System Hangs During Boot

This problem refers to a system that begins a normal startup process with a boot chime and normal display, but then freezes before the Finder appears.

Possible Cause

Possible Fix

System extensions causing a conflict.

Boot with Extensions off by holding down the Shift key during startup. (See Kbase/TIL article #14343 for more information on possible Extension conflicts.) Does the system startup successfully with Extensions off?

Yes: Begin adding back the system Extensions one at a time and starting up the system after each addition. If the system freezes again, you know that the last Extension you added is causing the problem. No: Go to the next step.

Corrupted system software or bad SDRAM.

Boot from the system CD that came with the unit. Does the system startup successfully? Yes: Reinstall system software. (You must use the system software CD that came with the unit to get the correct version of Mac OS.)If the problem persists, go to the next step.

No: Reseat the SDRAM. If the problem persists, replace the SDRAM (one DIMM at a time) with known-good PC-100 SDRAM.

Bad hard drive.

Can you see the hard drive using Drive Setup? Yes: Use Drive Setup to reinstall the software drivers for the hard drive. If the problem persists, use Drive Setup to reinitialize the hard drive. (See Kbase/TIL article #22206 for Drive Setup information.) Warning: You will lose all data on the hard drive when you reinitialize it. Back up the data first if possible. No: Go to next step.

Bad hard drive, cables, or cable connections.

If you don't see the hard drive using Drive Setup:

  1. Check all cable connections to and from the hard drive.
  2. Replace the HD/CD/DVD data cable.
  3. Replace the hard drive.
  4. Replace the hard drive power cable.
  5. Replace the logic board.

If the problem persists, go on to the next step.

This problem refers to a system that begins a normal startup process with a boot chime and normal display, but then freezes before the Finder appears.

Possible Cause

Possible Fix

External device is bad.

Disconnect all external devices (USB and Ethernet). Then begin reconnecting these devices one at a time (beginning with the keyboard and then the mouse) and start up the computer after each device is connected to see if one of the external devices is causing the problem. If the problem occurs after you connect a particular external device, replace the device in question.

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