fixed : MacBook Pro hangs during final stage of macOS startup

Question :

I have macOS 10.14 Mojave installed on my MacBook Pro ‘Mid 2012’, but every time I try to start up my Mac, it hangs when the progress bar (on the white startup screen with the Apple logo) is at 99%…

On the TechRadar-website I found some startup key-combos to try : https://www.techradar.com/how-to/computing/apple/how-to-use-os-x-boot-options-to-troubleshoot-your-mac-1305645

I have tried the following, but it didn’t help :

  • restarting my MacBook
  • zapping the PRAM / NVRAM
  • running Disk First Aid in Recovery Mode
  • running Disk First Aid from another Mac while in Target Mode
  • reinstalling macOS Mojave from Recovery Mode
  • reinstalling macOS Mojave from a USB installer

So far, no problems where found, but the exact same problem keeps occuring :

When I startup my MacBook Pro, the progress bar goes quickly to 50%, then slows down but still keeps progressing up to 99% or even 100% and then hangs…

What can I do to solve this ?

 

Answer :

You have already tried most of the options that usually give success when you encounter these types of problems, so you have little options left to choose from.

The first thing to try would be ‘Verbose Mode’ so you will be able to figure out what problems are encountered during startup :

  • shut down you Mac using the power button
  • startup your Mac in Verbose Mode by pressing the [CMD]+[V] keycombo on your keyboard during startup
  • now, your Mac starts up without a GUI (Graphic User Interface) but just displays lines of code (like in the Terminal.app and Console.app)
  • note that you might see a screen of code flashing by and than face your regular inlog screen… if so, just login and you will get to the Console-like black screen with white lines of code…
  • wait for the lines of code to halt and see what error messages are displayed in the final lines of code
  • if the error is “too many corpses being created”, use the solution outlined below (additional error terms are “Process”, “crashed:” and “opendirectoryd.”)
  • if you get any different error message : lookup the error message and the solution on the internet

The solution to the “too many corpses being created” startup-error :

  • shut down your Mac using the power button
  • startup your Mac in Recovery Mode by pressing the [CMD]+[R] key combo on your keyboard during startup
  • if FireVault is on, mount the HardDisk by clicking Disk Utility.app and then typing your password
  • then, go to Utilities in the top menu bar and click Terminal in the pulldown menu
  • in Terminal.app type this line of code (in which “Macintosh\ HD” is replaced by the name your have given your HardDisk ; the default name is “Macintosh HD”, and note that all spaces in the name of your HardDisk should be replaced by “\ ” (a backslash + a space) when typing these lines of code) :

cd /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/var/db/caches/opendirectory

  • then press the [Enter]-key to run the code
  • when the cursor returns on the very next line you’re good, if you get an extra line in between, you’ve run into an error (e.g. “command not found” usually means you mistyped something, so you should just try again ; if you forgot to replace the space in your HardDisk’s name by “\ “ you’ll also get an error and you should just try again)
  • on the next line, type this :

mv ./mbr_cache ./mbr_cache-old

  • then press the [Enter]-key
  • when the cursor returns on the very next line you’re good
  • again, if you get an extra line in response, you’ve made an error and trying again with greater accuracy will probably solve it…
  • then, exit Terminal.app by pressing the [cmd]+[Q] key-combo
  • then restart your Mac by clicking on the Apple-icon top left in the top menu bar and clicking “Restart” from the pull down menu
  • now your Mac should startup without problems
  • note that the first startup will take a little longer, as all system settings need to be rebuilt

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

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fixed : spinning beachball on extremely slow MacBook Pro from 2012

Question :

I have a MacBook Pro from 2012 (maybe 2011) and it has gotten slower and slower each year, and now it’s even so slow that I constantly shows a spinning rainbow-ball and apps keep bouncing in the Dock : everything from opening apps to opening files takes forever… the response time to what I type on the keyboard is extremely slow… even though I am sure I haven’t even used 50% of my hard disk space…

What can I do to resolve this ?

 

Answer :

If you have a MacBook Pro ‘late 2011’ or ‘mid 2012’, and you have never upgraded the RAM, your MacBook may only have 4GB of RAM. Compared to current standards, that’s very little… especially if you are running macOS 10.13 High_Sierra or newer (macOS 10.14 Mojave will not run on the ‘late 2011’ model, only on the ‘mid 2012’ model).

