iMac 20' early 2008 - HDD problem?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by neasuciu, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. neasuciu macrumors newbie


    Jun 21, 2009
    Bucharest, Romania
    Hi, guys!
    I have an issue with my oldest Apple Machine.
    About a week ago a few apps wont start. Also the booting time was about 3 to 5 minutes.
    And it had a noise, like something was forcing hardware up to the limit. Although Activity Monitor said that the Processor was at least 50% free and the RAM had at least 1 GB free.
    I test the HDD with Disk Utility but i got no errors. Then i test with Apple Hardware test (normal test) and everything looked good.
    The i thought that it was full of dust and i should use a vacuum to clear the dust. I opened the iMac i disassembled almost every part, beside the mainboard, then i put everything together.
    When i tried to start it, it did not boot. I used the original cd, i test again the hardware, this time with extended test, everything was ok.
    Then i opened disk utility and i had a surprise: the hdd was not there.
    Now, i removed the HDD, and i gave it to a friend that will test it if its ok.
    I need some opinions.
  2. B-Eugen macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2014
    You have all the symptoms of a hard drive failing. I myself use Scannerz ( to test drives. AHT and Disk Utility will tell you little if anything about hard drive problems. Disk Utility will deal only with files on the drive and fix drive index problems and permissions problems, but it doesn't do any hardware tests. When you "repair" a disk with disk utility, it's trying to fix indexing problems, not actual disk problems.I don't know why AHT doesn't do it but it doesn't, or if it does it doesn't do a good job.

    The guys that make Scannerz have a write up on identifying drive problems and other problems that can act like drive problems. It's in their How-to section. You might want to take a look at that since it goes into other hardware problems as well that can also act like drive problems. Cable problems, which seemed to occur on 2009-2010 MacBook Pro's can have nearly the same symptoms.
  3. Dopeyman macrumors 6502a

    Sep 5, 2005
    Los Angeles!
    Purchase an SSD and put that into your machine
  4. MacRobert10 macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2012
    It's always a good idea to have a clone of your system around just in case this happens. Another thing I find handy is an external enclosure for pulling the drive out of a system and then trying to boot off of it. If the problems continue after booting from the drive externally, you're almost guaranteed that the problem is drive related. If the problems continue then you have system problems. This assumes you don't have some test tool like Beugen above mentioned to test the system.
  5. neasuciu thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jun 21, 2009
    Bucharest, Romania
    The HDD was tested by a firend who has an external enclosure + some other tools.
    It is still being tested so i don't have enough data about it.
    But, in the meantime i bought an SSD (Kingston Hyperx of 240 GB) and everything is working just fine. Actually, it works great, and the response speed is faster.
    This upgrade was in plan for this year Black friday, but i was "forced" to do it sooner.
    Actually the price for that SSD was great, about 76 dollars. it was reduced from 100 USD because the online shop was cellebrating 4 years since it was on the market.
    Thank you for the responses.
  6. WorkerBee2015 macrumors member

    Jan 23, 2015
    If the new SSD is internal then it essentially confirms that the drive was the problem. If the SSD is external there could still be some problems with the logic board, supply, or connectors that are related to the drive and/or the logic board's I/O controller (much less likely for I/O controller). For some of my customers, especially if they have a thunderbolt or USB 3.0 system, they often opt to just leave the new drive as an external. That way they can get easy access to it, and often if they need to upgrade it all they need to do is open up the external enclosure rather than opening up the iMac.

    Just food for thought, and congrats on your apparent success.:)
  7. B-Eugen macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2014
    Glad it worked out for you. I have an SSD in my laptop but my iMac needs too much space. Maybe some day I'll build a Fusion, but right now I'm using Snow Leopard and they're not supported.

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