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IMYB

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 20, 2022
46
1
Ok, here's where I am at...

1- Did the APPLE HARDWARE TEST, got the 4HDD/11/40000004:SATA(0,0) error code. Purchased from bestbuy a new 1TB hard drive WD BLUE. Guy at the store said it doesn't say mac on the box but it does online in the description. All I need to do is booth in INTERNET RECOVERY MODE and use the disk utility to format it as a MAC HDD and I am good to go.

2- Installed the HDD, tried all the ways to get in recovery and I get this...

Command-R = NOTHING

Command-Option-R = I GET THE ENTERING RECOVERY MODE IT MIGHT TAKE A FEW MINUTES (9 min), then the apple logo appears with a progress bar, about HALF WAY THRU it just quits and I get a grey screen

Command-Shift-Option-R
= I GET THE ENTERING RECOVERY MODE IT MIGHT TAKE A FEW MINUTES (9 min), then the apple logo appears with a progress bar, about HALF WAY THRU it just quits and I get a grey screen

3- Not sure what to do at this point. I also did the PRAM reset, didn't help either.

NOW... I read online that I might be able to BOOTH FROM MY TIME MACHINE BACKUP and FORMAT the new HHD??? is that correct? and how do I go about doing that. I want to make sure NOTHING happens to my time machine backup for obvious reasons. everything is on there that I need to recover.


My mac is:
Imac 27" MID-2011, I think core i5
EMC: 2429

Thanks in advance!
 

rm5

macrumors 68020
Mar 4, 2022
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Have you tried a bootable USB installer?

This might work. Use the createinstallmedia command on another Mac with a macOS installer.
 
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IMYB

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 20, 2022
46
1
Have you tried a bootable USB installer?

This might work. Use the createinstallmedia command on another Mac with a macOS installer.
how big of a usb flash drive do I need to do this? I will have to dig around for one. Haven't used one in years.

Also, any more info on the procedure to do this... NEWBIE here. I learn quick and I have installed my computers before but always from a CD that came with the older models. Never had so much trouble getting started.


Use the createinstallmedia command on another Mac with a macOS installer

Not sure what that means. I have 2 other imacs.

- One running 10.9.5 which i need to run my old photoshop and illustrator
- One running 10.13.6 HIGH SIERRA

macOS installer?

went on MR YOUTUBE and found this video... is this what you mean? He says 8GB flash drive

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

rm5

macrumors 68020
Mar 4, 2022
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how big of a usb flash drive do I need to do this? I will have to dig around for one. Haven't used one in years.

Also, any more info on the procedure to do this... NEWBIE here. I learn quick and I have installed my computers before but always from a CD that came with the older models. Never had so much trouble getting started.


Use the createinstallmedia command on another Mac with a macOS installer

Not sure what that means. I have 2 other imacs.

- One running 10.9.5 which i need to run my old photoshop and illustrator
- One running 10.13.6 HIGH SIERRA

macOS installer?

Thanks!
Sorry I wasn't clear, that was stupid of me.

For your particular machine, I'd download an installer of High Sierra.

Here are the steps:

You need:
  • A USB drive 16 GB or larger
  • The other Mac (one running High Sierra) with administrator password/privileges.
Use this documentation to find the download link: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT211683

Then, use the createinstallmedia command to create the USB installer.

A few prerequisites:
  • The USB drive MUST be formatted as JHFS+ (erase the entire disk - top one in the hierarchy)
  • Must be of a name you can easily type into the Terminal (not "My Amazing 16 GB USB Drive" or anything like that)
Open Terminal and DRAG & DROP the installer from the Applications folder into the window to quickly enter the pathname. Then, append /Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume <drag-and-drop disk here>.

***Obviously with Terminal commands, when you add to the application path, make sure there are no extra spaces anywhere***

If you want, you can append the --nointeraction flag to disable all those annoying prompts like "Are you sure you want to erase", etc.

Once the USB creation is done, take out the USB drive of the host Mac, and plug it into the 2011 iMac. Boot while holding Option to get the boot picker, and choose the respective disk (should be "Install macOS <version>")

Then, proceed with the installation process as noted in my previous post (make sure the disk is formatted, etc.)

Please let me know if you need help with this part; otherwise, let me know what happens.
 

IMYB

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 20, 2022
46
1
Sorry I wasn't clear, that was stupid of me.

For your particular machine, I'd download an installer of High Sierra.

Here are the steps:

You need:
  • A USB drive 16 GB or larger
  • The other Mac (one running High Sierra) with administrator password/privileges.
Use this documentation to find the download link: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT211683

Then, use the createinstallmedia command to create the USB installer.

