Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My macbook boots to a grey screen - BUT the hard drive is OK.

I tested it in target disk mode and the drive loads fine on my other machine, so I can only assume it is something to do with the display.

I've reset the PRAM/NVRAM , can anyone offer any advice on how to proceed from here?

share|improve this question
When you get it into target disk mode, do you see the Firewire icon flashing around? If you do an SMC reset, then hold down the Shift key to do a safe boot, do you get to a login window or your user account's desktop? – da4 Sep 30 '11 at 15:39
no the firewire icon does not bounce around - the screen remains completely grey. this to me indicates a display issue maybe it could be the display inverter board? – Ash Oct 2 '11 at 11:15
Yes, if you're not getting proper graphics in this mode either that suggests hardware failure to me. (Sorry.) – da4 Oct 3 '11 at 13:38
Just to follow this up - I took it to the Apple Store, turned it on at the service bench and it worked. After 3 weeks of no startups, it just worked... – Ash Nov 28 '11 at 13:17
You should answer the question with the answer - not as a comment.... – bmike Aug 26 '12 at 16:08

Boot to Single User Mode (Cmd S) let it do it's thing and then type: cd /var/log (press enter) grep disk0 * (press enter).

Towards the end of the outputted logs if you se IO Error your hard drive or flex cable are going.

If you can boot in safe mode (holding down shift at start up) maybe you have a dodgy 3rd party kernel extension.

share|improve this answer
I can't see anything on the screen except for grey. Nothing. no target disk mode icon, nothing... so I can boot into single user, but can't see the display readout... – Ash Oct 2 '11 at 11:16

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.