From bad to worse: do I have any options left?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Annalea, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. Annalea macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inland PacNW
    #1
    Okay. This has been a major learning experience. And it's not over yet.

    Long story short:

    I've got a core2 duo 24" aluminum iMac, running OS 10.5.8, with Win7 Ultimate installed in BootCamp. Near as I can tell, an NVIDIA driver blue-screened my Win7 install. I couldn't use the option key to choose a startup volume, but was able to try booting Win7 in VMWare. It would get partway through startup, and blue-screen, then go into a repair tool so fast I couldn't see what the details were. In using the repair tool, I could see the last successful startup date, and the last system change: an NVIDIA driver.

    About that same time my so-not-super SuperDrive started eating DVD's. (Wouldn't or couldn't eject, and scratched into oblivion the last disc I put in.)

    I also began having startup issues with my iMac, too--at this point I was only able to boot in Safe Mode. (Another clue to a driver problem, but hindsight is 20/20 . . .)

    I had read a ton of posts here and elsewhere (before learning the details above), and repaired permissions and cleaned everything I could in that one app (whose name escapes me--the logo for Leopard version is a black X in a blue circle), and started trying the various startup keys. Thankfully I have a full Backblaze backup. When I reset the PRAM, the machine quit booting up at all. The only thing it responds to is the key combo for resetting the PRAM, and won't do a thing otherwise. (I've left it sitting for more than two hours to no avail.)

    I've tried booting from a USB drive, an external DVD drive (which my husband uses with his MacBook Air), booting with all usb devices unplugged, and all the startup key combos posted here and elsewhere, etc., all to no avail.

    Sooooo . . . am I stuck taking it somewhere, or is there something else I should try? (There's a local gal, but she charges $65/hour, which doesn't make her real attractive. There's an Apple Store just over an hour from here, but I'm not so sure I want to turn it over to them, either. I'm even up for replacing things, since it seems to be a better use of funds than an hourly repair charge.) Would talking to Apple on the phone give me any better idea of what's wrong?
     
  2. biggd macrumors 6502

    biggd

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Calgary
    #2
    Windows 7 fail

    I hope you have ur data backed up
    Reformat your harddrive with a clean Mac os x install
     
  3. Annalea thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inland PacNW
    #3
    Yep. That's what I said. ;)

    I do--mentioned in my op. And I'd LOVE to reformat & reinstall--but my machine isn't responding to anything but the PRAM reset keys, and my SuperDrive is hosed (also detailed above). Got any bright ideas based on my actual situation?
     
  4. biggd macrumors 6502

    biggd

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Calgary
    #4
    Yep!
    I'll compress my 5 year education into a simple sum of words (if tech explanations could get girls... I'd be dating 4 girls instead of 3)

    I would remove ur harddrive from the Mac
    Connect removed harddrive to another Mac, using a USB to Sata connector cable (this cable is a life saver, startech sells them)
    The Mac should auto recognize it as a "drive" and allow u access
    I would access it, retrieve any data u may have missed
    And the select the drive and reformat it
    Then place drive back in iMac
    Say a prayer
    Reinstall operating system
    And send me mcdonalds coupons in the mail!
     
  5. Annalea, Dec 7, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010

    Annalea thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    Thank you. Now we're getting somewhere.

    Since I don't have a functioning DVD drive how could I reinstall the OS?

    And is there any way to wake this machine up from its stupor without opening it up? I just don't get why command-option-P-R works, but none of the other key combos do, nor do I understand why it was that resetting the PRAM fouled up its ability to boot.
     
  6. biggd macrumors 6502

    biggd

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
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    Calgary
    #6
    I am assuming a formated harddrive would fix your cd issue, and your non-boot issue. It SOUNDS like you have a corrupt os
     
  7. De Rocca macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    #7
    For installing the OSX from DVD again, plugin an external DVD drive.

    For backing up your system in case of a crash you could also connect an external HD drive, install via the external DVD drive a bootable system on the external HD-drive, and do a time machine backup or manual backup of your internal Harddrive. (I'm not sure but maybe it's even possible to install a bootable system on a usb stick of 8 or 16 gb, i didn't test it yet).
     
  8. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    UK.
    #8
    Why so averse to this? Is there a Service Provider near you? From personal experience, it won't cost much to let them run diagnostic tests to locate where the problem lies and then quote you for carrying out any necessary work. It's up to you then.
     
  9. Annalea thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inland PacNW
    #9
    Thanks, biggd. That makes sense to me. I have an external hd I could try to plug in and boot from. Maybe I'll try that before I call Apple.

    Not so much averse as just cautious--and that only because I had no prior experience with Apple. I had no idea if Apple was expensive or not. All of my experiences with other manufacturers have been astronomically priced and pretty much useless. I'm glad to know now that Apple is different.

    Already tried that. No dice. (See the op.)

    I already have a full backup (see op), and while booting from a usb drive is possible with Leopard, it's not working for me (tried that already, too, as I originally posted). I haven't tried booting from an external HD, so I'll give that a shot.
     
  10. Annalea thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inland PacNW
    #10
    Chaos theory lives.

    Quick update: I decided to go through ALL of the troubleshooting steps at Apple's site before paying for service of any kind. Beginning with trying a different outlet on my UPS.

    The darn thing booted up just fine.

