Flashing symbols at start up

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by kiab, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. kiab macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    #1
    Hi,

    I started up my iMac yesterday and got the typical bong but then the apple symbol, file folder with ? on it and no entry sign started flicking through in rapid succession.

    I have read as many forum pages as I could to try and find out what the problem is and it looks like its kernal issues but i dont know what that means.

    I did cmd v and got the following error message

    efiboot loaded from device: Acpi (PNP0A03,0)/Pci (1FI2)/SATA(0,0)/HD(Part2,Sig551B82C4-2BC8-4077-80E0-4AA25648B060)
    boot file path: \System\Library\CoreServices\boot.efi
    .Loading kernel cache file ‘System\Library\Caches\com.apple.kernelcaches\kernelcache.E312DF81’
    Loading ‘mach_kernel’...
    Could not open file ‘mach_kernel’
    Error loading kernel ‘mach_kernel’ (0xe)


    I can boot using one of the install disks and have done repair disk (had one issue but i didn't write it down - fixed it no problems through)

    I did the file diagnostic and it said i have no issues with hardware at all.


    I would like to say I have a backup and I could just reinstall all software but my lovely ex flat mate decided he would take that with him when he moved out (without my permission of course) and I havent got around to replacing the ext hd.

    Is there any way of saving the information on my hd (there are no clicking sounds at all and I can boot from install disk) or am I up a creek without a paddle?

    Thanks in advance, Im really worried here
     
  2. nb705 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    #2
    Perform an Archive and Install from your Mac install discs. You can even preserve Users and Settings.
     
  3. kiab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    #3
    Thank you very much for the reply......will that keep all music files etc safe or just preserve settings?
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #4
    It should keep everything in your Home folder(s) intact. :)

    Here is how it happens and what it does.
     
  5. kiab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    #5
    Thank you both again. I have tried the archive and install but it is not giving me the option to tick on the "Preserve Users and Network Settings". Any idea what this means?
     
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
  7. kiab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    #7
    Not that I am aware of. Is there any way of turning it off if I have?
     
  8. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #8
    Not at this stage... :eek:

    Do you have access to another Mac? If so, you may be able to recover your data via Target Disk Mode. Getting your data backed up (if it isn't already) should be the number one priority. :)
     
  9. kiab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    #9

    Sadly no, I did buy an external but it got knicked and ashamedly I havent replaced it yet. Looks like I will learn the hard way :(

    Are there any other reasons it would be other than FileVault or ways I could get round this? Im really not sure what I could have done to cause the problem in the first place. I didn't delete anything, just added the new version of iTunes. I connected a shuffle I have too but that seems to be dud - linked do you think?

    Thanks so much
     
  10. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #10
    I can't think of a reason other than FileVault which would prevent you from preserving your users. Are you sure you couldn't even borrow a Mac from someone for an hour or so? You'd need a Firewire cable too, of course. You've tried all the usual intelligent remedies.

    Out of interest, how many times did you repair the drive? Keep repairing it until it doesn't need to make any changes.
     
  11. kiab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    #11
    i've repaired it at least a couple of times now I'd say.

    I just tried it again just now and it says

    The Volume Tom Bryant appears to be OK.
    Mounting Disk

    1HFS volume checked
    No repairs were necessary


    Does that indicate that my files should be safe and I just need to find a way of accessing them?

    i called everyone i know that has one and they all claim to have not enough space although one did offer to back up to his time machine and then wipe his clean for me. May be my only solution. I got an appointment at the genius bar tonight so hopefully that may be of some consolation (or not as the case may be)
     
  12. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #12
    The problem appears to be entirely software-based, which is a good thing because it means a reinstall will almost certainly eradicate it. If you can take your friend up on their offer then try it by all means. Geniuses generally don't spend much time retrieving data for you, sometimes even when you ask really nicely.
     
  13. kiab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    #13
    Thanks very much for your help mad. I'll go to the appointment and see how nice the genius is feeling and if not I'll go and see my friend.

    Im relieved to hear that its only the software! There is hope yet!
     
  14. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #14
    It's almost definitely software. Hopefully it wasn't initiated by a hardware fault, but it looks really unlikely at this stage. Fingers crossed, and good luck! :)
     
  15. kiab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    #15
    ****UPDATE****

    Well I took my iMac in to the local Genius bar with mostly dread that I had lost everything. She was a nice girl and went and got her boss when she honestly admitted that she hadn't dealt with flashing icon issues like mine before, sadly he hadn't either and my mention of filevault issues as mentioned here pretty much made him shrink in fear. I made some sarcastic smart arsed comments about them being far from geniuses but instead of taking offense they took it on as a challenge! They took it in, had it for a couple of days and just called me now to say that they had managed to back everything up for me, replaced my hard drive and it was all working perfectly, best of all it was free.

    I'm off to collect tomorrow and buy a time machine quick sharp.

    Anyone who has an issue like mine when everything starts acting like it's on some hard drugs at start up should fear not. It may have been a previously hiding software issue that was awoken when I upgraded to the new iTunes and it may have been just a faulty hard drive they couldn't really say.

    Thank god for warranties and thanks for all the advice from mad jew
     

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