Because single-user mode doesn't require the startup drive to be completely functional, we can use some of the commands to perform drive repairs. In most cases, repairing the drive will get your Mac working again, but be aware that a drive that has exhibited this type of problem is likely to do it again. Take this as an early warning that your startup drive is having issues, and consider replacing the drive soon.
Be proactive and make sure you have backups or clones of your startup drive available. While repairing the startup drive should solve the blue screen problem for most users, there's another less common drive issue that can cause a Mac to freeze at the blue screen, and that's a startup drive that has its permissions set incorrectly. It can also happen to those of us who like to experiment with Terminal commands, and accidentally change the startup drive's permissions to not allow any access. Yes, it is possible to set a drive to deny all access. And if you happen to do that to your startup drive, your Mac won't boot.
We're going to show you two ways to fix a drive that was set to no access. The first method assumes you're able to start your Mac using another startup drive or an install DVD.
You can use the second method if you don't have access to another startup device. Boot your Mac from another startup device.
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You can do this by starting your Mac and holding down the option key. A list of available startup devices will display. Select a device and your Mac will use it to finish booting. Once your Mac displays the desktop, we're ready to correct the permissions problem. Enter the following command in Terminal. Note that there are quotes around the startup drive's path name. This is necessary to ensure that if the drive name contains any special characters, including a space, that it will work with the command.
Be sure to replace startupdrive with the name of the startup drive that is having problems:. You will be asked to provide your administrator password.
Enter the information and press enter or return. If you don't have another startup device to use, you can still change the startup drive's permissions by using the special single-user startup mode.
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Continue to hold both keys down until you see a few lines of scrolling text on your display. It will look like an old-fashioned computer terminal. If you still have problems, try repairing the startup drive using the methods described earlier in this article. Share Pin Email. Tom Nelson has written hundreds of articles, tutorials, and reviews for Other World Computing and About. He is the president of Coyote Moon, Inc.
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