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Unibody MacBook Pro models with 13" displays produced from 2009-2012.

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Black Screen with Cursor after Login

I recently discovered there was a malware on my mac, which I have always ran with just fine since I got it new in early 2011. I downloaded Malwarebytes for Mac and deleted all the threats.

When loading, it will go through all the normal procedures, and even give me my proper login window, but once I enter my password, I get a black screen ( still lit up ) with just a cursor. If I press the power button, I still get the sleep/restart/shutdown/etc window. But other than that, it's just black.

I have tried the following:

-Booting in recovery mode and repairing the disk

-Booting in single user mode to mount/delete the three files

-Booting in safe mode. I get the same result and booting normally, except my screen will flicker when going into the login screen, and transitioning to the black screen after login.

-Resetting PRAM and SMC

I am running on OS X Yosemite currently. It is not my main computer, but I use it for all of my photoshop projects.

Is completely formatting my Mac my only option at this point? And, if so, how do I retrieve my files - or can I - before doing so? A lot of my files at this point is also on my PC that I use on a regular basis, but I have a few .psd templates that I would like to hold onto if at all possible.

I will be glad to provide additional information if needed -- I cannot find how to find my system specs in recovery mode to get that for reference.

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It seems that whenever malwarebytes removed the virus it might have taken a part of the os with it or the virus may have had a fail safe that changes a setting if removed, although resetting the PRAM and SMC should have fixed that.

Have you plugged the mac into another monitor?

A reinstall maybe isn't a bad idea at this point*, and don't worry your files are retrievable, there are two ways of doing this:

One is through the console in recovery mode and will require navigating and moving files through the terminal using the commands cd and mv. And move the files and folders you want to keep to a usb stick or external HDD.

The other is to remove the HDD/SSD from the device. We have guides for that. Once removed you'll need a sata to usb connector, there are cheap ones there are expensive ones, there's literally no difference. Just plug it in to another computer and move everything you need.

*I say a reinstall isn't a bad idea because when you remove a virus and something like this happens it can be an unending headache, maybe you fix this problem, there may be another, and another, it's sometimes just easier and faster to reset the whole thing and be done with it, instead of constantly dealing with the legacy of something like this.

Let me know if this helps or if you need any more info.

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What I ended up doing is reinstalled the OS for Yosemite. It ended up fixing it -- and I'm not really sure why I didn't think about it before??

However, concerning the rest of your response -- I'm going to hold onto that link, because I do plan on switching all of my photoshop projects to a PC desktop in the next few months -- is that method you described different, or just an alternate way of accomplishing the same thing as making the hard drive into an external drive by putting it into an external casing?

Thanks so much!!


Both do exactly the same thing, basically, the terminal method is more technical but you don't need a screw driver.

But both are last resorts really, removing the drive to move files isn't the best way to do it, just using a memory stick or even transferring files over the network is best practice, and faster now that you have access to your OS.


Understood --

I will likely be investing in a terabyte drive soon anyway - since they've drastically dropped in price in the past few years - and I will probably manually transfer via usb to the drive. The computer has just aged badly, as I was likely hard on it in my college years - broken hinge, crapped out airport cable causing my wifi not to work, etc etc....

Thanks for all your help! I really appreciate it.


Yeah, no problem!


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