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  1. #1
    Question Mac couldn't pass the gray screen, now doesn't respond to any command
    I have a mac book pro- march 2011. I can't have anymore info as I can't turn on my Mac anymore. Since I installed EI Captain few months ago, I had problem with shutting down. I had to empty trash can first in order to properly shuts down, or force shutting down. other than that, no problem!
    4 days ago, my mac was stuck at the gray screen, which if I left it, Mac would try to boot, failed and restarted itself, coninuesly and couldn't boot up. I forced shutdown and started to check everything that was posted online. Now... I'm stuck as things are gone worse. Here is what I've done.
    Started with booting in safe mode- worked but then it was shut down after 5 min.
    I have used option+cmnd+R.... cmnd+R.... Safe mode, single user mode ( cmnd+S)...clear PRAM...you name it.
    With cmnd+S, first I was getting "this drive has been modified", run the code again, and got "this drive is ok"...or whatever the right message should be.
    Tried recovery mode:First few times after a long wait I could get to The recovery mode screen, mostly successful when I did it via internet... and tried to reinstall OS X... but message returned as this option is not available at this time.
    Finally decided to recover from time machine but I couldn't get the recovery screen anymore.
    I inserted the original disc that I had to run the test on Mac ( I think hardware test it is ), both basic and more detail one ... no error was found- used the given shut down option to finish. but when I powered on again, just got the gray screen, and it shut down itself....which if I leave it, Mac will try to boot, fails, restart itself, coninuesly.
    At last, I tried to use the original disc that came with my mac to reinstall OS X. The disc was spinning at the beginning as it should when computer is reading it, and it wasn't stuck. But after a while just sound of Fan and gray screen for about 8 hours. I forced shutdown. After few hours I tried to boot as normal, got nothing but gray screen. Forced shut down, and tried to boot in safe mode... computer turned on, I logged in, I tried to recover from time machine but once I selected the date I wanted to use for recovery, computer shut down itself. I decided to stop messing around!
    Any idea what's happening?

    I appreciate your expertise

  2. #2
    Mac couldn't pass the gray screen, now doesn't respond to any command
    Dogbreath's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 03, 2010
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    621
    Your Mac's Specs
    mid-2010 Mac Mini OS 10.12.6 Sierra, 2.66 GHz C2D, 8GB RAM, 30 in. Cinema Display
    It sounds as though your hard drive is dying.

  3. #3
    Mac couldn't pass the gray screen, now doesn't respond to any command

    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Posts
    25,172
    Your Mac's Specs
    iMac, i7 4GHz, 32GB memory, 1TB Blade, OSX 14.4 Mojave,
    Recovery not working confirms not only is it dying, I think it has gone. Time to head over to OWC and invest in a new SSD which will give it a speed boost also. Consider replacing the SATA cable as well as these get very brittle with a ge and heat and may fracture inside and cause further problems. When you get the drive installed go into Recovery > Disk Utilities > format if necessary and download a new version of the operating system. Do it overnight as it is slow.


    https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ssd/...cbook-pro/2011
    Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  4. #4
    Nice! I read every word and sound like foreign language( LOL)... is this something Apple Store can do?

    Thnx

  5. #5
    Mac couldn't pass the gray screen, now doesn't respond to any command
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    57,864
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, Numerous iPods, Mojave
    Quote Originally Posted by QueenMe View Post
    Nice! I read every word and sound like foreign language( LOL)... is this something Apple Store can do? Thnx
    I don't think an Apple Store genius will work on your 2011 MacBook Pro but you can certainly ask first before taking it on in. If your MacBook Pro is an early 2011 model it's considered vintage; the late model is still supported. However, it's best to give them a call to setup an appointment and ask first.

  6. #6
    Mac couldn't pass the gray screen, now doesn't respond to any command
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 01, 2011
    Location
    Sacramento, California
    Posts
    1,529
    Quote Originally Posted by QueenMe View Post
    ...got nothing but gray screen.

    In my experience, a gray screen on startup is usually a sign of a hardware problem, often a hard drive that is problematic, or failing RAM. If you have recently attached a new peripheral, detach it and see if that helps.

    The first thing that I would try (since your Mac is more than a few years old) is replacing the PRAM battery, since they tend to go bad after a few years and they are inexpensive and fairly easy to replace. The PRAM battery is a little coin shaped battery, like a watch battery, that is attached to your Mac's motherboard:

    Apple Coin Cell 3v Lithium
    Part # 922-6476

    You can find these anywhere for just a few dollars (Target, WalMart, any drug store) as a:
    CR2032
    usually made by Panasonic.

    If that doesn't help, try this:
    Disconnect all peripheral devices, except for the Apple-supplied keyboard and mouse. If you are using a third-party keyboard or mouse, disconnect them and reattach the Apple-supplied ones. If this resolves the issue, re-connect one device at a time, restarting after each one, until you've determined which device is causing the issue.

    If that doesn't fix things, you may have bad RAM or a failing (or failed) hard drive. You will likely want to have an expert check these and repair them.


