: 2010 MBPro running High Sierra not booting even after one hour.


TiltAgain
Oct 7th, 2017, 12:14 PM
Late 2010 17" MBPro with 8 gigs RAM and 1TB HDD running MacOS High Sierra, all latest updates installed.

Suddenly this evening Safari started to beachball. So I tried to start Opera. That too beachballed.

So I did the cmd-option-esc to try and force quit. That window to show running apps beach balled! Finally after many many minutes it showed the apps and all of them including Finder were not responding.

So, I tried to relaunch Finder. That took a very long time. Force-quitting Safari and Opera took many minutes too; and then Finder just kept beach balling. So, I could not even click Apple|Shutdown.

So, I held the power button down and killed the Mac.

Then I powered it back on. I got the Apple logo with the progress bar below.

That progress bar has been slowly filling for the last hour (actually as of this writing it has been an hour and twenty minutes).

The progress bar is now full, but it has been that way for around twenty minutes now.

I live in India, there are no Apple stores here or Genuis bars. There are third party authorised repair centres to whom I can take the laptop and get it dignosed, but it's now Saturday night and the earliest i can go is Monday.

So, any pointers on what else I can try? In order to run disk utility or Onyx or anything I first have to get the machine booted, so that's out of the question for now.

I can try resetting the PRAM and SMC, but I am worried that if that does not work, I again have to wait maybe 90 minutes or longer for the machine to start up again.

Any ideas please?

Thanks and cheers

EDITED TO ADD: I got sick of waiting, powered down the machine, did the SMC reset and the PRAM/NVRAM reset. No help. Still stuck at the progress bar and now I have to wait at least 90 minutes (if not longer) to see if it ever boots and then see if I can run Disk Utility or Etrecheck. Thanks

John Clay
Oct 7th, 2017, 12:22 PM
Hard drive is likely toast. Could also be the SATA cable, but I don't think those issues were widespread on the 17" model.

TiltAgain
Oct 7th, 2017, 12:32 PM
Thanks JC. I edited my original post, please see above.

If it's just the HDD that's toast, that's not a problem - I could always have that replaced. And data is not an issue, there's absolutely nothing there that cannot be recreated.

Trouble is, once I replace the HDD, how do I install the OS onto a completely blank drive?

Cheers

ChilBear
Oct 7th, 2017, 12:58 PM
I did this just last week with my 2012 MBP/ Loaded Lion using CD drive then ElCapitain. I also swapped to a Samsung SSD - went way faster! Not heading higher as my MBP and my Aluminum iMac are clones and both at El Cap.

Another idea is to make a installed on a USB stick - thought it over and decided not to. Or use Target drive if you have another Mac.

SINC
Oct 7th, 2017, 01:41 PM
Thanks JC. I edited my original post, please see above.

If it's just the HDD that's toast, that's not a problem - I could always have that replaced. And data is not an issue, there's absolutely nothing there that cannot be recreated.

Trouble is, once I replace the HDD, how do I install the OS onto a completely blank drive?

Cheers

Just download the OS of your choice from the purchased list on the App Store. Then copy that file to a USB stick. Start your computer and launch the installer, click install on the USB stick, It will ask you where you want to instal the OS, then select the new blank HD and click install. Simple as that.

I erase my HD and do clean install of every new OS, then retrieve the data from a clone of the old HD (or Time Machine). Works very well and is easy.

CubaMark
Oct 7th, 2017, 03:13 PM
Just download the OS of your choice from the purchased list on the App Store. Then copy that file to a USB stick.

If there's no OS on the drive, he can't do this (I'm not even sure that would work....).

The method I've always used is this:

How to Make a Bootable macOS Sierra USB Install Drive (https://lifehacker.com/how-to-make-a-bootable-macos-sierra-usb-flash-drive-1786853248) (should be the same procedure for High Sierra)

monokitty
Oct 7th, 2017, 09:49 PM
Boot up using Command + R. It will auto create a recovery partition to reinstall an OS from.

TiltAgain
Oct 8th, 2017, 02:20 AM
Thank you all for responding re. installing on a blank new drive. I too, after posting here though, googled and found out how to create a bootable USB with the install files there and have created one just in case. My apologies, I should have done that RTFM before posting here asking for help.

Anyway, here's an update from now:

I left the machine on overnight. This morning it had booted to the login screen. Weirdly enough, the login process did not hang or take time - it let me type my password at normal speed. However, it did take a long time after that to actually display anything.

It had a blank screen for about 15 minutes, then Finder s-l-o-w-l-y loaded up (maybe 15 minutes more?).

I finally managed to click on the Safari icon; that took around 20 minutes to launch.

Clicked into the URL bar to go to the Etrecheck website - that resulted in the beachball again and after about 8 minutes it went to the site. Clicking the download button was an adventure because every time I move the mouse pointer (at any time, including in Finder) it takes an inordinately long time to stop beach balling.

To make a long story short, as of this writing Etrecheck has just completed downloading. Now i have to navigate to the downloads folder; move Etrecheck to the Applications folder, and then launch it. I am expecting that to take about an hour. Once Etrecheck launches and runs (don't know how long THAT will take), I shall see how I can move those results to my iMac so that I can post it here.

Computing in slow-mo :). Interesting experience (only because my MBPro is not my daily-driver - otherwise it's not the most enjoyable experience).

Thanks again, folks. Stay tuned for the next update in a few hours :)

Cheers

Edited to add: And oh, BTW, I did manage to boot from the USB key I created and ran Disk Utility. The HDD did not pop out anything of concern. In fact it said that everything was absolutely fine. So, you folks still think it could be a toasted HDD?

