iMac(mid 2007) won't boot

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Ben190, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. Ben190 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 24, 2013
    #1
    Hello,

    I just bought a iMac 24in (MA877LL) at a garage sale that was not working. I have never had a mac only pc's running Windows. When I plug the mac in I hear a chime and sometimes the fan will run. The screen is grey with apple logo and a loading bar that starts to barely load, and a spinning wheel. After a few minutes of this it turns off. From what I have read sounds like the operating system needs repaired. The computer came without a keyboard or mouse, I did try to hook one to it but wouldn't work without being able to boot. Can I remove the hard drive and place in an enclosure? Then hook it to my regular windows computer as external drive to repair the operating system? Or do I need another mac to do this?

    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #2
    If the hard drive isn't dead, you'd need another Mac to repair the OS. You could buy Snow Leopard from Apple for $20 and install it on that machine. It'll run that very nicely. You could also install Windows onto it, but you may have difficulty getting the Boot Camp drivers on it without a Mac installation or a Snow Leopard disc.
     
  3. Ben190 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Thanks for your help. Snow leopard sounds good. What exactly will it do? Without a keyboard I'm not sure how to test the hard drive.
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #4
    You can use any USB keyboard to test the drive. Snow Leopard is Mac OS X version 10.6. It's roughly equivalent to Windows 7. You could try to see why it fails at booting by plugging in a USB keyboard with the machine off then press the power button. Right after hearing the startup chime, press the Windows key and V until the screen turns black with white text. What line does it get stuck at or repeat until it turns off?
     
  5. Ben190 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    I didn't think my keyboard would do anything. Thanks! It took me several tries and I tried to write the last few lines.....
    -can't get kextd port
    -syncing disc-killing all process
    -cpu halted
    -airport link down on . reason 8 disassociated because station leaving
    -cpu halted waiting on appleusbutlci

    Does this tell where the problem is?

    Thanks
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #6
    Those look to be normal lines, but could be problems ones as well. Does it do anything different if you press and hold the shift key right after hearing the startup chime? This is Safe Boot and may do something more.
     
  7. Ben190 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    When I held shift had grey screen with apple logo then loading bar( but won't progress) and spinning wheel. Then shuts off. I did try the windows+v key again. I found one error listed.

    -disk Os2: I/o error
    -invalid node structure
    -(4,2878)

    Not sure if this means anything either.

    Thanks
     
  8. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #8
    A disk I/O error usually means a hard drive problem. You could try wiping the hard drive and reinstalling Mac OS X or Windows, but the drive may be dead or dying. Those iMac's take standard 3.5" desktop sized SATA hard drives. They're a bit of a pain to get to, but easy to replace once you know how. Check iFixit's site for a look into how it's done.

    If you're wanting to keep this iMac instead of passing it on to someone else, I suggest first trying to get Mac OS X on it by way of the Snow Leopard disc. If that fails or goes back quickly, replace the hard drive. I don't think Apple will service that model anymore as they are "Vintage". If they did or still would, the cost of replacing the hard drive would be about half the machine's total value.
     
  9. Ben190 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Thanks for all your help. I will buy Snow Leopard and then move onto buying a hard drive if needed.
     
  10. Ben190 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    I have had some progress with my Mac. I wasn't sure if the Snow Leopard disk would work. Is this just an upgrade? I was afraid if I didn't actually have an operating system Snow Leopard would not work. I did buy off ebay, disk 1 of the 2 that came with my particular system ( os x v 10.4.10). I have found that this will not work with my system but it gives me the option to boot using my hard drive with os x v 10.6.4, which I believe is Snow Leopard. I can boot using guest administrator but I can't update without a password, and i can also see boot option with one other user but requires a password too. I'm not really sure where to go from here. The hard drive says it is verified but when I try to use the disk utility to repair it gives an error. It still will not boot without me using the disk. I can safe boot using the disk. Any more advice would be appreciated.

    Thank you
     
  11. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #11
    The Snow Leopard disc from Apple is the full installer. Boot from that and completely wipe the hard drive, don't try to repair it. Then reinstall Snow Leopard. If you can't wipe the hard drive because it errors out, the hard drive may be too dead to be used and may need to be replaced.
     
  12. Ben190 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Okay thanks. The price was so low for Snow Leopard, I wasn't sure it was a full os x. I can get it to run and go on the internet fine. Would I be able to do all this if the hard drive was bad? Is there a way to test the hard drive? I noticed the computer is very hot. I have read this model has issues with this. Can you recommend anything to help this? Thanks
     
  13. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #13
    2007 iMacs, like all aluminum iMacs, do not have heat issues. They feel hot because their body is designed to be a passive heatsink. As long as the fresh Snow Leopard installation on the hard drive is working fine, the hard drive may still be in good health.
     
  14. Ben190 thread starter macrumors newbie

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  15. Ben190 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    I went to the Apple site and bought Snow Leopard. I should get it soon. I noticed on utilities that my drive says it is unmounted. Is this going to prevent the new Snow Leopard from working?

    Thanks
     
  16. 53kyle macrumors 65816

    53kyle

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    #16
    Just format your drive and it will be fine. It is only unmounted because it needs to be formatted.
     
  17. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #17
    That should not prevent it from working. It may be like that because the OS can't mount it due to a too badly damaged file system.
     
  18. Ben190 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Okay, Thanks. I have never installed a full operating system before. The unmounted made me nervous, so thanks for clearing that up.
     
  19. Ben190 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    Once I get the Snow Leopard, do I erase and install through disk utility? Do I need to format the hard drive after I erase it? Sorry, like I said I have never put a new operating system on before. Thanks
     
  20. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #20
    You'll boot from the Snow Leopard disc and erase the drive using Disk Utility. When it is erased, it'll be formatted correctly. Once done, you'll be able to install Snow Leopard. This is all assuming that the hard drive is still good and not dead.
     
  21. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    #21
    The drive is 6 years old, there's a very good chance it's on its way out.
     
  22. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #22
    The age of the drive has little to do with its health. I know of about 50 2007 iMacs that all have their original hard drives. Not one has faile or started to show problems. These machines are used in a school environment with lots of abuse. There's also the many 10+ year old hard drives that I have that still work without a problem.
     
  23. Ben190 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #23
    Thanks. I guess there will be obvious signs if the hard drive is bad. I have looked on Ebay and 3.5" Sata drives are not that expensive. I have found a good take apart video if I do end up having to replace the hard drive. I'm hoping it is just the software and not the hard drive. I found a hard drive test made to test this western digital on their support site, but it is designed for diskette no option for iso. My mac doesn't have a diskette drive.
     
  24. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #24
    If the drive is bad and you replace it, don't get one from eBay. Buy a new one from a known retailer with a return policy like Amazon, Newegg, or Best Buy.
     
  25. Ben190 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #25
    I erased and installed Snow Leopard with no problems. I even ran a repair and verify on the drive after I erased and it checked out okay. I installed Snow Leopard and it rebooted after the install. Should I do anything else now? Do I need firmware updates or do I just do normal os x updates? Can you recommend any antivirus or firewalls? I have never had a Mac, so I'm not sure what security I should have. Thanks
     

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