When Macs with Nvidia Graphics Won’t Boot, with Full Loading Bar

While current Retina lines of Macs tend to run on Intel iGPUs and AMD Radeons, previous generation was primarily delivered with Nvidia’s. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then if Nvidia is not opting Mac in to their extended support. If you are experiencing the issue I am describing, I can only hope you have a backup.

The symptom is innocuously simple. On boot, the loading bar progresses just fine, but it will not actually boot although the bar is full. If so, you will need to do some digging if your Mac is actually affected.

To boot in Verbose mode:
 press CMD + V and hold 

Verbose mode will display too many details at once, but what you need is at the end of it. If the last bit of logs show following lines, you are affected:

IOConsoleUsers: gIOScreenLockState 3, hs 0, bs 0, now 0, sm 0x0

In order to remedy this issue, you will be installing a most updated version of macOS. If you already have a backup, make sure it’s up to date. If not, this is your chance to create a backup via safe mode or target disk mode. Also, if your network cannot handle recovery mode, you will need to create a new bootable USB drive.

  1. Boot from Internet Recovery Mode or a bootable USB drive.
  2. Open Disk Utility.
  3. Erase the “Macintosh HD” or any drive contains macOS.
  4. Quit Disk Utility. This will prompt OS Utility screen.
  5. Reinstall latest version of macOS.

This problem occurs when the provided Nvidia driver cannot communicate properly with the dGPU. Concurrently this issue is likely to arise when you are updating macOS, especially during the major OS upgrade. While this fix works as a patch job, ultimately I would suggest upgrading to a new computer within a year or two; macOS support lasts around 5-6 years and Nvidia’s Mac support is troublesome at best.


  1. Hello, I have this issue. But my Macbook Pro is 13″ so it does not have any dGPU. Also it is early 2015. It will not boot even to recovery mode. This issue is not dependent on the SSD, I tried more of them, all worked fine in other laptops. Tried to put in SSDs with Sierra, High Sierra and Mojave installed. Also tried to boot from bootable USB and from target mode from another mac. Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu run just fine. But another issue is, that fan will not spin (not even in Ubuntu and Windows). Fan will spin in diagnostic mode and it will show no issues (but it will spin only for duration of hardware test). But Macbook should run without fan spining (I tried another macbook, disconnected fan and it turned on). I provide it sufficient cooling via extenal fan, so it is not overheating. Any help for me?

    • The method I’ve posted was for Macs with nVidia dGPUS. There is a glitch, apparently known among the communities, during an update on nVidia driven Macs to a newest version, that said glitch can affect the drivers of GPUs. If you are not seeing the same logs on verbose mode, this method is unlikely to work.

      What are the symptoms when your Mac fails to boot? By the looks of it, if your Mac’s drive is inaccessible from another Mac via Target Disk Mode, there’s a good chance the logic board is affected. Mac comes with various diagnostic tools, so some issues can go undetected on diagnostics run. One of them being peculiar beeping sounds, so any details can be really helpful. For instance, can you boot into safe mode? Fan issue seems to suggest PRAM reset just for precaution. If you can boot into Windows and Ubuntu (installed on system drive) without issues, I would try Internet Recovery Mode.

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