iMac stuck on Boot Up gray screen, Clicking sound

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Meandmunch, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. Meandmunch macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2002
    Hello all,

    My iMac is stuck on the grey boot up screen and there is a clicking sound coming from inside the unit. I assume it's the HD failing. One time I got a file with a question mark on the screen but it no longer makes it to that point.Please advise.

    I'm looking for any help on this, tricks to boot it up and quickly retrieve any of the data off the drive. Or just any way to get the data off.

    Ugh... : (

    I recently backed it up to Time Machine but not sure if that has any value.
  2. Meandmunch thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2002
    iMac clicking, won't boot up follow up

    I know it;s late on a Friday, heading into a weekend but if anyone has advice please share. Thank you very much.
  3. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2003
    Wife had same issue on her was a hdd failure. She took it to a mac repair store to see if they could save the info by connecting via firewire to another mac (cant remember what this is called, target disk mode?), with no luck. Yes, taking to a data recovery would have gotten results, but at a cost of upwards of $1000.
  4. JediMeister macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    Voodoo is correct, it could potentially be the hard drive. I would recommend booting up to the restore disc 1 that came with your computer and run Disk Utility from the Utilities menu to try to repair the computer's file structure or repair permissions. You can boot up to the install disc with the disc inserted and holding down "C" on the keyboard. After selecting English as the main language you can access Utilities menu at the top of the screen.
    What will tell you if you're in trouble or not is if disk utility says S.M.A.R.T. Status: Failed. If its failed you'll have to erase the hard drive and restore from your Time Machine backup. If not, chances are the disk repair or disk permissions verification should clear up the issue.
  5. MikePA macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2008
    I have the same problem (no clicking, the boot process just hangs) with my iMac 24 when my external G-Drive (used for backup) is powered on. When I power it off, the boot process works just fine.

    Any ideas?
  6. Meandmunch thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2002
    I started up from my leopard disk and two things. I started down the road of installing leopard/rebuilding but when it got to the select a destination screen I had no option to pick. No HD. I backed up from that point and ran the disk utility. What appeared in the side window confuses me. A 7.5 GB WDC ROM Model- Hawk----Media appears as a choice. What is that? But that and the Install disk appear. The 7.5 GB thing SMART status says not supported (referring to something a forums user pointed out). Not sure what it means and where do I go from here?

    Is the HD gone/dead? I want to exhaust every option before I look for a new HD.

    My next question would be can I restore what I had with my Time Machine back up on a new HD?

  7. Meandmunch thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2002
    I know this topic looks boring but i would appreciate advice about my followup questions.

  8. JediMeister macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    Sorry, for the delay in reply. If the drive doesn't appear when booted up to the installer disc or in Disk Utility then most likely the drive needs to be replaced. To your second question, yes, you can restore to the replacement drive with Time Machine. If you have let Time Machine perform its backups, you can restore your entire system by following
    You can also do the restore while booted up from the install disc as you have done because you'll already be in the Installer.
  9. Meandmunch thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2002
    Based on the feedback and from what I've seen the HD is toast in my iMac. It is not showing up any way I look for it and well the clicking hasn't subsided after numerous reboots. Thanks for the help everyone.

    One last bit of info. Where do I even start looking for an HD specific to my machine or is there some level of commonality out there?

    I will seek out a new HD and then attempt a Time machine recovery from my backup. I'm gonna be crushed it doesn't work. I've also have an iPod with our entire itunes library on it to replace our music with. Thats another question I guess what is the best program out there to get the music back out of an iPod with?
  10. JediMeister macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    I'm by no means a hardware expert so I don't know if the replacement hard drive has to be a specific type or size. With regards to the iTunes transfer, that stuff should already be in your Time Machine backup because it stores your home directory and the OS files by default unless you excluded certain items to cut down on the size of the subsequent backups.
  11. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    You,and many other people should have a system on a external(cheap nowadays)disk and then You could try to repair your internal disk.
    Diskwarrior is a very good program to start with.
    I know disks break down but I never had one and believe me,I have many and use them for long,long times.
    Or maybe I chose a brand which has little trouble.
    Succes with recovering.
    Cheers Perry

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