The MacBook family was first introduced in May 2006 and replaced the iBook as Apple's consumer laptop.

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Grey Apple, spinning circle, thin line down the screen.

I am working on my friend's older white Macbook. The computer makes the chime, has the grey screen, with the spinning circle, and a very thin white-ish line down the screen about two thirds of the way across from top to bottom.

I was told there is a bad hard drive, but I am not so sure about that. I have hooked the HDD up externally to my other computer with a universal drive adapter and tested it with the disk utility and the test passed.

What could be the problem?

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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I think the best test would be to boot off of restore media, and try to format the drive and install the OS on it. Bad drives often stall or die somewhere in the process of bootup or during the OS install, so if it makes it through the OS install and seems to work fine and at full speed afterward, that's a pretty good indicator. Disk Utility often gives the OK to bad drives, so the fact that it passed testing does not mean it's not a bad drive. If the machine won't boot off of restore media, please report what happens, as there may then be other issues. You might want to reset the PMU and PRAM in that case.

Offhand I'm not sure what the white line is. It may be a screen issue unrelated to the hard drive issue.

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Thanks, I reset the PRAM and NVRAM, but not the PMU. Trying to boot off the OS X disk only gives me the message "you can not install this software on this computer." Now all I have on the grey screen is the flashing grey folder with a "?" in the middle. I still have the line, but I believe that to be unrelated to this. If I install an old hard drive from another computer, everything works as if it were the older computer.

I have a new hard drive on order.

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Hi! It sounds like you are using the reinstall media for another computer, since that's the error it gives if you're using the wrong media set, and I don't believe it's giving that error because of the drive. Hard to say, but your current drive might work fine if you had the correct reinstall media in order to test it.

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I'm not sure what it needs as far as the OS X disk then. I have tried Tiger and Leopard disks. And I do not think i have any media to test it other than another computer in target mode if that works.

Do you think a new hard drive will fix my problem?

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Go with the hold down option at startup, it may be a quick fix to your problem.

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I doubt it's a bad drive, it may be unable to find the drive, in which case just hold down option at startup, or may be having trouble with the extended ram, either remove or check that.

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I do not think the drive is bad. Some one else has been in here because when i tried to push the HDD back in, the rubber gaskets on the sides of the drive slot were all pushed up and tangled on the inside. So i removed the top bezel, and pushed in both RAM cards in the slots (they were loose) and turned it on. It made a slightly more promising sound, but I am back to square one, Grey Apple, chime, spinning cirlce, white line. Any other ideas?

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Yeah, the hard drive may not be connected, this happens often when the computer can't find a startup disk.

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