This morning I turned on my trusty MacBook Pro and read some emails (battery very low), then dashed off to walk my youngest son to the bus stop. Returning home I closed the lid and headed into the office.
At the office I opened the lid and hit the power button. Uh oh. My LCD was dim and I could barely make out the windows. No problem I thought, then pushed the Power button to restart my laptop. When the laptop restarted I saw the familiar Apple logo and the swirling icon:
After several minutes and no login prompt I knew that something was wrong. Probably the Hard Drive, so let’s try rebooting with Command+R:
Then I choose Disk Utility and clicked both Verify Permissions and Verify Disk, followed by Repair Permissions and Repair Disk:
Tried to reboot but my laptop was still stuck at the Apple logo, no login.
Well, time to try and restore Lion from the Internet, so another reboot with Command+R then tried Reinstall Mac OS X:
A dialog asks for my AppleID:
I lookup my AppleID in an Excel spreadsheet but it isn’t accepted. I click Forgot Password and wait for an email confirmation, none comes. I try a second AppleID, that also is rejected. Finally, I try a new AppleID which is accepted however it tells me that the new AppleID wasn’t the one used to originally buy Lion.
I phone Apple Care and spend 58 minutes on the phone (very nice tech support guy who helped in spite of the fact I don’t even own AppleCare):
I try several things the tech support guy offers, none of them fix the broken login.
Support: Go to iTunes and add Lion to your cart.
Me: I only have a PC and iTunes won’t let me buy Lion. Can you just charge me the $29.00 and add Lion to my account?
Support: No, we aren’t allowed to do that. Do you have another Mac?
Me: Yes, at home.
Driving back home I login to my iMac, click the App Store, buy a 2nd copy of Lion, pause the download, then drive back to the office.
In the office I reboot with Command+R, choose Disk Utility, Reinstall Mac OS X, AppleID. Finally, it’s accepted and I wait another 95 minutes for the download to complete, the MacBook Pro reboots, I wait another 35 minutes for the install to complete, then I see the login:
All of my data and apps are in tact, the only things I had to re-install were:
I entered my office at 8:00AM and had a working laptop at 2:30PM. That’s 6.5 hours of character building experience for me today.
- Recharge or plugin my laptop when it’s low.
- Use TimeMachine to make a backup.
- Never forget my new AppleID password.