Help with circle w/ slash at startup... can't boot safemode, can't run disc...

Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Points
1
I was troubleshooting an issue my brother was having with his Macbook over downloading files, installed Firefox for him, ran Apple updates... and while the updates were installing the computer froze. He restarted it, and on startup he got a circle with a slash through it. I've been googling and checking forums and I tried booting into safe mode (Shift at startup, I believe?), and putting in the OS X disc that came with it and booting from that (C at startup?) but I get nothing. It just goes from the Apple with the loading circle, to the picture of the slash circle.

I did however get the install disc to run the hardware check... said everything was fine.

I'm not too Mac savvy but help would be appreciated to walk me through it a bit. Perhaps I'm doing something wrong. I'm not really sure on the specs of the computer or the OS version, as I'm rarely on it.
 

chscag

Well-known member
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
65,247
Reaction score
1,834
Points
113
Location
Keller, Texas
Your Mac's Specs
2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, Numerous iPods, Monterey
Not sure I understand.... you were finally able to boot from the original install DVD and run the Apple Hardware Test?

Regards.
 
OP
S
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Yeah, it ran the hardware check, but when I restart and hold down "C" to boot from disc, the Apple logo comes up, then the disc ejects, then it goes right back to the slashed circle.
 

chscag

Well-known member
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
65,247
Reaction score
1,834
Points
113
Location
Keller, Texas
Your Mac's Specs
2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, Numerous iPods, Monterey
OK. Reboot again but this time hold down the "OPTION" key. Select the MacIntosh HD to boot from (if it appears). If no hard drive appears, try booting from the DVD. Let me know what happens.

Regards.
 
OP
S
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Alright... first time holding option at startup w/ no install disc in, the Macintosh HD did appear, clicked it, and the same screen came up with the circle. I put the install cd in, help option at startup, and the disc ejected, then the screen with the Macintosh HD again which led me back to the circle again.
 

chscag

Well-known member
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
65,247
Reaction score
1,834
Points
113
Location
Keller, Texas
Your Mac's Specs
2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, Numerous iPods, Monterey
I'd like to say the hard drive is bad, but I'm not so sure since it won't boot from the DVD. Let's try resetting the NVRAM/PRAM:

See the following Apple KB article and follow its directions. LINK

Read the article over first since it refers to more than one type of Mac.

Regards.
 
OP
S
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Reset the NVRAM/PRAM and still no go. Even tried the install disc again holding down "C" at startup, and it just ejects the disc and does the same thing. Pretty perplexing. Haven't heard any odd noises from the hard drive like I have in the past when they fail so I just have no idea at this point.
 

chscag

Well-known member
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
65,247
Reaction score
1,834
Points
113
Location
Keller, Texas
Your Mac's Specs
2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, Numerous iPods, Monterey
At this point, it looks like a more severe hardware problem. You were able to run the hardware check although now it appears nothing is working. The spitting out of the disk while at the same time it's not able to boot from the hard drive makes me think it could be a bad logic board.

Do you by chance have access to another Mac? If you do, you could try connecting the two together in what's called "Firewire Target Disk Mode". Both Macs are connected via firewire and the working Mac is used to access the non working one.

At least that way, you would be able to get his data off the hard drive. As far as the logic board goes (if it's bad), it could be a very expensive repair if the machine is not in warranty or Apple care.

Regards.
 
OP
S
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Are there any signs to look for with other hardware damage? We talking motherboard frying or something of that nature?

The warranty is expired as we've had it for about 3 years now, wonder how much we'd be talking? Guess I'll have to take it in and have them check it out at some point. Sucks that the nearest Apple store is an hour away.

I do actually have access to another Mac. Could the target disk mode be used to diagnose it any further?
 

chscag

Well-known member
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
65,247
Reaction score
1,834
Points
113
Location
Keller, Texas
Your Mac's Specs
2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, Numerous iPods, Monterey
If it is the logic board thats bad, it could cost $500 or more to repair. May not be worth it if the machine is 3 years old. If you do decide to let Apple look at the machine, be sure to get an estimate before authorizing any repairs.

Firewire Target Disk Mode may be able to help figure out what's wrong by running Disk Utility from the good machine. You can also do the hardware test from the good machine - the extended hardware test including checking the memory.

That may or may not help. But if you do have access to another Mac, it's certainly worth a try.

Regards.
 
OP
S
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Oh yeah, I would definitely get an estimate before having them do any work, as I'm sure there are non-Apple repair websites and businesses that may do it cheaper.

I ended up as a last resort running hardware check again on the Macbook, this time extensive as I just noticed the box... and it came up with an error. Just as I logged on to type it out, the battery died out. Got the power cable, plugged it in, ran the extended test again and it says no problems. Still won't run though. Figures, haha. So I'm running it again and we'll see if I can get the problem to come up again.
 
OP
S
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Well, still got no errors when running the hardware check. Any chance this could be a hard drive failure?

