hard drive dying? help needed...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by niallstarling, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. niallstarling macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    #1
    hi, any experts out there able to give me some advice?

    I have a early 2006 iMac 17" (first Intel generation) which started to beachball more than normal over the past couple of days. Finally last night it wouldn't boot - gets up to the grey screen and apple symbol, black clock rotates and bar chart gets to about 10%, then resets and tries again (to about 10% along) and finally turns off.

    I have searched the forums and done all I am technically-able to do:

    First off it wouldn't even boot in Safe Mode. Through the original DVD (and an external DVD drive - as the internal has died already), I have reset the PRAM, and have through Disk Utilities repaired permissions. This allowed me to boot up again as normal, but it was extremely slow. I tried disc repair through the DVD and it came up with errors:

    1 hfs volume checked
    1 volume could not be repaired because of an error
    Repair attempted on 1 volume
    1 volume could not be repaired

    I can't seem to get the Hardware Test to run (can it through an external DVD drive)?

    Does anyone have any clever ideas what I could do next? I have a fresh Time Machine back-up, so data recovery (is hopefully...) no issue!

    Much appreciated, Niall
     
  2. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    I would format the drive by booting from your OS X disks and navigating to disk utility. Once formatted, reinstall OS X and restore from your backup.

    If the same problems occur then it may be time to install a new hard drive.
     
  3. James Craner, Jan 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011

    James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #3
    To be honest if the hard disk is 4/5 years old, I would just go ahead and replace it. However replacing a hard disk in an iMac is not easy. I would suggest taking it to a service centre. However if you are technically minded I have found a how to video on you tube.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzuBW3mu7LI
     
  4. niallstarling thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    #4
    Well, I was trying to get a little more use out of it before buying a new iMac. Once I add up the cost of a new drive, superdrive, ram needs upgrading...

    Will try running fsck (careful on that spelling!) tonight and if nothing, reformat. Would just be nice to know if it really is hardware or just something gone wrong software-wise

    Thanks both for your help
     
  5. niallstarling thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    #5
    Time machine back-up

    Last night I tried to restore Tiger (the original OS) and SL but it kept saying it couldn't because of a HDD disk error. Finally I did an erase and restore and retored from the back-up off the TM. This of course reintroduced the original errors and I'm having trouble booting again...

    This time I'm going to erase, reinstall the OS again and be selective about restoration.

    Two questions for you good people...

    1. Can I reformat the drive and simply install SL fresh, or do I have to go back the original OS first and upgrade through Leopard and then SL?

    2. Rather than restoring from TM, I will restore only personal files and not system files (which I guess have got corrupted). Is there an easy way to do this? Or do I have to restore users, apps folder, etc...

    Any advice would be very welcome, thanks, Niall
     
  6. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    UK
    #6
    You can install SL fresh without having to upgrade.

    If you restore the OS and then mount the back up disk you should be able to selectively restore individual files or folders.
     
  7. niallstarling thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    #7
    Hi, thanks for your help. I hoped that was the case with SL, thanks.

    But with the restoring back-up, what I'm not clear about is what to restore. User folder, apps folder - clear. Obviously not the System folder. But the Library folder? Any others to omit?

    I had lots and lots of permissions to be repaired and don't want to bring the errors back in...
     
  8. MacHamster68, Jan 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #8
    just get a new harddrive for piece of mind the original is now 5 years in use and thats far longer then i would trust modern harddrives , 250gb harddrives are cheap or to get more life into the iMac get a small SSD (64gb are enough, for apps and OS alone even a 32gb will do ) they do not cost much more and if you follow this video then there is not much that can go wrong when it comes to installing (watch the wires of the isight cam ), after you're done install osx again and should be sorted , btw upgrade the ram too to full 2 gb , the ram too cost next to nothing for the core duo
    i try to keep mine running until its beyond repair or until apple brings out a white one again with matte display
     
  9. davids8477 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    #9
    Disk Warrior

    Get a copy of DISK WARRIOR and boot from that.

    It may not be a hard ware issue but a corrupt directory structure. I had a similar problem with an external drive with all my pictures on it (its a RAID 5 set up) and disk repair came up with unrepairable errors. Disk Warrior fixed it in 5 minutes.

    I understand that Tech Tools Pro does a similar thing, but I have used Disk Warrior.
     
  10. niallstarling thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    #10
    I suspect your right, as after I formatted the drive it came up with no errors.

    But for now I think a fresh OS install is best (as originally recommended to me!).

    Anyone able to help on which folders from the TM NOT to restore? System folder... etc
     
  11. Stan Mikulenka macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #11
    Hi,
    I have this utility (and more), but most of them are commercial (the good ones) and cost AS MUCH OR MORE than a new hard drive:
     

    Attached Files:

  12. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #12
    I still think you may be better off with a new hard disk, but I suggest you erase and install snow leopard, and then just restore the documents and folders that you need from time machine backup. I would reinstall all your apps from disk.
     
  13. niallstarling thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    #13
    Thanks James, installing from disc the apps is a very good idea.

    I agree re the new hard drive too, has to get past the Family Ministry of Finance though... ;)

    Thanks for your advice, appreciated
     
  14. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

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    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    Good luck! :p
     

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