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Why won't my MacBook open after entering correct user password?

I select my user name, enter the password, and hit return. The apple appears on the grey screen, and the boot-up bar very slowly progresses from grey to black and stays stuck. After an hour or so, I can still feel the inside vibrating, and it feels very warm to the touch. I read a post on this forum suggesting several solutions and tried the first one of immediately holding down the option, command, p, and r buttons until I hear the second chime. I tried it before entering my password without a response and after entering it. Nothing happened each time. Can anyone help? The computer is 4 years old but has been well cared for.

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1 Answer

Most Helpful Answer

Sara, your problem can be caused by several things. To help solve your issues we need to get on the same page you are. First we need to know your exact machine, There are several know issues on different models. To get that machine info, look on the back of the machine for the serial number and enter it here, then tell us your results.

Next see if you can boot up in safe mode by holding down the Shift key on startup. If it boots, then go to about this Mac under the Apple and tell us what operating system you are running. BTW this will also give you the information about what machine you have.

It always helps us to help you to know the history of the machine and if you are aware of anything you might have done to instigate this problem, like an incomplete system installation or new software that might have been installed.

Also, do you have a good Paid version of an anti-virus program?

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I do have a paid version on an anti-virus. When would I hit the shift key? After the first chime before I input my password on my user ID or after? I have tried both before and after as described in my first post to no avail. I don't feel comfortable giving my serial number out to anyone except Apple.


Hold down the Shift key as soon as you press the power button. I'm not asking for your serial number. I'm just interested in knowing what machine you have. You can get some information from Apple by going to Apple here:


really wish she hadn't bugged out and responded so this thread had kept going towards a solution. i have a similar issue with a friend's macbook. you can log in or go into safe mode but it always ends in a grey screen. have tried different hard drives and ram but same result.


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Sara will be eternally grateful.
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