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glenthompson

Contributor
Original poster
Apr 27, 2011
2,765
687
Virginia
My wife’s 2017 5k iMac seems to be dead. When powered on, nothing appears on the screen but the wired keyboard lights up so it’s getting power. Putting my ear to the case I can hear something running but unsure if it’s the fan or HDD (fusion drive). No indication of anything on the screen and no apparent backlight. I’ve tried the procedures for SMC and NVRAM resets but no difference.

This happened after rebooting due to a MacOS update (High Sierra). I had been making a new backup that was taking awhile. After bugging me to install the update, I finally told it to install it after the new backup was complete. Left it alone to go do other stuff and when I checked back some hours later, the screen was black and wouldn’t wake up. Tried the resets and multiple reboots but nothing. Any suggestions of what to try before taking it to Apple? I’m at a loss.
 
Last edited:

mannyvel

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2019
1,048
1,787
Hillsboro, OR
Try plugging a monitor into it and see if anything shows up on the screen. You can also try putting it into target disk mode and seeing if the drive comes up on another Mac; just push the T key and power it on.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
23,019
8,768
I'm wondering if it could have been a "failed firmware update" during the upgrade?

Do you have a "brick n mortar" Apple Store anywhere nearby?
If nothing else works, sounds like it's time for a trip to the genius bar.
 

glenthompson

Contributor
Original poster
Apr 27, 2011
2,765
687
Virginia
I'm wondering if it could have been a "failed firmware update" during the upgrade?

Do you have a "brick n mortar" Apple Store anywhere nearby?
If nothing else works, sounds like it's time for a trip to the genius bar.
Apple store is about an hour away - I'm in between two, each about the same distance. The failed firmware or something in the update was one of my thoughts.
 

glenthompson

Contributor
Original poster
Apr 27, 2011
2,765
687
Virginia
Try plugging a monitor into it and see if anything shows up on the screen. You can also try putting it into target disk mode and seeing if the drive comes up on another Mac; just push the T key and power it on.
It's USB-C and the only monitors I have are my Thunderbolt display and an old Cinema display, neither of which will work without a dongle that I don't have. Same for target disk mode. I'll see if I can find an appropriate dongle locally.
 

USB3foriMac

macrumors regular
Apr 15, 2020
244
89
Singapore
Maybe try a Linux boot stick, or Internet recovery. At least that should give you something o to the screen if it is related to a messed-up update.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
23,019
8,768
Have you tried the following?

Unplug it from the wall.
TAKE OUT the RAM (yes, I know it's a pain).
Let it sit that way for about 15 minutes.
Re-install the RAM DIMMs.
Plug it back into the outlet and try to power-on again.
 

glenthompson

Contributor
Original poster
Apr 27, 2011
2,765
687
Virginia
Took out all the RAM and put back just the original 8gb, leaving out the 32gb OWC Simms. Booted up and it was running the update. Took some time. Restarted fine and seems to be doing ok. I’m going to let it run for awhile then put the OWC ram back in and see what happens. Thanks for all the suggestions.
 

glenthompson

Contributor
Original poster
Apr 27, 2011
2,765
687
Virginia
Stranger and stranger. Put the OWC ram back in and it wouldn't boot. Took out the Apple RAM and put the OWC ram in its slots and it bots fine. It also seems faster on boot. For some reason it seems the Apple and OWC modules aren't playing well together. Since 32 beats 8, I'll leave the OWC in and see how it does.
 
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sdz

macrumors 65816
May 28, 2014
1,001
1,252
Europe/Germany
OWC is a **** company. I had so many problems with their SSDs and RAM. Pure junk.
Horrible products.

I buy now normal brands (non mac related) and never had problems.
 
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Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 68000
Jul 5, 2020
1,517
409
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Stranger and stranger. Put the OWC ram back in and it wouldn't boot. Took out the Apple RAM and put the OWC ram in its slots and it bots fine. It also seems faster on boot. For some reason it seems the Apple and OWC modules aren't playing well together. Since 32 beats 8, I'll leave the OWC in and see how it does.

1. Incompatibility between iMac original RAM and aftermarket RAM is a common problem and has been discussed in this forum for quite a time. Just ditch the original RAM and use the aftermarket RAM. Case closed.

2. NVRAM reset only works if you power the iMac on and it runs to some extends, like the fans are spinning etc. Sometime the iMac appear to be dead and nothing move when you push the power button. My 2010 iMac felt into this situation twice and in such cases, I had to remove everything I could (the LCD, all SATA drive, SD card, the GPU, etc) before it is willing to boot and get the NVRAM reset.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
23,019
8,768
OP wrote:
"Took out the Apple RAM and put the OWC ram in its slots and it bots fine. It also seems faster on boot. For some reason it seems the Apple and OWC modules aren't playing well together. Since 32 beats 8, I'll leave the OWC in and see how it does."

I'd say that THIS is "your solution".
32gb that boots reliably beats 40gb that will not.

I'd put the factory-installed 8gb "in a safe place" if you ever need to use it again...
 

nambuccaheadsau

macrumors 68020
Oct 19, 2007
2,024
510
Blue Mountains NSW Australia
Long history of Apple sourced modules not playing nice with after sales memory. Do as the fisho says, run the OWC memory and keep the original modules when it is time to sell. Hav e always found OWC very reliable. Read this from ifixit on this problem:-

 
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