I have a 6 year old MacBook. It suddenly died last Sunday. When I started it the battery was charged to 100% - some minutes later it was at approximately 20%. Then the screen suddenly turned black and shut down.

I wasn't able to start it again since then. It usually shows the grey screen and the progress wheel but then either remains in that state for hours or turns black again.

I tried everything from Mac OS X: Gray screen appears during startup: from safe boot, resetting the NVRAM/PRAM, to starting from installation disc. With the only result that it does not eject the disc anymore.

As I read, everything indicates that the hard disc is broken. Is there anything else I can do than to buy a new notebook?

- AHT didn't inspect any problems
- boot after removing the battery didn't work

  • 3
    Have you checked it after removing the battery completely and connecting it to mains power? This is just to rule out any odd issues with an old battery.
    – M K
    Oct 29, 2013 at 13:37
  • 3
    Another thing to try is to boot from an external disk (if you have a clone of the internal drive or have OS X installed on an external drive) and see what happens.
    – M K
    Oct 29, 2013 at 13:39
  • 1
    Ruling out worse issues with the logic board for now, I would guess that the problem could be with the fan (broken fan or too much dust) or with the thermal paste on the CPU or the battery. You should open it, clean it once with compressed air and see what happens.
    – M K
    Oct 29, 2013 at 13:48
  • 5
    A failed hard drive can often prevent a Mac from booting even to an external system. Basically when the Mac OS is loading it will automatically attempt to load any external volumes that it detects, if the internal volume is damaged/corrupted enough it will cause the good OS to hang indefinitely while attempting to mount it. If I were you I'd remove the hard drive (remove the battery, three screws holding in the RAM shield then the hard drive pulls straight out) and try booting from an external OS again. Even if the disk is failed you can replace just the disk, rather than the whole Mac.
    – Mr Rabbit
    Oct 29, 2013 at 14:19
  • 1
    You can get an external case for the harddrive and check it with another computer. I have the exact same model, so you need to get a USB case with SATA Nov 8, 2013 at 1:13

1 Answer 1


so, I bought a new hard drive. installed it today and brought my MacBook back to life finally.

Did already love the idea to own a new MB Air ... maybe next year.

thx for your help guys!

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