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SMC Interrupts Boot Process: CAN Use Target Disk Mode, Fans HIGH

Hey Everyone!

The Issue:

So, I have a 15” Retina MacBook Pro (Late-2013). The SMC is interrupting the Boot Process, according to the Verbose Output that I read. Here’s what’s happening:

• MacBook Pro CHIMES with Successful POST

• Mac OS X Begins to Load Macintosh HD

• Fans Begin Running on HIGH

• Apple Logo Appears and Loads Mac OS X

• Progress Bar HANGS at 75% Loading

The MacBook will then stall for HOURS if left like this. I once left it like this overnight when it first began to see if it would eventually boot. It didn’t.

Symptoms I’ve Noticed:

• I CANNOT Boot into Safe Mode

• I CANNOT Boot into Recovery Mode

• I CAN Boot into Verbose Mode

• I CAN Boot into Single-User Mode

• I CAN Use Target Disk Mode

• I CAN Boot into MacOS via Target Disk Mode from Another Mac

What’s I’ve Tried to Fix It:

• Reset PRAM (I’ve heard the 2nd Chime indicating Success)

• Reset SMC (MagSafe Indicator Light Turns from Amber to Green and back to Green, indicating Success)

• Accessed Target Disk Mode to Rule Out Hard Drive Failure

• Ran Disk Utility to Repair Disk (Several Times)

• Ran Disk Warrior 5 to Rebuild the Directory

• Removed Boot EFI File in Application Support > Core Services (To Be Rebuilt by Mac During Boot Up)

• Attempted to Boot a separate instance of MacOS from a Bootable Thumb Drive (Unsuccessful, Same 75% Loading then Restarts)

• Ran Apple Hardware Test, Results State Issue with SMC, No Descriptive Information Given

What I’ve Found:

It appears that the SMC Controller is preventing the MacBook Pro from Booting up. I’m seeing lights on the Keyboard, images on the Display, but the system is stopping itself from booting.

I can also boot the system from the Hard Drive in Target Disk Mode on my other MacBook Pro. I just can’t get the MacBook Pro to boot from it’s own physical hardware.

I’m suspicious that it could be a hardware issue, but I’m not familiar in where to start to diagnose and troubleshoot and issue. Any advice in regard to this issue would be GREATLY appreciated! Thank you so much!

- Brandon

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To be clear you where only able to set your Mac in Target Disk Mode from the other system. You were not able to set your working system in target disk mode and boot up your system from it - Correct?

par

Hi Dan! I'm able to do both, actually. From my Retina MacBook Pro I can use my secondary Mac to both see the Retina MBP Hard Drive in Finder and select files just like any other Hard Drive, and I can also use my secondary Mac to boot into the operating system on my Retina MBP and operate all of the system functions.

par

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2 solutions

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OK, that’s telling me your systems firmware was not updated when you upgraded it to High Sierra or newer.

Basically, your systems firmware doesn’t understand how to boot up the drive as it was upgraded from another mac system to APFS which the firmware doesn’t know anything about as it still thinks you have a HFS+ file system on your drive.

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Hi Dan!

Thank you for your reply! :-) Actually, my Retina MacBook Pro is still running Mac OS X Mavericks, which is the operating system that it came with. I haven't upgraded the operating system or attempted an upgrade for the software.

It just suddenly stopped booting up one day and started hanging about 75% through the boot-up process.

Do you think this could still be something related to the firmware on the MBP? I am curious of there's some file along the way that either isn't found or isn't cooperating with the boot process.

par

Using an external drive which is running Sierra or older, restart your system and hold the Option (⌥) key to launch the Startup Manager so you can select the external drive.

Reference: Mac startup key combinations

Make a full backup of your internal drive before you do anything more.

You'll need to get a fresh OS installer. At this point you'll need to upgrade to High Sierra or better!

How to upgrade to macOS High Sierra Jump down to Step 4, make sure you click on the Blue 'Get macOS High Sierra' URL link.

How to upgrade to macOS Mojave Jump down to Step 4, make sure you click on the Blue 'Get macOS Mojave' URL link.

I would hold off on Catania as it won't run older 32bit apps.

Heres a bit more on why you need a newer installer: If you've got an old macOS install image, it will probably stop working today

par

Hi, Dan! Thank you for your reply.

This doesn't seem to answer why I'm able to boot from my current OS if it's connected to my Second Mac via Target Disk Mode.

Are you inferring that the OS might be corrupt? Or will a re-installation of Mac OS provide the necessary reset for the software settings that control the hardware of the Retina MacBook Pro, allowing for a successful boot?

I am able to access Recovery Mode in Target Disk Mode with the option to Re-Install Mac OS X directly from the disk. Would this be the preferred method if I'm to attempt a re-install?

Thank you for your time and help with this! I truly appreciate your support!

par

The boot blocks on your internal drive I suspect are damaged. So a full wipe is needed to then rebuild the boot blocks (HFS+) or the EFI containers are damaged (APFS). Clearly its something unique on your drive.

par

Thank you so much, Dan!

It's going to take me a while to get the necessary tools to transfer everything from my Retina MacBook Pro Hard Drive and complete the Re-Installation Process. However, I will be sure to Follow-Up with you after I've finished getting everything put back into place. It may take me some time, I just didn't want to you think that I had forgotten.

Thank you again for your help and support with this issue!

par

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can you check where u get stuck on verbose mode? If your SMC turns Amber-Green-AMber, i think you are ok. Your boot drive seems to be ok. Your RAM seems to be OK. Your network ports seem to be ok (you did a diagnostic / recovery boot successfully). Your keyboard seems ok. Your connectivity ports seem ok. Some of these point to an SMC which is ok. Did you repair your logic board recently or interchanged parts? if so - it could be the DSMOS (Dont Steal Mac OS) that could be holding up your boot process. Or it could be a faulty graphics card. Take a hi res video during verbose booting and try to see which line your process is getting stuck. I have the similar problem (multiple) but my issue is a bad SMC.

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Brandon Zickefoose sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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