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MacBookPRO hangs forever on start up... spinning wheel for every task...


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#1 wingmaker

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 09:50 AM

Hello everyone...

 

My MacBookPRO is old.. 2008.  The OS is up to date -X Maverick.  The computer actually was doing well after I upgraded the OS but about a month or so ago I got the dreaded white screen.  I thought the laptop was toast but then realized that the white screen was only a symptom of  how slow the machine was to start up.  From powering on to fully loaded desktop it takes hours... not kidding!  And every task I want to do.. open a browser or another application... I get the spinning wheel.. and it takes forever but eventually completes the task. 

 

The laptop is old.. I get that and I am ready to replace it with another MAC.  The reason I am here requesting assistance is to try to get the laptop functional enough so I can run a time machine so I can transfer some data to my new MAC. 

 

A word to the wise.. I am not an expert in MACs... I mostly use PC for business.  I just know the basics of the MAC so if I am asked to do any procedure... I may need a little more guidance than a regular MAC user. 

 

Please advise... thanks!!

 

 

LoftyDream


Edited by wingmaker, 31 August 2014 - 09:52 AM.


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#2 staygold512

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 09:47 PM

Try booting your system to Safe Mode first.  1. Shutdown the system 2. restart holding the shift key until you see the Apple logo, then let go of shift key. If you see the progress bar under the Apple logo you timed it right.  Safe Mode is a bit slower. Try removing any startup items from the system preferences. 

 

Apple icon>system preferences > users & groups > above your user picture select login items and remove everything from the list. If you have an antivirus software disable it. Then reboot or try and run a time machine backup in safe mode. 



#3 wingmaker

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 07:01 PM

Hi...

 

Well I tried to get into safe mode but can't.  Here's what happened:

 

I powered on.... depressed the shift key and waited for the apple logo to appear... it came up relatively quickly.  I released the shift key.

 

There was a spinning wheel (gray) and a progress bar below the apple logo.  The progress bar remained blank, the wheel stopped spinning and then the computer shut down.

 

I repeated this twice to make sure it wasn't a fluke.  At this juncture I don't think it's possible operate in safe mode.

 

I wanted to try and get into system preferences via the normal route... but now when I power on.... the system shuts down.  This is new... never happened before.

 

Any other suggestions would be appreciated.  The MacBookPro was operating fine up until about a month ago.  Except for the fan that is... but I have it running atop a chill pad.

 

Thanks!

 

Lofty


Edited by wingmaker, 02 September 2014 - 07:11 PM.


#4 staygold512

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 09:43 AM

Not booting to Safe Mode is not normal and usually a sign of possible HW issues. Here are some other steps you might try. 

 

 Try a SMC & PRAM reset:  http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3964   http://support.apple.com/kb/HT137

 

 

Then Look into running an Apple Hardware Test, the quick test will run 5minutes, I'd advise the extended test 30-40 minutes. Not always 100% accurate, but it can give you an idea if there is a possible HW issues. 
 

  1. Press the power button to turn on your computer.
  2. Press and hold the D key before the gray startup screen appears.
  3. It takes a minute or so for AHT to start up and inspect your hardware configuration


#5 wingmaker

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 12:06 PM

The SMC changed nothing - computer shuts down about a moment after the start up sound, apple icon, grey wheel and progress bar.  Just an FYI - I always use the MacBookPro plugged in, the battery is dead.

 

The link you posted for PRAM reset is not valid.  I went to apple support to search for PRAM reset I got a link for a user guide which I downloaded.  I did the PRAM reset - no change.

 

I tried to run the Apple Hardware Test.... pressed D before the grey screen.  Something odd happened and only for a blink of an eye - there was a "?" that appeared briefly before the apple icon appeared, followed by the grey wheel and progress bar.  I read in the manual that a flashing "?" might be an indication that the computer can't find the system software on the HD. 

 

I have the original Leopard OS disc if there is a need for it but I have since upgraded to Maverick (online download) and have no disc for that.  I also have a disk in the computer at the moment, no clue how to eject with the MacBook powered down.

