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jstinehelfer, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 649
Experience:  A+ Comptia Certified computer repair 2 years Apple Tech Support
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Hey John. I have a Macbook Pro 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo that has

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Hey John. I have a Macbook Pro 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo that has Snow Leopard. I recently had the computer crash and now I'm stuck on the grey startup screen with the apple logo. My guess is that something happened with the boot partition of the drive, so I tried using the installer disk to boot the system. I put it in the computer, held down C, and now I can hear the disc say ”english” and then the music starts playing, but the screen is still the grey apple screen. Any ideas?

jstinehelfer :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be glad to help you today

jstinehelfer :

Have you tried to boot to safe mode?

jstinehelfer :

Holding the shift key down while it boots up?

jstinehelfer :

If you cannot boot to safe mode or boot to the CD then there is one last effort.

Customer: I've tried those to no avail.
jstinehelfer :

Booting in Single User Mode and Running fsck -fy
(this process seems to change a bit with updates, check the linked Apple articles carefully for more info):

"fsck" (file system check) is a start-up Unix utility ran from the command line.
Here is Apple's technical article on running FSCK -FY.

Apple tech article states that Disk Utility Repair Disk is the same as running as fsck, yet many users have said they prefer fsck -fy from a Shut Down.

In the linked Apple tech article, Apple states, "Important: If you're using Mac OS X 10.4 or later, you should use Disk Utility instead of fsck, whenever possible."

In any case, we do NOT need an Apple boot Install CD or DVD to run fsck -fy.

Here's how to do fsck -fy:

  1. Shut Down Mac completely, Restart your Mac in single-user mode (after pressing power on button, immediately press and hold down the Command and S keys until white text begins to scroll on black screen. In a few more seconds, the Unix command line prompt ending in (:/ root#).

  2. At that prompt, type /sbin/fsck -fy (fsck space minus fy).

  3. Press Enter or Return key to execute the command.

  4. Text will start updating the progress...if there is damage, the final line will say ***** FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED *****.

  5. If you see that message, REPEAT Steps 2 and 3 again until that message no longer appears. Having to run fsck more than once is normal, because the first run's repairs may uncover additional problems.

  6. The end should read: "The volume <name of disk> appears to be OK."

  7. Then type "exit" or "reboot" then press Return or Enter to boot back off the hard drive.

Customer: Just completed that last step and nothing has changed.
jstinehelfer :

you was able to get to the white screen with letters and enter the command?

Customer: Yes
jstinehelfer :

Have you shutdown the computer. Then unplug the power cable. Press the power button for up to a minute to drain all the power to it. Then plug in the power cable and boot up the computer. Still try to boot to your Apple OSX disk so you can run Disk Repair.

Customer: Trying that now
Customer: It just ejected the disc and nothing changed.
jstinehelfer :

I am not sure what is going on here. Let me open this to another expert and see if they might have the answer. This is an unusual situation.

Customer: Okay thank you.


I’m Rachel, and I’m moderator for this topic. It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you right away, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.

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Thank you,


Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello. I will continue waiting for now. If I can find a solution to the issue on my own, I will let you know. Thank you.


Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX continue to look for a professional to assist you. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance while you wait.




I’m Rachel, and I’m a moderator for this topic. Thank you for your patience, your business is very important to us, we are waiting on another professional with the right expertise to come online. Feel free to let us know if you would like us to continue searching for a professional or if you would like us to close your question. We appreciate your understanding!



Hello again,

I am sorry it has taken so long to get any help. I spent the last hour trying to find a way to overcome booting to the DVD so you can run Disk Utility. I was not able to find a solution. Then I did come across a work around.

If you have two mac computers you can use Target Mode. Which will bring up the HD of the bad computer and have it show up in the other mac computer. Then you can actually run Disk Utility from the good mac to fix the HD on the bad mac.

Here is a link for you to use for instructions.
click the link above.

You will need a firewire cable to connect the two mac computers together.

Let me know if this works for you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I haven't had a chance to try this yet. I will get a firewire cable from work and try this out. Fingers crossed!
Keep me posted on the outcome. Thanks for the update.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I successfully was able to access the hard drive in target mode. I did a backup of the drive and ran the disk utility to repair the drive. When all was finished, I rebooted the computer with the issue, but nothing had changed. I did, however, figure out the issue. I removed one of the RAM cards and the computer booted just fine. Turns out, one of the cards had failed. I'm now going to replace both the cards and upgrade the amount of memory while I'm at it. Thank you so very much for all of your help. This was a strange issue. Should you ever encounter this again, you will definitely have the answer. Thanks!
I would say I agree with you. This was a strange situation.
I am so glad you was able to get it going.
jstinehelfer, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 649
Experience: A+ Comptia Certified computer repair 2 years Apple Tech Support
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