A few prerequisites:
  • The USB drive MUST be formatted as JHFS+ (erase the entire disk - top one in the hierarchy)
  • Must be of a name you can easily type into the Terminal (not "My Amazing 16 GB USB Drive" or anything like that)
Open Terminal and DRAG & DROP the installer from the Applications folder into the window to quickly enter the pathname. Then, append /Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume <drag-and-drop disk here>.

***Obviously with Terminal commands, when you add to the application path, make sure there are no extra spaces anywhere***

If you want, you can append the --nointeraction flag to disable all those annoying prompts like "Are you sure you want to erase", etc.

Once the USB creation is done, take out the USB drive of the host Mac, and plug it into the 2011 iMac. Boot while holding Option to get the boot picker, and choose the respective disk (should be "Install macOS <version>")

Then, proceed with the installation process as noted in my previous post (make sure the disk is formatted, etc.)

Please let me know if you need help with this part; otherwise, let me know what happens.

Thanks... NOT STUPID OF YOU AT ALL! But wow, thanks for the very great and detailed info. Will have to go get a flash drive tomorrow. Can't find any at home.

As for the TERMINAL part (that things scares me...lol), the youtube video I sent, if I follow his instructions will that do the same thing? Only asking because I am visual and it's easy to follow and make sure I don't do something wrong. The terminal scares me like I am going to launch missiles somewhere or erase my whole computer... LOL!

Thanks again!
 
Last edited:

rm5

macrumors 68020
Mar 4, 2022
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Yes, the video is EXACTLY what you want to do! Yeah, just follow the video, and you will have a USB drive ready in no time.
 

IMYB

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 20, 2022
46
1
Yes, the video is EXACTLY what you want to do! Yeah, just follow the video, and you will have a USB drive ready in no time.
OK!!!! Thanks you are amazing. I fell like I have hope to get this fixed tomorrow. I will post how it went tomorrow.

Thanks again! Great to see there are still nice people out there!

I am sure this is a STUPID QUESTION but here it is...


When I use the flash drive tomorrow to booth my computer. I will have access to the DISK UTILITY so I can 1st FORMAT THE NEW HDD and then install the OS.

DO I install the OS first then install from my time machine.... or just FORMAT then install from my time machine?
 
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DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
13,528
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A couple of comments about rm5 post above...
The High Sierra installer only needs about 5.5GB of drive space, so USB drive can be 8GB (although those are getting scarce, and 16GB is much easier to find. :cool:
Making the createinstallmedia command needs to begin with a sudo.
You won't find "JHFS+" as a format choice in the Disk Utility -- you would use Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
It does not matter what you name the USB drive, as the createinstallmedia command will rename it anyway.

If you struggle with typing commands in the terminal (as I used to), follow the steps in that youtube video that you posted. It makes typing almost completely unnecessary (except for a couple of points.)
Also, that video is incorrect on one point: The portion of the command starting with "applicationpath" is absolutely not needed to make a High Sierra bootable installer, so you can leave that out, and simply click enter after dragging the destination drive (your USB flash drive) into the terminal window.
Also, a reminder that some flash drives can take a good bit of time to complete the task, as much as 20 minutes for some, so be patient while the command runs.
 

IMYB

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 20, 2022
46
1
A couple of comments about rm5 post above...
The High Sierra installer only needs about 5.5GB of drive space, so USB drive can be 8GB (although those are getting scarce, and 16GB is much easier to find. :cool:
Making the createinstallmedia command needs to begin with a sudo.
You won't find "JHFS+" as a format choice in the Disk Utility -- you would use Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
It does not matter what you name the USB drive, as the createinstallmedia command will rename it anyway.

If you struggle with typing commands in the terminal (as I used to), follow the steps in that youtube video that you posted. It makes typing almost completely unnecessary (except for a couple of points.)
Also, that video is incorrect on one point: The portion of the command starting with "applicationpath" is absolutely not needed to make a High Sierra bootable installer, so you can leave that out, and simply click enter after dragging the destination drive (your USB flash drive) into the terminal window.
Also, a reminder that some flash drives can take a good bit of time to complete the task, as much as 20 minutes for some, so be patient while the command runs.
Ok GREAT! Thanks for the great info. Yeah the terminal scares me for some reason. It looks like you can lunch missile from there. LOL

I will follow all the info and be patient. I'll get a flash drive tomorrow and try this out.

THanks for taking the time out of your day to reply. Greatly appreciated
 

rm5

macrumors 68020
Mar 4, 2022
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Yes, I agree with @DeltaMac on all this.

