Using file system check to fix a Mac that is stuck booting up

I have an old Macbook Pro which I hadn't used for a while (at least a few years), and it just wouldn't start up correctly. i.e. it kept "hanging" on the main Apple loading screen (where you see the apple logo and the progress bar as it loads the operating system). I tried a few things but nothing seemed to work, except for holding down CMD+S after hearing the startup chime on powering up. Doing...
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