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What I have tried Entering Safe mode by holding shift on startup. But this does not seem to work. No matter how I do it. Using the Lion recovery USB. This does not work either - I can only see a grey circle with a slash. Maybe this is happening because I have Mountain Lion installed. They will not help, because the Macbook Air's warranty is no longer valid as my Mac suffered from water damage not too long ago.
Downloading Mountain Lion from another Mac which only runs Lion. This is not possible in this case: The Mac App Store will only "offer" to download Mountain Lion - but when I click it the download is blocked because the Mac only runs Lion and cannot update to Mountain Lion the Mac is too old.
I should be able to download Lion at least, but have not found any option. Oh, yeah. I meant safe mode. Sounds like a RIP is on order. Internet recovery was the ultimate solution even though getting there was not as easy as one would expect from Apple.
Using Safe Boot Mode in Mac OS X
From here, you can open Disk Utility and select Repair Disk. Target Disk Mode If you wish to get information from the computer, and you have another computer and some way of connecting the two, you can boot into Target Disk Mode by holding T on boot. Internet Recovery mode just downloads an image of the recovery system from Apple's servers.
You can use Disk Utility or perform a clean reinstall or an upgrade install normally after that. There was also a firmware update that added support for Internet Recovery mode for some mid to mid Macs. Because the answer is so long, I'm posting it as another answer: A PRAM reset did not change anything except for the bringing back the loud choo choo sound.
This caused lots of unexpected, unintuitive troubles Even though I have a German keyboard layout, the keyboard layout was for some reason changed to US English.
Try figuring that out if you don't see the characters you type because they appear as dots only. My wifi is WPA2 only and Internet recovery can't communicate with that standard. When choosing Lion, I got this error: "The install data could not be written to the Volume. Well, here's what you can do.
Mac OS X - Troubleshooting Startup Problems
When a Mac fails to start up normally, one of the common troubleshooting practices is to verify and repair the startup drive. A startup drive that is experiencing problems is likely to prevent your Mac from starting, so you may find yourself in a catch The easiest solution by far is to boot from a different device.
To boot from another hard drive or a USB flash device, hold down the option key and start up your Mac. The Mac OS startup manager will appear, allowing you to select the device to boot from. To start up in Safe Mode , hold down the shift key and then start your Mac.
How to Boot Mac in Safe Mode and Why Your MacBook Needs It
It will also delete some of the startup caches that may also be preventing your Mac from starting successfully. When First Aid is finished, restart your Mac normally. You should use this startup mode only for troubleshooting and not for running day-to-day applications. Press return or enter after you type the above line.
Tips to Help You to Start Mac in Safe Mode
Fsck will start and display status messages about your startup disk. When it finally finishes this can take a while , you will see one of two messages. The first indicates that no problems were found.