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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Mar 20, 2013
    Exclamation MacBook - Need to format new hard drive, cant access disk utility
    So, I've been working on fixing this problem and have found tons of people with similar problems on the forums, but none of them have ALL the problems I'm having, and so I have not been able to find a solution.

    I'll start from the beginning.

    I dropped my MacBook, and long story short, the hard drive went bad.
    Bought a brand new hard drive and installed it. When I start the mac, I get a gray screen with a question mark. I've restarted while holding down C, Shift, Option, F, R, and all the other reboot methods that people suggest on the forums, none of them have any affect. Most respond with the gray question mark, Starting while holding option gives me a blank gray screen, and a cursor that responds but has nothing to click on.

    I know the hard drive is NOT formatted.

    When I try to insert the install disk, the Macbook spins and attempts to read it, but eventually gives up and spits it out. I know the disc is good because it works in other computers.

    I can't access disk utility, because literally nothing I've done has given me any more than a gray screen.

    Here's what I have to work with: I have the install disks, I have a 320GB external hard drive (doesnt help much when I can't open disk utility) and I have a PC that works perfectly and has MacDrive installed.

    When I put the old broken hard drive in, I at least get an Apple logo (nothing else) so at least that's something different.

    Any suggestions?? I took it to genius bar and paid $40 for a diagnostic only to be told "Oh, your hard drive's bad." O_o I know. That's why I bought a new one!

  2. #2

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Texas, where else?
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    Take a can of air and shoot 3-4 quick bursts into the slot of the optical drive.

    Then try booting to your install disc.

    About once a year my '06 MBP quits reading DVDs and thus far, that little trick has brought it back to life everytime.

    If your optical disc has died, you're likely going to need to get an external DVD drive - they're cheap enough nowadays.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Mar 20, 2013
    OK, I will try that. I did already try putting a lens cloth over a credit card and sliding it in to clean the optic drive, but it didn't work. Maybe the can of air will be more effective.

  4. #4

    Member Since
    Mar 20, 2013
    Went and bought an external disc drive (needed one for another notebook, anyway) and it works like a charm! Hooray!

  5. #5

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    Looks like when you dropped your MacBook it not only damaged your hard drive but also the optical drive. Drops and spills - avoid both.

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