There are various possible causes for your Mac running slow, to name a few :

  1. your hard drive is too full (not in your case as you stated, but still worth mentioning)
  2. you have too many processes running at once, so you’re short on RAM
  3. over time some things have gotten messed up on your Mac

So, start tackling these potential problems one-by-one :

  1. check your free hard drive space and free it up if needed :
    • go to the Apple-icon (top-left in the main menu bar)
    • from the pulldown-menu choose About This Mac
    • in the window that opens, click on the Storage tab
    • an info bar shows up :
      • if you have more than 25% of space available, you’re okay
      • if you have less than 10% of space available, you should free up space as soon as possible
    • to free up space on your hard disk, you can :
      • move files you do not use regularly to an external drive
      • delete apps you never use (apps from the Mac App Store you can delete, since you can re-download them if you need them in the near future ; other apps you should backup to an external drive if you want to be sure you will be able to re-install them in the future)
      • click on the Manage-button in the window you were in (About this Mac -> Storage) and follow the suggestions to free up space on your internal hard disk
  2. check your available RAM and shut down background processes :
    • go to the Apple-icon (top-left in the main menu-bar)
    • from the pulldown-menu choose About This Mac
    • in the window that opens, click on the Memory tab
    • if you only have 4GB of RAM, it would be a good idea to upgrade your RAM (but if you do not use your MacBook intensively or intent to buy a new one within about a year, it’s not a very cost efficient solution, so you can choose not to)
    • if you want to upgrade your RAM, you could ask your local Apple-dealer to do so for you, or you could do it yourself if you are a little tech savvy and have the right tools :
      • for a Late 2011 MacBook Pro you need PC-10600 (1333 MHz) DDR3 SO-DIMM, either 2x4GB or 2x8GB
      • for a Mid 2012 MacBook Pro you need PC3-12800 (1600MHz) DDR3 SO-DIMM, either 2x4GB or 2x8GB
    • whether you upgrade your RAM or not, you should also open the Activity Monitor app (that is in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder)
    • in the window that opens, you can see which apps and background processes take up the available RAM capacity
    • if you encounter any app in top-10 of the list that is either running slow or that you don’t need, you can Force Quit the app by selecting it from the list and then clicking on the 8-sided-X-marked-button top-left ( NOTE : only do this with apps you know, do not do this to processes from the list that you do not recognize, or of which you do not exactly know of what they do… it’s far safer to keep one process too much running than one process too little ! )
    • then, go to the Apple-icon (top-left in the main menu-bar)
    • from the pulldown-menu choose System Preferences
    • in the window that opens, click on Users&Groups
    • in the window that opens, click on the current user in the list on the left
    • then click the Login Items tab
    • there, make sure to only leave iTunesHelper there, so delete all other background-apps listed by selecting them from the list and clicking on the Minus-button bottom-middle ( NOTE : background-apps that are known to slow down your Mac extremely if you have little RAM are SpotifyHelper and Dropbox (DropboxHelper), so make sure you delete both of them if you are not planning on using Spotify or Dropbox regularly )
    • then restart your MacBook Pro ( go to the Apple-icon top-left and select Restart from the pulldown-menu )
    • after the restart, check to see if the background-app you had just deleted are really gone from the Login Items list, if they haven’t, delete them again, restart & check again
  3. if your Mac is still slow after doing all of the above, reset the PRAM/NVRAM/SMC by doing the following :
    • disconnect all cables from your MacBook Pro ( also disconnect from all USB-devices )
    • restart your MacBook Pro ( go to the Apple-icon top-left and select Restart from the pulldown-menu ) to ‘zap the PRAM’ :
    • when the screen goes black, immediately press this key-combo on your keyboard : [P] + [R] + [ALT] + [CMD] and hold all of them until you hear the second startup chime (sound), then release
    • then also ‘reset the SMC (Software Management Controller)’ :
    • make sure your MacBook Pro’s power adapter is disconnected
    • restart your MacBook Pro ( go to the Apple-icon top-left and select Restart from the pulldown-menu )
    • when the screen goes black, immediately press this key-combo on your keyboard : [SHIFT-left] + [ALT-left] + [CMD-left] and press the [POWER]-button at the same time for 10 seconds or more, then release
    • then press the [POWER]-button again to start-up your MacBook Pro

That should do it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : internet on wireless but not on LAN according to AirPort Utility

Question :

Lately I have had a bad and unstable internet connection. I have a Mac and it has been working fine for years. My internet provider is Vodafone-Ziggo.

I tried to find out what was wrong using the AirPortUtility.app on my Mac, and I found something strange : when selecting my wireless WiFi-network, my internet connection is presumed working, but when selecting my wired LAN-network, I get an error message saying there is no internet connection.

If it would have been the other way around, I could think of an explanation… but having wireless internet connection from my router and not LAN-internet just doesn’t make sense…

I’ve tried numerous resets of the Ziggo-modem, of my TimeCapsule and of my Mac. Nothing helps.

Do you have any suggestions on fixing this ?

