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Part 2: Symptoms, Causes, and Cures > Startup and Disk Problems: Stuck at the S...

Chapter 5. Startup and Disk Problems: Stuck at the Starting Gate

Unpleasant Topics

Understanding the Startup Sequence

What Is a Normal Startup Sequence?

What Is a Startup Disk?

What Determines Which Disk Is the Startup Disk?

Default Rules for Selecting a Startup Disk

The Startup Disk Control Panel: Changing the Default Startup Selection

Starting with an Alternative Startup Disk

Start Up with an Alternative Hard Drive or Removable Cartridge

Solve It! When Your Macintosh Won't Start Up

The Macintosh Is Dead

Are All Cables Plugged In and All Switches Turned On?

Check Batteries

Substitute and/or Switch Cables and Components

Is It Just the Monitor?

Visit the Repair Shop

Sad Macs and Unusual Startup Tones

The Sad Mac Icon

Unusual Startup Tones

Decode the Message

Restart the Macintosh

If the Macintosh Successfully Restarts from an Alternative Startup Disk

If the Macintosh Does Not Restart from an Alternative Startup Disk

The Flashing/Blinking ? Icon

Restart the Macintosh

If Your Startup Disk Is an External Hard Drive: Check Connections

If Your Startup Disk Is an Internal Drive: Disconnect Any External Devices

(Especially SCSI Devices) and Restart

Check Indicator Lights


Restart with an Alternative Startup Disk

Check for System Folder Problems

Make Disk Repairs

The X Disk Icon Appears

Do Nothing...At First

A System Error Occurs Just Before or While the Mac OS Screen Is Displayed

Do You Have the Correct and Latest Version of the System


Test for a Startup Extension Problem

Determine the Problem Startup Extension

Not Enough Memory

Zap the PRAM

Replace or Reduce System Software

Check for Other Problems

Problems While Launching the Finder and the Desktop

Can't Load the Finder

The Desktop File Could Not Be Created

Other Unusual Messages at Startup

Unreadable or Damaged Disk

Cursor Alternates Between a Watch and an Arrow (or All Icons in a Window Are Missing)

For Any Other Symptom, Including System Errors

Solve It! Generic Problems with Disks

A Hard Disk Won't Mount

Check Power and Connections

Restart or Try to Mount the Drive Manually

Check for SCSI-Related Problems

Check for USB-Related Problems

Check for FireWire-Related Problems

Special Case: Problems Mounting Removable Media Cartridges

Check for Damaged Files and Disks (Disk Is Unreadable or Not a Macintosh Disk) 161


Hardware Problems: Stiction and Beyond

A Floppy Disk Won't Mount

For "Disk Is Unreadable" or "Not a Macintosh Disk" Messages

If No Error Message Appears

After You Eject the Disk

A Floppy Disk Won't Eject or Unmount

Standard Methods for Ejecting a Disk

Nonstandard Methods for Ejecting a Disk

The Low-Tech Approach

Reinserting the Disk

Special Cases

Repeated Requests to Reinsert a Floppy Disk

Make Sure You Are Inserting the Requested Disk

To Break Out of the Cycle, Try Pressing Command-Period

Restart with Extensions Off (or Only Mac OS Base Extensions Enabled)

Bypass the Need for Floppy Disks Altogether

A CD/DVD Disk Won't Mount or Play

Problems Mounting a CD or DVD

Problems Playing a Movie DVD with DVD Player

A CD/DVD Disc or Removable Cartridge Won't Eject

Use the Put Away Command

If a File on the Disk Is "In Use," Quit the Relevant Application(s)

Turn Off Virtual Memory

Other Ways to Eject a CD/DVD Disc

Other Ways to Eject a Removable Cartridge

A Hard Disk Gets Unmounted

Removing a Disk Icon

Dimmed Hard Disk Icons

Turning the Power Off

Drag the Disk Icon to the Trash

Drag a Shadow Icon to the Trash

Remount Any Unmounted Disk

Problems with Restart, Shut Down, or Sleep

Save Documents, Quit Any Open Applications, and Related Issues

Check for Background Application Problems

Check for Startup Extension Problems

Restart (by Using the Reset Button, If Necessary)

Replace the Finder Preferences File

Zap the Parameter RAM

Replace the Open Application and/or the System Software

Check for Updates

Check for Disk Directory or Hardware Problems

Files Missing from the Desktop

Close and Reopen the Window

Use Find

Rebuild the Desktop

Use DiskRepair Utilities

The Macintosh's Speed Is Unexpectedly Slow

Frequent System Crashes and Other Disk-Related Quirks

Check for Damage

Check for Viruses

System Software and Application Problems

Startup-Disk Problems

Hard Disk Problems

If All Else Fails



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