iMac maybe dying please help

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rjalex, May 25, 2015.

  1. rjalex macrumors newbie


    Mar 27, 2011
    Rome, Italy
    Dear friends,
    I am in trouble. My iMac late 2009 has been misbehaving in the past weeks and things seem to be degenerating quickly. Please advice on what I could attempt.

    Since a few months ago the iMac, running 10.9.5) very infrequently hung meaning the screen would remain lit, the mouse pointer still moved, but no other response was obtainable. I had to push the power button for a few secs and power it down brutally. It usually came up apparently allright and could work for some more weeks, sometime months, without apparent problems.

    Lately the iMac did this a little more and a couple of days ago things became a lot worst. The boot remained stuck at various stages with the apple logo on grey background, sometimes the spinning disk, tried resetting PRAM, boot in safe mode and yesterday resorted to also reinstalling Mavericks.

    Yesterday the machine hung again, and this morning I tried to restart it but it seems stuck at the Apple with no other discernible outcome (then had to scram for work so will not be able to do anything further for the next 10 hours or so).

    Question a) If I manage to restart it, would looking at the logs possibly give away some clues ? (Yesterday I had a temperature monitor running and it did not show anything strange)

    Question 2) Would bringing the machine to Apple for such an elusive / not easily reproducible problem be worthwhile ?

    Question 3) If I cannot manage to spot anything strange is there something I might try out of past statistics you have ?

    Question 4) In the worst case are there any tradeback programs which could help me offset the cost of buying a new machine ?

    Question 5) I have a current TimeMachine backup of only an hour prior to the last crash. If I ever resort to having buy a new machine, could I use it to restore not only my data but also the installed Applications/Library even though it would be a different MacOS level or is it better to painstakingly reinstall everything from new ?

    Thank you very much for any help.
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    1. Probably not.

    2. No, it's old to the point that there's no point throwing any more $ at it to bring it back to life.

    3. What you have is the classic symptoms of a HDD failure. It's old and is dying due to wear and tear.

    4. Not in where I live, at least.

    5. Yes, you can. That's the beautiful simplicity of Time Machine, it just works.

    A lot of people around here don't have the sense to back things up, so hats off to you for maintaining backups (and a fairly recent one at that).
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    If you had a bootable backup drive, it would be a trivial matter to connect the backup, boot from it, and observe the results.

    If the iMac booted right up from the backup, you could then surmise that the internal hd had problems (and not the rest of the iMac).

    If it is only the internal drive (or the software on it) that is failing, you could still squeeze more life out of the iMac by booting and running it from an external drive. On a 2009 model, you'd want to use firewire 800. Boot times would be a bit longer, but once up-and-running you would probably not see any difference in overall performance.

    Does the TM backup you have also have a recovery partition on it?
    Is it possible to connect the backup, boot with the option key held down until the startup manager appears, and then to select the external recovery partition as your boot source?

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