    I'm so glad--and totally mystified. (I'm posting this from the iMac while TimeMachine completes a new image.) Resetting the PRAM definitely fouled things up, but why a power issue would be behind it, I have NO idea.

    Thanks so much for the suggestions . . . now to figure out how to repair my Win& install in BootCamp . . . I'm guessing I'll just wipe that partition and reinstall.
     
  11. biggd macrumors 6502

    biggd

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    Calgary
    #11
    Maybe having it unplugged, wiped some cache or reset something! *whew*
     
  12. Stealthipad macrumors 68040

    Stealthipad

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    #12
    SImply not true. WIN7 runs VERY well on a Mac.

    Some of you are just jealous!:p
     
  13. biggd macrumors 6502

    biggd

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    Apr 6, 2008
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    Calgary
    #13
    W7 runs well.... But that's about it
     
  14. MacHamster68, Dec 9, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #14
    you did not by any remote chance tried to install linux too via bootcamp and installed refit bootloader(essential for linux) , all fine but after shutting down and booting next day i had suddenly a totally unresponsive keyboard too apart from cmd option -p -r ,and a totally white screen with nothing until after a lot of google found that i need to use the original white apple keyboard instead of the newer aluminium apple keyboard otherwise i would only have a white screen with nothing going on ,connecting the old keyboard brought back the life into the iMac instantly and once booted i can connect the new alu keyboard again for both linux and osx , but i need to boot using the old white apple keyboard :confused:


    ah i forgot you got a alu iMac so cant be related as the refit bootloader problem only effects white iMac's
     
  15. Annalea thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inland PacNW
    #15
    Here's the latest: DH took it into the Apple store today, and the Genius who took a look at it told him that it’s most likely a dead hard drive. (Thank you Time Machine and BackBlaze.) The Genius was so happy when DH told him that we had things backed up two deep that I think it may have affected his decision-making skills. ;o)

    The Genius offered to replace the hard drive for free (going up to 1TB from 640G since they don’t make the 640’s anymore), even though I didn’t buy AppleCare, and the 18-month warranty expired last October. Then, when my husband asked about how much replacing the SuperDrive would cost (it also died, just before the the hard drive), the Genius said that since they already had us down for free service, that it would be easy to add the SuperDrive onto the repair ticket. And, while he was at it, he would install Snow Leopard on it instead of putting Leopard back on (saving us another $30).

    Needless to say, I’m pretty happy with Apple right now. Smart, smart company, that knows that keeping their customers happy (and standing behind their products) is vital to success in the marketplace. Man, how different is this from how Maytag treated all of us who foolishly bought their first-generation front-loading washers …

    • Free, upgraded hard drive.
    • Free replacement SuperDrive.
    • Free upgraded OS.

    Yeah!
     
  16. Deeya macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2010
    #16
    Don't always expect that kind of service from Apple, sometimes you can get the exact opposite and get denied warranty service for computers that are still within the original 1 year warranty!

    Glad you got it sorted out though, when Apple is good to it's customers things usually turn out well.
     
  17. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    UK.
    #17
    Not true! Unless, of course, people are trying to con them or have a bad attitude towards them. Providing you're honest with them and have a genuine problem (as the OP obviously had) the Apple service is second to none.
     
  18. b-rad g macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

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    Jun 29, 2010
    #18
    Nice post Negative Nancy!
     
  19. Deeya macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2010
    #19
    Obviously neither of you never had to deal with a recall issue prior to Apple officially recognizing the recall. Or deal with Apple warranty service before Apple had retail locations. 16 week turn around time getting service on a Powermac 9600 FTL.
     
  20. GoDuke1 macrumors member

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    Jan 8, 2011
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #20
    Wow! That is great customer service!

     
  21. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    UK.
    #21
    Oh dear, you really should stop living in the past! These criticisms can apply to any company in similar circumstances.
     
  22. Deeya macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2010
    #22
    And why shouldn't they?

    I would say the same thing about Dell/Alienware, Gateway, Best Buy...

    Apple's customer service can be great, but it also can be awful.
     
  23. chrysrobyn macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #23
    That 9600 last had warranty service over 10 years ago. I'm certainly one to hold a grudge, but citing an anecdote from Apple's beige years is petty. If you want to talk about recent issues regarding iPhone call drops, overheating MacBook Airs, that's fine. Apple has had retail stores for a while now, I saw my first one overseas in 2005, so I'd say they've had pretty good coverage for 4 years now, at least in America.

    Honestly, if you have to cite examples of poor customer service from the 4-12 year ago time frame, that speaks volumes to Apple's excellent service.
     
  24. Deeya macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2010
    #24
    You're picking and choosing what part of my statement to recognize. There have been quite a few recalls lately where customers were left high and dry for months until an "official" recall was started. The MacBook Pro batteries and 8800GT video cards come to mind, as does the yet solved MacBook Air external display noise problem.

    How about the original iPhone slap in the face? Twice as fast, half the price and all you early adopters are stuck with unsubsidized phones on a two year contract.

    I've been buying Apple products for two decades, and I have had ups and downs. No question, there customer service can be second to none. But it can also be terrible...it's a roll of the dice.
     
  25. santaliqueur macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #25
    Hi, I'd like to get warranty service on my machine, can you help me?

    [​IMG]
     

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