You won't find "JHFS+" as a format choice in the Disk Utility
That's true, I didn't think this through enough, apparently.
It does not matter what you name the USB drive
Don't know why I said that renaming it appropriately matters, because it doesn't

I guess on El Capitan and older, you need the --applicationpath flag...

So I apologize if my information was misleading.
 
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DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
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I am pretty sure that applicationpath is also needed with Sierra. I've got all that kind of thing in a file, and show Sierra still using the applicationpath flag. I make several USB installers a week, usually with more recent systems, but I have "the tools" to make any installer from Tiger to Monterey
 

IMYB

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 20, 2022
46
1
UPDATE.

1- Got a USB FLASH 16gb, made the sierra booth drive with it
2- Put it in the mac, started while holding the OPTION KEY down
3- A selection opened to INSTALL HIGH SIERRA from the flash drive, I clicked it
4- Apple logo appeared with a progress bar under it. Last I saw it was half way thru maybe a little more and then JUST A PLAIN GREY SCREEN. The apple logo and progress bar are gone and nothing seems to be happening...

What now?
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
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That same menu screen -- where you picked "Reinstall macOS -- has some other choices. Open Disk Utility from there.
choose your hard drive from the list on the left, then choose the First Aid icon. Run that test.

You have kinda crippled your iMac by replacing the hard drive with another hard drive. Most users here would recommend that you replace a (spinning) hard drive with a (solid-state) SSD.

But then, it's possible that the graphics card is failing.

Here's what I would try on a more-than-10year old iMac...
Replace the battery (button battery on the lower front of the logic board), it is a BR2032
Make sure that the cooling opening on the back of your iMac is clear of debris (under the hinge, above the power cord)
Remove and firmly reseat all the RAM in your iMac.
Reset NVRAM on your first boot.
Try to boot to the flash drive installer. Be sure to test the hard drive (Disk Utility/First Aid).
 

IMYB

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 20, 2022
46
1
That same menu screen -- where you picked "Reinstall macOS -- has some other choices. Open Disk Utility from there.
choose your hard drive from the list on the left, then choose the First Aid icon. Run that test.

You have kinda crippled your iMac by replacing the hard drive with another hard drive. Most users here would recommend that you replace a (spinning) hard drive with a (solid-state) SSD.

But then, it's possible that the graphics card is failing.

Here's what I would try on a more-than-10year old iMac...
Replace the battery (button battery on the lower front of the logic board), it is a BR2032
Make sure that the cooling opening on the back of your iMac is clear of debris (under the hinge, above the power cord)
Remove and firmly reseat all the RAM in your iMac.
Reset NVRAM on your first boot.
Try to boot to the flash drive installer. Be sure to test the hard drive (Disk Utility/First Aid).
This is ALL I have to choose from. I don't see a disk utility anywhere. the CD one is my 10.9 install cd that is stuck in the drive. I was trying at first to use that to install the computer but it didn't work. I could hear the noise of the disk reading for a while then it would just stop.

No dirt or anything blocking the back of the computer. When I changed the HD I even vacuum the inside, It was not dirty but I gently vacuum the visible dust.

Didn't know I could CRIPPLE my computer by changing a HD with another HD.

I wish I could afford another computer but right now it went in GAS! So I just wanted to put another drive in there and limp for a little longer. This is the hubby's computer and he only does email, amazon and youtube. So, this old mac was working for him.

I was expecting to see the DISK UTILITY on the flash drive but I don't see anything and there is no hidden menu on top, I moved the mouse up to the top to see if anything was there.
 

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DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
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Ah, OK. I thought that you posted that you could boot to the installer (that's what you have selected in that picture)

Do you know for sure that your USB installer will boot on another Mac?
What Mac did you use to make that bootable USB? Will the flash drive boot successfully on THAT Mac? I am assuming that it is a supported system, which is not necessarily correct thinking for me.

When you boot from that flash drive, you will see a menu with 5 or 6 choices, one will be Disk Utility. If you can't successfully boot to that flash drive, then you won't see Disk Utility either.
 

IMYB

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 20, 2022
46
1
Ah, OK. I thought that you posted that you could boot to the installer (that's what you have selected in that picture)

Do you know for sure that your USB installer will boot on another Mac?
What Mac did you use to make that bootable USB? Will the flash drive boot successfully on THAT Mac? I am assuming that it is a supported system, which is not necessarily correct thinking for me.