SINC
Oct 8th, 2017, 06:49 AM
If there's no OS on the drive, he can't do this (I'm not even sure that would work....).

The method I've always used is this:

How to Make a Bootable macOS Sierra USB Install Drive (https://lifehacker.com/how-to-make-a-bootable-macos-sierra-usb-flash-drive-1786853248) (should be the same procedure for High Sierra)

It works fine. Been doing it this way for years now. No need to go through all those hoops in your link. Long as there is an OS on the drive as you noted. I forgot about that in my first post to tilt, sorry.

I use this method to upgrade my three Macs as well as my daughter's two Macs. Using command R method requires downloading the OS five times, a real time waste. The file on USB stick will avoid that with a single download.

TiltAgain
Oct 8th, 2017, 08:20 AM
OK, one more update from just now:

I launched Etrecheck around 5 hours ago approximately. As of this writing it still had not finished running. It completed the hardware checks, the software checked and got stuck at the daemons stage and never progressed further .

So, I have given up; and I am just starting the complete nuke and pave re-install of the complete OS.

If it installs in a reasonable amount of time, I shall see if it's usable in the plain vanilla state. If it is, then I am guessing it was some daemon that was creating the whole problem and that it was not a hardware issue.

If it doesn't, then of course it has to be hardware-related. I anyway have to take it to the shop tomorrow, so this is a last ditch attempt just for shits and giggles.

Cheers

John Clay
Oct 8th, 2017, 09:47 AM
Edited to add: And oh, BTW, I did manage to boot from the USB key I created and ran Disk Utility. The HDD did not pop out anything of concern. In fact it said that everything was absolutely fine. So, you folks still think it could be a toasted HDD?

Disk Utility is fairly useless at detecting hardware issues (or at fixing any issues at all). DiskWarrior will usually flag failing drives correctly, but intuition is still more accurate.

Your symptoms are caused by a failing HDD. No question.

TiltAgain
Oct 9th, 2017, 01:55 AM
Final update - everything works like new again!

OK, I did the nuke & pave; or at least i thought I did. It has been so long since I did a nuke & pave that I forgot the nuke portion and just did the pave. That took a while; and my first inkling of something not right was when instead of asking me for location and user name it went straight to logging in as me. That means of course that I just wasted an hour or so. *sigh*

So, I started the whole process again, this time remembering to erase the start-up drive. The install went through in a decent amount of time, I created a user, ran the updates and everything. The machine now works as though it's brand new! No beachballs, no freezes, it's all 'teh snappy" now.

Cheers

TiltAgain
Oct 9th, 2017, 01:58 AM
Disk Utility is fairly useless at detecting hardware issues (or at fixing any issues at all). DiskWarrior will usually flag failing drives correctly, but intuition is still more accurate.

Your symptoms are caused by a failing HDD. No question.

Yeah, I suppose that what you say could still be true. Since the machine seems to be working properly now, let me see if the problem recurs.

BTW, I ran Etrecheck after the install and updating; and it showed a perfect report. I even checked the SMART status of the HDD (not sure if that actually does anything or whether the HDD is even SMART-enabled); and it showed no issues at all.

So, like I said, let me wait and see :)

Thank you JC :)

Cheers

John Clay
Oct 9th, 2017, 10:39 AM
Yeah, I suppose that what you say could still be true. Since the machine seems to be working properly now, let me see if the problem recurs.

BTW, I ran Etrecheck after the install and updating; and it showed a perfect report. I even checked the SMART status of the HDD (not sure if that actually does anything or whether the HDD is even SMART-enabled); and it showed no issues at all.

So, like I said, let me wait and see :)

Thank you JC :)

Cheers

For what it's worth, a reformat will often allow the drive to skip bad sectors - sectors that were previously holding important data, holding up the boot or causing slowdowns. A reformat will buy some time, but more than likely further sectors will fail.

Make sure you keep a backup :)

polywog
Oct 9th, 2017, 12:03 PM
For what it's worth, a reformat will often allow the drive to skip bad sectors - sectors that were previously holding important data, holding up the boot or causing slowdowns. A reformat will buy some time, but more than likely further sectors will fail.

Make sure you keep a backup :)

IIRC failed sectors and failed to reallocate sectors would show as "Failing" in SMART for EtreCheck or About this Mac, particularly if it was severe enough to cause slowdowns. Ideally, monitor with a SMART utility and keep an eye out for an increase in whatever values.

DriveDx has a free trial, it'll give you a quick glance at your current state of affairs. https://binaryfruit.com/drivedx

John Clay
Oct 9th, 2017, 12:11 PM
IIRC failed sectors and failed to reallocate sectors would show as "Failing" in SMART for EtreCheck or About this Mac, particularly if it was severe enough to cause slowdowns. Ideally, monitor with a SMART utility and keep an eye out for an increase in whatever values.

DriveDx has a free trial, it'll give you a quick glance at your current state of affairs. https://binaryfruit.com/drivedx

They should, but SMART is not reliable. If SMART shows failure, replace the drive. If the symptoms add up, but SMART shows pass, replace the drive.

Rob
Oct 9th, 2017, 01:28 PM
Another possibility is that one of your ram sticks is going (gone) bad. I'm assuming you have 2 4Gig sticks. If one goes bad it will almost certainly cause boot problems, since the newer OS versions need a lot of ram.

I've had this happen to me before. When I did a ram check using About This Mac, it showed I had far less ram than I should have. It was intermittent too. Sometimes the ram stick would be seen, and it would work fine, other times not good at all.