
this , before?
ok , the Mac HD no doubt has errors and the OSX system may need to be fixed also .
yes , but I think your current one is fixable .
is it still booting to safe mode?
you may be able to hear the HDD working with a close ear .
?? any activity ?
it may sound like crunching and not just spinning.
id wait .
up to 25 mins .
if fails , try once more . or try boot to DVD .
we need to get to the disk tools to check the disk .
2 after the disk is checked and repaired we may need to fix the osx install .
3 if the mac repairs and boots normally , a combo update can be used , downloaded .
4 if does not boot , we need to boot the DVD to fix the OSX install.
repairing the Mac HD does not fix the software on it . i.e OSX .
what error is on screen , multilingual with black
first repair pass may have fixed something . try once more with safe boot.
so power off .
power on hold shift .
try this once more . it may fix somethings , but not all .
after this , we can try booting DVD .
pop in the DVD . try to boot DVD .
power on hold C .
yes , if you miss it , just power off on .
yes with the DVD inserted already .
hold C once it chimes .
C yes . the letter .
once booting CD , you will normally hear the DVD drive working ?
Please power off , then power on holding T .
Once in target mode . power off and hold C .
then power on etc .
try to boot to cd .
just hold c as it chimes
press any startup key as it chimes.
we must try to boot cd anyway we can . or other modes .
it may be worth checking the ram is seated well.
do you have anytools?
does this mac look like yours . ?
you can follow the video , but do not touch the pins as in the video .
simply pull each chip , then replace them as was .
see if the ram ports are in the same place. if so same procedure .
no , just pull them and put them back in again.
the video is just so you can see how to remove them and refit.
doing this ensures the chips are fitted well.
hi just pull them , and put them back , dont touch the pins.
make sure they fit well .
clip in place. etc
if there was a bad joint , it should have been fixed in doing this.
worth checking as the mac has some hardware issue perhaps .
while doing this the mac will also cool down , it may be overheating .
once all back together , please try right away , boot CD . hold C etc .
if it does not boot , try pram again , and then boot CD .
If you cant boot CD , you can try a firewire combo update install .
but youd need the firewire lead .
On the second mac , youd need to download a file :
this file is a OSX install combo , it can help fix the not working mac .
1 boot mac to target mode holding T .
2 download the combo ready on the working mac .
3 with the mac in target mode , connect the firewire lead to the working mac .
4 the taget mac should show as a disk on the working mac .
5 run the combo update , and choose the broke mac or target mac hd to install to.
6 after the install completes follow on screen .
7 once done , power off target mode mac .
8 remove the firewire lead .
9 power on the mac , and hold shift key while booting .
10 see if it worked .
Note : while in target mode hooked up to the working mac you can migrate your user to the working mac .
as to make a backup that you can use on the working mac , log out , log in to your user .
Does that make it clear ?
Basically , its using the working mac to install the combo update to the non working mac . a combo update replaces best part of the OSX system , it does not affect the users data .
I suspect the non working macs system OSX install to be broken .
A combo update should fix it , at least so to get it booted .
booting a mac to target mode , basically turns the mac in to an external HD . hence you should be able to install the combo update , and or migrate your user to the working mac .
the only thing you do need is the correct lead .
ebay is much cheaper than retail for these .
you do need to check both macs firewire ports .
and get the right lead .
as there are two standards with 2 sizes for each .
firewire 400 , and firewire 800 .
also pin sizes , amounts .
if you photo your mac books firewire port , and the mac minis firewire port , I can help choose the lead .
if they are the same , photo just one , and I can help tell what lead you need.
hi no you need to use your mac .
in this chat see the tree button .
better still is the port on the mac working same as on the mac book ?
If you give me the mac ID . on the working mac I can tell here what port it is .
get the mac Id from your working mac.
also check to see if the firewire ports are the same in size etc between the two macs .
you can print the info to show apple.
thats the only way . unless you pull the Mac HD and do same in an external case .
Best thing you can do right now is get the firewire lead from ebay .
what is the ID of the mac that works ?
Sorry I had to step out .
is a 2011 model and has a FireWire 800 port
so can you find the model number or photo of your broke macs FW port ?
if its a macbook , and not a mac book pro . it should have a firewire 400 port .
so you may need to FW400 to 800 lead .
like this one , you can look at the photo to compare the plugs .
the square plug end is FW 800 that fit in the newer macmini .
check the other end looks to fit your macbook