Mid-Late 2011 15inch Macbook Pro

7200RPM harddrive
user upgrades
- crucial ram 8GB right after initial purchase
- Corsair ram 16GB since August 2012 - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0076W9Q5A

Running FileVault2

Came with Lion installed; Currently on Mavericks (Previously Mtn Lion)

Boot up

Login enter image description here Hear hard-drive crunching away enter image description here Spinner disappears, hard-drive not making noise

Grey screen, left it this way for over 30 minutes, no change enter image description here

I have tried almost all of these: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1533

Boot with CMD+R

No login needed

Blue screen of death enter image description here

Boot with C

With Mavericks on USB

  • Goes to login first
  • Then same grey screen

Boot with D

  • Goes to login first
  • Then same grey screen

Boot with OPTION key

  • With Mavericks on USB
  • No login screen
  • Select USB

enter image description here

  • Wait
  • Then same grey screen

Boot with SHIFT

  • Goes to login first
  • Then safe boot progress bar

enter image description here

  • This takes a long time
  • Then the apple and spinner
  • Then the "do-do-da" sound of a typical re-start
  • Then the login screen
  • Then same grey screen

Boot with CMD+V

  • terminal output along the lines of:

bootfile path System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi

  • goes by really fast
  • Goes to login first
  • Then lots of terminal output
  • I have pics but hard to read, could zoom and crop if needed, here is right before grey screen

enter image description here

NOTE: VBoxDrv - I think this might be VirtualBox which I definitely have installed? could be unrelated?

Boot with Option-Command-P-R


this is where it starts to get good:

Boot with CMD+S

  • terminal output along the lines of:

bootfile path System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi

  • goes by really fast
  • Goes to login first
  • Then lots of terminal output

Now I have an interactive terminal !!!! Logged on as root

Followed some advice here - https://discussions.apple.com/message/22355542#22355542

rm /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow.plist
rm /Users/<admin_acct>/Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow.plist

says 'Read-only file system', tried with sudo and same result also tried chmod 777 on the files but same message

Any ideas what to do next, besides taking to Apple Store (or local apple tech in my case)?

can I go from CMD+S terminal to

  • Apple Hardware Test
  • Recovery System
  • Disk Util

All of my data is backed up on Timemachine and I have been up and running on a different machine for now, so a clean install would be great - thinking this could be a hardware issue though?

UPDATE 1:

From "Single User Mode" CMD+S

Executed: /sbin/fsck -fy which had the following output enter image description here

Ran it multiple times; it only found issues during the first run, but still no luck - grey screen after login, then ran

/sbin/fsck -fy
/sbin/mount -uw /

This allowed me to do writes so then I removed both com.apple.loginwindow.plist files (see above), no change; still hangs when trying to login

UPDATE 2: [SOLVED]

Thanks to @smr

see also: Boot hangs on grey screen (even when booting from USB drive with fresh OS X install)

Boot into Single-User mode

# Execute the following commands:
/sbin/fsck -fy /
/sbin/mount -uw /
mkdir /Disabled_System_Library_Extensions
cd /Disabled_System_Library_Extensions
mv /System/Library/Extensions/ATI* .
mv /System/Library/Extensions/AMD* .
touch /System/Library/Extensions
exit

NOTE: this leave the computer with suspect graphics, going to do a re-install; apparently a GPU failure: http://www.macrumors.com/2014/01/17/2011-macbook-pro-gpu-glitches/

  • You definately should go to the shop. Your question is very detailed and you've tried (almost?) anything possible what you can do. A hardware-fail is most-likely the issue now. – Rob Feb 8 '14 at 10:37
  • If you have FileVault enabled, how did you successfully remove com.apple.loginwindow.plist from without appearing to unlock your boot disk from single user mode? – grg Feb 10 '14 at 18:29
  • @grgarside - i ran /sbin/mount -uw / from single user mode - which made the filesystem writable – house9 Feb 10 '14 at 23:23
  • @house9 did you do the reinstall? Everything ok after that? I did your steps, now my video is with problems and I am preparing for a reinstall, but I am afraid it will not turn on again. – John John Pichler Dec 23 '16 at 10:49
  • @JohnJohnPichler - I took it to the apple store and they replaced the logic board - cost $300 if I recall, there might be warranty for your specific issue, mine was not covered - good luck. – house9 Dec 23 '16 at 20:02
up vote 4 down vote accepted
+100

Though I didn't experience the blue screen, this does sound a lot like the issue that I described in Boot hangs on grey screen (even when booting from USB drive with fresh OS X install) (I posted as a different user since I didn't immediately have my StackExchange credentials handy).

It seems there are an increasing number of people experiencing failure to boot due to the GPU having died. I'm in Australia and we have just (and are still in) a bit of a heat wave which may have exacerbated the problem.

Anyway, it may be worth trying the steps I outlined in the Q&A I referenced above, particularly booting into Single-User mode and moving the ATI and AMD related extensions out of the way.

HIH

  • That was it! Thanks! – house9 Feb 11 '14 at 5:57
  • I'm glad it helped, and sorry that you too have a dead GPU. Apple had better move to free repair which likely means replacement of the logic board. – smr Feb 11 '14 at 17:53
  • Incredible, moving away the extensions worked! Thanks! Not sure what I have now, if the GPU is activated, dead or not. Colors look somewhat blueish on the screen and it could be that animations are lagging. Any hints where to go from here now? Thanks again... – Urs Aug 31 '14 at 14:20
  • I now reinstalled Mavericks and everything "seems" to work fine again – Urs Sep 1 '14 at 7:10

protected by Community Sep 11 '14 at 10:57

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