iMac not booting

Discussion in 'iMac' started by paulfromhudds, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. paulfromhudds macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2011
    Hi hope someone can help, driving me crazy.

    iMac 27 Late 2013, 24gb RAM, 1TB

    The mac has worked fine for the 18 months I have owned it and last week started getting the wheel of death, this got worse and worse until unusable.

    I call Apple and spent 1.5 hours going through all the resets, clearing caches, running hardware tests, and permissions.

    It was a little better but then a day later started to go down hill.

    I took it to a local MacMan and he got it working, something to do with the date/time clock and as a result needed a complete clean instail.

    It was fine when it came back, all clean, like new.

    I have spent the last couple of days get the emails set-up, installing software, mainly CC.

    Everything was working great, I wanted to copy off the 'macintosh HD' folder from my time machine and move to to another external hard drive. I copied it to my desktop, not thinking it had the same name as my actual hard drive. It then started acting up and going slow and spinning. I then realised the folder was the same name and decided to trash it (668mb) It kept crashing when trying to empty it. The mac its self seem to be working ok when the folder was in the trash, so there must have been some kind on confict.

    It just would not empty the trash, I also tried a third party app, that failed too.

    The mac just went down hill again.

    I decided to reinstall from a time machine backup from a date before the 'mackinsosh HD' folder was created, at the end of the reinstall, it said success but did not restart as it said it was doing, I restarted the mac abd the deaded folder with a ? in it appeard.

    I have now just done a hardware test, got 95% across and hase frozen, been like this 1 hour now, not sure how long it will take or has it crashed.

    Hope someone can help, I'm self employed and this is now the second week of no Mac and have some very angry clients wanting their work.

    Any Idea's - the upstairs window is looking like a great option at the moment.


    Paul Walker
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    [[ Any Idea's - the upstairs window is looking like a great option at the moment. ]]

    My advice (and feel free to throw it out the window if you wish):

    Stop fooling with the Time Machine backup.

    Instead, create a BOOTABLE CLONED BACKUP using CarbonCopyCloner, and try booting and running your iMac from the cloned backup.

    CarbonCopyCloner is FREE to download, and it's FREE to use, fully functional, for the first 30 days.
    You can get it from here:

    If it runs BETTER than the internal drive, this might point to the internal hard drive having a problem (but I doubt it's that).
    If it runs about the same, sounds like you've got software problems that I sense you may be creating through mis-handling of files on the Mac (although probably not intentional on your part).

    Something else to check:
    You didn't say what version of the OS you're using, but I believe you have a recovery partition installed.

    Do this:
    1. Power down, ALL THE WAY OFF
    2. Restart
    3. As soon as you hear the startup sound, hold down the option key and KEEP HOLDING IT DOWN until the startup manager appears.
    4. You should see the recovery partition as well as your regular boot partition. Select the recovery partition with the pointer and hit return.
    5. After the RP boots, you will have a select set of options in front of you
    6. Choose Disk Utility
    7. Select your regular drive, and click the repair button.
    8. Let DU do its thing. Does it report any errors?
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Hi Paul, sorry to hear about the problems. Please could you review the below instructions and try them in the order they're written? If at any step there's a problem indicated, don't worry about doing the other instructions as we'd likely have diagnosed the problem.

    1. Check HDD SMART data. If this comes back with 'warning' or otherwise, the problem's relating to the hard-drive:

    2. If the SMART data comes out clean, run volume verification through Disk Utility (open Disk Utility, highlight Macintosh HD and click 'Verify Disk'). If any problems are detected in here, repair the partition by holding Cmd+R on startup and repairing the disk through OS X Utilities

    3. If that's OK, try reset PRAM by holding Cmd+Alt+P+R on startup - wait for Apple boot chime 3 times and let go of those keys

    4. If that doesn't resolve the issue, go to Apple menu > Shutdown and ensure the option 'reopen windows when logging back in' is unticked (issue could potentially be due to a memory leak/background process)

    If you'd be kind enough to try the above at your earliest discretion, we'll try get to the bottom of the issue :)

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