 

Answer :

Even though you’ve tried most of the available options already, there is one other thing I would suggest to try :

  • make sure the UTP/Ethernet/LAN-cable is correctly connected into both your Mac and the ‘local network device’ (be it a TimeCapsule, a router, a modem, a network-switch or a wall-socket)
  • then, on your Mac : click on the Apple-icon (top-left on your Mac’s desktop screen)
  • in the pulldown menu, click on “System Preferences”
  • in the window that opens (“System Preferences”), click on “Network”
  • in the window that opens (“Network”), click on “Ethernet” in the list on the left
  • in the info that appears on the right, check if it says “Status : Connected”
  • if it doesn’t, your UTP/Ethernet/LAN-cable isn’t connected properly, so check all network-cables again until it says “Status : Connected”
  • then, click the Advanced-button
  • in the window that opens, click on the DNS-tab
  • in the info that opens, at “DNS Servers:” make sure that you have at least included one of the following DNS Servers : 8.8.8.8 (Google), 8.8.4.4 (Google), 208.67.222.222 (OpenDNS) and/or 208.67.220.220 (OpenDNS)
  • if none of those DNS Servers are listed yet, add them by clicking on the +/Plus-button bottom-left
  • then click on the Proxies-tab (of the elongated TCP/IP-button)
  • in the info that opens, make sure to remove the check-mark at both “Web Proxy (HTTP)” and “Secure Web Proxy (HTTPS)”
  • in case both were already switched OFF, I would suggest to switch both of them to ON
  • then leave the rest as is, and click on the OK-button
  • in the previous window that appears, click the “Apply”
  • now check the AirPortUtility.app again, and you should see that the internet connection is back up for both the wireless and wired/LAN connection
  • also check by opening Safari (or another internet browser) and refresh the page by clicking on the circular arrow in the address bar

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : new iPhone photos not showing up in macOS Photos.app

Question :

I am trying to get my photos from my iPhone onto my Mac. But after connecting my iPhone using USB the Photos.app does start up in macOS, but the newest photos I’ve made with my iPhone never show up my Mac.

Disconnecting and reconnecting my iPhone doesn’t help. Restarting the iPhone doesn’t resolve this problem, neither does restarting my Mac.

What can I do to solve this ?

 

Answer :

Even though you are encountering a very annoying problem, it’s rather easy to solve :

  • disconnect your iPhone (or iPad) from your Mac
  • open the Photos.app in iOS (on your iPhone/iPad)
  • click on the Photos-button (bottom-left ; the icon consisting of a double rectangle with the text ‘Photos’ below it)
  • select one photo one of the newest photos
  • then click on the Share-button (bottom-left ; the icon consisting of a square with an arrow pointing upward)
  • select all photos that are not showing up on you Mac, by swiping the photos to the left and right and tapping the bottom-right circle of each individual missing photo (the circle will turn into a blue checkmark)
  • then swipe in the row of app-icons to the Shared Albums icon and click it
  • wait while the clock says ‘Preparing’
  • then click Cancel (top-left)
  • now connect your iPhone (or iPad) to your Mac
  • open the Photos.app in macOS (on your Mac)
  • unlock your iPhone (or iPad) using your fingerprint/face-scan/screen-unlock-code
  • then, on your Mac, in Photos.app goto the left side bar and at Devices, click on your iPhone/iPad
  • then wait for the photos to appear as New Items
  • and click on the Import All New Items button top-right (or select only the photos you want to import and click on the Import Selected button)

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : Benq monitor stays black when MacBook is switched on

Question :

I have a Benq BL2420PT external monitor as a desktop screen connected to my MacBook using a Displayport-cable (actually a miniDisplayport-to-Displayport-cable). When my MacBook goes into sleep mode or the Ben monitor goes into sleep mode itself the screen goes black. But when I try to revive the monitor by moving my external mouse or pressing any key on my (external) keyboard, the MacBook starts up, but the Ben monitor’s screen stays black.

This same thing sometimes happens when I startup my MacBook and close the lid before the Benq monitor switches on.

What can I do to fix this ?

 

Answer :

The following trick might help for other Benq monitors, and maybe even for different brands of monitors also. This works for the Benq BL2420PT monitor if the screen stays black even when the connected Mac is turned on :

  • on the frame of the screen, bottom right, you see 5 indicator lights, next to the Power-indicator ; these are all touch-buttons
  • if the Power-indicator/button is steadily glowing in white, don’t touch it ; only if it has another color, touch it to switch on the monitor
  • if the Power-indicator still doesn’t glow white, check if all cables are connected properly and make sure the physical ON/OFF-switch on the bottom of the screen is switched ON
  • touch the one indicator light/button that is nearest to the centre of the screen (so the most left one)
  • if a message appears “No cable connected”, just wait
  • if a menu appears with 5 cable connectors to choose from, don’t touch anything, just wait
  • just wait (usually up to 30 seconds, sometimes even a minute) and the screen will switch on

NOTE : the most important thing is that you DO NOT (neither accidentally nor intentionally) touch any other indicator/button ! as this usually screws up the monitor’s software setting that corresponds to the physical cable connection (to correct that, you should toggle around with the these touch-buttons until the menu with the 5 cable connectors reappears and you can then choose the one that corresponds to your physically connected cable)

If the above doesn’t work, look here for alternate procedures to revive your black screen :

fixed : MacBook’s external monitor screen stays black

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : which version of Java do I have ?

