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Sell your MacBook

dead dying or just sleeping?

edited February 2011 in MacBook
I have Macbook intel core 2 duo.
problem: grey screen and black cursor.
1. power on
2.after chime the white light turns off and loading wheel screen
5.grey screen and black cursor.
6.that's all. stops on 5.
i tried to reformat using Mac OS X install dvd
but same end point.
hold down option key to select the install dvd but same end point.grey screen and black cursor.(no more warranty and money for the shop)
thank you for making this site! very helpful!


  • edited February 2011
    Hi! Sorry for the delay -- I've been away a few days.

    Do you mean you were successful reformatting and reinstalling the system, and then it went back to the grey screen, or it went to the grey screen when you booted from the install DVD?

    This may be a long shot, but it almost sounds as if your computer is used to being connected to an external display, and it's using the laptop screen as secondary screen space. This is unlikely, and it should go back to using your screen as a primary when the external is disconnected. But still, I'd try the SMC and PRAM resets, in case they might kick the computer back into behaving normally:

    Also, assuming you have a white MacBook with FireWire, I'd connect it to a friend's Intel Mac with a FireWire cable. Put the other mac in target mode by powering on holding down the "T" key, until you see the target mode symbol on its screen. Then, power on your laptop holding down the "option" key. You'll enter option mode, which displays bootable devices, and you should see the hard drive of the other machine, in which case select it. If you are able to boot from the remote hard drive, this is a good indicator that the problem is related to your own hard drive (because another one worked fine). If it behaves exactly like it did trying to boot from your drive, that's an indicator that the problem is the computer itself, and unrelated to the drive.

    Beyond that, I'd re-seat the RAM, in case one module has come loose and the laptop no longer has enough RAM to boot into the OS (Leopard requires 512MB, and Snow Leopard requires 1GB).

    You can also try booting to safe mode, which loads a stripped-down version of the OS and will sometimes shed some light on the issue if it's a software element that is preventing the OS from loading:

    Anyway, thanks, and I hope this helps! Let me know how it goes!

  • Also, is the "black cursor" the pointer arrow, or something else?
  • Hi John,

    Thank you very much for the reply!
    sadly, I can't do the firewire thing coz I don't have a friend that have Mac.
    I tried the safe mode but same result.
    any idea what to do to my macbook? the best thing to do for my macbook.(limited budget) my location is UAE(i'm not arab.asian)
    thank you
  • Did you try the resets, re-seating the RAM, etc.? Do you see the grey screen when trying to boot to the reinstall DVD, or were you able to fully reinstall the system, after which the grey screen appeared again? My opinion of what to do next really depends upon the answers to the testing I suggested above...without that info I'd be taking shots in the dark.

    That said, you could try another hard drive. You could connect to an external display, and see if the computer's desktop appears on the external display.

    If you want to get rid of the machine, I believe they do have CraigsList in most countries, so you could give that a shot, and put the money toward a new laptop. If you have an Apple store in the area, you can ask for a "depot repair", which usually goes for around $300, and generally involves a logic board swap if necessary. A depot repair is much cheaper than having Apple themselves do the work. I don't know if that option is available outside the US, but it's worth a shot.

    Anyway, good luck!

  • Hi again John.

    Yes I did the resets but still no use. when I insert the disk for reinstalling or when I pick the install mac os x it says need to restart the computer by holding down the power button and press to turn it on. then if I don't press anything it will end up to grey screen. thank you for your time John. I hope someday they find solution for my macbook. thank you
  • Hmmm...that sounds like a kernel panic screen. I would remove your hard drive, then try booting from the reinstall media. Obviously you can't reinstall the system with the drive out, but if booting off the media gets further than before, that's a good indicator that the hard drive is causing the problem, and then you'll know to replace the drive. And if you still get the kernel panic screen with the hard drive removed, you know the computer itself and probably the board is the problem. I would also re-seat the RAM, and try booting with one RAM slot empty and then the other empty, because bad RAM slots, in addition to loose RAM modules, can cause kernel panics.
  • Hi John!
    Good news! I managed to get screwdrivers and hard disk. then I try to install mac os x to the used hard disk. then I don't know but the borrowed HD is windows 7 and run to my macbook. now I have macbook but the os is windows 7. we can say now that the problem is not the logic board. maybe it's my mac os x installer? coz when i tried to install the mac os x to new HD(i bought new 1) same thing happen. maybe my old mac HD is not broken? any idea how i can bring my macbook back to itself?hehe thank you for your support! I'm using my macbook with windows7 but no audio no net no cam. i think i need drivers but don't know where and how to get.
  • That's great to hear! I agree, I think it confirms the computer is basically working, and it's possible that the OS installer media is bad, or that your optical drive is bad, or not liking the media (which is often the case if media is scratched or dirty). I would obtain another copy of the OS installer and see if that resolves the issue. You could also connect an external Firewire optical drive and use that, or connect your computer to another Mac in target mode, and use that computer's optical drive. If you don't have access to another copy of the restore media, you can always download and burn it from a torrent site such as Anyway, good luck, and you're getting closer!
  • Thank you very much John!
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