iMac Freezing Up - Please Help *EDITED*

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by horrorfan1986, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. horrorfan1986 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    #1
    This afternoon, my G5 iMac freeze up. I was forced to shut down the computer using the power button. Every time I restarted my computer, it would keep freezing. Originally, I thought it was because of Firefox 3 (bugs?) which I had downloaded the other day. However, I deleted the Firefox files, but the problem kept occurring. I was lucky to be on the computer for 3 minutes before it freezes. I checked on a lot of sites and it seems like using my install discs to re-install the start up disk would solve everything. The first time I tried re-installing it while keeping network settings and all files. However, by time I got to the second disk of the install, it began freezing up near the end. I assumed that the problem was one of my files, so I decided to just re-install the startup disk and removing everything to start fresh. Once again, the first disc installs fine, but disc two (garageband, fonts and ect) keeps freezing.

    Now I can't even get even get past the install screen and since it keeps freezing on disc 2, I'm stuck there.

    I've been at this for nearly 12 hours and I really have no idea what to do.

    There are a few small scratches on disc 2, however; the computer still freezes without the disc in it. For whatever reason, it never does when it's installing the items on disc 1. So idk if the problem is disc 2 or not.

    I've had this computer since Sept 2005, so I no longer have a warranty.


    Details:
    17-inch iMac G5 (Ambient Light Sensor)
    1.8 GHz PowerPC G5 processor with a 17-inch screen

    Any help please?

    -----------

    *EDIT*

    Since doing this post, I started up the computer in Safe Mode. Through Safe Mode, Disc 2 was finally able to finish installing. I am now able to get back into such things as the Disk Utility. The computer still freezes when I'm not in Safe Mode though. But I'm thinking being able to to finally log back in my computer *Even in Safe Mode* is a big deal and shows that my problem might still be fixable.

    So now, what do I do? Since I can only be in Safe Mode, I can't be online on the Mac.
     
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #2
    The cause could be any number of things, but I definitely think a hardware problem is to blame. Stuff to investigate:
    1. Hard disk - does it verify okay when tested via Disk Utility?
    2. RAM - have you installed any aftermarket RAM upgrades? Try removing them.
    3. External devices - try disconnecting any external devices connected to the iMac, except the keyboard and mouse.
    4. Other hardware problems - do you have a utility such as TechTool Pro that can check your Mac for signs of trouble, and comes with a bootable CD/DVD? Now might be a good time to use it.
     
  3. agentphish macrumors 65816

    agentphish

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    #3
    More than likely thats your hard drive failing.

    Similar happened to my powerbook, and just last month my cousin's macbook.

    I'd get a new one ASAP.
     
  4. horrorfan1986 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    #4
    1. The only thing Disk Utility lets me do in repair is Verify and Repair the permissions. Both Verify and Repair disk buttons aren't able to be selected.

    2. I haven't added any kind of RAM since I got it nearly 3 years ago.

    3. I tried removing the USB's of everything except for my mouse (Which isn't a MAC Mouse). After I get done posting this, I will try removing that mouse and just using the one that came with my Mac.

    4. I don't have TechTool Pro, but I could get it on my PC and burn it to a disc. Would it work in Safe Mode?


    What kind of price are we talking about for a new hard drive?
     
  5. ihabime macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #5
    reboot with your install disk, you should be able to run disk utility from the menu, that will that should allow full verify and repair of the disk. When you reinstalled did you do a full reformat?
     
  6. horrorfan1986 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    #6
    If you mean full reformat by losing all of my stuff and basically starting all over, then yes.

    Also, when I try to restart the computer in normal (Non Safe-Mode) it just goes to a plain blue screen (NOT the default wallpaper). Should I assume that's a bad sign?

    I'll try the rebooting with the install disk now.
     
  7. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #7
    It really does sound like your hard disk is failing. If you are unable to get to Disk Utility using the install disk then I would seriously consider replacing the hard disk. Luckily you have an iMac G5 which is super easy to replace the hard disk. I take it you didn't buy AppleCare? You said you had the iMac since Sept 2005, if you had Applecare you would be covered until Sept 2008.
     
  8. horrorfan1986 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    #8
    I was finally able to get into the Disk Utility in Safe-Mode. I'm now able to click on the repair and verify disk.

    I do not have the AppleCare.
     
  9. MarkMS macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    #9
    This could be attributed to a failing hard drive, but ...

    If you can, turn around the iMac and check the back side. You should see a small circular vent somewhere around where the stand is. Is there any dust? If so, that could be heating up the machine which can cause it to freeze/shutdown.
     
  10. horrorfan1986 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    #10
    I checked my S.M.A.R.T. in the disk utility, but it said it was verified.