Question :

I would like to know which version of Java I have installed on my Mac, since the software I want to use will only run on Java 7 or higher.

How can I check (and update) ?

 

Answer :

Java is a free software platform which is operation system independent (so Mac & PC) created and maintained by Oracle. Despite it always having been a very reliable way of making cross platform games & applications, Apple has restricted the use of Java to ‘only when needed’ by default in the latest versions of OSX and macOS, because of the security risks involved in using Java and similar software that can run autonomously on your Mac next to macOS.

To find out which version of Java you have installed, do the online check that’s on this official website :

https://java.com/en/download/installed.jsp

Just follow the instructions given and the result of the check will be shown : you will either have the latest version installed, or you won’t… in that case update instructions will guide you to getting the latest version available for your Mac.

enjoy 😉

fixed : repair or replace broken 24″ Apple LED Display ?

Question :

Just a few hours ago, the 24″ Apple LED display that I have connected to my 13″ MacBook Pro (Late 2011) started smelling… the odor was giving me a headache as if something plastic or electrical was burning… now, my beloved Apple Display is not showing anything on screen anymore : even though it’s USB-ports, the MagSafe-power and the sound are still working, and my Mac still detects a connected external screen, the display stays black…

What can I do ?

 

Answer :

I’m sorry to bring you the bad news : your beloved Apple Display is a ‘total loss’… Even though this could probably be fixed by replacing the internal ‘motherboard’ of your monitor (99% chance some component on it burned, which is getting an increasingly common problem with these 8 year old monitors…), the fact that Apple does no longer supply any new components for these LED Displays makes that no official Apple repair station will do any repairs on it any longer, and even if you would be able to find a working second-hand replacement part, the replacement procedure is so delicate that it is not a do-it-yourself job… don’t go there.

So you want a replacement ?

Apple does no longer produce or sell any “Apple Display”-monitors. The only monitors available for sale on the Apple Store are LG-branded 4K and 5K monitors… these are said to be co-developed by Apple, but BEWARE : these can only be connected to the most recent Macs that have Thunderbold3-over-USB3 !!!

For older Macs that have miniDisplayPort or Thunderbold (which is Thunderbold1-over-miniDisplayPort) you need something else…

If you just need a plain ‘extra screen’ of GraphicDesigner-quality, you could choose any monitor by Dell, Acer, LG, Samsung, etc. that gets good reviews by graphic designers and meets these specs :

  • IPS-type screen (which has a far better viewing-angle then the TN-type screens)
  • miniDisplayPort, DisplayPort or DVI input (not HDMI-only)
  • a black and/or minimal bezel around the screen
  • preferably as much or more pixels than your Apple Display (the 24″ Apple Displays had 1920×1200 and the 27″ Apple Displays had 2560×1440)
  • preferably an internal USB-hub (to connect an external USB-keyboard, USB-mouse or USB-scanner)

but for most of you, since you are still hanging on to your not-so-new MacBook, you will want an affordable replacement that will still be useful when you buy a new MacBook…

…then there is only one good option for you at this current time :

the BenQ BL2420PT monitor ; buy it at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

with a StarTech 4K@60Hz miniDisplayPort-to-DisplayPort1.2-cable ; buy it at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

BEWARE : there is no displayPort-cable included with the BL2420PT monitor, so don’t forget to add a 4K@60Hz capable miniDisplayPort1.2-cable

…okay, this is no way comparable to the sleek industrial design (the ‘box’) of your Apple Display… you won’t get MagSafe-power connection and an iSight webcam built-in, the screen is not high-gloss and it’s bezel is about .5cm thicker than the screen, the monitor speakers volume can’t be adjusted from your keyboard (you should do that on screen or use your Mac speakers) and you won’t get the ‘one cable’ connection you’re used to…

…but, it’s non-intrusive black, the screen can be easily adjusted in height and can even tilt to portrait, it has the 27″ amount of pixels on a 24″ screen (admitted : even though that’s a PRO for most, it might be a CON for some), it has built-in speakers, it has special settings for CAD/CAM and AnimationDesign and it’s the highest value-for-money around…

…if you would mind that, you wouldn’t still be using such an old MacBook… right 😉

enjoy !

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