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My MacBook is stuck on the boot screen like this:

Basic grey Mac boot screen with Apple logo and spinner

I have tried multiple things such as launching it in safe mode and pressing some buttons as soon as the computer boot logo shows up.

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You may be able to get more info about what's going on by starting the Mac in verbose mode -- hold the Command and V keys as it starts up, and it'll switch to a text display of the startup process (instead of just showing a spinning gear icon under the Apple). – Gordon Davisson Oct 8 '12 at 19:31
up vote 0 down vote accepted

This happened to me only in 2 cases:

There is a good chance that if you leave your MBP running for a few hours like that it will end-up displaying a files not found logo.

The best way to test if it is a hard drive failure is to replace it or to connect an external hard drive and install Mac OS on it.

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