This morning, my mom logged into her computer as normal, used Mail to check her email, and then got distressed when seeing "squiggles and lines" on her monitor. When trying to restart her machine, it always fails. The apple logo and loading bar come up, it loads to completion, and then the gray screen (no Apple logo) just hangs for a minute or two. Then it turns off. I can't boot into Safe Mode, and I've tried a NVRAM reset (for 3 chimes). She has a backup as of about a month ago, but I'd rather not wipe everything if at all possible. What could have caused this?

  • If you hold alt/option while booting, do you get as far as the boot volume picker? – Siguza Dec 24 '17 at 16:43
  • Yes, I can. @Siguza – amstrudy Dec 24 '17 at 20:55
  • So if you hold down cmd+R, does recovery mode boot successfully as well? If so, you might wanna open up Disk Utility there and run "First Aid" on your hard drive. – Siguza Dec 24 '17 at 21:18
  • @Siguza I successfully got to recovery mode through internet recovery, but first aid doesn't help. – amstrudy Dec 24 '17 at 21:49
  • Hmm, maybe verbose boot might reveal what's wrong... from recovery go to Utilities > Terminal and run nvram boot-args="-v", then reboot. You should get a lot of text on your screen, hopefully containing something hinting at the problem... – Siguza Dec 24 '17 at 23:43

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