Blog by an Apple Certified Tech


PROBLEM IN TURNING THE MACHINE UP (for 10.3 and older only)
The worst thing you could ever experience in a computer is not turning up. No matter how many times you do a hard boot but the result is same. If the machine is Mac, there could be variations in error notification. Most of the time it is a simple issue that you could fix after going through this article.


  • There can be empty blue screen with a spinning wheel (the progress indicator in Mac).
  • A "Prohibitory sign" appears or "Kernel panic error" is mentioned on the screen.
  • Blank gray screen without any text could appear.
  • No notification, but machine doesn't turns up.

There can be empty blue screen with a spinning wheel (the progress indicator in Mac).

I am mentioning 5 simple steps that you can try and hope it will work for you, but if in any case it doesn't works then try the last few steps that are slightly critical but I know you will easily do it because you can't sit back and wait with a quite expensive Mac machine.

Solution One: This could happen when you have upgraded form OS 9 to OS X as the later reviews the font in the former system. Damage in OS 9 font system might cause this to happen. So to fix this, put the OS 9 CD in the machine, drag the font folder to the desktop & restart the machine. This should fix this issue if it is caused by font disorder, but make sure you drag the folder from OS 9 otherwise the condition will still remain same.

Solution Two: This could be due to third party items lined up in your start up. To fix this, start your Mac in safe mode and then follow these steps:
a. Go to the hard drive.
b. Find there two folders /Library/StartupItems and /System/Library/StartupItems and drag the third party application out of it. If they are important, then save them in Users folder. Make sure that you don’t touch any item if you have even a little doubt that the application is pre-installed by Mac or is a third party.
c. Now lets restart with the hope that the issue will be fixed.

Solution Three: If the Login item is incompatible, then it could create this issue. Follow those five simple steps to resolve this:
a. Start in Safe mode.
b. Go to system preferences.
c. Use View menu to choose account and then select Startup items. If you have OS 10.2 select Login Items from the View menu.
d. You have to remove all the Login items.
e. Now restart the machine from Apple icon.
f. The issue will be fixed, now add the Login items one by one till you face this issue again, once you come to know which item is creating issue, you can delete it from the list.

Solution Four: A small setting in Network preferences might also cause this, it happens when you select "Connect automatically when starting TCP/IP applications". In this case, preferences file that has this setting should be deleted, if you follow this, all the settings will be reset and later on you need to configure them in order to get connect to internet or your office or home network.
Start computer in single user mode (if you want to learn about single user or verbose mode, please find in blog posted on 08.02.2009)
a. Type
mount -uw /
b. Hit Return/Enter.
c. Type the following command as per your OS. For OS 10.2 type mv /var/db/SystemConfiguration/preferences.xml preferences.old
For OS 10.3 to 10.3.9 type mv/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/preferences.plist preferences.old
d. Hit Return/Enter.
e. Type
f. Hit Return/Enter.
If it still continues, follow next solution.

Solution Five: Start computer in single user OR Verbose mode (if you want to learn about single user or verbose mode, please find in blog posted on 08.02.2009)
a. Type
mount -uw /
b. Hit Return/Enter
c. Now type
mv /Library/Preferences/ preferences2.old
d. Hit Return/Enter
e. Again type
mv /Library/Preferences/ preferences3.old
f. Hit Return/Enter
g. Type
h. Hit Return/Enter

Remember: You have to put a space between ".plist" and "preferences".

When a "Prohibition sign" appears or "Kernel panic error" is mentioned on the screen.

Before we start, let me show you how Kernel panic error screen looks like. Phrase ofthe message could be somewhat like "Unresolved kernel trap"

Prohibitory icon looks like the picture on the right.
Prohibitory sign generally comes when a file is moved, replace, deleted or damaged. There are a small list of hardwares and softwares which, if used, can cause this to happen. The easiest solution is reinstallation of OS, but it usually is not preferable. So try these advance steps:
  1. If you have moved, deleted or even renamed apple installed folder, bring them back to their orignal state with due honour. If you want, I can name some of them for you, like Applications, System or Library.
  2. Even if you try to edit of modify previledges of OS X System files, it may lead to Kernel Panics.
  3. As I mentioned, some of hardwares & softwares might cause this, they are (not limited to) listed here: Airport Extreme Card, PC card Modem, Matrox RTMac Card, 2D/3D Professional graphics card(128 bit), the installing driver of an application may also cause this to happen.

Blank grey screen without any text could appear.

  • Go to Apple Downloads and check that you have installed the latest version of firmwares.
  • Devices like ADB, serial, USB, FireWire, SCSI, and PCMCIA can create this issue, so the steps you need to follow is that disconnect al the devices once the issue gets resolved, then connect all the devices one after the other each restarting to find out which one is creating this problem.
  • Sometimes third party hardware upgrades can also play with your system including, but not limited to RAM, microprocessor upgrade cards, PCI cards etc. Follow the previous steps to fix this.
  • If you can, then reset your computer's Power management unit. This should fix the issue.

No notification, but machine doesn't turns up.

In order to fix this, try the steps we followed for "Grey screen error".

Mac OS X Version 10.5.6 Leopard
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