Is my iMac G5 ruined? Help!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Payson, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. Payson macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    #1
    Any help here would be greatly appreciated. Some awesome people on this board helped me out before, and I really apreciate it.

    Today I noticed some of my apps(quicktime, VLC player) were unresponsive and would not open. I retstarted my 17" iMac G5 and at the "Loading Mac OS X" screen, I noticed that the bar was moving REALLY slow. When the loading bar was full after about a minute or so, nothing happened, and the computer remained idle. I called Apple and didn't get much help, but I don't know what to do. Has anyone had this happen/heard of this? This is my firstreal probelm with my G5 since purcahsing it a year and a half ago.

    Thanks in advance for your insight, I'm totally scared/worried.

    <3.
     
  2. nylock10 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    #2
    Would you be able to take it to the genius bar?


    Also, I have a friend with the exact same computer and the same problem.

    He noticed that the fans are spinning out of control while this happens, are yours?
     
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #3
    I'm not quite clear: does the iMac finish booting?

    If so, this would be a good time to start up Applications->Utilities->Disk Utility, select your HD, and choose First Aid->Repair Disk Permissions. It would also be an ideal time to make sure that all of your important files are backed up (perhaps something to do before anything else).

    If not, do you have your restore disks? Also, do you have a recent backup of your important files?
     
  4. Payson thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 21, 2005
    #4
    Yes! The fans are going crazy!

    What's the genius bar?
     
  5. Payson thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 21, 2005
    #5
    I don't think it finishes booting. To do anything I've had to insert Disc one of the Mac OS X installationprogram. I scanned for probelms and found none. I tried reinstalling Mac OS X but it says there was an error reinstalling. I really don't want to lose whatI have on my computer, but I didn't back it up. My own fault, I know. Would it make a difference if I tried reinstallingMac OS X after deleting everything on my hard drive?

    PS Sorry my typing sucks, not used to my galfriends PC laptop. Also sory for lack of technical terms, I'm kind of a moron.
     
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #6
    If your gf's laptop has firewire, you could try connecting the Mac to it with a firewire cable, then booting the Mac with the 'T' key held down to make it boot as a firewire drive; doing so might allow access to the HD.

    It sure seems like you might have experienced a hard drive failure. Is the iMac still under warranty?
     
  7. Payson thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 21, 2005
    #7
    No, it isn't. Is there anything else I can do? Can it be fixed if I did have a hard drive failure?
     
  8. nylock10 macrumors regular

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    Jun 26, 2006
    #8
    At the Apple Store, you can take your computer in and there is a place called the "Genius Bar" where you set your computer up and Apple experts help you fix your problem.


    If you can't boot into Mac OS X, insert your Mac OSX installation disc, restart your computer (and hold down C). Once you get into setup, go to Utilities > Disc Utility. Click your Hard Drive (e.g. Macintosh HD), then click "Repair Disc".

    Might want to do "Repair disc permissions", too.
     
  9. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #9
    If, in fact, the disk has truly failed, then it'll need to be replaced, which is difficult but not impossible on a iMac G5 (the Intel iMacs are a nightmare).

    If the failure is not hardware related but do to misformatting, you've got at least two options: (1) buy DiskWarrior and see if it can repair anything (it's expensive, but it's the best at what it does); or (2) use the installation disks to reformat the drive and then reinstall OS X (which will obviously blow away any files you've got on it).

    I'd recommend doing as nylock10 recommends, then let us know if anything happens.
     
  10. Payson thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 21, 2005
    #10
    Holding down"C" didn't do anything. Is it just C or C and another button?
     
  11. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #11
    It's just "c" (i.e., the 'C' key but not the shift button). You hold it down as soon as you power it on, keep it help until the optical starts to load files, and the disk in the optical drive must be bootable (i.e., like the install disk).
     
  12. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #12
    why is it so hard on the intel machines?
     
