General Question

arcoarena's avatar

Macbook won't boot past the gray screen with the apple logo?

Asked by arcoarena (692points) December 4th, 2008

I went to restart my macbook with a blank dvd in the drive and it won’t load past the gray screen. I help option to get the dvd out of the drive and restarted again but still no boot…It’s stayed on the gray screen for over 30 minutes…


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8 Answers

jtvoar16's avatar

Okay. Have you tried booting into “Safe Mode?” That usually gets the job done. Resetting the PRAM works sometimes too… as does just holding option to select a boot sector… There are a lot of things to try.

Did the DVD come out when you told it too? Was there anything on the DVD? I know you said it was blank, but I have had my mac tell me something was blank, but it had old windows information on it.

(By the way, incase you don’t know how: To boot into Safe Mode on a Mac, hold down the Shift Key right after you turn the computer on, but let go right after you hear the beep. Reseting the PRAM is different for every version of the mac, you’ll have to check apple’s website to see how to reset yours, and if the DVD is still stuck in the drive, press and hold the mouse button to get the DVD back.)

One last note, I just thought of: Does the grey screen have anything on it besides the Apple Logo?

arcoarena's avatar

Thanks for your response. It comes up to the screen with the apple logo and the idling circle below it.

I just got off the phone with apple support a few minutes ago and he got me to try to boot it in safe mode by holding shift but that didn’t work. held it for a few minutes but no beep just stays on gray apple screen.

I’m 99 percent sure the disc was completely blank before i shut down the computer the last time i was trying to burn a disc using disc utility but the computer froze so i manually shut down.

When I held down option the disc came out fine but still no boot. It just continues to idle. I restarted again a few times after I got the disc out and held option and chose the mac hd but that doesn’t work either…

Resetting the PRAM was a good idea i thought it was gonna work at first but even after I did that on the second load it just is still stuck on the apple screen… :(

jtvoar16's avatar


I would suggest, if you have it, booting from an external and see what happens. The last time my computer did that, my HDD was destroyed (The S.M.A.R.T. crashed, meaning the drive was useless.) It happened to me in sorta the same way, I was using boot camp and windows crashed, then I force shutdown the same thing happened to me, except there was no apple logo for me.

The other option is sorta like my first idea, if you have the install disk for OS X, try booting from that using an Option Boot. That is how I figured out my S.M.A.R.T. was dead (I ran disk utility from the OS X install screen, and the only thing that came up and reported ”S.M.A.R.T. Error” In big red text, nothing else came up. So I had to swap the HDD myself.

I wish I could be of more help, but without being there it is hard for me to offer help (Mac errors are like that. The same thing can happen to 6 different people, but each one has a different problem and a different fix.)

arcoarena's avatar

Hey thanks alot for the input! I luckily still have applecare (that has been a godsend on more than one occasion) so I have an appointment with the genius bar at my local apple store tomorrow so i will find out for sure what happened.

The representative on the phone wanted me to attempt to archive and reinstall to see if that would fix it but i do not know where my copy of leopard is so im s.o.l. for doin that. I realllllly hope my hard drive didn’t fail but we’ll see.

so thanks again for your help tho! it’s much appreciated.

jtvoar16's avatar

No Problem!

As a final thought for the benefit of everyone. I fully endorse getting a mac install disk (legal and\or pirate) and installing it on an external drive you keep as a backup. I have learned my lesson many times in the past and now I have two of those drives!

The way I see it, if you have bought a mac, or purchased the upgrade, then lost the disk, pirating a new copy is totally okay. I mean sure, a new copy of OS X is like 150$, but still, that’s 150$ a lot of people don’t have now-a-days. Mac should do what Vista does, and allow you to download a copy from their site with proof of purchase. That way you can at least lose one DVD, or have it destroyed by your idiot, drunk neighbor.

arcoarena's avatar

I’m actually in the process of obtaining a new copy of leopard via “a bay of pirates” so assuming things fail tomorrow I’ll have that to work with as well.

jwood74's avatar

The same thing just happened to me. It has been freezing up on me a lot recently, so when it happened last night, I thought nothing of it, I simply manually turned it off. Then, when I turned it on this morning, it just wouldn’t go past the apple screen. I kept it there for ages. I turned if off a couple of times, but the same problem. One time it came up with that weird message in a couple different languages saying it encountered a problem and I had to restart it.

Finally, after reading these notes, I held down the option key while restarting, and it asked which drive to boot from, I selected the only one, and it finally booted.

Not sure what the problem was, just glad its fixed.

daniel13personal's avatar

same problem here… I installed a software update on a unibody macbook running snow leopard, when I rebooted the computer after the update was complete and it will no longer boot past the grey loading screen. I have tried booting in safe mode to no avail please help

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