Released October 2008 / 2.4, 2.53, 2.66, 2.8 or 2.93 GHz Core 2 Duo Processor

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Why won't my MacBook Pro finish booting up?

I had to shut down my MacBook because it was frozen with a black screen (I could see the mouse arrow but nothing else & the mouse was frozen). Upon restarting it asked if I wanted to open the applications that were open when it shut down. I chose yes and it proceeded to login but nothing opened, the desktop items did not load, even the menu & dock wouldn't load. So I shut it down again, let it completely cool off & restarted. This time when it asked to reopen the applications I chose no but now it is stuck with the error message still open & the wheel spinning.

What has caused this problem & how can I resolve it without losing everything on my computer? Thanks

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First, run ASD/AHT to determine if it is hardware or software problem


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Do you have access to a second Mac? If you do see if you can connect your system to it in Target Disk Mode. In this case we're trying to get to the drive to first salvage anything important. Then, Run Disk Utility from your other system on the drive to see if the disk is having a problem.

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I discovered my personal files actually were backed up so I ran disk utility and there were no problems reported.

I reinstalled the OS X but now it is stuck after the install during the restart.

Any suggestions?


Thats not surprising, Disk Utility running on the active boot drive won't tell you much ;-{ You'll need to create a bootable external disk (USB thumb drive will do) if you don't have access to a second Mac. Then using it as your boot disk. Think of it this way, If you go to a cobbler to fix your shoe you need to take it off for them to fix it right? Thats the same issue here we need to isolate the drive. By booting up under a different disk we have functionally done that so Disk Utility (the cobbler here) is able to see more fully the disks structure as well as fix minor problems.

But it sounds like its too late to do that if you can't boot up now. If you have a friend who has a Mac you could try creating a boot disk off of your friends Mac.

In the mean time you'll need to get a SATA to USB adapter like this one: StarTech - USB 3.0 to SATA Adapter Cable. That way you could try connecting your internal drive externally as I suspect your internal drive cable could be bad. Using this adapter we can isolate out if it's the cable or the drive its self.


I also suspect a posible bad hard drive cable. Booting from an external drive will help with your diagnostics on both the and the cable. Bad cables can cause hard drive corruption.


Patience is a virtue. I waited for it to finish booting up overnight and it seems to be running slightly better now but still very slow.

I do not have access to a second Mac.

Since my files are backed up, would it be a good idea to replace the hard drive and hard drive cable? Or just wipe the hard drive and replace the cable?


If you can, create a bootable USB thumb drive so you can run Disk Utility so you can diagnose things better here. I'd hate to have you replace things you don't need to.

But, if that is the direction you want to go ... I would replace both the drive and the cable.


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