  13. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #13
    From what I've read, unless they've improved things since the Intel iMacs first came out, the internals were completely redone and in such a way as to make repairs by all but the most savvy owners out of the question. I've seen G5 and Intel internal pics, and the Intels are a mess. Or at least were this past spring.
     
  14. nylock10 macrumors regular

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    Jun 26, 2006
    #14


    Because Intel Processors suck.

    Might be because it is built differently.




    @Payson: Is it possible that you can bring your computer to an Apple Genius Bar at any Apple Retail store?

    I think they can help even if your warrente is dead, might want to call first.
     
  15. Payson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    #15
    There might be one a couple hours away.I'll call and check I guess. Thank you guys for your help, I really do mean it.

    The "c" isn't working for me, they guy at apple told me to hold P+R+Option+Alt I think, that didn't do anything. Now holding just alt takes me to a different screen but I can't seem to do that much from there.
     
  16. Payson thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 21, 2005
    #16
    I gotta go to bed now. Thanks for the help. I'll be back tomorrow. Thank you.
     
  17. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Andover, MA
    #17
    Best of luck. It might be something trivial - I hope it is.
     
  18. nylock10 macrumors regular

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    Jun 26, 2006
  19. Payson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    #19
    Where I live there is no Apple retailer I can find, not even in this province. I'm at work now, but when I get home I am going to try holding "c" again, but it didn't seem to work the first few times. If I can't get this to work I think I will just reinstall Mac OS X and wipe the hard drive clean. I couldn't reinstall OS X when I tried doing it and keeping what was on my hard drive, do you think it would make a difference if I tried reinstalling it after everything was gone? I only want to erase my hard drive if its totally necessary. Thanks for the help.

    <3
     
  20. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #20
    Seriously, if there's anything that can recover the data - assuming it really is a hard drive issue (either hardware or disk format error), it's DiskWarrior. It's up to you to decide if the cost is worth it. Is the chance of recovering your files worth it?

    On the other hand, surely something like the 'C' trick is working - how'd you get it to boot to the install disks in the first place? However you did that, do it again, but use the disk utilities instead of the installation process to see if you can fix things. It's worth a shot at first.
     
  21. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #21
    What we mean is: Take your "MacOS X Install Disc 1", put it into the DVD drive, restart the Macintosh, and keep the "C" on the keyboard pressed all the time, until the MacOS X Installer appears. At that point, don't install anything, but select "Disk Utilities" from the "Utilities" menu.

    Holding the "C" (letter C alone, no alt, shift, option or whatever other key) while starting the Macintosh means that the Mac will try not to start from the built-in harddisk, but from the CD or DVD drive. It won't do anything unless you actually put a DVD into the DVD drive.
     
  22. Payson thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 21, 2005
    #22
    When I boot up I hold "Alt" and it brings me to a screen that says "Macintosh HD" and "MAC OS X Install Disc One" and "Hardware Test." I select one and move on with the next arrow. If i select Macintosh HD, it tries to boot up my computer the same way it would if I didn't hold "alt," where it just freezes while loading Mac OS X. If I slsect Install Disc One, I choose to install it without erasing my HD and I get an error message. I have yet to try it when choosing erase my hard drive and start over. When I select hardware test, it does a 13 minute qucik test, and a 55 minute extended test, and my computer passes both tests.

    I must be doing something wrong, as the c key has yet to work for me. I'll try again when I get home. I'm also going to try and find an apple retailer near me. If I can't, I think I'll reformat my HD and try installing Mac OS X again. I can live without my files, I just really hope it works. If my hard drive is kaput anyway though, I don't think there'd be a chance of recovering my files anyway (although when I chose install Mac OS X Disc One it showed my hard drive as having 48.3 gigs free, which is the space I have left. If it was trashed, wouldn't it not recognize it?)

    Anyway, I'm a moron and my technical terms are weak.

