Can't boot into OS X Lion or Windows 7

Cryoinferno2003

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 26, 2019
14
0
Hi, I really hope you can help me. I have an Apple iMac MD063LL/A (2011) which has been running perfectly without any issues for over 5 years. I have OS X Lion and Windows 7 through boot camp. I mostly use the Windows 7 side. I think there was a Windows 7 update last night which automatically updates. This morning I went onto the computer and I'm unable to boot into Windows 7 or OS X Lion, I just get the BSOD. When trying to boot into either OS all I get are frozen screens. Sometimes they are grey and sometimes they are blue but there is no message. The only thing that works is I'm able to boot into Windows 7 Safe Mode. In Safe Mode I tried a system restore but that didn't fix anything. Startup Repair didn't fix anything. I ran CHKDSK but no issues were found. Crystal Disk Info told me that my C drive and my secondary drive are in good health. I also can't boot into recovery mode or Internet Recovery. I can't boot into safe mode on OS X Lion. I was able to boot off of my Windows 7 Disk and tried all the fixes but none worked. There is plenty of free space on the Hard drive for both Operating Systems. I did the memory test but no issues were found.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

chscag

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,238
1,008
Fort Worth, Texas
Did your iMac come with Snow Leopard installed or Lion? If Snow Leopard, do you have your original DVD that came with the iMac? If you do, boot the machine with the DVD and then run Disk Utility First Aid on the hard drive. Or, if you have a bootable USB drive, boot from it and then run First Aid on the iMac hard drive. It sounds like the hard drive may be failing.
 

Cryoinferno2003

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 26, 2019
14
0
It came with Snow Leopard. I have the original DVD but unfortunately I'm unable to boot from it. Crystal Disk Info showed the hard drive is in good health.
 

SteinerII

macrumors newbie
Feb 26, 2019
3
0
Hi, I really hope you can help me. I have an Apple iMac MD063LL/A (2011) which has been running perfectly without any issues for over 5 years. I have OS X Lion and Windows 7 through boot camp. I mostly use the Windows 7 side. I think there was a Windows 7 update last night which automatically updates. This morning I went onto the computer and I'm unable to boot into Windows 7 or OS X Lion, I just get the BSOD. When trying to boot into either OS all I get are frozen screens. Sometimes they are grey and sometimes they are blue but there is no message. The only thing that works is I'm able to boot into Windows 7 Safe Mode. In Safe Mode I tried a system restore but that didn't fix anything. Startup Repair didn't fix anything. I ran CHKDSK but no issues were found. Crystal Disk Info told me that my C drive and my secondary drive are in good health. I also can't boot into recovery mode or Internet Recovery. I can't boot into safe mode on OS X Lion. I was able to boot off of my Windows 7 Disk and tried all the fixes but none worked. There is plenty of free space on the Hard drive for both Operating Systems. I did the memory test but no issues were found.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
Hi Cryoinferno,

Sounds like your graphics card has gone I'm guessing its a AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2048 MB? if so it's a known problem on our iMacs. Had mine replaced by apple here in the UK in 2016 due to EU consumer law. There was a recall on them over this known issue but I think the standard cover was two years from purchase?

I woke up to exactly the same symptoms you are describing - the first time it failed it was obviously a graphics problem distorted screen etc. This last time I came to the iMac and had a blank white screen, rebooted all appeared to load then the loading bar disappeared and it just hung on a white screen. Tried to boot to windows through boot camp and got a bit further but ended in BSOD.

As it was well out of any sort of warranty or cover I did some research on a fix and removed the graphics card put it into the oven having removed everything off it and baked it at 200c for 8 minutes. Reassembled with new thermal paste for GPU and thermal pads for ram chips and surprisingly it worked !! I am typing this reply on my 2011 iMac ....

Obviously the above is not for the faint hearted and I don't know how long the fix will work until it fails on the solder joints again. If it does I found a place here in the UK through ebay that will replace the GPU on the card with a new AMD chip and use better solder in doing so !!

Interestingly when I took the iMac apart it appeared that the "official fix" from the apple store had done the same trick and not replaced the graphics card with a new one as I had expected as it looked like it had been baked and the thermal paste application was appalling !! So I took photos and sent them into apple - they are carrying out their own enquiry now........

