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Old Jul 25th, 2011, 01:47 PM   #1
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I'm a-gonna cry...

Hi Mac people, Well I tried to be a Mac -lover. But my Macbook has been a lemon of the sourest variety! Currently stuck on a grey screen, will NOT move beyond that. Don't know what else to try, so I gave up and bought a lovely non-Mac. Now, the big problem is, all my Mac files are backed up on an external hard-drive, and how on earth will I get them into my PC??? Can anyone help me figure out how to get the Mac going again, or how to transfer the files? I'd appreciate it so much.
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Old Jul 25th, 2011, 03:13 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by canadagranny View Post
Hi Mac people, Well I tried to be a Mac -lover. But my Macbook has been a lemon of the sourest variety! Currently stuck on a grey screen, will NOT move beyond that. Don't know what else to try, so I gave up and bought a lovely non-Mac. Now, the big problem is, all my Mac files are backed up on an external hard-drive, and how on earth will I get them into my PC??? Can anyone help me figure out how to get the Mac going again, or how to transfer the files? I'd appreciate it so much.
Do you have any friends with Macs? You likely can read that drive on another Mac, then copy the files over to a Windows format USB stick, external drive, etc.
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Old Jul 25th, 2011, 03:16 PM   #3
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That sounds like a hardware issue, so you could try taking it in somewhere to have a professional look at it. Is this a new Macbook, or one you bought used? Have you called support?
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Old Jul 25th, 2011, 03:18 PM   #4
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MacDrive: relatively inexpensive and does the job nicely.

MacDrive Mediafour

You might even be able to do what you need to with the free trial. Just be sure you know which version you need. I don't know what you are running on your PC.
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Old Jul 25th, 2011, 03:21 PM   #5
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If you are the "do it yourself" type, have you tried starting from your OS disk? This is the grey disk that came with your computer or any copy of OS X that may have come with your computer or that you may have upgraded to. Instructions here on how diagnose a bad hard drive:

Mac OS X - Using Disk Utility to Repair a Disk
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Old Jul 25th, 2011, 03:46 PM   #6
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I don't want to sound harsh, but the OP ran out and bought a PC before trying to troubleshoot the macbook...does not sound like the do-it-yourself type... Grey screens are usually hardware based problems, as a damaged OS usually brings the Question mark of a unsuccessful load. It might boot with the OS disk but, tech help might be in order. At the very least we need more info to help.

Jumping platforms is a radical move, and beyond images, music and common file types, the expectation of file compatibility should be measured. Either way the OP needs a PC that can read the Mac drive or a Mac that can write to a PC drive.
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Old Jul 25th, 2011, 06:12 PM   #7
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Thanks for your replies. Further info---Have tried trouble-shooting; Googled "gray screen on Mac" and found assorted things to try, and tried them all, many times. No results. Am hoping you guys have one more little trick I haven't heard of, that will work. Called the only Mac tech guys in this area, and they want $65/hour, and sound like they know less about it than I do.
This is a MacBook that I bought new, 3 or 4 years ago. The optical drive quit permanently after hardly any use, so I've had to use an external DVD writer. The hard-drive was replaced by Apple last year as it is the model that so many people are having sudden crash problems with, and my photos were starting to deteriorate.....did they just give me another defective hard-drive, I wonder?
Have just had so many problems with this Mac, plus found so many programs I'd like to use are incompatible or unavailable, and this gray screen was just the last straw.
Still would really like to resurrect it to get my files, though! Only know one other person with a Mac in this area, and I don't think it has the capacity to hold my 30,000 or more photo files plus all the rest backed up on the external hard-drive. Sigh....
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Old Jul 25th, 2011, 06:26 PM   #8
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Only know one other person with a Mac in this area, and I don't think it has the capacity to hold my 30,000 or more photo files plus all the rest backed up on the external hard-drive. Sigh....
You can do your backup even if your friend does not have enough hard drive space. Purchase an additional external HDD and format it to work with your PC. Also purchase an external laptop hard drive enclosure so you can remove your hard drive from your MacBook and use it as an external drive. Hook-up both your new PC-formatted external hard drive and your Mac-formatted external hard drives to your friend's Mac and transfer the files directly between the two. If there are not enough USB connections you will need to purchase a USB hub as well.

Hopefully this helps. The most difficult part here is removing your laptop hard drive from your MacBook. There are instructions for doing this on the Apple webpage.
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Old Jul 25th, 2011, 08:37 PM   #9
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Lets get back to basics:

I assume you have it plugged into the wall AC adapter and that your Optical drive at least reads. If it doesn't there's not much troubleshooting we can do.

Your machine is not starting from the hard drive

Start the machine while holding the mouse button down, that should eject any CD or open the CD tray
Put in the OSX DVD that came with the machine, and hold down the C key as you reboot or start up

Does the machine boot from the DVD?

If no, then it's increasingly likely to be hardware.

If you reboot the machine again and hold down the "T" key, does it boot to a screen with a Firewire logo floating around? If so, then you can hook this machine to another Mac with a Firewire cable and copy the data off the hard drive.

If not, you probably have a motherboard failure or a similar hardware failure and nothing you can do will make it boot.

One way to get the data off is to physically open the machine and remove the hard drive which you can then install into a SATA USB enclosure ($20) and hook it up to another Mac to copy the data off to DVD-R or USB memory sticks. Or buy an external hard drive to copy the data to (you can also configure the external hard drive as a boot drive if you can find a similar Mac to install your OSX onto the drive with).

Hardware failure happens to all machines (in fact, in all of the PCWorld surveys, Apple consistently has the most reliable hardware - but averages are averages and you are concerned with just this one machine)




Notes:
If the optical drive failed in the first year it should have been replaced under warranty

As for all the programs that you haven't been able to find on OSX - there is Bootcamp and Windows available.
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Old Jul 25th, 2011, 11:55 PM   #10
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Hi,

I'd follow what CanadaRam says.

But Granny, I don't mean to sound disrespectful, but you can't call any computer a lemon after 3-4 years! Most macs do last longer, but 3-4 years isn't a lemon in my opinion. If you end up sticking with the non-mac, it would be interesting if you came back and reported how you like the experience after 6 months or a year. I somehow don't think it would be the same.

Hope you get it fixed somehow or buy a new macbook. The refurb prices on the apple online store are pretty fantastic. still better than having a non-mac. ick.

good luck,
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