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Old Feb 13, 2013, 11:01 PM   #1
NastyComputers
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Broken hard drive connector

So I bought an iMac, white 2006 (A1207) it had the flashing folder folder with question mark on start up. Anyway, I opened it up and found that where the HD connects to the logic board was very lose and when I attempted to disconnect the HD the whole connector popped off. So my question is what are the chances of it working if I solder it back on?! Has anyone heard of this happening or anybody repairing this on their own? Thanks for the help
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 09:31 AM   #2
macthefork
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The solder connections on the Logic board can be weak and easily broken if not careful. I'm not familiar with that year's logic board, but check to see if it has a second, unused connector that you could use. (It would look the same, and be near the broken one.) If it's doesn't appear to have a second unused connector, the broken connector can be resoldered, but care must be used to not glob any solder onto the connectors that would bridge the traces or the connections themselves.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 10:18 AM   #3
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"So my question is what are the chances of it working if I solder it back on?! Has anyone heard of this happening or anybody repairing this on their own?"

Rather than attempt to solder it back on and damage the logic board further (unless you are skilled with a soldering iron), have you considered just removing the internal hard drive, and connecting it externally?

Either USB2 or firewire should work.

For a quick 'n' easy solution, try one of these gadgets:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...a+dock&x=0&y=0
(many items shown, they all work the same, just pick one you like that's cheap)

I boot and run my 2007 white Intel iMac from a USB2 "docking station" from time to time, and although the boot time is slower than from an internal drive, once up and running it runs just fine.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 10:25 AM   #4
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Good point! I have never set up a system to boot off of an external. I bought this computer broken so I don't even know if the hard drive is good or if it still has a OS on it. But I will give it a try. After I hook it up via USB or FireWire would I just hold option on start up and select the external?
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 12:07 PM   #5
macthefork
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Another faster option than the firewire external might be to connect the internal HDD to the optical drive connector on the Logic board. You could then put the Optical drive in a case such as this.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 12:44 PM   #6
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So I took the hard drive out, conected a external hd via USB and when I boot and hold control I guess a grey screen with a mouse pointer, I mouse is active but there is nothing to click on....

----------

I also just noticed that on startup after the first chime that it chimes VERY quietly three times then 30 seconds later I get the flashing question mark again
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 01:01 PM   #7
Brian Y
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You'll need to to a reinstall of the OS most likely.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 01:03 PM   #8
NastyComputers
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You'll need to to a reinstall of the OS most likely.
When I put the disk in and hold C on start up I can hear the disk spinning but after I would say 30 seconds it kicks the disk out and goes back to the question mark folder

Last edited by NastyComputers; Feb 14, 2013 at 01:04 PM. Reason: More info
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 02:48 PM   #9
Brian Y
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When I put the disk in and hold C on start up I can hear the disk spinning but after I would say 30 seconds it kicks the disk out and goes back to the question mark folder
The question mark means "I couldn't find an OS to boot".

You just need to work out whether it's the drive or software. Easiest way to find that out is to try to install the OS.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 02:58 PM   #10
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The question mark means "I couldn't find an OS to boot".

You just need to work out whether it's the drive or software. Easiest way to find that out is to try to install the OS.
Ok so by your logic the SuperDrive is bad? Seeing that it kicks the disk out without starting the install?
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 03:44 PM   #11
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Ok so by your logic the SuperDrive is bad? Seeing that it kicks the disk out without starting the install?
depends on if the disc can boot a known working mac with a superdrive... the disc could be non bootable or damaged or just dirty enough for the drive not to recognize it... so it ejects... or the lens of the superdrive could be dirty... first try putting the disc in a mac with a known working DVD drive... then use the startup disc control panel to see if it can be selected as a boot drive... if either of these steps fail the superdrive may be still be ok.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 04:44 PM   #12
macthefork
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Originally Posted by NastyComputers View Post
So I took the hard drive out, conected a external hd via USB and when I boot and hold control I guess a grey screen with a mouse pointer, I mouse is active but there is nothing to click on....

----------

I also just noticed that on startup after the first chime that it chimes VERY quietly three times then 30 seconds later I get the flashing question mark again
You should hold down the Option Key rather than the Control Key when starting up in order to select a startup volume to boot from. This includes internal or external volume.

The multiple soft startup chimes could be indicating a POST (Power On Self Test) error. Many times this is from bad RAM or a problem with an external item connected to the Mac (such as a hard drive).

Do you have the Apple Hardware Test Disk? If you only have a single disk, it might be included on that. To try it, insert disk and hold down the D key at startup. Is it a Grey OEM disk, and does it say "Disk One"?
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 05:05 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by macthefork View Post
You should hold down the Option Key rather than the Control Key when starting up in order to select a startup volume to boot from. This includes internal or external volume.