Hopefully this will help you get to the bottom of the problem and fix your iMac or decide what to do with it next.
 

chscag

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,238
1,008
Fort Worth, Texas
I'm not sure what Crystal Disk Info is, but it does seem like the hard drive is failing. I have seen hard drives in a dual boot scenario where Windows worked perfectly but macOS was inaccessible. I had the same exact iMac that you have and the hard drive failed on me after 2 1/2 years of use. The 2011 iMacs were equipped with Seagate 7200 RPM drives that failed quite often. You're lucky indeed if you have gotten 5 years from yours.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,405
5,640
"I'm not sure what Crystal Disk Info is, but it does seem like the hard drive is failing. I have seen hard drives in a dual boot scenario where Windows worked perfectly but macOS was inaccessible."

If the hard drive had a mechanical "failure", NO OS would run.
The fact that Windows boots and runs, but the Mac OS does not, indicates the drive hardware is fine.
Something in software is screwed up.
Or -- as mentioned above -- could it be a GPU problem?

OP:
If you're reading this, try this RIGHT NOW:
Boot to internet recovery:
1. Power down, all the way off
2. Press the power on button
3. IMMEDIATELY hold down "command-option-R" and KEEP HOLDING IT DOWN until the internet symbol appears. If you're connecting via wifi, you may need to enter your wifi password
4. The Mac OS utilities should "load from the remote server".
5. Do they?
Try this exercise, then come back with your answer.
 
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Cryoinferno2003

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 26, 2019
14
0
I tried but I can't boot into Internet Recovery. I press the keys on the keyboard and it says "Starting Internet Recovery" with a turning globe logo, then the Apple Logo appears, after that there's a frozen grey screen. I tried this several times.
crystaldiskinfo is a hard drive health monitoring utility for windows.
 

Expobill

Suspended
May 30, 2018
1,424
919
This happened to me, i Rebooted my2010 mac holding the option key, reinstalled Snow Leopard via usb, rinsed hands.
 

Cryoinferno2003

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 26, 2019
14
0
This happened to me, i Rebooted my2010 mac holding the option key, reinstalled Snow Leopard via usb, rinsed hands.
I can't boot off of the Snow Leopard disk. I hold down the option key and click on "OS X Install Disk". After that I see a screen that says "You need to restart your computer Hold down the power button until it turns off then press the button again. I tried this many times but that's the furthest I get.
 

CoastalOR

macrumors 68020
Jan 19, 2015
2,487
907
Oregon, USA
I can't boot off of the Snow Leopard disk. I hold down the option key and click on "OS X Install Disk". After that I see a screen that says "You need to restart your computer Hold down the power button until it turns off then press the button again. I tried this many times but that's the furthest I get.
I seem to remember that you need to have the Apple install DVD in the internal DVD drive and hold the c key during startup to boot from the installer DVD.
 

Cryoinferno2003

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 26, 2019
14
0
I seem to remember that you need to have the Apple install DVD in the internal DVD drive and hold the c key during startup to boot from the installer DVD.
That doesn't work either. I turned on the computer, I held down the C key with the Apple Install Disk in the drive and I get the same message ""You need to restart your computer Hold down the power button until it turns off then press the button again."
 

CoastalOR

macrumors 68020
Jan 19, 2015
2,487
907
Oregon, USA
Hi, I really hope you can help me. I have an Apple iMac MD063LL/A (2011) which has been running perfectly without any issues for over 5 years. I have OS X Lion and Windows 7 through boot camp. I mostly use the Windows 7 side. I think there was a Windows 7 update last night which automatically updates. This morning I went onto the computer and I'm unable to boot into Windows 7 or OS X Lion, I just get the BSOD. When trying to boot into either OS all I get are frozen screens. Sometimes they are grey and sometimes they are blue but there is no message. The only thing that works is I'm able to boot into Windows 7 Safe Mode. In Safe Mode I tried a system restore but that didn't fix anything. Startup Repair didn't fix anything. I ran CHKDSK but no issues were found. Crystal Disk Info told me that my C drive and my secondary drive are in good health. I also can't boot into recovery mode or Internet Recovery. I can't boot into safe mode on OS X Lion. I was able to boot off of my Windows 7 Disk and tried all the fixes but none worked. There is plenty of free space on the Hard drive for both Operating Systems. I did the memory test but no issues were found.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
Are you sure that it is a MD063LL/A?

I do not see that model number for a 2011 iMac. I do see a MD093LL/A which is 1 digit difference, but that is a late 2012 21.5 " iMac 13,1. All of the 2011 iMacs start with MC not MD.
 

Cryoinferno2003

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 26, 2019
14
0
I don't know if that that's the correct model number but here are the specs from my email when I Ordered the Imac in 2011.

