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Old Dec 1, 2012, 11:32 PM   #1
LOLZpersonok
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2011 27" iMac No Longer Boots

(My friend does not have an account here)

My friend came to me and told me her iMac will no longer boot up, so I went to have a look at it. I turned it on, heard the Mac startup chime and it showed the Apple logo upon the white screen in a few seconds.

After about a minute or so of showing the Apple boot screen, it'll give a Kernel Panic screen while staying at the boot screen.

I tried rebooting it several times by both holding the power button and pulling the plug, but nothing worked. I tried her CD's and it would not boot to the CD's. What can I do? Would holding Shift while booting help? I can't figure anything else out, oddly, since I'm a computer guy but I know next to nothing about working with Macs.

She tells me that she didn't do anything for this to happen, like downloading or installing anything or messing with system preferences.

She also told me it's specifications if that would be any help.

It has:

3.4GHz Intel Core i7
16GB RAM
1TB Hard Drive

What can I do to fix it?
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Last edited by LOLZpersonok; Dec 2, 2012 at 01:57 AM.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 08:15 AM   #2
MeFromHere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOLZpersonok View Post
(My friend does not have an account here)

My friend came to me and told me her iMac will no longer boot up, so I went to have a look at it. I turned it on, heard the Mac startup chime and it showed the Apple logo upon the white screen in a few seconds.

After about a minute or so of showing the Apple boot screen, it'll give a Kernel Panic screen while staying at the boot screen.

I tried rebooting it several times by both holding the power button and pulling the plug, but nothing worked. I tried her CD's and it would not boot to the CD's. What can I do? Would holding Shift while booting help? I can't figure anything else out, oddly, since I'm a computer guy but I know next to nothing about working with Macs.

She tells me that she didn't do anything for this to happen, like downloading or installing anything or messing with system preferences.

She also told me it's specifications if that would be any help.

It has:

3.4GHz Intel Core i7
16GB RAM
1TB Hard Drive

What can I do to fix it?
If it's still under warranty (or AppleCare), protect your valuable time and contact Apple support right away. They will give you advice at least as good as you'll get here; probably faster and better.

If it's NOT under warranty, contact Apple support anyway. You'll probably get some free advice that helps you solve the problem.

One thing you didn't say in your post... did your friend do anything to the iMac before it failed? Has it suffered mishaps due to mishandling, lightning/power surge, or anything similar? Any new hardware added recently? Any new software?
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 08:17 AM   #3
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Mac Won't Boot?
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 02:33 PM   #4
LOLZpersonok
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If it's still under warranty (or AppleCare), protect your valuable time and contact Apple support right away. They will give you advice at least as good as you'll get here; probably faster and better.

If it's NOT under warranty, contact Apple support anyway. You'll probably get some free advice that helps you solve the problem.

One thing you didn't say in your post... did your friend do anything to the iMac before it failed? Has it suffered mishaps due to mishandling, lightning/power surge, or anything similar? Any new hardware added recently? Any new software?
Upon asking her a second time and me asking specifics such as power outages or such or new hardware, she said no. Apparently she isn't allowed to make any changes to it. She tells me it never moves from her bedroom desk. I'll tell her to take it to AppleCare. I'll probably tell her to go with me because her parents probably won't be very happy.

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Follow the link I'm my sig.
Back at her house with my laptop, I tried all of those resets and other options there, nothing seemed to do the trick.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 02:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by LOLZpersonok View Post
Upon asking her a second time and me asking specifics such as power outages or such or new hardware, she said no. Apparently she isn't allowed to make any changes to it. She tells me it never moves from her bedroom desk. I'll tell her to take it to AppleCare. I'll probably tell her to go with me because her parents probably won't be very happy.
Kids always worry that their parents will freak out and blame them, but hardware can fail, and you're describing what sounds like a hardware issue. Installing things or messing with system preferences would not cause it to kernel panic when it boots up. Hardware failure would cause that. Do you know how long ago she purchased it or if her files are backed up? Warranty coverage and backups should be the only concerns here.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 02:51 PM   #6
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Sounds like an HDD failure to me.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 02:52 PM   #7
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http://www.apple.com/support/imac-harddrive/

You may find sth helpful from this.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 10:19 PM   #8
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Sounds like an HDD failure to me.
Have you seen an HDD cause kernel panics when attempting to boot from the utility dvd? This should effectively bypass the hard drive, yet the system is locking up anyway. I'd say it's not necessarily a good idea to assume HDD here. If the OP held down C when booting, it shouldn't have even looked at the hard drive.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 06:35 PM   #9
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Kids always worry that their parents will freak out and blame them, but hardware can fail, and you're describing what sounds like a hardware issue. Installing things or messing with system preferences would not cause it to kernel panic when it boots up. Hardware failure would cause that. Do you know how long ago she purchased it or if her files are backed up? Warranty coverage and backups should be the only concerns here.
Upon asking her, I now know that she doesn't back up anything and it's about 5 or 6 months old.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 06:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by LOLZpersonok View Post
Upon asking her, I now know that she doesn't back up anything and it's about 5 or 6 months old.
Well backups should be your first concern. People always question the hard drive when something won't boot, yet that's unlikely to prevent you from booting while holding down C. It's under warranty, but do you know if anything on there is irreplaceable? You can take it apart and see if the hard drive will spin up in another enclosure, but the imacs are a pain in the ass to disassemble. If you get anything wrong the warranty is toast, and there's no guarantee that the drive will work properly once you do this. You'd also need to put it back the way it was prior to taking it to Apple. If you call one of the authorized repair centers instead of Apple directly, you can always ask if they'll test the drive and not wipe her data.

