Mac won't turn on after macOS Big Sur/Catalina/Mojave update

Posted by Tim to Mac Data Recovery Tips on July 1st, 2020

I have a 5 year old MacBook Pro with Retina display that was previously running Sierra. Last night I started the update to Mojave before I went to bed, and woke up to a computer that seems completely dead. The screen is black, it won't turn on, and I get no lights or sound from it whatsoever when I press or press and hold the power button. The computer is charged, and when plugged in the power cord indicator light is green. But it is showing no signs of life whatsoever. Can anyone help?

Solution 1: Run First Aid in macOS Recovery mode

If the only way that you can start up is from macOS Recovery mode, the operating system on your startup disk is not usable again. In this situation, Disk Utility built-in macOS recovery mode is a chance to repair the boot issue.

Step 1: Turn on Mac computer by pressing Power button.

Step 2: Press and hold Command+R keys immediately upon hearing the startup chime. Hold the keys until you see the Apple logo or a spinning globe.

Step 3: Select Disk Utility from macOS Utilities in Mac recovery mode.

Mac recovery mode

Step 4: Select the corrupted Macintosh HD from the left panel of Disk Utility.

Step 5: Click "First Aid" button on the top of Disk Utility window.

Run First Aid in disk utility

First Aid is a utility built-in the Macintosh operating system for checking and repairing file system errors on Mactintosh HD, external hard drive, flash drive, SD card, memory card, USB drive, etc,.

Step 6: Click "Run" button to start the repair on the Macintosh HD.

If Mac Disk Utility failed to repair the corrupted Macintosh HD, you need to reinstall macOS or restore from a backup.

Solution 2: Rescue data from Mac that won't turn on

After iMac/MacBook won't turn on, the important thing is the data stored in Macintosh HD. If 'Mac won't turn on' issue cannot be solved, you have to rescue data from unbootable Mac.

M3 Data Recovery for Mac is a professional Mac data recovery software which can recover deleted files emptied from Trash, recover lost data from formatted drive, recover lost data from unreadable drive, recover lost data from unmounted drive, recover lost data from corrupted drive, recover lost data from deleted/lost APFS partition, recover lost data from encrypted APFS drive, recover data after Mac won't start up, etc.

Method 1: Rescue data by running M3 Data Recovery for Mac in macOS Recovery mode

If you have only one unbootale Mac, the best choice is to run M3 Data Recovery for Mac in macOS Recovery mode and rescue data.

Method 2: Rescue data by M3 Data Recovery for Mac bootable media

Step 1: Download, install and launch M3 Data Recovery for Mac software on another Mac.

Step 2: Click M3 Data Recovery on menu bar and select "Create Boot Drive".

Step 3: Insert a blank USB drive into Mac computer and click "Make bootable".

Step 4: The USB drive will be erased and then M3 Data Recovery for Mac starts to create a bootable media.

Step 5: Insert M3 Data Recovery for Mac bootable media into the failed Mac computer and then press the Power button and Option key (⌥) to start the unbootable Mac computer up.

If M3 Data Recovery for Mac bootable media fails to start up your unbootable Mac, please install macOS on an external hard drive and then boot your failed Mac computer from external hard drive.

Step 6: After M3 Data Recovery for Mac is loaded, please select the failed Macintosh HD and click Next to start the scan.

Mac data recovery software

If Macintosh HD is APFS and encrypted APFS file system, please click "Find Lost APFS Partitions" to recover lost data from APFS drive.

Step 7: M3 Data Recovery for Mac software is scanning the data from the failed Macintosh HD.

Scan lost data from corrupted drive

Step 8: After the scan completes, please select the found files you want and then click Recover to save them.

Recover lost data from failed Macintosh HD

After data recovery is successfully done, you can erase the Macintosh HD and reinstall macOS on it.

Solution 3: Restore from Time Machine backup

If you have a backup of your macOS system, you can restore your macOS system from Time Machine backup with following method:

Step 1: Make sure that your Time Machine backup disk is connected to your Mac computer.

Step 2: Boot your Mac into macOS Recovery mode.

Step 3: From the macOS Utilities menu, select "Restore From Time Machine Backup" and click Continue.

Step 4: Select your Time Machine backup disk as the restore source and then click Continue.

Step 5: Select a backup and then click Continue.

Step 6: Select the hard disk as the restore destination and then click Restore to continue.

Step 7: Select the hard disk as the restore destination and then click Restore to continue.

Step 8: Restart your Mac computer when the restore is done.

Solution 4: Reinstall macOS in macOS Recovery mode

Before reinstalling macOS, please make sure you have recovered all the data from Macintosh HD.

Step 1: Boot your Mac into macOS Recovery mode.

Step 2: From the macOS Utilities menu, select "Reinstall macOS" and click Continue.

Step 3: Follow the instructions to reinstall macOS.

Solution 5: Erase and then reinstall macOS

The last chance is to erase the drive and then reinstall macOS, but before that, please make sure you have recovered all lost data from unbootable Mac computer.

Step 1: Boot your Mac into macOS Recovery mode.

Step 2: From the macOS Utilities menu, select "Disk Utility" and click Continue.

Step 3: Select the unbootable Mac hard disk.

Step 4: Choose Erase, complete name, format, scheme, and then click Erase to reformat it.

Step 5: Return to macOS Utilities window in macOS Recovery mode, and select "Reinstall macOS".

Step 6: Choose the erased Mac hard disk and follow the wizard to complete the installation.

Step 7: Reboot your Mac and then check if your Mac computer can boot.

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