PROCESSOR 065-0250 3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7

MEMORY 065-0254 16GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM -4x4GB

HARD DRIVE 065-0311 2TB Serial ATA Drive+256GB SSD

GRAPHICS 065-0312 AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5
 

Expobill

Suspended
May 30, 2018
1,424
919
Permissions Not updated prevented high sierra from installing in the MBAir, that might help?
 

Cryoinferno2003

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 26, 2019
14
0
No, Disk Utility does not include an option to format a drive to NTFS. If you're referring to Windows Disk Management software, how do you intend to boot the drive and format only the Boot Camp partition?
Any other suggestions then?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,405
5,640
OP -

You need an EXTERNAL drive of some kind that is "fully bootable to the finder".
It could be a:
- USB hard drive
- USB flash drive
- Firewire hard drive

SOMETHING that has a copy of the OS on it that will boot the machine and get you to the finder.

OR...
You might be able to use a USB flashdrive that has a copy of the OS installer on it.

Some questions:
- Do you have access to another Mac?
- If you do, what OS is running on it?
- Is there any particular OS you want to install on the problem iMac?

You could create a bootable drive using another Mac, then take it to the problem Mac.
If you can get the problem Mac booted, at the very least, you could do this:
1. Boot from the external drive
2. ERASE the internal drive to Mac OS extended with journaling enabled (GUID partition format)
3. If the drive erases and tests ok, then do this:
4. Download CarbonCopyCloner from here:
http://www.bombich.com/download.html
(CCC is FREE to download and use for 30 days)
5. Use CCC to clone the contents of the external drive to the internal drive
6. See if you can get booted and up-and-running that way.

Something else I'm wondering about (but don't know the answer to):
I'm wondering if the 2011 iMac could have a failed GPU inside?
If that's the case, would Windows boot up ok (using the integrated graphics), but a Mac OS boot FAIL because of the failed GPU?
Don't know the answer, just wondering outloud.
 

Cryoinferno2003

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 26, 2019
14
0
"Some questions:
- Do you have access to another Mac?
- If you do, what OS is running on it?
- Is there any particular OS you want to install on the problem iMac?"

>I have access to another Mac.
>The other Mac is running Snow Leopard
>I don't want to install another OS on the probelem iMac. I already have Windows 7 on it.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,591
2,350
Delaware
There is no disk (installer DVD) for Lion, unless you have made one yourself.

I don't see anywhere if you have tried to boot to the recovery partition: Restart, holding Command-R
You should see the normal Apple icon as it boots. The boot can take quite a long time. Ten minutes is possible, so be patient. You should boot to a menu screen, where one of the choices will be "Reinstall OS X". That will reinstall your existing OS X system. Assuming Lion, then that should download the system files for the Lion system, and reinstall. It's similar to a Windows repair install, as you don't lose anything, but your Mac OS X system should then boot.

(I really suspect that the various attempts that you have made to get your Windows 7 system to work, might have screwed up the rest of your partitions, which might be the reason why you get a kernel panic when you try to boot to Lion. Hopefully, the Recovery system reinstall will fix your issues with the Lion system. If even that errors out, or crashes the system before the install is complete, then that's pretty much all you can do (and the problem seems to have taken Windows along for the ride! ) You may simply need to back up whatever you don't have backed up on other storage. (You DO keep backups for your Windows system, don't you?) After backing up the files that you want to keep safe, then erase the hard drive, removing all partitions, and reinstall everything. It's not particularly difficult to do, just takes time.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,405
5,640
I sense that the only way the OP is going to get that iMac fully-functional with the Mac OS again is to:

1. Clone the Windows partition for a backup
2. Boot from some external source.
3. COMPLETELY ERASE the internal drive
4. Re-install a clean copy of the Mac OS and get it running
5. Then, partition to create a Windows-compatible partition and re-clone the Windows OS back to it.
 

SteinerII

macrumors newbie
Feb 26, 2019
3
0
If your disk is fully OK from disk utility - it's your graphics card as I said earlier ........... known issue on 2011 iMac look it up online.
 

Cryoinferno2003

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 26, 2019
14
0
I can't boot to the recovery partition: I restart the bad mac, hit command R and I get a frozen screen, I waited 2 hours and nothing happened.

I erased the bad mac drive through Target Disk Mode on my working Mac. I started up the bad Mac and I inserted the Snow Leopard Disk to reinstall and I get a message saying this: You need to restart your computer, Hold down the power button until it turns off, then press the power button again. I can't install Snow Leopard, I get this message every time I resart the bad Mac. Suggestions? What do I do if the Mac has a bad GPU?