Cannot boot normally or in safe mode, booting to recovery mode results in circle with line through it

Ask Different Asked by qazwsx on December 7, 2020

I opened my Macbook Pro to discover it was off, I pressed the power button and it had the AHH and the apple symbol and loading bar. However, the screen is covered in alternating bars of pink and blue. After the loading bar was almost full, the mac suddenly went to a very dark blue (but not black) screen. After 30 seconds, there is a power off click and the screen goes black for a few seconds before rebooting again. It is trapped in an infinite loop. I reset NVRAM, SMC, no effect. I shut it down to stop the loop, but the loop just restarts. Booting to safe mode breaks the loop… by taking me to a blank white screen until I shutdown. Booting to recovery mode simply traps me on the loading screen, but there is no loading bar or apple logo, just an eternal circle with a line through it. Please help.

I tried booting to Verbrose Mode, here is a video. After the text stopped, the screen turned solid gray and the text disappeared, and a few minutes later it rebooted again back into the loop.

I used option D to run a test, it found nothing wrong.

One Answer

The graphical anomalies that you're seeing on boot are usually indicative of a GPU failure or logic board failure; for a MacBook Pro the difference between the two is immaterial in terms of what would need to be replaced since the GPU is soldered to the logic board. Booting into safe mode disables the GPU which likely explains your ability to get somewhere without having the machine kernel panic and power off.

The video you posted shows the machine running fsck_hfs, which checks the filesystem for errors, and it lists some issues with the filesystem. There's a possibility that you're dealing with GPU/board failure compounded with filesystem corruption caused by/during the failure of the hardware.

The diagnostics that would be available at an Apple Store (or over the phone as long as your machine is new enough) would be able to determine with a high degree of certainty whether or not you have a hardware issue.

Answered by dcastonguay on December 7, 2020

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