The multiple soft startup chimes could be indicating a POST (Power On Self Test) error. Many times this is from bad RAM or a problem with an external item connected to the Mac (such as a hard drive).

Do you have the Apple Hardware Test Disk? If you only have a single disk, it might be included on that. To try it, insert disk and hold down the D key at startup. Is it a Grey OEM disk, and does it say "Disk One"?
I do have a hardware test disc, But it came with a G5 I used to own. I did try it though. And it got kicked out like the OS disc. Also side note. I meant option not control.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 05:31 PM   #14
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Is the OS disk you're using the one that came with that computer? That iMac came with Tiger (10.4.7) installed, and the Processor is the Intel Core2Duo which means it needs the Intel version of the OS. The PowerPC OS version for the G-5 will not work in it. Also, the Retail version of Tiger was PPC only, so wouldn't work on this model either. Later retail versions, such as Leopard, and Snow Leopard should work fine.

The optical drive is working as it should if it's an incorrect disk.

I've had that problem with the white screen and the three faint startup chimes. The screen just stayed white and you could move the mouse pointer around, but no desktop was loaded. It was on a Mac Pro 1,1 with a failing drive. I held down the shift key during boot on that drive and it did start and ran the clean-up and repair routines. Then I was able to boot normally to that hard drive. But, Disk Utility showed many errors and so the drive was replaced.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 05:55 PM   #15
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Is the OS disk you're using the one that came with that computer? That iMac came with Tiger (10.4.7) installed, and the Processor is the Intel Core2Duo which means it needs the Intel version of the OS. The PowerPC OS version for the G-5 will not work in it. Also, the Retail version of Tiger was PPC only, so wouldn't work on this model either. Later retail versions, such as Leopard, and Snow Leopard should work fine.

The optical drive is working as it should if it's an incorrect disk.

I've had that problem with the white screen and the three faint startup chimes. The screen just stayed white and you could move the mouse pointer around, but no desktop was loaded. It was on a Mac Pro 1,1 with a failing drive. I held down the shift key during boot on that drive and it did start and ran the clean-up and repair routines. Then I was able to boot normally to that hard drive. But, Disk Utility showed many errors and so the drive was replaced.
Thanks for helping me out, I don't have the disc that came with the computer but I have a retail copy of leopard that I have been trying to use. I'm looking into getting an enclosure for the hard drive that was in the iMac when I bought it and and trying to boot from it that way. If the DVD drive was good and I'm trying to use leopard and the disc is being kicked out do you think that I drive may be bad? Would I be able to use an USB disc drive to run the software?
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 06:36 PM   #16
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The drive could be bad... But, there are other ways to force a boot from the optical drive. Rather than holding down the "C" key, try holding down the Option key when booting. This may give you the option to choose the optical drive to boot from. There are a few other suggestions you could try from this article at Cnet. You've likely checked to make sure the DVD is clean and in good condition.

If all that fails, you might still be able to disconnect the optical drive and connect the cable to you old HDD to see if you can boot from that. But I'd try the different suggestions to boot off the Retail Leopard disk, first.

Also, a USB external drive would work fine to boot from if it has a proper OS on it. USB 2 is rather slow, but it would work. That iMac has firewire 800, and this would be significantly faster than the USB 2.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 07:01 PM   #17
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The drive could be bad... But, there are other ways to force a boot from the optical drive. Rather than holding down the "C" key, try holding down the Option key when booting. This may give you the option to choose the optical drive to boot from. There are a few other suggestions you could try from this article at Cnet. You've likely checked to make sure the DVD is clean and in good condition.

If all that fails, you might still be able to disconnect the optical drive and connect the cable to you old HDD to see if you can boot from that. But I'd try the different suggestions to boot off the Retail Leopard disk, first.

Also, a USB external drive would work fine to boot from if it has a proper OS on it. USB 2 is rather slow, but it would work. That iMac has firewire 800, and this would be significantly faster than the USB 2.
I have tried the option way, I get the the mouse pointer to come up but nothing to click on just a gray srcreen.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 07:37 PM   #18
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Have you tried to reset the Parameter RAM (PRAM)? to do so, hold down Command + Option + P + R when starting, and wait for three chimes. Then try booting off DVD holding Option key. Or if the USB Drive is connected, it should show that too. Be sure the RAM is seated well.

One more option, try starting holding the Option key and when the pointer shows, then insert the Lion DVD.

And last, but not least,

Are you using a Mac to read these posts? If so, have you considered trying to start that problem iMac in Target Disk mode? It would have to have a HDD connected (in this case external) and you could put the DVD in the optical drive to check that, too. Only a thought. You would need a firewire cable. After connecting them together with the cable, have the running machine all booted up and start the not running machine holding down the "T" key.

