macOS boots to black screen with black cursor #

(TL;DR: Moved AppleIntelHD4000Graphics.kext out of /System/Library/Extensions/)

After a bit of a tumble, a MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) started up to a folder with a flashing question mark. Replaced the internal drive with a new SSD and installed Catalina normally.

On first boot, rather than Setup Assistant, a black screen with a black cursor appeared (though Voice Over instructions could still be heard). Reset SMC and NVRAM to no avail. Repeated clean install with Mojave then Catalina again - same result.

Tried booting into safe mode, which worked (though of course not all features were available). Tried forcing safe mode on every boot (via nvram boot-args="-x" in macOS Recovery), but performance was poor and lack of sound was a show-stopper.

Assuming a problem with the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU (unlike the 15" 2012 MacBook Pro, the 13" does not have a discrete GPU), looked for the corresponding kernel extension in /System/Library/Extensions/.

AppleIntelHD4000Graphics.kext sounded promising; booted back into macOS Recovery, disabled SIP, moved the kext into another directory, touched /System/Library/Extensions/ for good measure*, enabled SIP, and rebooted - success! - everything but sleep functioned well.

* According to the kextcache manpage, this is the same as kextcache -i os_volume, which will "rebuild out-of-date caches and update any helper partitions associated with os_volume."



/mac | Aug 23, 2021

Subscribe or visit the archives.