Help! My imac is in gray limbo....

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by faithfulFrank, May 25, 2006.

  1. faithfulFrank macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #1
    Hi. I have a 3 yr old iMac G4. All of a sudden, last night when I clicked restart, it goes to the gray screen with the apple on it, and just spins that gray circle for hours and will not go to the login screen.
    If I try to turn it off in the back, it will not. If I try to open the cd drive to put in a recovery disk, it will not open.
    If I try a safe boot by unplugging it then turning it back on holding the shift key, it will not do it.

    I do not know what to do. ANY help will be appreciated...my applecare just ran out last month. Am I doomed?? I checked FAQ's first, but could not find the solution.

    Thank you in advanced for any help.

    Respectfully, Frank D.
     
  2. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #2
    Have your tried rebooting it while holding the mouse button to open the CD-tray?

    Other things to try:
    Resetting NVRAM
    Run fsck
     
  3. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #3
    Almost sounds like it's time for some drive repair, if you haven't ever done it -- it may not be too pretty on the HD right now.

    Hopefully you can get fsck to work, but it might show some errors that it cannot fix.

    If it's real bad and you cannot get to fsck and/or the recovery disk, options will get a little ugly (with the way OpenFirmware tend to work.)

    Especially with that version iMac.

    ---

    Might pull the plug and the battery, and let the machine sit unplugged for awhile.

    Possible it will let you open the optical drive (via mouse button), and/or boot from CD/DVD, during a unplugged cycle while it searches for a boot volume the first time you restart after plugging it in.

    Usually a second to last resort to avoid a corrupt startup volume, and get around OpenFirmwares boot sequence.
     
  4. faithfulFrank thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #4
    Thank you for your help.
    Now for a stupid question.
    Everyone says to press the command key and the s key.

    No where on my keyboard does it say command. Do you mean the "apple" key?

    Thanks, Frank D.
     
  5. cruxed macrumors regular

    cruxed

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    Location:
    Hong Kong
  6. faithfulFrank thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #6
    Thank you.......
    I tried to do both the apple key and the s key when restarting, didn't work.

    I tried to do the apple key and the option key and the p and r key to reser pram, but that did not work either.

    I'm not sure what to try next......this sounds bad.

    Any other suggestions? I thank everyone for their help.

    Frank D.
     
  7. faithfulFrank thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #7
    I also just tried restarting holding down the option key and the mouse to get the cd drive to open.......but that did not work. All ?I get is that gray spinning wheel.........

    Frank D.
     
  8. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #8
    It doesn't seem to respond properly to your keyboard presses at start up. How about trying to plug the keyboard in the other usb port?

    Try holding down 'T' at start up. It's the only other start up key combo I know. It should start target mode and display a yellow firewire icon on the screen.
     
  9. faithfulFrank thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #9
    sorry to say that apple + T did not work either. All I get is that regular noise like it always makes, then the gray screen with the apple and the spinning gray wheel.

    Frank D.
     
  10. faithfulFrank thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #10
    ok, something different just happenned!
    I did apple s again, and a black screen just came upwith alot of stuff on it.
    towards the bottom it says;
    If you wish to make modifacations to files:
    /sbin/fsck -fy
    /sbin/mount -uw /

    If you wish to boot the system, but stay in single user mode:
    sh /etc/rc
    localhost:/ root# (white square like a cursor )

    What do I do next??

    Frank D.
     
  11. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #11
    I found a better fsck link

    2. At the command-line prompt, type /sbin/fsck -fy (there's a space between k and -)
    3. Press Return. fsck will go through five "phases" and then return information about your disk's use and fragmentation. Once it finishes, it'll display this message if no issue is found:
    ** The volume (name_of_volume) appears to be OK
    If fsck found issues and has altered, repaired, or fixed anything, it will display this message:
    ***** FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED *****

    Important: If this message appears, repeat the fsck command you typed in step 2 until fsck tells you that your volume appears to be OK (first-pass repairs may uncover additional issues, so this is a normal thing to do).
    4. When fsck reports that your volume is OK, type reboot at the prompt and then press Return.
     
  12. faithfulFrank thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #12
    thank you. It tells me I can do that, but it also asks if I want to boot the system, but stay in single user mode.
    Do I want to do that instead?

    Frank D.
     
  13. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #13
    You want to do the fsck thing. It means file system check, and it's the thing that's most likely to fix your Mac. If it fails, you'll probably have to reinstall everything (or worse).
     
  14. faithfulFrank thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #14
    thank you.
    I did that .it fixed some stuff, now it says

    **The volume imac was repaired successfully.

    *******FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED*****

    *****REBOOT NOW****

    I'm guessing this is good. What do I do next? You can tell I am a novice and I appreciate the help.

    Frank D.
     
  15. faithfulFrank thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #15
    I'm running that fsck thing again.

    now it says at the bottom

    **The volume imac appears to be ok.
    localhost:/ root#

    I think this good, but I don't know what to do next.

    Frank D.
     
  16. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #16
    Now you can type reboot and see if it starts up into Mac OS X.
     
  17. faithfulFrank thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #17
    WOW.......it booted up just right.......like it did before it got stuck!

    Thank you so much for the kind help.

    Now, I wonder how that happened? Is my HD going bad?

    Should I have done any maintence? It's worked so well for so long.
    I did repair permissions a few weeks ago when my mail kept closing and itunes would not open, that fixed everything.

    I guess my question is, should I do anything so this does not happen again?

    Thank you!!!!!!!!!

    Frank D.
     
  18. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #18
    You're welcome. I'm glad it all worked out. :)

    I'm not sure if there's anything you can do to reduce the chances of this happening again. A file system corruption like this usually only happens in extraordinary circumstances like a power failure, a kernel panic, a total system freeze, hardware failure, problematic system upgrades and stuff like that.

    Just try to make sure that the hard drive is in good health. Check that the S.M.A.R.T status is "Verified" in Disk Utility.

    And of course, keep a back up of all your important data.
     
  19. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #19
    Running Disk Utility from the CD/DVD and repairing it, will fix a corrupt HD/file system -- an alternative is to run fsck when you boot every now and then.

    Not something that has to be done often, only when you think (I haven't done it in awhile) or beachballs and system hangs start to appear with frequency -- even after a restart.

    If you have a SMART capable drive and it passes, then nothing should be wrong with the drive.

    If the drive isn't SMART capable, doesn't hurt to back some files up -- but likely, the drive slowly got corrupted from lack of maintenance.
     
  20. faithfulFrank thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #20
    Thank you again.
    I have had to force quit some things lately....never had to before.
    My CD drive now opens.

    I'm so glad my son is back from college and I had his powerbook to use to get help from you.

    My airport express wireless router does not seem to want to work now, but compared to this, (it's flashing yellow instead of being green) ,but that should be an easy fix.

    I really do not know what maintence I should do to prevent this to happen....my few mac buddies just say....."Go buy tech tool....."

    Thank you so much again for taking the time to help.
    respectfully,

    Frank D........(boy typing on a 12 inch powerbook is different then my imac...)
     

Share This Page