It's simply possible that it's something else. If the ram was upgraded, I'd say put that back first. Many people who don't back up also upgrade their ram without testing it first, because it's cheaper than buying it through Apple and it's obviously easy to do. It's just that testing it is 100% necessary. For future use I'd suggest some kind of backup device.

I should also note that Seagate drive link posted by someone else has nothing to do with it, even though Seagate is awful. This machine falls outside the specified date range, although it would be covered by the normal warranty.

There isn't much more I can add to this. I assume that on attempting to boot from the utilities dvd you held down C as it booted up. If you held down option it may have kept looking for the drive and panicked when the drive spun up but hung. It's pretty much a guarantee that you have a hardware failure somewhere within that system.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 06:12 PM   #11
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Well backups should be your first concern. People always question the hard drive when something won't boot, yet that's unlikely to prevent you from booting while holding down C. It's under warranty, but do you know if anything on there is irreplaceable? You can take it apart and see if the hard drive will spin up in another enclosure, but the imacs are a pain in the ass to disassemble. If you get anything wrong the warranty is toast, and there's no guarantee that the drive will work properly once you do this. You'd also need to put it back the way it was prior to taking it to Apple. If you call one of the authorized repair centers instead of Apple directly, you can always ask if they'll test the drive and not wipe her data.

It's simply possible that it's something else. If the ram was upgraded, I'd say put that back first. Many people who don't back up also upgrade their ram without testing it first, because it's cheaper than buying it through Apple and it's obviously easy to do. It's just that testing it is 100% necessary. For future use I'd suggest some kind of backup device.

I should also note that Seagate drive link posted by someone else has nothing to do with it, even though Seagate is awful. This machine falls outside the specified date range, although it would be covered by the normal warranty.

There isn't much more I can add to this. I assume that on attempting to boot from the utilities dvd you held down C as it booted up. If you held down option it may have kept looking for the drive and panicked when the drive spun up but hung. It's pretty much a guarantee that you have a hardware failure somewhere within that system.
There probably is messed up hardware in it. I'm not going to take it apart, because chances are, I'd mess something up and void the warranty and/or screw it up even more.

I know she didn't upgrade any hardware in it, she ordered it with those specifications. I'll get her to take it into the Apple Store. I'd probably have to take her myself since her parents would be angry.

And yes, when I tried to boot to the CD, I of course held down the C key, that's the only way, right? I also tried holding Shift while booting it and still, nothing happened. Just the same thing that I described before.

I had to break the news to her that her files might be lost, so I'll tell the Apple guys to try and keep all data when we take it in.

Thanks for all the help either way.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 06:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by LOLZpersonok View Post
There probably is messed up hardware in it. I'm not going to take it apart, because chances are, I'd mess something up and void the warranty and/or screw it up even more.
It's under warranty and you haven't done this before, so that is probably a good idea.


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Originally Posted by LOLZpersonok View Post
I know she didn't upgrade any hardware in it, she ordered it with those specifications. I'll get her to take it into the Apple Store. I'd probably have to take her myself since her parents would be angry.
Are her parents ignorant regarding technology? It's actually quite difficult for the user to brick something at a software level during normal use. Most situations could be remedied by a clean install, even the removal of critical files. Parents should understand that this has nothing to do with their daughter unless she physically abused the hardware.


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Originally Posted by LOLZpersonok View Post
And yes, when I tried to boot to the CD, I of course held down the C key, that's the only way, right? I also tried holding Shift while booting it and still, nothing happened. Just the same thing that I described before.

I had to break the news to her that her files might be lost, so I'll tell the Apple guys to try and keep all data when we take it in.
You're ignoring what I said about authorized repair centers. I know a couple in my area that I'd trust over Apple any day. Anyway if the hard drive won't mount or show in something like disk utility, you'd spend a fortune to have it extracted. If it's a logic board issue, which is likely, they might not reformat it. I'm not sure of their standard protocol. It shouldn't necessarily kernel panic due to a dead drive.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 06:38 PM   #13
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Try booting from a bootable backup if you have access to one. This will tell you if its the internal HDD.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 05:55 PM   #14
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Try booting from a bootable backup if you have access to one. This will tell you if its the internal HDD.
I don't think she has a backup on hand. I already asked her and she said that she didn't think so.

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It's under warranty and you haven't done this before, so that is probably a good idea.




Are her parents ignorant regarding technology? It's actually quite difficult for the user to brick something at a software level during normal use. Most situations could be remedied by a clean install, even the removal of critical files. Parents should understand that this has nothing to do with their daughter unless she physically abused the hardware.




You're ignoring what I said about authorized repair centers. I know a couple in my area that I'd trust over Apple any day. Anyway if the hard drive won't mount or show in something like disk utility, you'd spend a fortune to have it extracted. If it's a logic board issue, which is likely, they might not reformat it. I'm not sure of their standard protocol. It shouldn't necessarily kernel panic due to a dead drive.
Her parents are very technically unsavvy. So, I took her in my car today to the Apple Store, brought in the computer and they said it'd be a couple of weeks, then they'd call us and all that other typical 'take it to them' stuff happened.

So, we'll wait and see what happens.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 08:14 PM   #15
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So...We got the iMac back today. The logic board was fried. They replaced it for free since it was still under warranty. No clue how that's possible on a computer that is so new (I think she said 5 or 6 months old) and is so controlled by parents.
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