iMac died- Help anyone? Flashing Folder with question mark...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MattSepeta, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #1
    So I went to sleep and my computer was just fine, just sitting there being normal as normal gets. I wake up and the cursor is beachballing, no response from anything, holding power button doesn't do anything, so I unplug it.

    Now when I turn it on it goes to the gray screen with a folder with a question mark blinking. Google told me that this means it can not find the startup disk, and my hard drive is probably toast...

    Upon advice of forums I grabbed my snow leopard install disk and am going to attempt a boot from disc after work today. If this does not work is it safe to assume I need to replace the hard drive?

    Computer is out of apple care so this will be a DIY operation...

    Computer: 24" iMac, 2.8GHz core 2 duo, 4gb RAM.

    Questions:

    - What risks are involved with taking apart the iMac? What tools would I need?

    - After I install a new hardrive, is it as simple as simply popping Snow Leopard into the disc drive and going from there?

    - While I have it open, does anyone know if this model iMac has room for more RAM?

    Thanks a ton guys. Looking forward to some good responses to help brighten my terrible day.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
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    Finland
    #2
    http://guides.macrumors.com/Mac_doesn't_boot

    If it doesn't boot from the install disc, then something else is toasted as well (SuperDrive or logic board). As it just showed the icon, then it should boot from the disc.

    Here is one tutorial how to replace the HD.

    When you have installed the drive, simply boot from the OS X disc and install OS X

    Upgrading RAM does not involve taking the iMac apart. Anyway, it can take up to 6GB
     
  3. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
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    375th St. Y
    #3
    Thanks a ton!

    So would upgrading from 4 to 6GB make a difference in using Aperture 3 + Photoshop CS4? Aperture sometimes just CRAWLS.

    When replacing the hard drive, if I were to use a SSD would I need to do anything differently as opposed to a standard HD?
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #4
    Definitely, they are both fairly RAM hungry. You just need to buy a single 4GB module. What exact iMac is it? It can use 6GB but the speed of the RAM is dependent on the model (you can post a screenshot of About this Mac if you are not sure).

    Here is video tutorial how to replace RAM (it's for mid-2007 iMac but it's the same for all 20" and 24" aluminum iMacs)

    Depends on the size of the SSD. If it's 3.5", then it will work without extra tricks but 2.5" needs something so it won't move. I've heard some people using cable ties to hold it still and they are okay since you don't often move the iMac. If you want to be sure, buy e.g. ICY DOCK
     
  5. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #5
    Well, my home imac is identical to my work imac, so here are my complete stats:

    Memory: 4GB 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM

    screenshot:
    [​IMG]

    Any recommendations on RAM to buy?

    Thanks again. It looks like I'll be picking up this SSD at my microcenter on the way home... 3.5" so no adapters required... Any reason this would not work?

    Also- I have the Snow Leopard "Upgrade" disc, is there any reason that will not work for a complete fresh install?
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #6
    OWC is always great place to buy from.

    It should work. From outside, SSD is the same as HD. It's also a good drive since it has SandForce controller

    I've done two fresh installs from my SL upgrade disc. It will work
     
  7. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
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    #7
    Thanks a ton for the info, you are a huge help!
     
  8. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #8
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
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    #9
    Nope. That is desktop RAM (DIMM) while iMac uses laptop RAM (SO-DIMM, believe it or not...). This should work but it's 50$ more. Your call. If I was you, I would buy from OWC. That 50$ can be used for something else.

    Besides, I can't guarantee that that MicroCenter RAM works since it's from PC memory section (no 4GB modules in Mac section) and it doesn't list the complete specs (latency, timings..)
     
  10. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
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    #10

    I just wanted to thank you again... I picked up a ssd on my way home. Just attempted to boot from sl disc and it worked fine, so it looks like I'm about to try a diy hard drive swap! Thanks again for all the helpful resources and tips, you are one of the many that makes MR awesome!

    Ps as soon as I am up and running again I am going to be ordering the ram from owc, the micro center people seemed to know even less than I did!
     
  11. redkamel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    #11
    be very careful with the screws. I did a HD swap, and apparently screwed too far and caused a short on the mic wire, as well as a bad attachment job on the thermal sensor for the drive. The screen went wacky, either due to the short or overheating (per genius bar) and I had to send it in for a week.

    upside is they fixed it for free because it was just a tape job and disconnecting the mic. But i sure felt bad they had to clean up my mess.
     

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