High Sierra troubles IMac 2011

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rchlhlprt, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. rchlhlprt macrumors newbie

    rchlhlprt

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2018
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    #1
    Hi everyone who may be reading this, I need to pick your brains as I am all out of ideas and have tried everything.

    I purchased an IMac second hand 2011 model, got it serviced and had a new fan replaced. I installed new user and High Sierra and everything thing seemed to be going well...UNTIL...after the few times of rebooting it would then get stuck on what I have since learnt the 'screen of death'. It's a white background with grey apple logo and a loading bar that makes it way to about half way before doing nothing else.
    I have tried everything on the internet and cleaned installed a few times, but the problem persists. It will load in Safe Mode fine and I tried to isolate the login items but nothing appeared in Safe Mode so I removed Googled Chrome and Pages (I'm a student so only really use it for that).
    I've read a lot of forums where other users have had issues with High Sierra and I do not know how to downgrade to os x el capitan.

    I have a Macbook Air 2015 (brand new) that runs High Sierra and never had any issues what so ever.

    Can someone please shed some light as I'm ready to throw it out the window!
     
  2. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    #2
    when you hear the startup chime, press cmd-V. This should print lots of error messages to the screen, and it may reveal just what errors are holding up the boot process.
     
  3. rchlhlprt thread starter macrumors newbie

    rchlhlprt

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    Mar 23, 2018
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    #3
    Hi Jerwin,

    Thanks for your reply. I did what you suggested and all the text went SO QUICK down the screen I had no idea what to look for. It then tried to load up as per normal but nothing was happening on the loading bar.
    Is there any way to slow it down or something I should be looking for in particular?

    Thanks.
     
  4. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #4
    Are you saying you purchased a used iMac and just put a new user account on it? You didn’t reinstall the system and start “fresh”?
     
  5. jerwin, Mar 24, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018

    jerwin macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    #5
    open up /Applications/Utilities/console, and have a look at system.log.

    But, if it's something that the previous owner installed, starting fresh would have been the correct option.
     
  6. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
    Location:
    Tanagra
    #6
    I think what would be better would be to try a clean install of High Sierra. You can download the installer app from your other Mac, and then make a USB thumb drive installer. Use it to boot to the installer on your iMac, format your drive (backup everything important, if possible) and reinstall the OS. The steps would be similar to put an older version of MacOS on it, but you need the installer app, which can be harder to get when running newer versions of the OS. I doubt your problem is High Sierra though.
     
  7. rchlhlprt thread starter macrumors newbie

    rchlhlprt

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2018
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    #7
    Hi everyone,

    The previous owner reset it so when I got it, I did a clean install and have done so multiple times. When I got it serviced, the guy said it might be because of 'corrupt files' so I'd have to do a clean install again. It will load in safe mode with no troubles. I'm contemplating installing os x el capitan via usb thumb drive installer but can this be done in safe mode or clean install High Sierra so it would at least turn on properly for the first few times. The only applications I've downloaded are Pages, Spotify and Google Chrome. So I'm completely stumped as I don't think these application would cause an issues and a quick Google search confirms I am not the only one with this problem :(

    It has 2TB Memory and 4GB RAM as well fyi if any of that matters.
     
  8. Richdmoore macrumors 68000

    Richdmoore

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Troutdale, OR
    #8
    I would try the internet recovery. (My 2011 model had an firmware upgrade that added internet recovery a few years ago, don't remember when.) It's a safe bet that the previous owner downloaded the update at some point as well to enable it.

    First of all, be sure you have a backup of any important files/documents/music/pictures/etc. Save them to an external drive and unplug it before doing any of this.

    Hold Option Command R at startup (alternatively try Shift Option Command R, but I think it is the former) and it should go onto the internet and allow you to restore your operating system.

    I thought internet recovery was suppose to give the macOS version the computer shipped with, but when I tried it I got High Sierra. Use Disk utility to erase/reformat the drive and install macOS.

    That should clear any corrupt files and other items, don't use time machine, as it may put corrupted files back onto your mac.

    After everything is working, take any files you wish to reload from the external drive and put them back on.

    Best of luck.
     
  9. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #9
    I would worry about 'the guy' who serviced it. You did an erase and clean install and this should have cleaned everything from the drive. You cannot do an install in safe mode. Avoid Spotify and Chrome when you dio your next clean install.
     
  10. rchlhlprt thread starter macrumors newbie

    rchlhlprt

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2018
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    #10
    Hi nambuccaheadsau,

    It was having these boot troubles prior to getting serviced. Could be because of Chrome or Spotify, but it was overheating which is why I got it serviced and the fan replaced etc and he reckons everything else was fine because I was worried it might had been something with the hard-drive. I'll try doing a clean install and just download 'Pages' app and leave everything else as is. If history repeats itself it should load fine for a few days and then go back to its usual habits and if so maybe it's the hard-drive and the guy I brought it off was dodgy :( but I may end up selling it for parts or something idk. :(

    Thank you for all your suggestions and I'll keep you posted in a few days :)
    --- Post Merged, Mar 25, 2018 ---
    I'll also try running CMD+V and having a log at the system.log to see if anything stands out. If the problem has been Chrome this whole time, I'm going to start throwin' punches :'D
     
  11. Richdmoore macrumors 68000

    Richdmoore

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Troutdale, OR
    #11
    FYI, if it is the HDD, and you decide to remove it to replace with another HDD or SDD (which would really speed up the 2011 iMac model, you will think it is a new computer) be aware that there is specific firmware on the HDD that communicates temperature to the iMac. Replace the drive with a standard one, and the computer goes into a failsafe mode of revving the fans to maximum.

