I usually keep a continuous Time Machine backup of everything and clone my internal drive every couple weeks. The cloned drive is kept in a fireproof safe here in my house. Also, as much as I love Time Machine, in my profession, I've seen several instances where Time Machine backups don't restore properly. I always suggest having a manual clone as a backup to your backup. So, I didn't have a good backup, my clone was old and now my computer wouldn't boot into the operating system -- it just hung at the spinning gear.
As any technician would, I booted to my diagnostic drive and tried to repair the disk with Disk Utility. Repair failed! After being told that Disk Utility couldn't fix my drive and that I would have to restore my computer from a backup, I was pretty frustrated. I restarted the machine and went to get a drink. It took 20 minutes, but after it was done, the machine loaded back to my desktop and life was good again.
Until the introduction of Snow Leopard, I would have ran Disk Warrior or "archive and install" the operating system in hopes to fix the software issue, but this automated solution was relatively painless and built into the OS.
Gray progress bar showing at start-up
I began looking for an explanation of what it's doing during that progress bar, but didn't find much. What I read were incorrect guesses about firmware. While firmware updates use a similar progress bar, my situation had nothing to do with firmware but software corruption that it appeared to fix on its own. Try starting your system up with the keyboard unplugged to see if it boots normally, and if so then consider replacing your keyboard.
Troubleshooting Mac startup problems
Verify or repair the disk Boot to an alternative boot volume and use Disk Utility or, more preferably, a dedicated filesystem repair tool like DiskWarrior to run disk verification and repair routines on the boot drive. Format the drive If none of the previous options clear the problem, then formatting the drive should be a final step to take to clear the problem. Be sure you have a full and restorable backup of your boot drive, and then both repartition and format the drive using the OS X installation disc.
Boot to the disc, choose your language, and choose Disk Utility from the Utilities menu. Then select the drive device it will be the item above the "Macintosh HD" name--or whatever you have named your boot drive. Then go to the Partition tab, select "1 Partition" from the drop-down menu, and click Apply to rebuild the partition tables and format the drive. After the drive is formatted, use Apple's restore utility from the same menu to restore a full Time Machine backup to the boot drive, or boot to your cloned drive and restore it to your internal boot volume.
A quick word of caution: If you have Boot Camp installed or have otherwise partitioned your main boot drive, then repartitioning the drive will destroy these secondary partitions. Be sure to back up your data on these partitions and prepare to set them up again after formatting the drive.
Have a fix? Post them below or e-mail us! It finally mounts the System partition which is known as rooting and then passes the control over to the root system processes which show the login screen and create user interface and environment. So that was the shortest way to understand macOS boot process. Macs can stuck at startup due to various reasons and show different screen in every situation. This problem can occur anytime not just after upgrading to macOS Sierra but due to other various reasons as well.
If you are seeing a dark grey screen with a loading bar stuck at 75 percent, or a spinning gear just underneath the Apple Logo then it is most likely that your Mac is having trouble loading kexts, drivers, or other system processes. But if you are seeing a spinning globe, a prohibitory sign, a grey screen with a flashing question mark on a folder icon, or just a black or very dark display instead, then it could be a sign of corrupt macOS, startup disk failure or any other hardware issue. This article is mainly focused on the start up problem which shows a dark grey screen with a loading bar or a spinning gear just below Apple Logo.
After reading lots of discussions forum and supporting hundreds of users, here are the reasons that I have learned which causes the Mac stuck during boot. So it can be both a software or hardware related problem. Hardware related problems can be easily detected by running disk utility and hardware diagnostic test while software related issue are bit lengthy and can be fixed by following couple of troubleshooting steps. Hardware related issue can be dangerous for your data and you should immediately attempt to back up your valuable data such as Photos, contacts, email, invoices and projects to prevent it from losing.
If you have already been taking time machine backup then you need not to worry as all the data are in the backup disk and you can simply restore from time machine backup and all the issue will be fixed. You can simply skip the rest of the articles after the step that fixes your Mac.
