DIY: Shutting Down Mac OS X When the System Is Frozen.




About: I like macs particularly mac OS X 10.4.11 (Latest Version Of Tiger). I have also worked with Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) and Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) which was released in April 2010, and have worked with Wi...

Hi, this is my 8th Instructable and I think this is going to be one of my most helpful instructables posted yet. In this instructable, I am going to show you a way to shutdown Mac OS X when the whole system is frozen and not responding. Just this morning, actually, my mac was frozen and all I could pull up was Terminal and I thought to myself that I could tell the Instructable community about this. I hope you love it!   ********DISCLAIMER AND TO APPLE,CORP.: I AM NOT PROMOTING, TAKING CREDIT, OR SELLING YOUR PRODUCT(S) IN ANY WAY! I WILL NOT PROMOTE ANY PRODUCTS!**********

Step 1: When You Are Frozen, Try Using: Optn (alt), Apple Key, Esc.

Try forcing your applications to quit. To do this, press and hold all of these keys at the same time: Option (alt), Apple Logo key, and the ESC key. Then, you should see a menu that looks like the one below. If you can't access the menu, move to step 2.

Step 2: The Rough and Dirty Way!

If you still can see symptoms of a unresponsive computer (the symptoms include: a hard drive noise that sounds like a buzzer of some sort, "frozen" screen, unresponsive applications, error messages,ect.), then follow the rest of the steps. If you don't have the terminal icon on your dock, open finder and look for it (follow the picture below). Double Click Terminal. Wait until it opens.

Step 3: "Terminal Typing"

Type this into terminal: "sudo shutdown -h (abcd)" with out quotes. For the part of the typing with abcd in it, whatever time your computer says, type that time, but 1 MINUTE AFTER! DON'T TYPE THE PARENTHESES For example, if it was 1:30, and I wanted to force my computer to shut down, I would type: "sudo shutdown -h 1:31" but WITHOUT the quotes. You only have 60 seconds to do this, so hurry, being sure to make no mistakes. I have posted photos of what you type, and of the terminal window. I could not take a snapshot of what terminal says after you hit enter, because I didn't have time to do it when I told it to shutdown. If you are sure you want to do this, hit your enter key. If you here 2 to 3 separated sounds, that's okay, terminal is just notifying you that the system is going down in 30 seconds.. You are shut down!!

Step 4: Still Frozen or Not Booting? Call for Help!

If your computer is still frozen or it is not booting, do not post negative comments on this instructable, please. Call Apple Support for help with your mac. Their phone number is 800-275-2273. Call if you are still experiencing a frozen or non-booting mac. Just so you know, when my mac needed a revamp, they told me that they had no Jaguar, Puma, Cheetah, or Public Beta repair/reinstall disks. If you have one of these OS's, you may need to get a new mac so that if it needs repair(s), it will be covered. Thanks for reading!



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    12 Discussions


    7 years ago on Step 3

    Umm. I don't get it. When the system is frozen to the point even force-quit won't come up, you more than likely won't be able to launch Terminal. In which case the only solution is holding down the power key to force power-down. Then when the system comes back up, you will need to do the whole hold Apple/Meta key + S startup keys and then type "fsck -fy" as instructed on prompt in order to repair any open file damage caused by the shut down and then "exit" to return things to normal.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    A note on "they told me that they had no Jaguar, Puma, Cheetah, or Public Beta repair/reinstall disks" - this is because those are not Apple products.


    8 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I disagree.  Each version of OS 10 is named after a cat (excluding public beta).  Which means that they are in fact apple products.

    OS 10 Beta - Public Beta
    OS 10.0 - Cheetah
    OS 10.1 - Puma
    OS 10.2 - Jaguar
    OS 10.3 - Panther
    OS 10.4 - Tiger
    OS 10.5 - Leopard
    OS 10.6 - Snow Leopard


    8 years ago on Step 4

    also if you can get the computer at least somewhat booted, try booting into single-user, which usually works no matter if ur computer is junked up or not, because only about 2 functions are mounted when it can be used. to enter singleuser, press Command (apple button) S while computer boots then when it loads a black screen with a bunch of code, type "/sbin/fsck -fy" without quotes. if it says "****FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED****," redo it until it doesn't say it, then type "exit" without quotes and it should work


    8 years ago on Step 4

    The Name above are of the operating system(s) released by Apple, Corp.