Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Frank (Atlanta), Nov 2, 2005.

  1. Frank (Atlanta) macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2004
    Hi all; hope I can get some good advice.

    I have a rev A iMac 20" 1.8ghz machine running 10.3.9. It's about 12 mos old now.

    Curious if you all think this is a hardware or software problem or if anybody can tell me what the flashing Mac OSX/question mark folder means (see below).

    Yesterday, when I took the machine out of sleep, it was locked-up. If I recall, the mouse cursor would move around, but couldn't click on anything, etc. Likewise, the keyboard was hung-up, too. Couldn't type, or switch to other apps, etc. Tried another keyboard & mouse, etc. No luck. BTW, I've been using wired keyboard & mouse.

    I had to do a hard shutdown via the power button. I turned the machine back on and it just hung at the Apple logo with the little turning gear icon. Stayed this way for a good 10+ minutes. So, I shut it down again and let it "rest" for about 10 minutes.

    When I powered back up, no problems - everything was fine. I repaired permissions (no problems there) and ran Alsoft's DiskWarrior (couldn't find any problems, either).

    The machine worked fine last night; however, when I took it out of sleep this morning - same thing. Keyboard & mouse had hung again (albeit, I couldn't even see a mouse cursor this time). So...I powered-down the machine and turned it back on.

    This time, however, the screen flashed briefly and I got a different icon: a small folder in the center of the screen that would switch between the Mac OSX symbol (the one with 2 faces) and a question mark.

    Luckily, I have everything backed-up to a external drive, so...:

    1. Do you think this is hardware or software related - I'm guessing some type of conflict has arisen that's causing problems. I did have a problem with 10.3.9 about 3 or 4 months ago, whereby I had to archive & reinstall. Maybe it's related?

    2. Has anybody experienced something similar/have any advice?

    3. If I've got to do a clean install of OSX, I might as well move to Tiger - does that seem reasonable?

  2. mfacey macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2004
    The flashing icons at start up means that the mac is looking for a start up disk. You can set this in system prefs by selecting your hd with osx under "startup disk".

    I've had my powerbook hang once on a hard reset, but never really had any problems after that. I would recommend reinstalling the os (clean install, so backup your docs!). Tiger is the way to go if you're wiling to spend the cash (or if you have it lying around). If the problem repeats itself, I would drop by an apple store (and I hope you have apple care!)

    Good luck!
  3. Frank (Atlanta) thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2004
    Actually, turns-out I have a bad internal drive (error code 2STF/1/4: S-ATA BUS 0 - MASTER)...

    Looks like I need to take the machine back to the Apple store. Luckily there's a store nearby and I have AppleCare...(and that I have a back-up as of last Sat and a bootable clone).

    Makes sense - it was occurring intermittently; however, when I could boot, everything would work fine.
  4. Frank (Atlanta) thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2004
    Fixed...bad logic board

    Well, it wasn't a bad hard was a bad logic board. Apple Care replaced the logic board. Luckily, I had Apple Care - I was 20 days beyond my 1 yr cost would have been ~$858 in total. Didn't cost me anything other than the price of Apple Care up-front (which was considerably less than the repair).

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