hello my name isXXXXX and I am a Mac expert for over 5 years.....It will be my pleasure to help you diagnose this
i see you have already done a few key steps which rules out a few things...this issue is pointing to a corrupted HD and we can do a few troubleshoot step to verify that....this should tell you exactly what the issue is and save you some frustration
i have a few questions
have you tried booting from the utility cd
are you in front of the laptop now?
would you like for me to doing a few troubleshoot to give you the cause of your issue...i am aware you are on vacation
I cannot promise that, i can however get to the root of the issue as a mac expert and tell you what you need to do to fix it exactly ....
the first thing we will try to do is boot it up in safe mode, have you tried this?
Hold down the Option key while restarting or booting the Mac, and you can choose which operating system you want to use.
which is safe mode
when you choose safe mode? are you sure that is the behavior because that is telling me something
oh goodness...one more thing
restart and hold down c when booting up
tell me what happenes
ok ...this is what is going on...you simply have a corrupted HD....i came with this conclusion because you cannot get to safe mode which bypasses an other issues that is not HD related...Also because you are not able to execute the C command which boots up form you partition....
Solution: first try to insert the utility cd which came with the laptop and hold c while booting up....i want you to try this even though it might not work....this is to rule that option out.....if that doesnt work you will need a new HD
a new hard drive....i would not try to repair an apple hard drive..i will just purchase a new one from online such as ebay
i understand this is frustrating but that solution will ABSOLUTELY get you back in business and running ....
did you ever use your time machine or icloud to do any back ups
if not please visit an apple store to see if they can hook a slave kit up to transfer it
i know how to transfer it but i would need you to log in which we are having an issue with
not completely gone...apple can savage it for you...if its not corrupted to bad.....please dont panic...it can be restore ONLY if its not damaged too bad
i recommend for the future to set up your time machine so it does automatic back up from time to time ...preventing this future issue
not of the top of my head....i only have a range of prices..depending on the gb....the best prices will be at microcenter.com and ebay
its all depending of the specs your a looking for
is there anything else i may assist you with....also i want to thank you in advance for remembering to rate me as that is how i get credit for my assistance
no problem ....i apologize we are unable to fix a bad hard drive
do you really feel i provided you poor service?
i know this is a frustrating time for you and understandably so, but i diagnosed your issue and gave you a solution to fix...i think that warrants an ok service at the least
they is no possible way for me to be able to fix your hd without being there ...i think we both would agree ....
I understand but you have to understand my position as an expert...my job is to fix the issue...but some issues cant be fixed over the internet and some issues are just beyond troubleshooting...such as your issue...its a HD drive,....so if you were in my shoes would you like a negative rating?
its just a reflection of my service...i take pride on giving great service and not walking away with poor service....
you can rate again and the last rating will be recorded
you can choose ok service or good if you like
please by no means im i trying to force you...please do what you think is fair...
no problem i am ok with a good service
its understandable computers can drive us nuts
you too sir