I’ve owned and used a Mac for about 6 years, and yesterday was the first time something really unexpected happened. There have been no failure of any kind, no windows like problems at all. It’s been like living in computer heaven, well, until yesterday.
When I hit the power button, I just received a white screen. Nothing happened, OSX didn’t boot at all. I tried several times, nothing happened, except for the white screen.
Since I was sort of in a hurry, I just had to do a quick search on Google, and found out that what I experienced had an interesting and sort of disturbing name: White Screen of Death. I also discovered that it could be fairly serious damages to my iMac.
It could be everything from just hitting a few keys while booting, to having to change the harddrive, the Ram and so on. I was actually sort of petrified just by the thought of what I had to go through when I got home.
A few minutes later I was walking to visit a few of my friends, and since I just couldn’t get this white screen out of my head, I thought I’d send out a tweet. Just a few minutes later I received a possible and fairly easy solution (thanks Jeremiah Smith). He told me I should reset my memory by doing the following.
Resetting PRAM and NVRAM
1. Shut down the computer (by holding the power button).
2. Turn on the computer. Wait until I hear the boot sound.
3. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys (simultenously).
4. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
5. Release the keys.
I did this, and it looked like it worked. Maybe it was because the computer actually restarted and I didn’t see a white screen at first. But then, seconds later, I was back to the white screen.
Now, I was more than frustrated. I started believing that I had to do some major upgrading on my iMac, and that it would not only be expensive, but take a lot of time (time I didn’t have). Luckily, I have several computers and Google. I did another search, and found another easy solution to the problem.
I read that I should try to reset the System Management Controller (SMC). I still don’t know what the SMC is, but I didn’t care. What I did was the following.
Reset the System Management Controller
1. Shut down the computer (well, it was already off)
2. Unplugged all cables from the computer, including the power cord and any display cables.
3. Waited at least fifteen seconds. I waited several minutes.
4. Plugged the power cord back in, making sure the power button was not being pressed at the time.
5. Reconnected my keyboard and mouse to the computer.
6. Pressed the power button to start up your computer.
… and then, guess what happened next?
Everything was back to normal. It was like I never had a problem in the first place. I’m not sure if resetting the memory had any impact or not, or if I could just have unplugged all the cables and removed the power cord?
My frustration is finally over. I’m back on track, and hopefully it’s the last time I’ve seen the White Screen of Death.