2009 iMac Won't Boot

Discussion in 'iMac' started by santaliqueur, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. santaliqueur macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Hello peeps. I have a 2009 iMac that will not boot. When pressing the power button, I hear the startup chime, and I see the beige screen forever, with no Apple logo. When I hit the power button again, the power goes off immediately instead of needing to hold the button for several seconds. Unsure if that's important.

    Things I have done with no success:
    • Reset SMC
    • Reset NVRAM
    • Holding Option at boot, with a FireWire bootable drive (No response)
    • Let the machine attempt to boot for over an hour

    Any other suggestions? I had planned on buying a new machine sometime this year, but I hoped to be able to sell this one for a decent amount of money. It's a quad i7 2.8, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD (which I would take back out). Thanks for any help!
  2. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    1.)Do you have any other Macs available to try booting your iMac into Target Disk Mode to see if something simple like a permissions repair would do the trick?
    2.) How long ago did you install the SSD?
    3.) which brand of memory are you using?
    4.) did you unplug everything (including the iMac) to perform the troubleshooting?
    5.) have you reinstalled the original RAM to see if that does anything?
    6.) Do you still have the original Snow Leopard that came with the machine to use the built in disc utility to repair the drive or at least make sure the start up disk selections are correct?
  3. santaliqueur thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    After not trying anything for 24+ hours, I attempted to boot with Command-R, which worked. I have no idea why, since it wouldn't respond to anything at all before.

    To answer your questions:
    1. I do, but I hadn't tried it yet. Also, does target disk mode work with USB? I only have a new Mac mini with no FireWire.
    2. Installed the SSD a couple years ago. It was the way I could make an old computer feel new again, and I extended its usable life by a couple years instead of buying a new computer.
    3. OWC RAM, installed probably 4 years ago. Had not tried resetting, but I eventually would have torn this computer apart if I couldn't get it working.
    4. I unplugged everything, as I was moving to a new desk. Unplugged iMac to perform SMC reset. I had to shut it down before unplugging everything, and checked the uptime before shutting down, 46 days. Not important, just a funny thing I did before shutting down, and then it wouldn't start up.
    6. Even if I did have the original Snow Leopard, the machine was not responding to anything. No boot options, nothing. Just a beige screen. I couldn't boot to my FW drive, couldn't do anything. Just a startup chime and then nothing.

    Seems to be "working" now. A great time to run my backup script again. Thanks for the reply!
  4. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    Well that's awesome that something worked! I didn't expect that but thank you for taking the time to respond to all of my questions anyway.

    Also, (You probably know this already) keep that machine for as long as you possibly can because it is one of the very few iMacs that can be used as an external display. Amazing.
  5. santaliqueur thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    I appreciate you taking the time to respond to me, so I'm happy to respond. It's what keeps this community going!

    Yes this is a great machine. It was nearing the end of its life as a fast computer when I decided to pop it open after the Apple Care had expired. Or maybe it was before, I'm not sure :) The SSD made it fast again, and It's been great so far, minus a few hiccups here and there. When the Retina iMac came out, I knew it would be my next machine (previously thought New Mac Pro but I also do some gaming) but I wasn't sure when I'd be buying one. After last week's problem with this machine, I thought it would be much sooner! Thanks again.

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4 January 22, 2015