iMac Won't fully Boot (black screen spinning)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Terraform2, Mar 2, 2017.

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  1. Terraform2, Mar 2, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017

    Terraform2 macrumors newbie

    Terraform2

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    #1
    I went to help a friend with an issue she was having with her:



    Mid 2011 27" iMac 4GB i5 running OS 10.12.3 (Sierra)



    She wanted to try Photoshop so I downloaded the trial and the computer completely and totally froze on install.

    As such I had to force restart the machine (something I never like doing while installing).



    Since then the computer will not fully restart... It goes through this same cycle every time:



    1: Chimes

    2: Grey screen with Apple Logo

    3: Dark progress bar (for startup) freezes around the 3/4 mark

    4: Screen flickers Black

    5: Grey screen come back but then dims to dark grey (like it would before it would sleep)

    6: Screen goes totally black with spinning wheel (not the beach ball but the hollow spinning grey wheel) flicking on and off. the cursor is also visible at times on screen in the top left corner...

    7: Never moves beyond that point.​



    I have tried the following:



    A: Reset SMC and PRAM

    B: Command - R reinstalled Sierra

    C: Ran "first aid" on HD (HD passed)​



    Any suggestions on how to fix this quickly would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #2
    Sorry if this comes off as condescending...
    macOS... Not iOS


    Anyway, back to the main topic of this.
    Try booting whilst holding cmd+v
    This will boot in verbose mode, giving information about what's going on with the system as it's trying to boot. Report back the last couple of lines when it freezes (preferably an image).
     
  3. Terraform2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Terraform2

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    #3
    Ha! force of habit iOS changed to OS

    I did what you said and where the spinning wheel used to blink now the verbose text blinks so I took a video then a screen shot (attached here) but just in case it goes something like this:

    IOConsoleUsers: time(0) 0->0, lin 0, llk 1,
    IOConsoleUsers: gIOScreenLockState 3, hs 0, bs 0 now 0 sm 0x0
     

    Attached Files:

  4. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #4
    Hmmm. And there were no problems prior, and you say it passes all hardware tests, even the extended ones?
    You say you could get into recovery mode, and reinstall Sierra, right? That confuses me also, because then you could clearly get the hardware to do tasks, but not boot the OS...

    Hold on, I have another theory. If you can run an extended hardware test, please do that.
    If it gives any responce, report it back. Both if and if not, try booting up the machine whilst holding Shift. Does it work? It'll be painfully slow if it does boot, but does it?
     
  5. Terraform2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Terraform2

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    #5
    Thanks for getting back to me...
    This is where I am currently at.

    I have tried to reboot in "safe" mode but that led to the same results.
    Also another person suggested I tried booting in Hardware Diagnostic mode (Holding D key) which I was not able to do for whatever reason...

    So... I found a copy of Apple Service Diagnostic for this exact machine, made a USB image of the OS and / EFI and ran both test... Both passed (however once I did get a "FAIL" with an ERROR -- 4 [USB interface test failed] message)

    The person who suggested booting in Hardware diagnostic mode also suggested that IF the Hardware passed that I should attempt to install using a USB image of 10.12.3 which I also did...

    The computer went through the same paces as it did when I attempted to reinstall in recovery mode (downloading the OS from apple) but in the end it also had the EXACT same result which was the same blinking spinning disc on a black background...

    Very VERY open to any suggestions..
    Also at this point wondering if there is anyway to back up her current documents from this computer in case a "clean install" and or downgrade of OS is necessary
     
  6. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #6
    Well, if it's possible to boot into target disk mode (holding t), you can get the documents off it that way. But I thought you'd already done a clean install? If not I think you should definitely do that. Overwriting the system files doesn't give any clear indications of whether or not there are still problems there.
    Aside from that, if you can boot into single-user mode that's an option too. If neither work, you'll have to rip out the hard drive to get data from it. Unless maybe Disk Utility in the Recovery menu can burn the disk to an image or something.
     
  7. Terraform2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Terraform2

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    #7
    OK so I have just now booted into "recovery mode" open Disk Utility and am making a disk image of Mackintosh HD onto an external drive.

    Assuming that I am able to do so w/o issue.
    I would assume that the next steps would be to

    1. erase the HD using Disk Utility
    2. Install using the USB Installer I made (do you think I should install El Capitan to be safe?)
    3. Migrate the data using Migration Assistant from the "image" I am currently making..​

    Does that sound about right?
    again thanks for your advice!
     
  8. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    Jan 26, 2014
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    #8

    Assuming this will make the system function, yes.
    Regarding 2, whichever OS should be fine honestly.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    OP:

    Your recovery strategy as outlined in post #7 above sounds good.

    I would think twice about trying to install that Adobe stuff again!
     
  10. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #10
    It's not the flaw of the software that's for sure. Adobe makes solid Pro software, and even malicious software wouldn't have an easy time doing this stuff to a Mac.

    OP;
    It doesn't seem likely based on the steps we've taken so far and their results, but the extreme case here is a malfunctioning GPU, considering it's a 2011 model, and they had problematic GPUs
     
  11. Terraform2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Terraform2

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    #11
    Thx for the suggestions... I couldn't get it to start in diagnostic mode but I did run an Apple ASD on it and it all passed... As such I cloned the HD using disk utility and then did a clean install and things seem to be on the up and up now.... thx again and fingers crossed.
     
  12. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
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    Horsens, Denmark
    #12
    ASD is what I was talking about when I was talking about diagnostics. That's what the D stands for, hehe. But great that it seems to be working again!
     
  13. Sip 76 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2017
    #13
    --- Post Merged, Apr 20, 2017 ---
    I have exactly the same problem on my I mac Please help
     
  14. GameGuru38 macrumors regular

    GameGuru38

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio
    #14
    I am getting this same exact message and my Mac mini 2011 restarts about 12 times before it loads to desktop. Any ideas?
     
  15. nambuccaheadsau, May 3, 2017
    Last edited: May 3, 2017

    nambuccaheadsau macrumors 6502a

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #15
    GG failing hard drive maybe? If you are using OS X.7 or later go into Recovery Mode and run either Repair Disk or Disk First Aid depending on the system.

    OP that iMac is too old for Diagnostic Booting. It came with Snow Leopard OS X.6 so you need the original DVD that came with the machine to get that to work. Also what version of CC did you download. Adobe is not compatible with Sierra unless you install the 2017 version.

    Take Adobe';s quality software with a dose of castor oil.

    https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/photoshop-and-mac-os-sierra.html
    https://photographylife.com/adobes-software-bloating-performance-issues-and-bugs/
     

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