Imac Flashing Question Mark

PowerMac G5

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 30, 2016
26
1
Australia
I have found a listing on Ebay for an iMac 17" Core Duo (http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/specs/imac_cd_1.83_17.html)

"The computer turns on but a file with a flashing question mark comes up. I've looked online and they say its either a faulty motherboard or needs to be rebooted" This is what the listing states.

I know that the flashing question mark means that the computer cannot find a valid operating system, however the listing says that it could be a faulty motherboard. Is it true that it could be a motherboard, the list is pretty cheap for this reason and I could easily reinstall and operating system, but I don't want to go through replacing the MLB. Is there any chance that it is anything more than the hard drive/hard drive cable?
 
Last edited:

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
Flashing question mark suggests a failed hard drive. If it was the logic board (or any component on it like the GPU), then the system most likely wouldn't boot at all, but now it seems that rest of the system is fine. Of course, it's an old iMac, so the logic board could also be on its last legs.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
67,057
34,134
Boston
The computer booted up to the point where it was looking for a boot device, so while the logic board still may have issues, its seemingly more likely that the hard drive is the cause. Try creating a bootable USB thumb device and boot up with that, perhaps that will move you along on getting this up and running.
 

PowerMac G5

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 30, 2016
26
1
Australia
The computer booted up to the point where it was looking for a boot device, so while the logic board still may have issues, its seemingly more likely that the hard drive is the cause. Try creating a bootable USB thumb device and boot up with that, perhaps that will move you along on getting this up and running.

Can you even use a bootable USB drive for this? It is most likely running 10.5/10.6 and I thought you could only use disks?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
67,057
34,134
Boston
You may need another Mac to create the bootable USB, but I cannot see why not. I'm not entirely sure however.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
20,159
7,102
That's probably a bad deal, unless it's REALLY cheap.

Suggest you look elsewhere...
 
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