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?

  • 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?
    – Mazatec
    Oct 2 '11 at 11:15
  • 1
    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
  • 1
    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...
    – Mazatec
    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.

  • 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...
    – Mazatec
    Oct 2 '11 at 11:16

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