Model A1237 or A1304 / 1.6, 1.8, 1.86, or 2.13 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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apple logo, spinning gear, after being dropped and hitting bottom left

Hey guys, Im looking at getting a 13 inch macbook air, it's been dropped on the bottom left hand corner and now it won't boot, white screen, grey apple logo and a spinning gear. I've read up on the tinterweb and as far as i can work out its a kernal problem. No third party parts, so it wont be a faulty peripheral etc etc, Could the HDD be screwed?

My main worry is that its the logic board thats damaged (cos then i'll be buying a few hundred pounds of what is essentially "pretty metal")

If anyone has any ideas or could shed some light on the situation, it'd be much appreciated.


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2 Answers

Chosen Solution

Have you tried booting safe mode?

To start up into Safe Mode press the power button and immediately after you hear the startup tone, press and hold the Shift key.

Note: The Shift key should be held as soon as possible after the startup tone but not before.

Release the Shift key when you see the screen with the gray Apple and progress indicator (looks like a spinning gear).

After startup, the words “Safe Boot” appear in red letters under the Apple logo on the Mac OS X login screen.

Note: The Safe Boot startup process takes longer than a normal startup. It can be quite long (several minutes) depending on the amount of time it takes to check and repair the directory (if needed).

To exit Safe Mode, restart the computer normally, without holding down any keys during startup.


After restart, hold down the Command-Option-P-R keys until you hear the startup chime at least one additional time after the initial startup chime.


1. If the MacBook Air is on, turn it off.

2. Connect the power adapter to a working power source.

3. Press (left) Shift-Control-Option along with the power button once. Note: Only use the keys on the left side of the keyboard.

4. Wait 5 seconds and press the power button to start the MacBook Air.

Caution: Reset the SMC only when the MacBook Air has been properly shut down. This prevents file system corruption.

Note: The power adapter is not required to reset the SMC, it may be necessary if the battery needs charging, or the MacBook Air has been off for a long time.

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Most Helpful Answer

RIchdave left some great tips above ^

If it boots up and your seeing a spinning logo my money is on a crashed hard drive.

Pop in a OS/X boot cd/dvd and if the system boots up into any type of screen then I'm pretty sure your HDD crashed.

Once a system is dropped or jolted, the head hits a platter and scratches it. You may be able to recover your data with a USB/SATA adapter where you can hook up your drive to a USB (type) reader and copy off any photos, documents or other important data.

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Does the air have a DVD?


No, macbook air's don't have a cd/dvd. However, you can get a USB/ATA/SATA adpater for less than $20 on amazon. Just hook the power to an external DVD/CD, along with the data cable, then connect the USB to the MB Air and your good to go as far as installing from the drive and/or burning off data (however when it comes to data backup, a good USB external HDD is the best solution and works great with Time Machine and even better combined with a cloud backup using something like SpiderOak.


Another option is a newer router that has a USB port, you can hook up an external USB drive to it and back up several systems across your local network.


^ I would look at DLINK or ASUS routers. LinkSys/Cisco has gotten on my nerves over the past year esp when you call and they say, "we can't help you, go buy our new model" bull wanky on that.


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