    Thanks so much for your help, I do appreciate it. Sorry if it's like talking to a lost child, haha.:eek:
     
  23. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #23
    When you held C and the installer appeared, DO NOT INSTALL. Instead look at the menu bar: There is one menu named "Utilities", and one of the items in that menu is "Disk Utilities". Disk Utilities allows you to examine the harddisk in various ways and it will tell you whether your harddisk is fine or not.

    If you have no backups, and the harddisk is not damaged, anyone with a Macintosh and a Firewire cable can pull all your data from the harddisk, and then you can reformat the disk, reinstall the OS, and restore your data. An Apple Store could help you; it would be worth trying.
     
  24. smitty078 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    #24
    So since you know how to do it with the 'alt' key (you should be aware this is reffered to as the 'option' key by most mac users as well as apple), use that to start up from 'Mac OS X Install Disc 1'. Once the installer has loaded, instead of going through the install process, go to the 'Utilities' menu in the menu bar and choose 'Disk Utility'. Use this program to test and (hopefully) repair your hard drive. You can accomplish that by selecting 'Macintosh HD' (or the name of your hard drive if it is different) from the list on the left, and then clicking the repair button. Disk Utility will do it's thing and you will see any errors or repairs show up. As long as Disk Utility says it has repaired your disk successfully, you are more than likely good to go after that. Reboot your computer normally (without holding down anything) and see how it goes. If you have any other problems, or disk utility can't repair your hard drive, try to write down any errors disk utility has and report them back here, we may be able to help further.

    Credit goes to other posters before me, I just restated all they have already said in one post with instructions that it seems you can follow based on what you're already familiar with doing.

     
  25. MartyMoe macrumors regular

    #25

    (1) That sounds promising-- If you can get to the Installer CD/DVD at all, then that means you can also get to Disk Utility on the CD/DVD, and can try the repairs that jsw and gnasher729 suggested above. If your C key won't let you boot to the disk (odd!), then at least this gets you to the same place. Different path, same destination.

    When you get to the Installer menu (where you tried to install before), this time, you should instead go to the drop-down menu on the top left and choose Disk Utility. I am not sure which exact menu, as I am not on a Mac now. (Everybody, please forgive me.)

    In Disk Utility, it should give you a list of disks on the left (your Installer boot CD/DVD, your hard drive, etc.) and a panel on the right. Select your hard drive if you can-- you may have to select the one just under it (i.e. if you can't select the hard drive itself, there is often a volume or something right below it that you can select.) For example, the top one might say MAXTOR 40GB and under that, Marty's HD, and you can only repair Marty's HD.

    Once it lets you select something, over on the right, click on "First Aid". From, there, there are buttons at the bottom for [Repair Disk Permissions] and [Repair Volume]. Somebody can chime in for this, but in this situation I would click on [Repair Volume] first, then try to [Repair Permissions.] I even try it a couple of times; not sure if that makes it better, I just do it a few times on principle.

    After that, try booting again. The next step might be booting in Safe Mode, but I may have to go look that up. Back in a bit.



    (2) I also have to recommend DiskWarrior. I, too, flinched a little when buying it, but it brought back a (non-visible) hard drive when I had a corruption problem. I can't guarantee it will work for you, but for me, the hard drive itself was fine; it was just a severely corrupted directory that wasn't even "visible" to the Mac, but DiskWarrior was able to rebuild it.

    And, as you said, if your hard drive is passing the hardware diagnostics but won't boot up, then it is probably some sort of corruption and I would only wipe it as an absolutely last resort.


    As a separate comment:
    As you have found, holding down Alt (or as you might often see it written, Option) calls up a boot menu, and you can select what you want to boot from there. The fact that it won't boot to CD with the C key but will with the Option/Alt key is really more than a little weird...it obviously sees the CD/DVD boot disk; I don't know why it is not paying attention when you use C..... :confused:


    P.S. The hard drive in my signature is not the one I repaired with DiskWarror-- I think I bent the cable for that one. The Diskwarrior-repaired drive is still OK.
     

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