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John T. F.
John T. F., Mac Druid
Category: Mac
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Experience:  20+ years in the computer/Mac industry
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MacBook Air- cannot startup via startup manager i.e.. tried

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MacBook Air- cannot startup via startup manager i.e.. tried with option keys. It cannot boot.
Hello! My name isXXXXX will work diligently to provide accurate advice and information.

What do you see on screen when attempting to boot?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dear XXXXX, than you for your reply. My problem is slight complicated. I am acting on behalf of my wife - her Macbookair she is far away at other country where the internet connection is poor; according to her it shows ? or and could not see the MacHDD when she tried to reboot/restart with option key.

Okay, thanks. Can you tell me if you know what version of OS X might be installed on it or when the MB Air was purchased?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

it was bought 24 Oct 2012. MacAir 13.3/1.8/4/128 flash. ?snow lion


If you shut off and then restart, holding down the OPTION key... I understand the Macintosh HD does not appear - do any other volumes show up?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

two things happened

1. Mac HDD does not appear... it only showed connecting network connection

2. when the external back up portable drive was connected it was shown on the screen but not the main Mac HDD. There was no other option so when this external drive was chosen the screen went to black and small circle was rolling.


Also tried boot from MacX Mac HDD cannot be chosen even try with (X) key

Restart the Mac

As soon as you hear the startup chime, press and hold the following keys;


Hold them until you hear the chime a second time and then release the keys and allow the Mac to boot. Any difference?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i do not think this has been tried yet.

Okay, please try the above. If that does not work...

Shut down the Mac.

Plug in the power adapter to a power source, connecting it to the Mac if its not already connected.

On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.

Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.

Press the power button to turn on the Mac.

Try booting with the option key again to see if Macintosh HD or the Recovery partition appear.

If not, try then next;

Restart the Mac

As soon as you hear the startup chime, press COMMAND + R + OPT.

Continue to hold until you see the progress indicator.

Wait for “OS X Utilities” menu to appear (DO NOT CHOOSE TO INSTALL)

Choose Disk Utility from the available options.

In Disk Utility, see if your internal hard drive appears.

If you go through all the above and nothing works and you can not see the internal drive then I'm sorry to report but the answer is that you are experiencing a physical defect with the computer.

When troubleshooting hardware issues, sometimes the final diagnosis is that it is a physical defect in nature and the ‘answer’ such as in this case may be a recommendation to seek out repair from an authorized service center if the defect in question is not considered “user repairable”. This may be a frustrating answer and I do sympathize but please don't shoot the messenger.

If you continue to have questions on this topic, just reply back to this discussion. I will be more than happy to work with you further. Hopefully, this info will answer your question. If so please, please remember that when you are asked to give a rating, you are rating my personal service only and not this website itself or your issue.

Thanks and good luck,

John T. F. and 3 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for you help. It is quite difficult to contact my wife who is now at Myanmar where the internet connection is poor as well as telephone lines (both land line & mobile). I am acting on her behalf. I will pass your steps to her and see what happen. I will let you know the outcome.

with best wishes.


You are very welcome! If you get down to the final option of needing to use COMMAND + R + OPT then she will need access to a wifi network in order to try the procedure out.

Don't hesitate to reply back with further questions, as needed.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i will add it to her.

Thanks again.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dear John,

The MacBookAir is still not working. We will take it to Apple shop when she comes back from Myanmar as there is no Apple shop there. Thank you for your help. The problem is now beyond our reach and nothing we can do more. Now she is using USB stick as temporary HDD until it repairs.

with best wishes.


Thanks for the update. Sorry you did not have better luck but at least she has a temporary solution until repairs can be made.

I enjoyed working with you – please feel free to request me again at any time when you come back to ask another Apple-related question. I can assist with a myriad number of issues, including speed or performance improvements, hardware or software updates, new device/software recommendations and other frustrations you may experience in the future.

I can be reached directly via the following page:


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