iMac Won't Boot After Clean Install of Lion

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by rayward, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. rayward macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #1
    Using Internet Recovery, I did a clean install of Lion, but my iMac (27" i7) refuses to boot. Here's the history:

    I was working the iMac pretty heavily, doing video processing, when it suddenly went to the white screen of death. Just a white screen, gray Apple logo and a spinning gear. I left this for a bit (the spinning gear suggesting it was doing something), but it never came back and simply returned to this state after a forced shut-down and power up.

    I tried Internet Recovery numerous times, but never got it to boot despite reaching different progress points each time. I wasn't worried about a wipe and clean install as I had a full Time Machine back-up. I wiped the main HD partition and tried to reinstall Lion, but it wouldn't reboot into the installation process. I repaired and wiped the entire HD, got to the point where I could re-install Lion, but it hung during installation.

    Out of sheer stupidity / perseverance, I tried again and got to install Lion this time, but it failed to boot after completing the install process (WSOD again). I repeated this last step once again, installed Lion, but upon boot it said that the Lion install had failed. I clicked "Continue" (the only option on screen) and got the WSOD again. I powered down and back up and got back to the WSOD, but now it shows only a gray file folder icon with a "?" in it on screen. Not even a spinning gear.

    I am at a loss. The HD is not damaged or corrupted. The hardware overall appears fully functional. There are no peripherals attached other than a wired mouse / keyboard, and an ethernet cable (connecting through an up-to-date AEBS).

    Help me MacRumors Jedis, you're my only hope.
     
  2. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #2
    I presume your system is past any AppleCare (if you bought it)?

    Have you tried reseting the SMC? If this doesn't fix your issue...

    Do you still have the original system restoration discs that your iMac came with? I suggest you run hardware tests off those discs. And if that finds nothing, you could try restoring the original software to your iMac and see if that works.
     
  3. rayward thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #3

    Thanks. Yes, it's out of AppleCare and they want to charge me to help me, so I'm trying to do this myself.

    I have powered down and unplugged the iMac several times - occasionally leaving it for a day or two (this is a three-week long saga to date) - which means that I have reset the SMC by accident.

    I do not have my original Snow Leopard discs and Lion was an App Store purchase so I do not have a boot disc for that. However, Internet Recovery acts like a boot disc, allowing you access to the Disc Utility and options to clean install Lion or reinstall from back-up. I have run tests on the HDD, repaired and erased it numerous times using the utility, after which I have been able to start the reinstallation process. Each time, however, it's failed at some point.

    I have been unable to restore from my Time Machine back-up because it's on a NAS drive which I cannot access from the skinny OS provided under Internet Recovery.

    It's a real mystery.
     
  4. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #4
    Do you have a spare USB or FireWire disk that you could try doing a Lion install to? You said you don't think it's the disk in the computer, but trying this would show if it's a disk or computer issue for sure.
     
  5. rayward thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #5
    I bought a Geek Squad service contract for the girlfriend recently, because she got the "credit check" virus on her Win-laptop. Turns out it covers all electronics in the house, so they are now diagnosing my iMac for me. When I explained my symptoms and efforts to rectify them, the thing they indicated was possible logic board failure.

    I'm hoping it's a simple disk problem. I'm assuming a logic board is a whole nother world of hurt.
     
  6. rayward thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #6
    FYI, my problem turned out to be a bad HDD. Got it replaced and am good to go again.
     

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