Disk utility mac grey screen

How to fix the grey screen at Startup on Mac?
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Peripheral devices without updated firmware often are the cause of a gray screen upon startup. Apple recommends several troubleshooting steps to correct the gray screen issue. If you are lucky, one of them will work for you. Power up your Mac. If the Mac restarts without issue, most likely a peripheral device, such as an external hard drive or printer, prompted the gray screen. Connect each peripheral device one by one and restart the computer. If you encounter the gray screen after restarting with a peripheral, you have located the culprit. During one of our successful bouts of getting the Mac working for a while, Julian signed up for the online backup service CrashPlan and copied over his most important files to a pair of external hard drives.

But his failure to back up religiously made the trying Mac issues Julian faced not just a frustrating annoyance and time-suck, but terrifying, too. He could have lost hundreds of files representing thousands of hours of work. The name refers to special memory sections on your Mac that store data that persists even when the Mac is shut off, like volume settings, screen resolution, and similar options. You might need to grow an extra finger or two for this one, or have a friend help you out.

Keeping holding the keys down until you hear the Mac restart again.


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Apple says to let it restart just the one time; I usually listen for a second reboot, and then release the keys. In some cases, after performing this step, your Mac will restart normally. Julian and I went to my local Apple Store with his Mac. That was good.

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The Genius behind the bar agreed that it was probably a hard drive issue, and wanted to check to see whether the drive simply needed reformatting, or actually exhibited bad sectors indicating it needed to be replaced. So JV had to plunk down extra cash to buy a thumb drive at the Apple Store, onto which we then copied those other files. Then we reinstalled Mountain Lion again.

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  6. Eventually it crashed hard, and again refused to start up. Sometimes, even the best experts get it wrong. That was probably the most important step we took. Possibly, anyway.

    Disconnect Peripherals

    It could be that the logic board diagnosis is off-base, too. But having these steps and awkward key combinations committed to memory, or saved to an iPad, or stuck on your refrigerator—that can make coping with your next Mac disaster considerably less stressful. Presuming your backups are current, anyway. One of the main causes of a grey or blue screen on startup is incompatible hardware connected to the machine. This might be a printer, an external hard drive, or even a USB hub. So, disconnect everything except the mouse and keyboard, and restart your computer. If your Mac starts this way, then it's an issue with one of those peripherals.

    You have to trial-and-error your way through to figure out which one, so connect them back into your computer one by one, and restart. If one of them causes your computer to hang on the grey screen again, you've found your issue. If you figure out the problematic peripheral, it's time to do a little research.

    Head to the manufacturer's web site and see if others are reporting the same problem. You might be able to fix it with a software update or a firmware update to the device. If no devices are causing problems, and your Mac still won't boot, then it's time to dig a little deeper. Safe boot makes your Mac boot up with the minimum amount of drivers needed to make it work, and it checks your hard disk in the process it might take a bit longer to boot up. Do do this, start up your computer while holding down the Shift key until the Apple logo passes. If your Mac starts up with the safe boot, go ahead and restart the computer again and see if it boots up normally as odd as it sounds this fixes the problem a surprising amount of the time.

    If not, it's time to give the hard drive a closer look.

    Top 6 Ways to Fix Grey Screen On Mac

    If you still can't boot up OS X normally, it's time to run Disk Utility and check out your hard drive:. In a lot of cases, running Disk Utility will catch problems with startup issues. Sometimes a single file with the wrong permissions can cause the whole system to collapse, or if something's not in the right place it won't boot. If this doesn't work, you have a lot more problems to look into.

    Repair Gray Screen on MacBook, iMac or Mac Pro

    If the above solutions don't work, it's time to dig a lot deeper into your system. Your problem could range from a bad hard drive to a faulty logic board. Here are a few more steps that should help you single out the problem:. Ah yes, the spinning beach ball that refuses to go away. Sometimes it's a small, application-specific problem that's easy to solve, but other times it's part of a much bigger mess.

    If your Mac is tossing up the spinning beach ball consistently, it's time to figure out the exact cause.

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    Your Mac will usually get a spinning beach ball when it's somehow overloaded. More often than not, this just lasts a few seconds and goes away, in which case you can ignore it. If it doesn't, the best way to figure out what's going on is to launch Activity Monitor and pinpoint which program is causing the problem.

    Step 2: Safe Boot

    If it's a powerful piece of software like Photoshop that's causing problems, then it's a good chance you need more RAM in your computer. RAM can help with multi-tasking issues , and if the beach ball comes up when you're running a few programs at once additional RAM will help this is very easy to install yourself.

    If not, and it's something lightweight like a file syncing service like Dropbox or an instant messenger client like Adium , then it's probably a problem with the software itself.

    Part 2: How to Fix Grey Screen on Mac?

    Try quitting the app and seeing if the problem persists. If the beach ball doesn't return, then you have your problem. When your hard disk is full it can cause spinning beach ball problems. For a lot of us, this just means cleaning up two folders: your trash and your downloads folder:. In a lot of cases, doing the above two steps can free up enough space to continue working.

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