iMac overheating, bad hard drive - Need some help

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mwave1239, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. mwave1239 macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2008
    So, I have an iMac (24" model with the 3.06GHZ processor) and the hard drive went bad. When I booted with an OSX disk and ran the disk utility, the drive didn't even show up. I pulled out the drive and hooked it up to my Macbook pro with a SATA to USB converter and it wouldn't even power on. It's out of warranty, so I just purchased a replacement drive (500GB SATA). I've replaced 4 before in different iMacs and this time went like any other. Once I buttoned it back up, I booted from a Mac OSX 10.5 disk and it told me I couldn't install to the disk. I figured it was because I was using a newer OSX disk from another iMac that I had lying around. So I left it on while I dug around for the other disk. I finally found it after roughly an hour or so (didn't look the whole time), rebooted the Mac, and then I got an error. It was a gray screen telling me to reboot the machine. It was then I noticed the iMac was hot, almost too hot to touch comfortably up near the big intake vent on the back. I guessed that was the problem.

    I left it off for a while, pulled the aluminum case off and tried to boot with a 10.5 disk I had. Same gray screen telling me to reboot even though it's cool. I then thought maybe my disk was bad and I grabbed a 10.4 disk I had. Now, it bongs, you hear the disk being read, then it reboots. What am I doing wrong? I've done this a few times and never had this problem.

    The only thing that is different - The new drive is super skinny. The old drive is an inch high, the new one is less than half that. So it doesn't fit quite as snug as the old one.

    I'm a systems administrator for a large college in Arizona. Just so you get an idea of my skill level - I have access to a lot of stuff to determine the problem if anyone needs more information. This one has me over a barrel.
  2. mwave1239 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2008

    The newer OS X disk will boot the machine though. The other two disks (10.4 and 10.5) are our site licensed operating systems. They should work on any apple and have before. However, the newer disk still shows the "Mac OS X cannot be installed on this disk" error.
  3. mwave1239 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2008
    Another direction

    I also have access to 10.6 so I'm installing that right now. It seems to be working so far. But the overheating is weird. Once 10.6 is up and running, I'm going to install another program to control the fans. Hopefully, that will fix the overheating problem.
  4. AlexisV macrumors 68000


    Mar 12, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    Who says it's overheating? Hard drives do fail through non-heat related issues, and the back of a healthy iMac does get too hot enough to touch.

    Just thinking the heat issue could be a red herring.
  5. Karlos2121 macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2009
    I had a very similar thing happen with an iMac here at work....

    a 2 GHz, Intel Core Duo, 1GB RAM....circa mid 2007. I think it was one of the first "metal iMacs"...

    So Last week, the employee who uses that computer told me that the hard drive was making weird sounds. Grinding like....So I verified disc from the disk utility...and it failed.

    So then i reboot from the install disc, to try to repair the HD but as time went on the drive kept disappearing. Wasn't even listed when booted up from the INstall DVD in disc utilities.

    So I ordered a replacement drive and thanks to the tutorials at, i replaced the stock 250 GB drive with a new 1TB....went WAY easier than I thought.....The new HD is running awesome like....

    All of the important data from the bad 250GB drive was backed up, so no worries about data loss. Just some folks personal photos and some MP3's.

    So I through the drive in my Mac Pro (in bay 4), and low and behold, it shows up like any other drive. So I start pulling the 2 user home folders off (so i can save the music!) and then the drive disappears. I get the "device removed" error box....It's not there on disk utilities either.

    so i shut down to pull it out of my mac pro and I put my hand on the drive and it's damn hot. I check my other 3 hard drives....they're warm, but not as hot as the 250GB. I also notice on the drive that there seems to be "burnt spots" on it....I'm sure it's a bad drive, overheating, then shutting down.

    Here's a pic of the burnt spot.

    I'm in the process of pricing out external hard drive enclosures....maybe if it's "away" from other computer components, it won't overheat so fast, which will give me more time to save a few loose ends. No big deal if I can't...but it's worth a shot. Was hoping I could salvage the HD and use as additional storage, but oh well........

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