Help! iMac dead?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Taustin Powers, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. Taustin Powers macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    #1
    I have a 17" G5 iMac, the iSight model. Bought it pretty much exactly two years ago, when they were first released.

    Problem history:

    About a year ago (*just* too late to get Applecare) the superdrive started acting funky, wouldn't burn double layer and wouldn't read some dvd's. Ended up buying an external LaCie burner, that was cheaper than getting the built-in one replaced.

    About half a year ago, one vertical line of pixels died in the LCD. Annoying. But it was pretty far to the right, so I could live with it, as it didn't affect performance.

    About a month ago, a second vertical line of pixels died....I still tolerated it, as the computer itself was functional, and I'm pretty cheap.

    LAST NIGHT: While browsing in firefox, the system freezes. Spinning beach ball, nothing is responding. I end up shutting it down by holding the power button. Now when I turn it on, it keeps making an annoying signal, sounds like a cheap cell phone ring, with a vibrating sound to it. Over and over. Eventually it gives me a blank screen with a folder icon with a blinking question mark. So I read up in the manual, and it says, "in case of blinking question mark, start up the computer while holding the option key, then click on the hard drive icon, and then click on the continue button". I go ahead and boot with the option key....and no hard drive icon appears! Just a refresh button and a continue button. So I'm stuck.

    My interpretation: The computer cannot detect the hard drive, for whatever reason, and therefore cannot boot. Does this sound right?
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    Did you ever get AppleCare?

    Your diagnosis is correct otherwise.
     
  3. Taustin Powers thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    #3
    Nope, no Apple Care.

    A mistake I will NOT make again.
     
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #4
    Sadly the hard drive isn't easily user replaceable but once that is repair the computer should remain reasonably useable with an external display.

    I'm unsure if the Screen Spanning Doctor still works under Leopard.
     
  5. discomandavis macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    #5
    It might be worth your while to take it into the nearest apple store. Even though you dont have apple care, at the apple store they like to keep there customers happy. They will likely send you home with a new imac. thats what happened to my friend very recently he had the same imac you do. Two of his USB ports stopped working and he had a couple dead pixels and they sent him home with a new imac 20" so give it a try. Make sure to make an appointment with a mac genius
     
  6. happydude macrumors 65816

    happydude

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    a gasping dying planet
    #6
    i'd also recommend an appt with a genius at the apple store (if you can, avoid this weekend or you'll wait in line for hours). they like to keep their customers happy, but also be prepared to pay a few bucks for them to get a data transfer or replace any parts you need.
     
  7. Taustin Powers thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    #7
    Well, it's narrowed down to a defect hard drive. The audio warning signals were actually made by the hard drive itself, not by the Mac. Not good.

    I extracted the hard drive (man, they REALLY don't want people opening these iMacs - major surgery!), and it's going to a data recovery specialist.

    Judging from the scraping/grinding sounds the drive was making, I do not have too much hope... :(
     
  8. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #8
    Do the freezer trick with the hard drive 0-- then get an external fw case -- and possibly save your data. I did this on a dying/dead Toshiba hd and got the drive to work for about half an hour and got the info off it.
     
  9. Taustin Powers thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
  10. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #10
    Wrap the hard drive in plastic, put in the freezer for forty minutes or so, pop it into an external enclosure preferably firewire and try to get the data off. Heat kills hds. the freezer trick worked for me and as the hd heated up, it finally died seconds after I got the data off it.
     

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