 

Not looking good... I know.  I don't know if this means anything or not but I usually keep the laptop on and restart it as needed.  This was the first time I actually shut it down completely in a long time and since then, I'm unable to power on. 



#6 Buddyme2

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 03:55 AM

-Reboot the Mac.

-Hold the Command-R keys down when you hear the boot chimes.

-When Recovery loads, you will see a tools window with options to reinstall OS X, recover from backup, Disk Utility, and Safari.

-Choose Disk Utility to Repair Disk.

 

Holding down the trackpad button while rebooting should eject the disc. There are a few other ways to eject a disc from a Mac. If you run a google search you should find them.



#7 wingmaker

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 06:24 PM

Okay roger that... thanks!   Before I proceed however, I've a question to ask you about the Repair Disk Utility.

 

Will I lose any data with the Repair Disc Utility?  It's not as though I have important documentation on that computer but I would like to preserve the Safari/FireFox history, my emails, and photos.  I understand there is a risk of course... what is your opinion?

 

Thanks again for your recommendation.



#8 wingmaker

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 01:25 PM

I followed your directions about Command R (which got my CD out as well) and ran into a snag with the following message: 

 

"Disk Utility can't repair this disk.  Back up as many of your files as possible, reformat the disk, and restore your backed up files."

 

Couldn't proceed beyond this point...

 

Would re-installing the OS X help any?  Or a third party Utility?  Please advise...


Edited by wingmaker, 06 September 2014 - 01:48 PM.


#9 Buddyme2

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 04:16 PM

DiskWarrior repaired the hard drive errors that Disk Utility couldn't on my early 2008 MBP and it's still running fine today. Backup your files if you haven't already because, you might need to format and install OS X if you don't want to pony up the money for DiskWarrior. Either way may not help you though but, it's worth a try IMO.



#10 wingmaker

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 06:25 PM

Thanks for the tip.... I have no problem buying a worthwhile software.  I think it's worth a shot.  That said, how do I install it if I can't operate my MacBookPro?  I'm pretty sure I can't download it but I see there is a DVD option.  So if I loaded the DVD.. that would work?  I'd just like a little clarification since there is not much info on the site and if I'm going to spend the money, I want to know I'll be able to use it.

 

My problem at the moment is my inability to backup files as the computer shuts down following restart and I can't seem to get into safe mode. 

 

Is there anything else I can do to try a backup?  Please advise...

 

I am days away from a new iMac.  Is there a way for me to connect that to my old MacBookPro?  I don't know if there is a point to it, just wondering if there is an option to retrieve my data using that avenue. 

 

Standing by for more information.


Edited by wingmaker, 06 September 2014 - 08:12 PM.


#11 Buddyme2

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 12:43 PM

Thanks for the tip.... I have no problem buying a worthwhile software.  I think it's worth a shot.  That said, how do I install it if I can't operate my MacBookPro?  I'm pretty sure I can't download it but I see there is a DVD option.  So if I loaded the DVD.. that would work?  I'd just like a little clarification since there is not much info on the site and if I'm going to spend the money, I want to know I'll be able to use it.

 

My problem at the moment is my inability to backup files as the computer shuts down following restart and I can't seem to get into safe mode. 

 

Is there anything else I can do to try a backup?  Please advise...

 

I am days away from a new iMac.  Is there a way for me to connect that to my old MacBookPro?  I don't know if there is a point to it, just wondering if there is an option to retrieve my data using that avenue. 

 

Standing by for more information.

Using Target Disk Mode you can transfer files to the new iMac if the MBPs HDD shows up on the iMacs Desktop. You will need Firewire 800 cable, like this one here, and a thunderbolt to Firewire adapter as the new iMacs don't have firewire ports. Right after transferring your files, run DiskWarrior from the iMac to try and repair the MBPs HDD.



#12 wingmaker

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 01:15 PM

Sorry for the delay... I just received my iMac today.  I read online that I might also be able to connect my iMac to my MBP via ethernet cable or wireless. 

