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MacBook Pain: Won’t Boot, Very Hot – Fixed

Posted: July 28th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Technology | Tags: , | No Comments »

This morning I had a mild heart attack as my new MacBook Pro decided not to come back up from sleep mode. It had been sitting on my desk all night, plugged into the power having being put to sleep. I opened it and heard the fans whirring away, but nothing happened on screen. After a few minutes I held down the power key to re-boot it – on starting back up though I just had the grey apple logo and spinning wheel, but no visible progress!

I rebooted the machine a few times, and once it got through to the login screen, but in the background the ‘OS X Booting’ dialog box stayed on the screen. So I rebooted again, thinking that would clear it down – but then it wouldn’t come back up at all. Great.

I restarted the machine in verbose mode (press Command + V on startup) and watched the output, all good until a SATA disk drive error (something about block 0 missing) came up repeatedly on screen. OK. So a hard drive problem, my worst nightmare. This time I rebooted into single user mode (Command + S) and ran fsck – ‘File System Check’ – it turns out that most of my hard drive settings were out by a few blocks at all levels, and some parts were completely missing. Ug.

Luckily fsck repaired the drive successfully, and after entering reboot at the command line the machine came back up without apparent problems. Phew. I then backed up my recent files to DVD just in case and had a coffee.

Of course now I want to know what caused this. A few posts online indicate similar problems – my machine was super hot, even though it was off and recharging – had that upset the hard drive? In which case it’s something that could easily happen again. Or is this something to do with installing MacFuse recently so I could try and write to my PC shared NTFS drives? A lot of the posts with the same problem had been running Parallels, a Windows exection package. If anyone has any ideas please let me know!

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