    And there doesn't seem to be any dust around the hole.

    Right now it just seems like it won't boot up all the way (unless I'm in safe mode). Most of the time when I restart it goes to a blank blue screen, I have a curser, but nothing else.
     
  11. MarkMS macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    #11
    Did you try looking through the hole within the stand and look into the vent (not just around it). I caught my iMac back in Dec. with a load of dust inside the vent. On the outside, it was just barely noticeable. Nonetheless, this was the main cause of my iMac freezing constantly.
     
  12. horrorfan1986 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    #12
    I found a tiny amount of dust (nothing major), but it's hard to see in the hole, so there might be more. Any advice of how to get any possibly remaining dust out of there? Also, should I consider trying to take the back off to see if the inside is dusty?
     
  13. ihabime macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #13
    It's really puzzling, normally i would say it was a hardware problem, but the fact that it's fine in safe mode seems to contradict that.

    From the Apple Docs:

    Starting up into Safe Mode does three things to simplify the startup and operation of your computer:

    • It forces a directory check of the startup volume.
    • It loads only required kernel extensions (some of the items in /System/Library/Extensions).
    • In Mac OS X 10.3.9 or earlier, it runs only Apple-installed startup items (some of the items in /Library/StartupItems and /System/Library/StartupItems - and different than login items).
    • Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger only: It disables all fonts other than those in /System/Library/Fonts .
    • Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger only: It moves to the Trash all font caches normally stored in /Library/Caches/com.apple.ATS/(uid)/ , where (uid) is a user ID number such as 501.
    • Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger only: It disables all startup items and any Login Items.

    None of that should be corrupted on a clean install.
    Did you install anything after reinstalling the OS?

    The only other things I'd suggest are zapping the pram; make sure you hold down cmd-opt-P-R until you hear the startup chime twice.

    try booting with absolutely nothing attached, even usb and ethernet disconnected

    hold down command-v at start up to get into verbose mode so you can see if there are any boot errors reported and what's happening when it locks up.
     
  14. MarkMS macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    #14
    If it's nothing major, then you probably shouldn't worry about it. When I looked at mine, the vent was about 90% blocked. I took a small vacuum with a hose attachment with and sucked the dust out. This is much easier said than done. I know this is a bad idea since I could cause a static shock, but my iMac was out of warranty and I was fed up. After that, I got some compressed air and blew whatever was in there. Then again vacuumed.
     
  15. horrorfan1986 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    #15
    I zapped the pram to no success.

    I tried going into verbose mode. After the grey apple loading page, it went into a black page (I assume a prompt page). The page of text kept extending past the bottom of the screen, but then it went to the blue screen. So idk if I did it right or not.
     
  16. ihabime macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #16
    It should scroll upward, it flashes by quickly, but try to see what the last thing printed is.
     
  17. horrorfan1986 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    #17
    I'll do it again then. What special words should I be looking for?

    Also, I haven't installed anything since the clean install. So everything that's on there is what comes with the install disc.

    I forgot to mention this, but it's funny that you mentioned kernels. I was talking to a friend with more computer knowledge and he believes all of this was caused by me deleting Firefox 3 and the leftover kernels looking for the program slowing it down.
     
  18. ihabime macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #18
    the firefox thing shouldn't be a problem after a clean install as long as you didn't copy anything from the old install.

    i found this on Apples site:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1767?viewlocale=en_US

    it involves resetting the SMU to correct problems with booting and graphics not showing up.
     
  19. horrorfan1986 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    #19
    The last starts with HS and at the end it says AFI is Supported. I can do it again to try and get the full last line if needed.

    I tried that, but it didn't even seem like it did anything. I might try it again though.
     
  20. MacHappytjg macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    #20
    just buy a new hd u could buy a 400gb for like $100 or a little over might be cheaper in the u.s.
     
  21. horrorfan1986 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    #21
    Right now I don't really have the cash to buy a new HD, especially when I don't know 100% that it's the HD that's the problem.
     
  22. MacHappytjg macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    #22
    true i guess do u have any old ones laying around, if your like me :p i have tons
     
  23. horrorfan1986 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    #23
    Nah, this was my first Mac. Now, if you're willing to send me a free old HD, I'd be fine with that. ;)
     
  24. MacHappytjg macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    #24
    sure if u paid shipping but do u have any friends with any or maybe a computer shop that would lend u a old one?
     
  25. horrorfan1986 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    #25
    I know of only one other person who owns a mac. But he only has the one mac, so obviously I can't take their HD lol. I'm assuming computer shops won't just give away old HD's.

    I assume old PC hard drives wouldn't work right? Mid 90's ones.
     

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