 

I powered on the MBP and the only way for me to keep it powered on is to do the Command-R process and get into the Utility mode.  I had both computers hooked up with an ethernet cable and the migration assistant on the iMac could not find my MBP.  The MBP doesn't show up on the desktop or in the network.  Same result for the wireless, as I was able to get the MBP connected via airport. 

 

Given the above information, do you still think the Target Disk Mode will work? 

 

"FireWire target disk mode allows a Macintosh computer with a FireWire port (the target computer) to be used as an external hard disk connected to another computer (the host). Once a target computer is started up as a FireWire hard disk and is available to the host computer, you can copy files to or from that volume."

 

So the MBP is the target computer and my new iMac is the host, correct?  If I can only start up and run my MBP in utility mode, will this still work?  My guess is if the MBP couldn't be found via ethernet cable, TDM won't work.

 

I had a friend of mine send my this link as a possible alternate method.  Could you please share your opinion on this method, given my situation with starting up and running the MBP. 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-SuperSpeed-Docking-Station/dp/B0099TX7O4/ref=lp_160354011_1_8/183-8035789-4980345?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1410126641&sr=1-8

He says I could clone my current MBP HD to a new one, then fix the old one if that's at all possible.  If not I still had a new HD with all my data transferred and best case scenario I can repair the old HD as well so I'd have a spare.  Is this a viable alternative?  Please advise.



#13 wingmaker

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 02:52 PM

Hi.. it's been 5 days since my last post and I'd like just that final piece of information/advice before I can commit to and proceed with a fix.  Please advise.. thanks!



#14 Buddyme2

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 05:59 PM

Sorry for the delay... I just received my iMac today.  I read online that I might also be able to connect my iMac to my MBP via ethernet cable or wireless. 

 

I powered on the MBP and the only way for me to keep it powered on is to do the Command-R process and get into the Utility mode.  I had both computers hooked up with an ethernet cable and the migration assistant on the iMac could not find my MBP.  The MBP doesn't show up on the desktop or in the network.  Same result for the wireless, as I was able to get the MBP connected via airport. 

 

Given the above information, do you still think the Target Disk Mode will work? 

 

"FireWire target disk mode allows a Macintosh computer with a FireWire port (the target computer) to be used as an external hard disk connected to another computer (the host). Once a target computer is started up as a FireWire hard disk and is available to the host computer, you can copy files to or from that volume."

 

So the MBP is the target computer and my new iMac is the host, correct?  If I can only start up and run my MBP in utility mode, will this still work?  My guess is if the MBP couldn't be found via ethernet cable, TDM won't work.

 

I had a friend of mine send my this link as a possible alternate method.  Could you please share your opinion on this method, given my situation with starting up and running the MBP. 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-SuperSpeed-Docking-Station/dp/B0099TX7O4/ref=lp_160354011_1_8/183-8035789-4980345?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1410126641&sr=1-8

He says I could clone my current MBP HD to a new one, then fix the old one if that's at all possible.  If not I still had a new HD with all my data transferred and best case scenario I can repair the old HD as well so I'd have a spare.  Is this a viable alternative?  Please advise.

Sorry for the delay.

Yes, the MBP is the target computer. You need to start it up using the Command + T keys, not the Command + R keys, in order to transfer files using the Target Disk Mode feature to your new iMac.



#15 wingmaker

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 03:20 PM

Hi... actually my question was more like which transfer solution would be best... if I purchase the accessories for the TDM and the MBP doesn't show up on my desk top.. it won't work, right?

 

I was wondering if the alternate solution is viable in your opinion.  It does involve my getting into the MBP and removing the HD but I'm comfortable with that. 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-SuperSpeed-Docking-Station/dp/B0099TX7O4/ref=lp_160354011_1_8/183-8035789-4980345?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1410126641&sr=1-8

With this device, could I clone my current MBP HD to a new one, then fix the old one if that's at all possible.  If not I still had a new HD with all my data transferred and best case scenario I can repair the old HD as well so I'd have a spare.  Is this a viable alternative?  Please advise.  Thanks!


Edited by wingmaker, 17 September 2014 - 03:21 PM.





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