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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jan 18, 2013
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    6
    Another forced shutdown failure - Frozen desktop after startup
    Hi all,

    This is the second time I have seen this problem. My mom uses a Mac book pro which had Snow leopard originally installed. The other day she was using it and some things froze, and unfortunately she used the force shut down power off button. In my own experience, these power off buttons should hardly ever be used because something similar happened to my own mac when I used the power off button. These machines seem particularly sensitive to that.

    Anyhow, I cannot seem to get her computer to boot. At first, the computer seemed to boot normally, and then her desktop background would appear, but nothing would happen and it would be stuck at the desktop. Now, I have since used her Snow Leopard install disk and ran the Disk utility on the hard drive. It had repaired a couple of things, and now says that the hard drive looks okay. So I rebooted, and this time the lower task bar of icons show, but still nothing happens, no desktop icons, or the top toolbar shows, and no icon from the taskbar will open.

    I was feeling that it wouldn't be a problem since I would just load her timemachine backups but it appears now that those backups are some how corrupted. The backups are stored on an external drive, and for some reason they are corrupted. My own time machine backups work fine on that drive, but hers don't.

    Her computer now has Lion on it, so I am hoping that I can get Lion back on this, and that I can get this all taken care of. Any ideas that don't involve erasing everything?

  2. #2

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
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    26,495
    Specs:
    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
    Try booting into Safe Mode.

    Shut down - restart - press the shift key when you hear the chime - hold it until you see the apple - it takes awhile to get to the desktop - like a minute or three.

    If you get into safe mode, check to see what all is running at startup and I'd try deleting those - she can set them back up later - Then restart.

    What makes you think the backup is corrupted?
    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
    Jan 18, 2013
    Posts
    6
    Thanks for the reply,

    First, I believe the backup is corrupted because when I directed my install disk to go into Time Machine Recovery, and I pointed the drive to external drive with the time machine backups, the Time Machine Recovery wizard said that her backups are corrupted and cannot be recovered (but for my own mac, they aren't). I have no idea why that is.

    Secondly, I cannot go into safe mode, maybe I am doing it wrong? I held down shift until my hand got too tired and all I got was a white screen with a circle and a slash through it. Why wouldn't it let me get as far as I got when I go into normal boot mode?

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Jan 18, 2013
    Posts
    6
    Anyone have any other ideas?

  5. #5

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location
    Texas, where else?
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    26,495
    Specs:
    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
    If it won't start in Safe mode, the system is corrupted.

    Looks like next option is going to be reinstalling Lion - either from USB key you made or by restarting in Recovery mode - press and hold command and R - link.

    Since her machine shipped with 10.6, I don't know if it will have the internet recovery option or not - and if the hard drive is beginning to go south, the recovery partition that Lion installs may not work properly either.

    edit:
    If you only have the Snow Leopard disc - you could attempt reinstalling Snow Leopard - use the 10.6.8 combo update which will give you access to the App store and the ability to redownload Lion.

    Keep in mind - all of these options may wipe her drive


    From my personal experience and the price of drives today - if the hard drive has enough bad blocks or has become corrupt to the point the OS will no longer boot - I would replace the hard drive - install SL or Lion to the new one - connect the old drive externally to see if any of her data is recoverable. Once I have these sort of problems with a drive, I just do not use them any longer - not when you can get a new drive for $60-$80 from 320 GB to 750 GB.
    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.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Jan 18, 2013
    Posts
    6
    Alright, got it to work!

    So basically I did what was suggested in the first part. I can't remember if it was holding option, or command R but basically I got it to start the internet recovery wizard. I had the disk utility first fix permissions and fix the drive on the "Macintosh HD", which everything turned up okay. So it definitely was not suggestive of a hard drive failure. Then, without wiping any of her data, I went back to the internet recovery to select "Install lion" I selected the recovery drive, when then allowed me to reinstall lion onto her Macintosh hard drive. I just inputted her Apple ID and her password, installed the operating system and when that was all done and everything booted, all her data was still there, nothing was deleted and it looks like everything is completely back to normal! I am going to redo some of these backups, but man am I happy! What a great recovery wizard there is in place.

  7. #7

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
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    Specs:
    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
    Great work - feels good when everything turns out ok.
    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.

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