    The solution (if you replace the HDD) is to either install fan control software to stop the run-away fans, or install a hardware fan control module, the only one I am aware of is from OWC.

    https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DIDIMACHDD11/
     
  12. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

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    Oct 19, 2007
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    #12
    Agree with Rich the guy did not know about heat sensor kits from macsales.
     
  13. rchlhlprt thread starter macrumors newbie

    rchlhlprt

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2018
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    #13
    Update: I loaded in Verbose mode again and it says 'Unable to open /var/db/bootcache.playlist and looking at the Apple Fourms they said to load in Recovery Mode, erase HD first and then clean install. This did absolutely nothing and just froze in the boot screen again. I've read some articles today all telling me different things to type in Single User Mode.

    Is this an easy fix? Or am I better off just selling it to a computer store? I don't mind fiddling around with it as I have a Macbook that works perfect but I've been going around in circles for like 2 months!
     
  14. Richdmoore macrumors 68000

    Richdmoore

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    Troutdale, OR
    #14
    Did you try with recovery mode, or internet recovery mode? (You will know because it shows a spinning globe on the screen for several minutes while it downloads the software directly from the internet.)

    Here is a video I found.
     
  15. rchlhlprt thread starter macrumors newbie

    rchlhlprt

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    Mar 23, 2018
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    #15
    It was just normal recovery mode (no spinny globe). Should I try erasing the hardrive again and do it with Internet Recovery mode? :)
     
  16. nambuccaheadsau, Mar 27, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018

    nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
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    #16
    Is this a 2TB Fusion drive? If so you cannot install High Sierra on a Fusion drive if you set it up as APFS, the new Apple File System. There does not seem too many advantages to setting up HS on an HFS+ formatted drive. I would suggest downloading Sierra or El Capitan and burning to a USB thumb drive using Diskmaker X for which ever version you do go for.

    At this stage, it appears APFS and Fusion drives will not be a fit until the release of OS X.14, maybe about October thjis year.
     
  17. Richdmoore macrumors 68000

    Richdmoore

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    #17
    I would. It ensures a clean copy of the os installer direct from Apple, vs possibly corrupted locally stored recovery partition.
     
  18. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #18
    OP:

    My suggestions:

    Get a copy of the LOW Sierra (not "high" Sierra) installer.
    Use something like "Boot Buddy" to create a bootable flashdrive installer.
    BACK UP any data you want to save on the iMac (you'll need to boot it "externally" if you can't boot it from the internal drive).
    BOOT from the flashdrive. Open Disk Utility and NUKE THE INTERNAL DRIVE BACK TO ZERO -- that is, erase it to Mac OS extended with journaling enabled.
    Now use the Low Sierra installer (on the flashdrive) to install a fresh copy of the OS.
    Finally, restore your data from the backup (or start fresh with a new account).

    As Robert Redford said to Paul Newman in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid":
    That oughta do it.
     
  19. rchlhlprt, Mar 27, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018

    rchlhlprt thread starter macrumors newbie

    rchlhlprt

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2018
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    #19
    Thank you for letting me know. I believe it is a standard 2TB WD HD (unsure of colour if that means anything).
    I am not sure if I have Low Sierra on my app store but I have El Capitan. Can I use my Macbook to create a USB thumb drive or will that erase stuff on my macbook?
    --- Post Merged, Mar 27, 2018 ---
    HI Fishrrman,

    Thank you for your suggestion. I'm not sure if I have Low Sierra in my app store but I know I have El Capitan.
    After installing it, will I have to always select El Capitan as the 'start up drive' or will it do so automatically. I've read conflicting articles about this.
     
  20. iMacC2D, Mar 27, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018

    iMacC2D macrumors 6502a

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  21. Dopeyman macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
    Los Angeles!
    #21
    If you purchased the 27" iMac, I believe you're experiencing the graphics card dying issue
     
  22. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #22
    OP wrote:
    "Thank you for your suggestion. I'm not sure if I have Low Sierra in my app store but I know I have El Capitan.
    After installing it, will I have to always select El Capitan as the 'start up drive' or will it do so automatically. I've read conflicting articles about this."


    OK, if El Cap is "what you have", then use that instead. Use what you have that works for you.

    After the new install is done, and you get your data restored, it would be a good idea to go to the Startup Disk preference pane and "re-designate" your drive -AS- "the startup drive". Sometimes the Mac "forgets"...
     
  23. iMacC2D macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #23
    A possible conclusion to this one, for anyone else experiencing a similar issue.

    Being reasonably close by, I checked the machine for @rchlhlprt and it appears to have been a video card fault. The machine (21.5" iMac, Mid 2010) would proceed through startup sometimes, but when the video card was placed under load (via ASD OS) the machine would hard lock with some video corruption present around the cursor. No errors recorded or a failed result, but the issue presented itself fairly consistently.

    The computer would halt during startup as it attempted to enable hardware video acceleration. With the video extensions disabled in Safe Mode, the machine would start up.

    Thankfully we were able to source a second working iMac, saved from recycling sans-HDD and some other components to transfer the parts into. Fingers crossed, but so far everything now seems to be working fine.
     

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