When you boot from that flash drive, you will see a menu with 5 or 6 choices, one will be Disk Utility. If you can't successfully boot to that flash drive, then you won't see Disk Utility either.
I tried to booth first times from the INTERNET RECOVER THING and it would do the same thing as it's doing from the flash drive. Apples show and the progress bar goes about 2/3 the way loaded and then... nothing. just that grey screen.

The flash drive was made following instructions above information from other people. I followed the exact instructions from this youtube video:


I am not sure what else to do and why it's not working. I thought it was a simple process. Put new HDD, booth, use disk utility to format the new HDD then recover my time machine backup.

I hate to think at this point I'll need to take it to the GEEK SQUAD since it's the only people I know can probably help. Unless there is something else for me to try.

This is probably silly but is it possible that high sierra can't run on that old mac? I can't remember what OS was on there. I am pretty sure it was above 10.9 but which one I have no idea.

My mac is:

Imac 27" MID-2011, I think core i5
EMC: 2429
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
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The mid-2011, 27-inch iMac came originally with OS X 10.6.6 (Snow Leopard)
It supports macOS 10.13.6 (High Sierra) natively.

You have a USB bootable installer...
What Mac did you use to make that installer? Will that flash drive boot the Mac that you used to make it?

I would change the list for the process just a little...
Replace drive with new HDD
Boot to the USB installer drive
Use Disk Utility to format the new HDD (it's a choice on the menu when you boot to the installer)
Quit Disk Utility, which returns you to the main menu screen.
Choose Reinstall macOS, and select the new drive that you just formatted for the destination.
Continue with the install.
When the install is complete, recover your files and data from your Time Machine backup. The install setup will guide you through that process.

But, you need to find out if that flash drive is actually bootable, so try using that to boot the Mac that you used to create it.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,591
12,699
I'm thinking... "failed GPU".
Failed GPU's seem to be a common problem on Apple's 2011 products.

The iMac is now 11 years old.
At some point, one must reason that (at that age) it's just not worth putting any more money and time into...
 

IMYB

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 20, 2022
46
1
I'm thinking... "failed GPU".
Failed GPU's seem to be a common problem on Apple's 2011 products.

The iMac is now 11 years old.
At some point, one must reason that (at that age) it's just not worth putting any more money and time into...
I understand what you are saying and I wish I could just put $2000-$3000 on a new imac but it's not in the budget right now. I know it's silly but husband has eye issues and 27" is best for him.

Did the APPLE HARDWARE TEST, got the 4HDD/11/40000004:SATA(0,0) error code and online they said the HDD is either dead or dying. I figured for $40 to put a new HHD in there and keep it going was simple for me to handle.

Newbie here and please don't laugh... What is a GPU and is that something I can change of if that is the issue it's just done for? What would be the symptoms of a failed GPU?

What happened was the computer got very slow and just restarted on it's own and just kept restarting non stop. Until I shut it off (held the power button) and then I ran the AHT to get the HDD error code.
 

IMYB

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 20, 2022
46
1
The mid-2011, 27-inch iMac came originally with OS X 10.6.6 (Snow Leopard)
It supports macOS 10.13.6 (High Sierra) natively.

You have a USB bootable installer...
What Mac did you use to make that installer? Will that flash drive boot the Mac that you used to make it?
I used another imac 27" I have that is running High Sierra. I just put the USB flash drive in the imac I used to make it. held the OPTION key down, saw the INSTALL HIGH SIERRA... CLICKED IT and on the screen a DON't SIGN (a circle with a slash thru is) like a no smoking sign. Then the computer started but It had all my files and it looked just like the computer started normally from my actual HD not the flash drive. I could even see the flash drive on the desktop. Which I think if it booted from the flash drive I would have seen that menu offering the DISK UTILITY, and install from time machine stuff....)

So, no idea what the USB flash drive doesn't seem to be bootable.

I followed to the LETTER THE youtube video I posted above.



I would change the list for the process just a little...
Replace drive with new HDD
Boot to the USB installer drive
Use Disk Utility to format the new HDD (it's a choice on the menu when you boot to the installer)
Quit Disk Utility, which returns you to the main menu screen.
Choose Reinstall macOS, and select the new drive that you just formatted for the destination.
Continue with the install.
When the install is complete, recover your files and data from your Time Machine backup. The install setup will guide you through that process.

But, you need to find out if that flash drive is actually bootable, so try using that to boot the Mac that you used to create it.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
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That no-entry sign (known as a prohibitory sign) means that your flash drive won't boot because of some problem with that flash drive (might not be made properly), or the system on the flash drive is not compatible with the iMac that you tried to boot.
(Usually, when you see that prohibitory sign during boot, the Mac will often look again. for another boot system, and ignore whatever you were hoping to boot from. So, there was already another system, that system you normally boot on that iMac.
Check on THAT Mac, in the Apple menu -- "About This Mac". Click the System Report... button.
That will bring up the System Information app. What is listed for "Model Identifier"?
 

