HDD failure...but not?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Tropicrider, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. Tropicrider macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2016
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    I Have a mid-2010 (MC511LL) 27 inch iMac.

    it started going slow then, when turned on gets up to the progress bar, 3 quarters along, then just goes to a black screen with the spinning rainbow circle and no further. Now by all play and searches this is a hard drive failure BUT I had the harddrive removed and it passed WD (Western digital testing) and I was told hMars drive is not faulty BUT operating system/bootsector may be. That being the case, if the harddrive is fine - how do I reinstall operating system or get this working considering a cant get it to boot up? I did when the drive was in try every single type of reset holding down various keys for safe mode etc etc now worked.

    any help would be appreciated!!! I also have no access to a bootable drive or another Mac. I have a 21 inch Mac that within 3 days did exactly the same thing but turns itself off after the progress bar so 2 dead iMacs!

    Help please..
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    Use the system discs that came with the iMac and boot up on those. Then if necessary reformat the drive and then install OS X.

    You can try holding the cmd+option+r keys to see if it will boot into internet recovery, I'm not sure you'll get that because of the age of the machine, but it can't hurt to try.

    If the HD is good but you're having hard drive issues, the sata cable may be the culprit
     
  3. Willo34 macrumors regular

    Willo34

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #3
    I have a sneaky suspicion it might be your videocard.
     
  4. Joolsc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2016
    Location:
    Australia
    #4
    Hi TropicRider,

    I'm in the same position as you, but on a iMac 27" 2011 model.

    Its got to the point where I think its not the hdd problem.

    I've tried boot from internet recovery, dvd or external hdd they all give me the same result, I can never reach the OS X utilities screen or the GUI installer.

    I got quoted this morning that a GPU replacement will cost me $900 AUD + labour.

    Hope you have better luck than me.
     
  5. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #5
    There is a free video card replacement program for your model.
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203787
     
  6. Tropicrider thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2016
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    Thank you but that's the problem if it's the HDD - I have no discs. Bought them both secondhand years ago. So no operating system on a disc or stick and no access to another Mac to download from the App Store. Every attempt at rebooting into recovery mode yield the same result - progress bar, then black screen with spinning circle. That's it :(

    --- Post Merged, Sep 1, 2016 ---
    Geez me too!!

    --- Post Merged, Sep 1, 2016 ---
    But would the screen still work as it does?
     
  7. Joolsc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2016
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    @Tropicrider

    I've decided to drop the imac to an Apple Authorized Agent to determine which part is the cause.

    Someone please correct / confirm if i'm wrong, I was under the impression that an imac can boot from an external hdd containing osx and be used normally like an internal hdd.

    Therefore regardless if my internal hdd is faulty or not, I should able to boot from internet recovery, dvd, or external hdd (it shows the apple logo then it flash white).

    Will keep you posted.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 1, 2016 ---
    @tubeexperience

    Yes, I've used Apple online support, and they are very determined that I get it looked at by a technician before I can make an exception case, fingers cross.
     
  8. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #8
    Some internal hard drive failures will affect booting from ANY device, and certain faults can't be bypassed, until the drive is completely disconnected.
    You should try removing, or just disconnecting the internal drive, then try the various other choices - External drive, Internet recovery, etc.
     
  9. Joolsc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2016
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    Thanks for the tip, will try it out once I get my unit back.
     
  10. Joolsc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2016
    Location:
    Australia
    #10
    Hi all,

    Just want to share my experience, in the end it was caused by a faulty graphics card.

    Apple did replaced the graphics card under the replacement program, try your luck even when its out of warranty.

    Thanks to all for your assistance.
     
  11. komatsu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #11
    Joolsc, as a matter of interest did you iMac show any strange lines on the display at BEFORE it stopped booting properly?
     
  12. Joolsc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2016
    Location:
    Australia
    #12
    It happened while using a word processor, the screen displayed random color shapes. Turned off and back on, it just white screens all the time.

    I've tried all kind of recovery methods and external medias, all arrive to white screen.

    Another indication is, looking towards the front screen, the back top left corner gets hot after 5mins.

    Hope it helps.
     
  13. komatsu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #13
    thanks Joolsc.

    Lastly, did Apple put in a whole new logicboard OR did they just repair the chip?
     
  14. Joolsc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2016
    Location:
    Australia
    #14
    Judging from the receipt, they replaced the graphics card. I have tested using my initial methods, recovery mode, external medias, they now boot to OS X Utilities screen (used to be white screen), and have reinstalled OS from scratch to El Capitan no issues. Running the machine for 2 hours, the back of the monitor is warm to touch.

    All back to normal YIPPEE!!!
     
  15. komatsu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #15
    Ok well done on your "new" system. Can't beat the feeling of a perfectly running Mac and a new installed OS...!
     

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