MacBook Not Booting (Part 1)

macbooktrashWell, it’s happened again.  Yesterday I was working on my white MacBook 2.0 ghz when all of a sudden it froze up on me.  This has happened before to me and normally I just hold down the power button to shut it down (apparently this is not a good thing to do).  However, this time when I went to start it up again I noticed that the normal Apple OSX startup tone was more muted than usual.  I found this strange.  Even stranger is that instead of booting up to the normal Apple logo and then going into the OS it just hung there on a blank grey screen with no logo.  I let it sit a while hoping that it would boot as normal.  However, this was wishful thinking.

After it didn’t boot up I started to get worried.  One I had a feeling that my hard drive might be the problem, and two, I hadn’t backed up my data recently.  Then in my mind I was getting pissed at myself because just last month I had bought an external hard drive with the purpose of backing up all my data.  Then even more pissed because I had made a mental note to back up data on my “this week’s to do” list.  But in the midst of all my piss-offtness I figured it would be more productive to figure out what is wrong and see if I could get my computer working again.

This is actually the second time something like this has happened to a Mac product of mine.  My previous mac, a Powerbook g4 15in, had a hard drive failure (which I haven’t replaced) where when I would turn it on it would go to the Apple logo in the beginning and the underneath it would be this swirly thing indicating that things are loading.  However, it would just hang there indefinitely.  At the time that it happened I gave up on trying to fix it and instead bought a used MacBook that I have now.   I needed to upgrade anyway.

Fast forward to right now.  So I knew something might be wrong with the hard drive so I started researching.   Luckily, I had my dad’s computer handy. The two potential culprits I came across were a heat sink problem that caused MacBooks to shut down randomly and the boot up issue I had previously with my Powerbook.   If you just google “MacBook won’t boot”  you’ll get all kinds of results about al the problems MacBooks have.  However, I couldn’t find my exact problem.  So then I googled “Macbook won’t boot no logo”.  I had to sift through some stuff, but eventually came across a forum posting describing the exact problem I was having.  One way someone had suggested testing the problem was to remove the hard drive and see if it boots with a “blinking folder” icon.  If it shows that when the hard drive is out then it probably means the hard drive is broken.  The guy who initially posted the problem said he tried it and the folder showed up and when he replaced the computer with a new hard drive it worked again.  I took out the hard drive (following the pdf directions I found here) and booted it up again, and sure enough that blinking folder came up on my screen.  Hard drive is busted.

Today I bought a new hard drive and I’m seeing if I can get my computer working again…keep you posted…

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