If you don't see any drives from the problem iMac showing up on the good Mac, and none of the above work, including booting from USB drive, I'd start thinking it may have a Logic board problem. If it is, the cost may not be worth the value of that iMac.
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Last edited by macthefork; Feb 14, 2013 at 07:45 PM.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 08:00 PM   #19
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Have you tried to reset the Parameter RAM (PRAM)? to do so, hold down Command + Option + P + R when starting, and wait for three chimes. Then try booting off DVD holding Option key. Or if the USB Drive is connected, it should show that too. Be sure the RAM is seated well.

One more option, try starting holding the Option key and when the pointer shows, then insert the Lion DVD.

And last, but not least,

Are you using a Mac to read these posts? If so, have you considered trying to start that problem iMac in Target Disk mode? It would have to have a HDD connected (in this case external) and you could put the DVD in the optical drive to check that, too. Only a thought. You would need a firewire cable. After connecting them together with the cable, have the running machine all booted up and start the not running machine holding down the "T" key.

If you don't see any drives from the problem iMac showing up on the good Mac, and none of the above work, including booting from USB drive, I'd start thinking it may have a Logic board problem. If it is, the cost may not be worth the value of that iMac.
I have tried the PRAM option and I hold it and hold it and just end up with the question mark folder. I don't have another Mac but did think of that so I've been working a couple of friends to let me borrow their Macs so I could try the target mode method. I did find a logic board online for 120 so maybe I will have to take that route at some point, I bought this Mac hoping for an easy fix (60 bucks was worth a shot) or maybe just part it out on eBay! But I will continue to work on it for another week or so. I will keep you updated if anything changes or fails!
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 12:19 AM   #20
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Update: I scored a Mac from a friend to try target disc mode with and it worked great! The iMac cam to life... Would you guys agree that with this being successful that the logic board is still good?!
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 08:23 AM   #21
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Looks like the Logic Board is working then. Were you able to see the external drive connected? Did you install the Leopard Disk in the optical drive, and if you did, was that seen also? If so, it would show the optical disk is working. If you connected the old HDD externally, and were able t see it, did it have an OS on it?

I know, I know... waaaay too many questions.

Maybe you could use that second Mac to install the Leopard OS onto a USB or firewire 800 drive, and see if you can boot from that.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 10:31 AM   #22
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Looks like the Logic Board is working then. Were you able to see the external drive connected? Did you install the Leopard Disk in the optical drive, and if you did, was that seen also? If so, it would show the optical disk is working. If you connected the old HDD externally, and were able t see it, did it have an OS on it?

I know, I know... waaaay too many questions.

Maybe you could use that second Mac to install the Leopard OS onto a USB or firewire 800 drive, and see if you can boot from that.
Hahaha I like all the question cause you make me think of stuff I forgot! It was kinda late so I didn't play with it too much. I forgot to put the disc in after it booted. When I booted it up I needed the login and password to get in and she didn't give me get user name...girls! I'm going to Frys today to pick up a SATA enclosure to attempt to see if there is an OS loaded on the hard drive that came out of it and if not then I will work in installing it thought the enclosure. What's your opinion: should I get an FireWire enclosure? It's faster than USB correct?
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 01:35 PM   #23
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Firewire 800 is around twice as fast as USB2, plus or minus. However, the USB enclosure would be significantly less expensive.

An inexpensive alternative is to use a hard drive adaptor such as this. I have one of those and it works well for temporarily connecting a drive.

When you were inside the imac, did you see if you could disconnect the optical drive cable form the drive itself and connect it to the HDD? That could save time if the HDD is failed. Then you could just purchase an external drive and install an OS.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 02:28 PM   #24
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Firewire 800 is around twice as fast as USB2, plus or minus. However, the USB enclosure would be significantly less expensive.

An inexpensive alternative is to use a hard drive adaptor such as this. I have one of those and it works well for temporarily connecting a drive.

When you were inside the imac, did you see if you could disconnect the optical drive cable form the drive itself and connect it to the HDD? That could save time if the HDD is failed. Then you could just purchase an external drive and install an OS.
I did look at the optical drive to see if I could connect the hard drive and I couldn't figure out how to that would work. I have another hard drive on hard if that is bad anywho. And I looked into the FireWire and the article u found said that this Mac has FireWire 400. Will keep you posted
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 06:35 PM   #25
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Yep... that model does have only two Firewire 400 ports. So USB2 would be less expensive as they're similar in speed.
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Last edited by macthefork; Feb 16, 2013 at 06:45 PM. Reason: edited to correct info
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