    References to check out:

    http://www.macissues.com/2015/04/07/...a-gray-screen/

    http://macs.about.com/od/MacTroubles...blems.htm?nl=1

    http://macs.about.com/od/usingyourma...artup.htm?nl=1

    http://lifehacker.com/how-to-trouble...-mac-487080511
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  7. #7
    Here is the official update.... please help
    I contacted Apple care, assuming they no longer help me out since my plan was expired in 2012- wrong. I should have contacted them sooner. Apple care referred me to Micro Center in case my HD needs to be replaced and Apple Store can't do so. Turned out that motherboard needs to be replaced. problem Was caused by a faulty graphic card that had been recalled and some customers with registered product or Apple care ( such as me) did receive an official email- I did not receive any. Recall expired on New Year's Eve- therefore I missed the deadline. Apple refused to make an exception. The cost will be 780 before tax.
    I can't effort purchasing a new Mac right now. What is your recommendation? Shall I spend 780 that I don't have?

  8. #8
    Mac couldn't pass the gray screen, now doesn't respond to any command
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    57,864
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, Numerous iPods, Mojave
    I can't effort purchasing a new Mac right now. What is your recommendation? Shall I spend 780 that I don't have?
    You know your finances better than we do, however, for $780 you can purchase a used Mac that is newer than your 2011 MacBook Pro. Your MacBook Pro is not worth $780 and in my opinion, you would be throwing good money to the wind. And goodness knows.... you could also buy a nice new Windows PC for $780 or less and it would be under warranty for at least a year. Yes, I just spoke blasphemy!

  9. #9
    Mac couldn't pass the gray screen, now doesn't respond to any command
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 01, 2011
    Location
    Sacramento, California
    Posts
    1,529
    Quote Originally Posted by QueenMe View Post
    Here is the official update.... please help
    I contacted Apple care, assuming they no longer help me out since my plan was expired in 2012- wrong. I should have contacted them sooner. Apple care referred me to Micro Center in case my HD needs to be replaced and Apple Store can't do so. Turned out that motherboard needs to be replaced. problem Was caused by a faulty graphic card that had been recalled and some customers with registered product or Apple care ( such as me) did receive an official email- I did not receive any. Recall expired on New Year's Eve- therefore I missed the deadline. Apple refused to make an exception.
    Here is what I recommend doing.

    Call Apple back, but don't speak to *anyone* other than their CUSTOMER RELATIONS department.

    You can reach Apple Customer Relations by calling: 1-800-275-2273 and asking for "customer relations." Do not settle for any other department!

    Apple Customer Relations is staffed with people who have less stringent guidelines than Support, who are empowered to use their brain to decide if a situation warrants their intervention, and apparently they have the authority to do what is necessary to make you happy if you have a reasonable complaint.

    Tell them exactly what you related above...that you never got a letter about a recall and that the recall just ended a few weeks ago.

    Good luck!
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  10. #10
    Mac couldn't pass the gray screen, now doesn't respond to any command

    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Posts
    25,172
    Your Mac's Specs
    iMac, i7 4GHz, 32GB memory, 1TB Blade, OSX 14.4 Mojave,
    And you got this avice after consulting folks on this web site who speak so well of Apple after sales. It don't hurt!
    Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    ... for $780 you can purchase a used Mac that is newer than your 2011 MacBook Pro. Your MacBook Pro is not worth $780 and in my opinion, you would be throwing good money to the wind. And goodness knows.... you could also buy a nice new Windows PC for $780 or less...
    I'm with you on that. But I have Adobe CS5 on my laptop with lost product Key/CD ( long story). Can't effort Creative Cloud at this point and as a designer even my resume needs design softwares. Switching to windows has it's own headache that won't be the right choice.

    The main cost is the 690.00 motherboard from Apple. Is there a cheaper way that I can buy the motherboard?

    Thank you?

  12. #12
    Mac couldn't pass the gray screen, now doesn't respond to any command
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    57,864
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, Numerous iPods, Mojave
    The main cost is the 690.00 motherboard from Apple. Is there a cheaper way that I can buy the motherboard?
    Yes there is, however, you would need to either install it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Generally, eBay is the best place to find a logic board for your MacBook Pro. There are hazards buying a used logic board from eBay but if you use PayPal and only deal with a highly rated seller, you should be OK. I don't know if you're open to that suggestion, but you might want to look into it to save money.

  13. #13
    MacInWin
    Guest
    If your Adobe CS5 is registered at Adobe with your name and information, Adobe can help you with the product key. But you have to convince them that you are you and that you are the original purchaser of the CS5 suite.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Randy B. Singer View Post
    Here is what I recommend doing.

    Call Apple back, but don't speak to *anyone* other than their CUSTOMER RELATIONS department.

    You can reach Apple Customer Relations by calling: 1-800-275-2273 and asking for "customer relations." Do not settle for any other department!
    Thank you Randy.
    It worked. Apple agreed to pay for the recall.

  15. #15
    Thank you for your expert advice- I love this community.
    Update:
    Apple agreed to pay for the recall. Motherboard was changed but HD failed as well as display/screen. They changed the HD for 200. My screen is no longer supported by Apple, but it can be replaced by an off brand for about 600. I didn't change the screen and connecting my Mac to an external monitor at this point.
    I was able to recover my data and softwares using the Time machine. Even my CS5 started to work without asking me for anything. woohooo!!!!
    The only problem I have is the display which is flickering and flashing mixes of colors, and that will trigger my migraine. it can't be disconnected as my original login and few commands appears on the built-in monitor and not the external one, even with mirroring.
    I have a 1TB HDD on my Mac and a brand new Motherboard and my design softwares are working as well. If everything keeps on working, shall I spend around 600 to fix the screen using off brand products?

    Thanks

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