Help troubleshoot a 2008 iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by mrkramer, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    Somewhere
    #1
    The HD recently died on my 2008 iMac, I'm tempted to replace it, but as it is an old computer I'm concerned that there might be other problems as well. Particularly with the graphics card as before it died I had a second external display plugged in that was having red lines across it which didn't show up when plugged into another computer (it's possible that this problem is only related to the adapter rather than the computer).

    I'm wondering if there is a way to test it and make sure that all the other hardware is good before I spend the money on a new HD or SSD for it. I don't have the original disks, but I do have a snow leopard retail disk as well as a Mac Mini that I probably could use in target disk mode to boot from.
     
  2. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    New York City, NY
    #2
    Using your Mac mini in target disk mode is probably the best way to check on the iMac's hard drive.
     
  3. ComputerHacker macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    #3
    Apple hardware test it. Restart your Mac while holding down D.
     
  4. mrkramer thread starter macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #4
    That only works on newer macs. For the 2008 model I'd need to have the original disks which are missing, probably somewhere at my parent's house.
     
  5. mrkramer thread starter macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #5
    I know that the hard drive is gone, what I'm wanting to know is is there any way to test if that is the only thing that has gone or going bad. What I'm getting is that the only way to do it is with the original apple hardware test DVD which I have no clue where it is.
     
  6. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

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    Jan 19, 2015
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    Oregon, USA
    #6
    Target disk using the Mac mini will not work if your iMac HD is dead.
    You said: "I do have a snow leopard retail disk". I think your iMac shipped with OS 10.5 so 10.6 (Snow Leopard) should work. Have you tried starting you iMac using that? Maybe AHT is available on that disk.

    Recommendation for the future: Have an external HD clone system so you get your system up quickly and troubleshoot. You could also use the external HD to operate you iMac, though it would be slower.

    Even if you could run some hardware testing software I'm not sure it would be comprehensive enough to cover all of the hardware. Even if it passed, who is to say there would not be failure the next day.

    You could get a new HD or SSD, as you mentioned, install, and continue to use your iMac until there might be another hardware failure. Then remove your new drive, install it in another computer or an external enclosure.
     
  7. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #7
    Why won't target disk mode work?

    1. Boot Mac Mini in to target disk mode.
    2. Connect Firewire cable.
    3. Hold Option while booting iMac.
    4. Choose to boot from the Mac Mini.

    Once he's booted, he can diagnose the internal hard drive on the iMac.
     
  8. mrkramer thread starter macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #8
    It does boot from that disc, but I can't seem to find Apple Hardware Test anywhere on it.
     
  9. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    Canada is my city
    #9
    Try booting it up while holding D. If it doesn't work, it means that only recovery discs work with diagnostics.
     
  10. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

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    Oregon, USA
    #10
    I said that TDM would not work because the first line of the OPs 1st post indicated that it died which I interpreted it to be unusable. I didn't see any of the OPs subsequent posts indicating that they have been able to use it at all. I think TDM needs to connect to a functioning disk on the iMac, but maybe I misunderstood the OP.

    I also think the OP is focused on determining if the iMac has any other hardware problems before going through the expense and trouble of replacing the HD in the iMac. If TDM worked it would only be able to test the current HD, but not test the other iMac hardware.
     
  11. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #11
    If you think it is the hard drive and want to replace it then make sure you have the right tools and a vacum or compressed air because an older iMac will be full of dust! Also go to the page Macsales 2008, 2009 iMac hard drive video. Also there is IFixIt guide.
     

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