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Obviously, the first troubleshooting we always do is restart the Mac and see if the issue is fixed. One of the most common causes of a grey screen issue is a bad peripheral or its cable. A bad peripheral can make its associated driver software stuck in loop while it waits for the peripheral to respond to a command and thus can prevent a Mac from starting up, and cause it to stuck.
So shutdown the computer first by holding the power button down for 10 seconds and the Mac will go off. Plug one peripheral at a time and restart again to isolate the problem.
This way you can find the problematic peripherals, which will cause the Mac to stall again at start up right after connecting it. Try without keyboard and mouse as well if the Mac does not boot even after disconnecting all other peripherals. Or you can simply replace it with a new one instead. If this step does not fix the Mac stalling at grey screen issue then move on to the next step. Safe Boot in Mac is different than Safe Boot in Windows, as it attempts to fix problems while booting. Safe Boot itself fixes hundreds of problems. So start your Mac in safe Boot mode by holding the Shift key down during boot up and and see if it boots successfully.
You may also like to read: What is safe mode and how to start your Mac in safe mode. Once it is booted safely, make sure. Safe Boot is always slower but If the boot process still stuck or stall during booting in safe mode, then the problem is likely caused by a third-party kext and drivers, or your startup disk is damaged or malfunctioning. If the problem persist, follow the next step to find the problematic kext or verbose. All it does is list all the extensions and drivers on the screen while they are loading during boot.
Note down the name of the kexts, driver, or service which is the last in the list of loaded items or the one boot loader is struggling to load before the Mac goes into stall or stuck mode again. Remove the problematic kext or drivers in recovery mode. Make sure your internet is working — try opening any webpage on other devices connected to the same network.
Apple server may reject the download request if your device is connected through an unsecured public network or a network with a common default SSID name like linksys, netgear, dlink, wireless, 2wire, xfinitywifi, and default. You can also switch from wireless to a hardwired connection.
SMC manages the power specific settings and customization ranging from screen brightness levels and settings for peripheral attached to Mac to settings in Energy Saver like auto-dimming based on lighting and power sources, sleep when idle, screen sleep behavior, etc. Resetting them does not risk the loss of any data or other adverse effect. So just go ahead and fire these action without any worry. Both of these components are important for your Mac to run it properly, but once they get corrupted, things gets cranky.
As mentioned earlier resetting NVRAM affect the settings for startup disk so post resetting the NVRAM , you may need to select the correct working startup disk specially if you have more than one operating system or hard disk installed on a Mac.
Gray progress bar showing at start-up - CNET
You will see an option to select the desired operating system or startup disk from the list. Disk utility can turn out to be the most useful tool when a Mac is in no boot situation or it boots to a grey screen and stuck on Apple logo with a loading bar. Here are the Major task that we perform when in disk utility in context of grey screen startup problem. Repair Startup Disk 2. Repair Disk Permissions. Check the Free Space on Startup Disk 4. Once the Mac has booted from recovery partition, you may be asked to select the language, choose English US and click arrow key at the bottom to continue.
Now select disk utility from the four macOS utilities options and hit continue again. You will see exactly the same Disk utility as it appears in macOS environment when boots normally. One of the most important checks you should perform here is verify the SMART status of the startup disk.
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If it shows anything other than Verified, then it is most likely the problem with startup disk and you should immediately take the backup of your disk and replace it. Disk utility will now verify disk for any error, corruption in file system, permissions error, corrupt directory entries and other problems related to files and directories, etc.
Remember that, older Mac OS X v When we are already in disk utility, why not we check the free disk space on startup disk, also, as this could be another reason to grey screen startup problem. When you select the startup disk on the left pane in disk utility, you would be able to see the available free space on the bottom right hand side. Make sure you have enough space available for macOS to boot and work properly.
You should have at least 10GB of free space. If you have enough space then skip and move on to the next step. If the Mac were able to start in safe mode, it would have been easier to free up disk space on startup disk as you could have simply gone to different folders, checked the unwanted file and deleted them and finally emptied the trash to claim more space.
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