Failed Boot - Early 2008 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by At_Op45, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. At_Op45 macrumors member


    Oct 25, 2017
    Hi there. I own an old iMac but don't really use it that often. One day after attempting to start it up again, instead of the typical boot, I was greeted with a blinking folder with a question mark. As of a month ago, my iMac worked just fine. I had a relative login as a guest on it but I don't think that's relevant to its current status.

    After looking at other forums, I think the hard drive has failed. Being that I own an older model, I was hoping to reach out for specific advice and or tutorials on how to repair my machine.

    I don't mind going out and purchasing a replacement hard drive for my iMac but, if needed, I would greatly appreciate steps on what to do with it. Thanks.

    Early 2008 24" iMac - Specs:

    · OS X El Capitan (10.11.6)

    · Processor: 3.06 GHz Intel "Core 2 Duo"

    · Memory: 2GB (800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, PC2-6400)

    · Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS 512 MB

    · Storage: 3.5" 500GB HDD
  2. tpivette89 macrumors 6502


    Jan 1, 2018
    Newark, DE
    Replacing the hard drive in the older aluminum iMacs is a relatively straight forward task. I always refer to ifixit when attempting to dissect a new (to me) machine. Heres the tutorial for your model:

    Might I add that now may be the time to replace the HDD with an SSD if you plan on using the machine in the future. It will greatly enhance the experience over a standard spinner drive, and they have come down in price considerably. A budget 250GB unit can be had for less than $60, and will double the responsiveness of your OS, boot time, and apps opening.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009

    Your guess about a failed hard drive is probably spot-on.

    You can open up the iMac to replace it, but it's not an easy procedure.
    You can see what's involved by going to and viewing the repair guide for the 2008 iMac.

    If this looks like too much trouble, and if your finances permit it, it's really time to start shopping for a new Mac.

    Be aware that the iMacs being sold RIGHT NOW are the "2017 design".
    That said, they're still dandy machines.
    One word of advice:
    DO NOT buy ANY new iMac UNLESS it has an SSD inside. Otherwise, you may regret the purchase.

    I don't expect to see "new" iMacs from Apple until May/June/July 2019.
    (I could be wrong about that)
  4. At_Op45 thread starter macrumors member


    Oct 25, 2017

    Thank you for responding. I'll check out the ifixit page. Being that it's a new hard drive, do you know if I will have to boot from a separate source, like copy an older os to a USB? Also, I'm not sure if it's related but, do you think my old hard drive can be repaired? Thanks again.
  5. madmin macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2012
    Agree with the previous replies. I've actually done this for a friends 2008 iMac by following the instructions from iFixit. I used their toolkit and suction pads too (to lift the screen off). You should definitely replace the HDD with a SSD, but you'll need to use something to attach it to the inside as the fittings are for a 3.5" HDD. I just used some wide sticky tape since it's not going to be moving from her desk but there are better solutions. This was about 2 or 3 years ago and it's still running fine, my friend is very happy with it and still not planning to buy a new one.
  6. At_Op45 thread starter macrumors member


    Oct 25, 2017
    Would you recommend the bracket that comes with the Samsung SSD?

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5 October 18, 2018