Boot trouble

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by max10201, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. max10201 macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2013
    So, my grandpa recently got an iMac to replace his old HP desktop, because the motherboard melted a little bit. The hard drive from the old was still good (or so we thought), so I tried to see if I could boot with it.

    With the HP hard drive attached via USB, I tried to open the Boot menu by holding the Option key at startup. That didn't work (with our third-party keyboard OR the original Apple keyboard. So I did it through System Preferences -> Startup Disk, selected the HP drive and restarting.

    It didn't work, something's probably wrong with the drive. Oh well. So I shut the computer down, unplugged the drive, turned it back on, and... it's still trying to boot from the HP drive that is no longer connected. On startup, it makes the standard startup sound and shows a blank grey screen. After a little while, the screen goes black and this text shows up:

    "No bootable device -- insert boot disk and press any key

    So, what do I do? How do I get it to boot from it's own hard drive again?
    Just as before, holding Option through startup fails to bring me to the boot menu. I've also tried unplugging everything, including the power cable, for a little while and trying again, that didn't work either. Help!
  2. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2013
    Plug the PC drive back in and see if the option boot will open. If not, command R during boot for recovery. I'll assume the iMac is recent & there's a recovery partition. You didn't mention what model/system, etc.

    A few more boot commands to try here -
  3. Thraun macrumors regular


    Dec 18, 2008
    Abbotsford, BC
    Well, the iMac isn't going to boot up from a Windows hard drive, end of story. I find it odd that it even showed up in Startup disks.

    It's also odd that the option button isn't working for you. I would suggest a NVRAM reset (turn on computer and hold down Command-Option-P-R until you hear the boot chime a 2nd time).

    Also, as thedeske mentioned, try booting to the recovery drive (Command-R, assuming the iMac is running 10.7 or 10.8).
  4. max10201 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2013
    Thanks for your responses.

    I've tried many of those startup commands, but none of them seem to do anything. I've tried holding them at different times, mashing them continuously after pressing the power button, etc.

    I'm starting to think the keyboard may not be communicating or something.. What is the green light normally supposed to do? Every time I press the power button, the green light comes on for a few seconds and goes off. It couldn't be the batteries, could it? The thing's barely been used..

    I just tried it all again with the drive plugged in, no dice. :/

    The iMac is quite recent, it's only been sitting in the house for about a week!

    I was kinda surprised it saw the drive too; the Windows 7 startup animation even came on a couple of times. I didn't really think it would work just like that, just thought I'd see what would happen. >.< I didn't think it'd be so difficult to boot normally again!
  5. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
    If the drive....

    is not formated in some fashion readable by the Mac, no command combo or vodoo can make it work.

    Exists the possibility the drive itself is damaged. Try to rule out this plugging the drive in a Windows machine.....

  6. max10201 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2013

    Read the post more carefully; I'm not trying to boot the windows drive anymore. I'm trying to get the iMac to boot OS X again. None of the startup commands are doing anything.
  7. lunaoso macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2012
    Boston, MA
    Try a wired keyboard if you have one. Sometimes the wireless ones don't connect fast enough for the keystrokes to be recognized.
  8. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    lunaoso's reply above gets you on the right track.

    1. Try a WIRED USB keyboard. You can even use the keyboard from the old PC, -IF- it is USB.

    2. With the wired keyboard connected, do this:
    - Power down, all the way off
    - Press the iMac's power-on button
    - As soon as you hear the startup sound, hold down the option key and KEEP HOLDING IT DOWN
    - The startup manager should appear in a few seconds.

    What does it show you?
  9. aniruth macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2013
    sometimes is a program or antivirus problem at start up. try using msconfig and turn things off in msconfi time till the issue stops. also run a viruses check out and see if there any add on tool bars that got loaded when you set up a new program.

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