Grey Screen Frozen..Help!!


ziro

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I am in possession of an iMac running OSX Snow Leopard. Recently it stopped starting up. It would pause at the startup screen with a loading bar at the bottom. I researched this matter thoroughly, trying all of the options available to me, finally resulting in having to order a new install disc for Snow Leopard from apple with this being my final option to re-install the operating system. I received this disc today and tried to reinstall the OS and to no avail. I hit C right after the start-up sound and heard the DVD start turning but it just froze at the grey screen with the apple logo, never went any further than that. This machine is well out of warranty and the closest apple store to me is over an hour and a half away and it is a 25lb computer so sending it away is quite out of the question and I am a single mother who would really like to solve this problem without being in possession of a $2,000 paperweight..if anyone could help me solve this problem it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much. Any further information I would be happy to give. Thank you so much.
 

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Hi,

Try a safe boot.
  1. Make sure the Mac is down and if necessary, hold your Mac's power button for several seconds to force it to power down.
  2. Start your Mac, then immediately hold the Shift key. This performs a Safe Boot. Advanced tip: If you want to see the status of a Safe Boot as it progresses, you can hold Shift-Command-V during start up (instead of just Shift).

    Note
    : A Safe Boot takes longer than a typical start up because it includes a disk check and other operations.
  3. If your Mac starts up try restarting normally.
 
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ziro

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I used the Shift-Command-V command and got a different screen than I've seen before. A black screen with a lot of text, The first time froze for a while with the last thing saying "** Checking catalog file." After a little while it timed out then said "**Rebuilding catalog B-tree." so far that is where it stands now, now I'm just waiting to see if anything pops up as you said it may take longer in this mode than a normal startup, will keep you posted if anything changes.
 

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Hi,

Just a hint.
(1) Shift-Command-V command = Apple hardware test.

(2) Just shift key on startup = safe mode.
 

ziro

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i've tried both, on the just shift, no response at all, gave two hours wait time, no response from anything, then i tried your suggestion for shift-command-v, and got the response i informed you of on my previous response, it just stayed at the "**Rebuilding catalog B-tree." i'm at a loss..any help you can give i would be deeply appreciative of, i understand if i'm at the end of the road though. All I ask is don't give up on me until you feel there is no other way :) Many thanks for all of your help you can give
 

ziro

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If it helps at all..this just recently started happening. I started my computer up like usual. I have it set on an energy saver mode, so after an hour if it's not touched it goes into sleep-mode. I went to start it back up after that and it was on a blue screen and would not respond no matter what I did. My only choice was a hard shutdown and ever since I tried to start it back up after that It has given me the combination grey screen with apple logo and loading bar afterwards. When I put the install disc in for my OSX I hear the DVD load up but never responds far enough to get the disc utility to load, I also tried the alternate route of holding alt-option at start-up and trying to boot from the disc that way, to no avail. It wouldn't be such a problem if the closest apple store wasn't nearly 2 hours away from me and it is out of warranty..also there is no guarantee of the data on there..and as the only copies of my daughter's baby pictures are on there and such it is very important to me so I am trying all available options before I try to take it in..hopefully any of the information I've given can be helpful, and once again I am so thankful for any help you can provide. Thank you so much for bearing with me.
 

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Hi,

It sounds like the hard drive has failed, you can reclaim all important data if you have a friend with a Mac take the drive out of yours put in a caddy and plug into there Mac.
Drives are not expensive and as you have the SL install disks then there should be no problem installing on new drive.

One question did you put install disks in when the Mac was completely shut down?
 

ziro

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If I was able to get a caddy would I be able to put the files into a new hard drive and put it into the same shell of the computer? Like replacing the hard drive but with the files that I want to keep off of my old one? They could be temporarily stored on an external hard drive I have attached to my laptop. I just want to know if that's possible to do. I put the install disc in when I turned the Mac back on, I have been able to remove the disc if that's what you're asking.
 
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ziro

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My only question if I was able to do what I previously asked is I'm not sure what hard drive I would need to order, and I want to be sure to order the right one for my machine. Apple is usually good about walking you through those type of things but you seem to be very knowledgable and I want to make sure I'm getting the right hardware
 

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Hi,

Best to contact Apple re hard drive, I have only ever had Mackbooks not iMacs.
Regarding data your drive may well be damaged thus not seeing operating system but your data should be intact. So basically it is like an external hard drive at present.
Therefore once put into a caddy and connected to a working Mac should show up as just a drive and then you can transfer the data you want to keep.
So no need to store them on another external.
 

ziro

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So what you're saying is I could store the information on the external that I already have for a backup and either get a new drive to put in the non-working desktop or reformat the drive that isn't working and get it working again? Sorry I have so many questions I'm just trying to find the best possible and cheapest solution to the problem. If I could store my most important information on my external drive and reformat my currently non-working drive then re-install it in my computer and put the information back on it that would seem like the best option to go with. It would work best to store the files on my external instead of my laptop, however, as my external drive is 4TB so it has much more free space than my laptop.
 

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Hi,

Possibly, once you had retrieved the data from the iMacs drive and stored it on your external. You could try erasing / formatting through disk utility while the drive is still in the caddy. Once done install SL on it then put back into the iMac.
 

ziro

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Okay, I will message you once I have done this and let you know how it progressed, once again thank you so much.
 

ziro

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One more question, when I have the Hard Disc in the caddy attached to my laptop, could I run the disc utility on it to reformat it so I could run it again properly on my iMac? If I can't then it would react the same way on the desktop as it currently is, I feel. I want to remove the files that I want to keep from the Hard Drive from my desktop, reformat the desktop HD, then reinstall the OSX from the clean Install OSX SL DVD in my desktop ideally, if I have to figure out some other ways to make this work I can figure that out when I get to it, but that would be the ideal scenario
 
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