Help diagnosing 24" iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by IBitePrettyHard, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. IBitePrettyHard macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    #1
    1st Gen 24" Aluminum iMac running OSX Leopard 10.5

    I've been getting random freezes for several months now, but only yesterday following a freeze, I was met by a folder icon with a flashing question mark on startup. I tried booting to my Windows partition, but no luck.

    This morning I turned it on and it started up just fine! I began copying files to my external hard drive, and within minutes, it froze again. I booted up to the Leopard install disc to use the Disc Utility, but repeated attempts at Verify/Repair failed.

    I immediately restarted holding Option to view available discs...and both my OSX and XP partitions showed up. As soon as I tried clicking on Macintosh HD, the icon went "poof", just like an icon being removed from the Dock. Same thing happened with the Windows icon.

    Does it sound like my hard drive is going bad? I'm also willing to re-install Leopard if it might help. Any ideas?
     
  2. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #2
    Yes sadly, virtually everything you have described indicates an "in the process of becoming a paperweight" hard drive. :(

    Concentrate on getting what you want to save off it rather than reinstalling the OS (unless you have a full backup, Time Machine or otherwise, on a different drive), since the more you run it the further it will probably continue to go downhill. If you have AppleCare on your iMac I'm sure they are going to wind up replacing that drive shortly.
     
  3. IBitePrettyHard thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    #3
    The question I'm scared to ask is, how much does it cost to get data recovered from a dead hard drive?
     
  4. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #4
    Ummmm yeah that is really a last ditch solution for sure.

    One of the systems I worked on last week was from a business who somehow never managed to backup this one machine's 320Gb drive and it was important- so I put in a request for quotation from one of the oldest recovery firms which is On-Track Data Recovery. After talking to a tech there, the sad story was that the initial diagnosis would be $100 (applicable to a repair if authorized) and the recovery would run from $500 to $2200 for that one drive depending on how hard it was for them to recover data. He said that most repairs wind up being roughly in the middle of that range- so not good news by any means.
     
  5. chrysrobyn macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #5
    Your symptoms sound exactly like what my wife and I started seeing, but hers was worse than mine. For both of us, getting a fan control application and turning the fans up to max (especially the hard drive) made things better, if loud. That might be enough to get the data off your drive onto something external. She took hers to the Apple Store and they replaced the hard drive and all is better (Time Machine and the Time Capsule took care of all the data with perfect satisfaction). I tried to make mine fail as definitively as hers was, but it was when the weather was getting cooler (We air condition to ~80 in Texas) and my problems seem to be gone now.
    If at all possible, back up your data. Get an external drive and set up Time Machine if you can get it to stay up that long with the fans up. Then get a new drive and have your reinstall CD handy.
    For the record, the wife and I have matching 24" 3.06GHz / nVidia iMacs (stock, not BTO). We're well within the original warranty.
     

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