MacBook Air - Chimes and boots to blackscreen after reinstall OS failed


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Model: A1465 2013

My girlfriend just upgraded to an M1 MacBook Air and tasked me with wiping her old machine so that it could be ready for resell.

I booted into recovery and erased Macintosh HD Data before setting it to reinstall Catalina.

Everything was going fine but an error message occurred (I cant recall the exact message but it was about failing to copy info to the specified drive) and recovery prompted me to restart.

Now all I get is boot chime and a blank screen and I can't work out why this is happening. It won't boot to recovery, won't boot a bootable USB, won't run internet recovery. Just boot chime with a dark blank screen (the screen is on).

Any suggestions what to do? It is driving me nuts.
 
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The first thing I would try in this situation is to reset the SMC. Pressing down on the Control-Option-Shift keys on the left side of the keyboard, press and hold down the power button for about 10 seconds. Release and press the power button again.

It seems like you need to go into recovery mode fom here, so hold down Command-R for recovery. Use internet recovery (Cmd-Opt-R) as a last resort since this can take an inordinately long time. Good luck.
 
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Thanks for your reply. I've tried both SMC and NVRAM reset. Same issue.

As peer my first post neither recovery or internet recovery boot, nor a bootable usb. It is just chime then backlit screen which is black.

Any thoughts? Machine was absolutely fine prior to wiping the os for clean install.
 
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This might sound silly, but the screen backlight could have been disabled by the installation. The next time you boot up and encounter the blank screen, closely inspect the screen from different angles for a hint of an image. When that happened to me with a MacBook Pro, I had to use a flashlight in order to see what was on the screen. This enabled me to play around with the system to convince me that it was the back light that went out.

Fortunately it was still under AppleCare and the monitor was replaced. If this is the case here, let us hope that playing around with the Mac might bring the screen back to life.
 
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Thanks for the tip, however there is no suggestion its a screen issue as I can see the backlight is on when powered there is a visible light emanating from the screen, its just blank.

Any other ideas?
 
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Gosh! I’m not very familiar with the available connections of the Air, let alone the M1 Air, but you may be able to find a way to launch the old Macbook Air in target disk mode and then somehow connect it to the M1. I’m not familiar either with the modes on the M1, but if you can connect the Air to the M1 as an external drive, you might be able to reinstall macOS that way.

Not in recovery mode, though. You will need a separate macOS install file. One way is to download it from the App Store.

I haven’t invoked target disk mode in ages, but I think you hold down the T key right after the startup chime.
 
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I also have a 2017 mb pro I could do this from. Not wanting to touch my GFs new M1! I have macOS Catalina on a usb formatted to boot but it wasn't doing anything in the air. Any suggestions how I might do this from a 2017 pro to the old air?
 
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It’s good that you have access to an older Mac. I don’t think the installer USB will do anything but if you are able to boot the Air in target disk mode and then connect to the MBP as an external drive, you should be able to reinstall macOS.

To get a fresh copy of the installer, go to the App Store and search for the particular version you require. If you’re running Catalina, “macos catalina” should bring it up. Click on View to to to the Get screen. I tried this on my system but it will only allow me to download Big Sur because that’s what I’m running. I do have external drives with Mojave and Catalina installed, so I should be able to download them if needed.

After the download is complete, it will launch and initiate the installation. Abort, and then you will find the installer file in your Applications folder. Move it elsewhere safe, and after you have the Air connected in targett disk mode, launch the installer to start the process. I sincerely hope this works. Again, this depends on whether or not you can boot the Air in TD mode.
 
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USB should work. If the AIR does not have USB-C, you may need to get a USB-A to USB-C cable. Gone are the days of Firewire.

I haven’t tried this configuration before, so maybe someone else here can shed light on this?
 

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