IMYB

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 20, 2022
46
1
That no-entry sign (known as a prohibitory sign) means that your flash drive won't boot because of some problem with that flash drive (might not be made properly), or the system on the flash drive is not compatible with the iMac that you tried to boot.
(Usually, when you see that prohibitory sign during boot, the Mac will often look again. for another boot system, and ignore whatever you were hoping to boot from. So, there was already another system, that system you normally boot on that iMac.
Check on THAT Mac, in the Apple menu -- "About This Mac". Click the System Report... button.
That will bring up the System Information app. What is listed for "Model Identifier"?

The imac I used to make the USB and the one I tried to booth from the USB flash is:

imac (27", late 2009)
Running 10.13.6 High Sierra
Model identifier: iMac 10,1
Intel Icore 2 duo
3.06 GHz
12GB ram

I also have access to another working old iMac if that helps...

iMac 27", mid 2011
2.7GHZ intel core i5
Running 10.9.5
Model identifier: iMac 12,2
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
13,528
4,429
Delaware
I suggest that you try remaking that bootable installer.
If you are on the Mac where you originally made it, insert the flash drive.
Make sure the flash drive is the correct format: Open Disk Utility.
Check that your Disk Utility is set to display manufacturer's info. Click on the View icon, and select "Show All Devices"
Now, select the info line for the flash drive (shows model number and size), and click the Erase tab. Make sure the settings dropdowns show Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled), and Scheme: GUID Partition Map (not Master Boot Record or Apple Partition Map). Name it if you like, but the terminal command will rename your flash drive when you do the command again.
This will make sure that the flash drive is absolutely correct format before you try to make the installer. Master Boot Record causes issues on some Macs, so that's why this can be important.
Make the installer again. The steps you followed were good ones (I do this several times a week, so I am sure that video you posted is correct.
Good luck, post back with your results. (Do try a test boot on that same iMac, just to make sure it boots something successfully! )
 

IMYB

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 20, 2022
46
1
I suggest that you try remaking that bootable installer.
If you are on the Mac where you originally made it, insert the flash drive.
Make sure the flash drive is the correct format: Open Disk Utility.
Check that your Disk Utility is set to display manufacturer's info. Click on the View icon, and select "Show All Devices"
Now, select the info line for the flash drive (shows model number and size), and click the Erase tab. Make sure the settings dropdowns show Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled), and Scheme: GUID Partition Map (not Master Boot Record or Apple Partition Map). Name it if you like, but the terminal command will rename your flash drive when you do the command again.
This will make sure that the flash drive is absolutely correct format before you try to make the installer. Master Boot Record causes issues on some Macs, so that's why this can be important.
Ok, did the drive again. I saw that it was set on MASTER BOOT RECORD the 1st time. SO I changed it to the GUID option. Made the drive. started the computer I used to make the drive with it... it WORKED. The computer used to make it booted on the USB drive and I saw that screen with the disk utility on it.

Then I tried the flash drive in the "broken" computer.... NO LUCK.

Held the OPTION key, saw the USB FLASH, clicked it... Apple logo appeared with a progress bar on a grey background... 2/3 of the way it just stops... apple & progress bar disappear and only a grey screen remain.

What next?

Please don't say garbage can!

Make the installer again. The steps you followed were good ones (I do this several times a week, so I am sure that video you posted is correct.
Good luck, post back with your results. (Do try a test boot on that same iMac, just to make sure it boots something successfully! )
 

Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 68030
Jul 5, 2020
2,911
958
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Ok, did the drive again. I saw that it was set on MASTER BOOT RECORD the 1st time. SO I changed it to the GUID option. Made the drive. started the computer I used to make the drive with it... it WORKED. The computer used to make it booted on the USB drive and I saw that screen with the disk utility on it.

Then I tried the flash drive in the "broken" computer.... NO LUCK.

Held the OPTION key, saw the USB FLASH, clicked it... Apple logo appeared with a progress bar on a grey background... 2/3 of the way it just stops... apple & progress bar disappear and only a grey screen remain.

What next?

Please don't say garbage can!

The GPU fails. It still can display image for light task. But when the driver is loaded, the heat kicks in and cause some kinds of failure.
I have 2 dead GPU with the exact same symptom like yours. Apple logo, 2/3 progress bar, then got stuck forever.
After replacing it with a working GPU, the machine booted normally to desktop.
 
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