I just ran the serial number on the Mac website and it's out of coverage. If I call Apple directly for support will they charge? The details on the site about this are a bit sketchy. I'm tempted to order a replacement drive and swap them out myself but I'd like to be at least a little confident that the hard drive may be the problem before I do that. Any with experience with this particular situation?
 

chscag

Well-known member
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
65,247
Reaction score
1,834
Points
113
Location
Keller, Texas
Your Mac's Specs
2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, Numerous iPods, Monterey
Yes, there is a chance it could be a hard drive failure. You can always buy a hard drive locally and swap the one in the machine out to see if that's the problem. If it turns out it's not the hard drive, return it for a refund. Stores like Best Buy have a 30 day return policy on items like hard drives so you should be OK.

As far as calling Apple goes.... since you're out of warranty, they will charge for the call. You can take it on in to an Apple store and get an estimate of repairs. I'm not sure what their minimum fee is but you can always call first to find out before going there.

BTW, the Apple Hardware Check (AHT) is not always the best tool to uncover problems as it often overlooks hardware faults. However, it generally is pretty good about uncovering a failing or failed hard drive. It also does a decent check on the system memory.

That's why I recommend buying a hard drive locally rather than ordering it from an on line supplier. It may cost more locally, but the return will be less of a problem. Let us know.

Regards.
 
OP
S
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Points
1
I may get one today or tomorrow.. whenever I can get out cause of the snow. The thing that gets me is it seems like a system file just didn't get to update cause it froze while running Apple updates... yet the install CD won't boot. From the few logic board problems I've read, the fan wouldn't run right, or it wouldn't start and that's not the case here.
 
OP
S
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Now I'm reading that Apple offers extended coverage for problems with faulty hard drives in Macbooks from mid-2006 to late-2007 (which this Macbook is). I guess the faulty drives are Seagates. If I open it up and check, and possibly replace it with a new one, will this void the extended coverage or should I be alright in doing this?
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
70
Reaction score
1
Points
8
Location
Greenville, SC
Your Mac's Specs
Macbook Aluminum 2.4, 4g mem, 640 gig drive
You can call Apple, tell them your problem regarding the drive and they will ask for the serial number of the macbook. Apple can tell from the serial number if the extended warranty is on your machine. If you do not have that information written down, cause you obviously cant get it from your laptop right now, they will ask you to bring it by a store. Your best bet might be to just bring it to Apple... If it is under warranty, let them replace the drive.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2008
Messages
4,695
Reaction score
73
Points
48
Location
houston texas
Your Mac's Specs
09 MBP 8GB ram 500GB HD OS 10.9 32B iPad 4 32GB iPhone 5 iOs7 2TB TC Apple TV3
Now I'm reading that Apple offers extended coverage for problems with faulty hard drives in Macbooks from mid-2006 to late-2007 (which this Macbook is). I guess the faulty drives are Seagates. If I open it up and check, and possibly replace it with a new one, will this void the extended coverage or should I be alright in doing this?

If thats the case it might not hurt to have Apple look at it.
 
OP
S
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Alright, I called Apple phone support and he came up with a few solutions. I held option at startup to see if it read my installation disc, it did not. He suggested a possible cd-drive failure. So he suggested to test with another disc. I have a spare Ubuntu disc, and that showed up. The hard drive also shows up while holding option at startup. He said that it is most likely a wrong or bad install disc.

Also, I found an Apple Care box that my brother had purchased with the computer. It has never been opened or registered... so hopefully this means it starts from when it's registered? I'm going to look into it but this might be good news.
 

chscag

Well-known member
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
65,247
Reaction score
1,834
Points
113
Location
Keller, Texas
Your Mac's Specs
2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, Numerous iPods, Monterey
Also, I found an Apple Care box that my brother had purchased with the computer. It has never been opened or registered... so hopefully this means it starts from when it's registered? I'm going to look into it but this might be good news.

Probably not. Apple will check it against the SN and they'll know the machine is older than 3 years. Besides, when your brother bought the machine and Apple care at the same time, Apple usually registers it automatically. They did that with mine.

As for the disk you have being a wrong or bad one, I thought you had the original install disk that came with the machine?

If you were able to read the Ubuntu disk that's a good sign. Might be worth your while to purchase a retail copy of Snow Leopard. ($29.99) Try using that to see what happens.

BTW, did Apple charge you for the call?

Regards.
 
OP
S
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Yeah, the Apple Care is definitely expired. We have 2 Macs in the house, one being the Macbook I'm referring to, the other is a desktop. There's a chance the discs I found came with the desktop. They don't look to be scratched, but it recognized the Ubuntu disc (although I couldn't get it to run live).

Apple didn't charge me, the guy was very helpful, walked me through a few things to try, and at the end basically told me to take it in for a free evaluation at an Apple store, because if he gave me a walk-through over the phone I would have to purchase phone support. He helped more than I thought he would though. I'll call an Apple store tomorrow and schedule a visit.
 

Shop Amazon


Shop for your Apple, Mac, iPhone and other computer products on Amazon.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.
Top