iMac late 2009 won't boot or work after new ssd drive

Discussion in 'iMac' started by sunnyvalejohn, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. sunnyvalejohn macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2009
    Sunnyvale, California
    i upgraded my iMac 27" late 2009 hard drive to a SSD drive using the correct owc kit with temp sensor. I didn't put any OS on that drive and assumed I could boot to recovery mode or USB drive to format the drive and move forward. Nothing seems to work. I could use some assistance in which direction I should go next! Even if I take it apart again, I don't know what I might have gotten wrong to be in this state!

    I tried booting up with each of the command modes and the screen does light up and I see the mouse moving. For safe mode and startup manager i hold the keys down and a few minutes later I get a flashing folder icon. I did reset the pram a few times (that did work) just to make sure nothing weird is going on. I can't boot into diagnostic mode or recovery modes (local or network) and still get nothing. I created a OS sierra boot USB drive and can't get it to be recognized either.

    I put in a snow leopard cd and did get a Mac icon and then it just hung. This is a copied disk so it could easily not be working correctly.

    What could I have goofed up in this install to have Things go sideways? What might I try next?!

    Thanks in advance!
  2. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Dec 20, 2013
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    I'm sure recovery mode would require a recovery partition, which your new SSD wont have. you cant boot from an external? do you get no options when you hold the option key during startup? can you boot into the Apple Hardware Test (hold the D key during startup)?
  3. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2014
    If you didn't put an OS on the SSD, there's nothing to boot. This was an SSD for HD swap, right? You still have the original hard drive, I hope? I'd suggest finding the cheapest firewire enclosure you can find that will take a SATA drive, and put your old hard drive into it. You ought to be able to boot the iMac from that. (I don't remember if that model will boot from USB, if it does that might be an easier/cheaper but slower option.) You can then clone the hard drive onto the SSD with something like SuperDuper or Carbon Copy, and then you should be OK.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The op tried to boot up using a SL CD:

    OP, if possible, hook up your old drive to the iMac using an enclosure of some sort That way you can boot the iMac up by holding the option key and selecting the external drive. You can then set up the SSD (partition/format), and then use a utility like Carbon Copy Cloner to copy the external drive to the internal SSD.

    If you cannot see the drive in the Disk Utility (once you booted the mac up), then its possible that you did not install the SSD correctly, or its defective.

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