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 Daniel Your Own Question

Daniel
Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4756
Experience:  Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
19098653
Type Your Mac Question Here...
Daniel is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I had a failed update that locked up. I needed to force shutdown

Resolved Question:

I had a failed update that locked up. I needed to force shutdown with the power button. Now the mac book won't complete the boot process. I got the gray prohibited screen. Booted to the Command S and gets repeating still waiting for root device. I dont have the original disk. What can be done to recover without losing the data?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is Dan.
I will do my best to help you, the only stupid question is the unasked one.

The news I have may not be to your liking but it is the best I can offer.

The good news is that as long as the install DVD has the same or newer OS X than what is on the Mac now you can use it.
Retail is best but a grey disk from another Mac can be used if you have a Mac that will boot from it.

Without having another Mac to use to help repair the damage then an installation disk is necessary.

Until you get a useable OS on the drive the best you can hope for is to use it as an external hard drive.
Hold the letter T when starting up, connect it to another computer (Mac is best) and copy your home folder or the users folder to another location. That will save all your data intact.
Then it means you can do what you need to.

Is that helpful?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I remember that the OS was at either 10.5.3 or 10.5.6 before I clicked update. I am updating the computer for one of the elders at my church. I asked if he could find the OS disk and he said he doesn't know where it is. If I download from Apple, what OS should I download? I tried to use a 10.5.6 update disk, but it didn't even boot from that disk when I held C. Are you saying that I need to buy a retail version of the OS?

Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.
Apple has no downloadable OSs other than Mountain Lion. Chances are that Mac will not run Mountain Lion.
Is there another Mac and a firewire cable available?
Finding a Leopard retail DVD will be difficult and if found, expensive.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Negative. I only have PCs available and no firewire cables.

Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.
Then your options are limited. The basic tools needed to fix this are missing.
You said this was for an elder at church, I suggest appealing to the congregation for a Mac user that could help.
I do not know how big the church is but there should be at least 1 Apple techie.
If that person is anything like me they will have all the cables, disks, etc necessary to fix this.
The next best option is having the owner find that install DVD, that is what you need.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Well it appears as though it might take time to get a disk. He definitely doesn't know where the disk is located. How to I get back on this support item when get a disk? I don't want to pay twice for this support call.


 

Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.
That is the easy part, just bookmark or make a favorite of this webpage. It will get right back to me.
Once a disk is located or you find hands on tech please let me know.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The only disks that I was able to find were 10.4.2 and 10.6. Would either of these help?

Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.
Can't hurt, I would try the 10.4.2 first. I am not sure you have an Intel Mac, if so then use the 10,6 disk.


To boot from the installation disc and the Mac is on then start at step #1.

If your Mac is off or will not boot from the hard drive then goto step #3.

1. Insert disc #1, it can be the original that came with your Mac or it can be a retail version newer than the original that came with the Mac.

2. If the disc opens then click on the Install OS X icon, if it does not automatically open then double click the disk icon on the desk top and then click Install OS X.
Your Mac will restart using the install disk.

3. If your Mac is on but will not boot up then insert the installation disk and turn it off by pressing and holding the power until it shuts down.
Now press the power to start it and hold the 'Option' key until the startup manager appears.
If your Mac is off then press the power to start it up, immediately press and hold the 'Option' key for the startup manager.
Insert the disc and click the circle with the arrow to refresh and then select the installation disc to boot from.

Once your Mac is booted from the installation disk the next step is to open Disk Utility.
Click continue at the Language screen, the next screen will be the Welcome to OS X.
At the very top of the screen will be a menubar with 'Utilities', from that drop-down menu select 'Disk Utility'.
graphic
There will be a list of hard drives and optical drives on the left of the window, if your drive is in that list then click on it once to highlight.
Now click on the First Aid tab, at the bottom of the Disk Utility window you will see a button called Repair Disk.
graphic
Select that by clicking on it. It will either return that everything is okay or that some things were wrong and they were repaired or it found something wrong and it can do nothing about it.
If everything checks out okay or if it does the repairs you then want to repair the permissions.
There will be a button close to the list of drives that says Repair Permissions. Click that to selected and give it time.
There may be a long list of permissions that repairs or there may be only a few.
There will also be some that say SUID that will not be repaired if you have 10.5 or above.
Once you have completed this then you can quit Disk Utility and the installer.
Do Not Install Anything.
Simply restart your machine by selecting it from the menu bar.

Try that.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I can't seem to get the mac book to boot from the dvd drive. When I hold option, I do not get the dvd drive as an option.


 

Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.
Sometimes a failed hard drive will cause this.

Two other ways to do it.
Hold the C key and startup.

Or,

Opt + Cmd + Shift + Del

Bypass primary startup volume and seek a different startup volume (such as a CD or external disk)

Try those.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I tried both and each time I get to the same prohibited sign. I never have any other boot devices to choose from.

Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.
One more shot. Remove one stick of RAM and try using the Option key again.
This may have no effect or it may boot.
Next is using another Mac, a firewire cable and Target mode on the sick Mac.
This may let you try repairing the sick drive using the host Mac.
Let me know.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok... I got it to boot from the DVD by inserting the 10.7 USB drive into the Macbook. I ran the disk utility - repair disk. It does not give me the option to repair disk permissions (button grayed out). I rebooted and it still goes to the prohibited screen.

Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.
Ok, that is good so far, now reboot from the USB drive and reinstall OS X. This will give you a new OS but it will do nothing to your data.
Safe it is.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The usb is version 10.7. Is that alright?

Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.
Yes. That will work.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I can't seem to catch a break here. The reinstall shows a screen that states that it needs at least 2 GB of memory. I guess the drive doesn't have that much.

Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.
Did you take out any RAM? I did mention doing that, if so replace it and try again.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I did not remove it.

Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.
Then you will need more RAM. It is cheap, comparatively.
You have not said what Mac you have so I will let you sort that out. Once you match what you have then get as much RAM as you can (more is better).

Then try again. Please keep me posted.
Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4756
Experience: Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
Daniel and 2 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I bought more ram and tried to install 10.7. The install would not let me go from 10.5 to 10.7 so I inserted the 10.6 disk and it was recognized finally. I installed 10.6 and it booted and all of the data was there. Thank you so much for working with me on this issue.

Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.
Happy to have been of service. Not all Intel Macs will run Lion or Mountain Lion, my MBP won't.
It does run 10.6.8 nicely though.
I do suggest updating and repairing permissions, this will help keep things out of trouble.
You are welcome.

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