2009 iMac Black Screen question- no startup chime, either.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Turnpike, May 6, 2019.

  1. Turnpike macrumors 6502

    Turnpike

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    Location:
    New York City!
    #1
    I have a 2009 iMac that suddenly stopped working- I went to wake it out of sleep mode, and nothing.

    I tried a ton of "black screen" fixes from all across Google, and some did make an Apple symbol appear and that's it, and another gave a white screen, but normally it would sound like it started up (I could hear the internal HD speed up) but nothing.

    I'm wondering if since I don't hear the iconic Apple start up chime that maybe it's not just the display? Does anyone else have a guess what it likely is? It's a well kept machine, and had been running on an external SSD by Firewire, but whether that's plugged in or not (along with all USB and other plugs both unplugged or plugged in) it doesn't do anything- No loading bar, no chime sound, nothing.

    So it makes me think it's a waste to wait for a Mini DVI adapter to arrive from Amazon (2 days out) to use with an external monitor, since it doesn't seem like it's only the built in display...

    Does anyone with a similar machine know what it likely might be?
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #2
    Have you tried to see if it boots into Apple Hardware Test?
     
  3. Turnpike, May 6, 2019
    Last edited: May 6, 2019

    Turnpike thread starter macrumors 6502

    Turnpike

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    Location:
    New York City!
    #3

    Casper! Yes, I did, that's when I get an all-white screen instead of black. That is the one with holding down the D on the startup, right?

    Hmmm... I'm going to go try that again. I think the one I found in Google was to use the SHift and D, not just the D.
    --- Post Merged, May 6, 2019 ---
    Just tried that... nothing happens, at all.

    >>I see what the mod did there, thanks! I'll reply like that from now on.<< :thumbsup:
     
  4. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #4
    Hm. Well, all-white is interesting cause it sugggest there's no display issue. Similarly your experiences with the Apple logo would suggest it's not a display issue.
    I don't worry so much about the lack of chime since that can be disabled anyway.

    I'm assuming you've tried the typical SMC and NVRAM resets as well.

    I don't think it'll work but just to cover all the bases I'd recommend pulling the plug out of the iMac entirely as well, to give the hardware a proper power-cycle.

    There is a possibility that it's a GPU issue, seeing that you've seen visual oddness with the white screen and whatnot. I just don't really feel like the symptoms match any particular issue.

    Just d shouuld be fine. Some systems I believe required CMD+D - Never heard of Shift+D, but I believe the modifier key would be ignored with the D key anyway.
    Shift alone activates Safe Mode though. I can't imagine anything booting safe mode that wouldn't boot the hardware test, but I guess you could try that too. It only loads the bare minimum drivers and kexts necessary to get the system booted.

    Overall, I don't know, man. Quite odd set of symptoms. If the pre-boot environment was messed up, I'd recommend trying to boot from a separate drive, but the pre-boot environment acting up would point to a deeper root issue than just a drive or software issue.
    It is possible it could be display related, but I'm not convinced. I'm thinking logic board in some shape or another. Perhaps a GPU failure, or a trace issue for connecting elements on the logic board - I don't know.
     
  5. Turnpike thread starter macrumors 6502

    Turnpike

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    Location:
    New York City!
    #5
    Thanks for your input, Casperes1996... I know how knowledgeable you are (this isn't the first time you came up with a fix for me on here) so after reading that I just assume it's something like the GPU or logic board, and am switching things to another iMac now... Thanks for your help, it's nice to be reasonably certain I'm not just overlooking something. :) Thanks again!
     
  6. bagpiper macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2019
    #6
    Hello, I also have a 2009 imac, and it is still in use.

    I have kept this mac consistently updated over the years, installing every MacOS release and beta MacOS in between.

    During a few of these upgrades, I bricked my mac a few times. I really wish I could remember the exact steps I took to revive my computer so i could be of assistance.

    Your iMac Operating System is running from an External Firewire HD? Did you have a working MacOS copy on the internal HD before it failed?

    A few things I would try is to get the mac to recognize the original System OS CD, another clean (freshly reformated) FW hard drive with a compatible MacOS, and/or start the iMac in the recovery mode.

    I would do a few things first. Unplug all cables from iMac except for Power and Keyboard/ Mouse

    Lookup all the bootup keyboard sequences for you iMac and the OS, and try everything several times.

    Remember you can point your imac’s startup HD to the internal Recovery Partition, an External Drive, a working Internal CD (FYI: careful there are High Failure Rate on CD Drive) for MacOS recovery or Boot Disk.

    Another option to see if your drive is viewable is to connect two macs via firewire. Use working Mac that has a firewire port, connect a FW cable to you imac, hold CMD + T on host mac and then power your imac. If it starts, you iMac should mount as an external drive on the host Mac.

    Also zap the PRAM, and make sure you do this multiple times. In fact anything you do should be preformed several times. This is where strange Mac voodoo comes into play. Its the 4-7th you try something before it works.

    Then unplug the computer for at least an hour before trying again.

    When attaching another FW drive, check your cables, try different ones during testing, also switch FW ports on drive if present

    Try different MacOS upgrade/fresh install cds, including the original one, and recovery disk

    The symptoms of your imac sounds like an internal drive issue that I have experienced when a Beta MacOS install went bad. I could have sworn my imac was Fried, but with a lot of work and more luck It continues to serve me well

    I think with enough resources to work with you might narrow down the cause and maybe find a fix

    Good Luck !
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    If you haven't done it yet...

    Pull the plug out of the wall, let it sit for 15 minutes.
    Take the RAM out, and then put it back in.

    Then, try to power it on again.

    It's not worth putting any money into an iMac this old.
    If you can't revive it easily, best to start looking for a replacement.
     
  8. Turnpike thread starter macrumors 6502

    Turnpike

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    Location:
    New York City!
    #8
    To update the thread, for the benefit of whoever might find this during a search in the future, I did unplug every single cable, let it sit, removed the RAM, etc etc. Also tried starting it up with different mouse/keyboards and no mouse/keyboards, etc... I even did all this and put it near the AC to cool completely down over the course of a few hours, but nothing made a difference. Nothing got me past a black screen to where I could even choose a HD (like an external one) and a few of the trouble shooting button-hold-down options gave me an Apple sign and a plain white screen, but most times only black. So it's not the screen, but almost certainly something inside.

    I agree with Fishrrman, something this old isn't worth too much time and effort, so I have already moved on to another one I have, but it was great to have all the feedback to where I could make sure there wasn't something simple or common that I overlooked with my Google searches.
     
  9. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #9
    Thanks for the compliment. Hope you don't take offence that I don't remember you ;). I reply to quite a lot of issues when I have the time - Though I often do so in bursts, since it's hard to find the time in the busiest periods of university life ;).

    I'm sorry for your loss. May it rest in peace in Macintosh heaven.
    Or if it treated you badly, burn in hell I suppose...
     

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8 May 6, 2019