iMac wont start

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ChrisJN, May 22, 2014.

  1. ChrisJN macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2013
    This is just horrible...

    I can't get my iMac to work. I am no expert with computers what so ever, so I hope you guys can help me out...

    When I turn it on the normal black screen appears as always with all kind of white text, you know how it goes. Suddently it just stops and wont continue.

    The last line it writes is: Executing fsck_hfs (version hfs-226.1.1).

    What can i do?

  2. David085, May 22, 2014
    Last edited: May 22, 2014

    David085 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 9, 2009
  3. ChrisJN thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2013
    I don't know what happend, all I know is that it just started to work. So that is great. But now I'm afraid to turn it off and start it again when that time comes.

    You guys have an idea what I can do before turning it off later? Pray and hope for the best?
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Hello matey, a couple of things:

    1) Check the hard-drive by downloading a program called Smart Utility (can be found here: This will check the SMART data on your hard-drive which will very quickly diagnose if it's failing. If it comes up with a warning, hard-drive's knackered.

    2) If that comes out clean, open Disk Utility (search Disk Utility in Spotlight, or go to Applications>Utilities>Disk Utility). Run a verification on the Macintosh HD volume. This will check for any operating system corruptions -- if it comes up with an error, please let me know and I'll take you through how to do a repair.

    I believe the above two points are most invaluable to help diagnose what is (or at least, what isn't) causing the problems you encountered.

    Let me know how you get on. :)
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    The OP wrote:
    [[ So that is great. But now I'm afraid to turn it off and start it again when that time comes.
    You guys have an idea what I can do before turning it off later? Pray and hope for the best? ]]

    If you want to rid yourself of the anxiety, keep reading.

    Your hard drive has become corrupted. It may be a software problem. These are fixable.
    It might be a hardware problem. If something within the drive is failing, and becomes physically broken, the drive will be useless.

    You need a backup, and YOU NEED IT NOW.
    A BOOTABLE backup will ensure that if the internal hard drive again fails, you'll still have a way to boot the iMac and "get at" your stuff.

    It won't cost much and it's EASY to do.

    First, get one of these:
    It costs about $19.

    Then, you need to buy a 2.5" drive from the vendor of your choice. Check at amazon, newegg, etc. A good place to check for what drives are on sale is

    You can get either an SSD (solid state drive) or an HDD (spinning hard disk drive). The SSD costs more but is very fast. The HDD will have more capacity, but bootup time will be slower.

    Since what you really need is a good backup that is large enough to backup your entire internal drive, a 1tb or 2tb 2.5" HDD might be a good choice.
    Be sure you buy a 2.5" drive, and NOT a 3.5" drive !!

    Once you have these two things, put the drive into the enclosure and snap the cover on. This will take you about 45 seconds.

    Then, connect it to the Mac.
    It's probably not yet initialized, so launch Disk Utility and initialize it for HFS+ with journaling enabled. Give the drive a recognizable name, such as "Backup drive", or whatever you wish.

    Now, it's time to create a bootable backup.
    You can use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper. I like CCC because it will also create a recovery partition on the backup drive.

    CCC is FREE to download, and FREE to use for 30 days, from here:

    Once you have it, launch it.
    CCC is simple to use.
    On the left is your "source" drive (your internal)
    On the right will be your "target" drive (your backup)
    Just set it this way and let CCC do it's thing (it will take a while for the first-time backup).

    When done, TEST your backup like this:
    - Shut down the computer -- ALL THE WAY OFF
    - Press the power on button
    - As soon as you hear the startup sound, hold down the Option key until the Startup Manager appears. This shows you all the bootable volumes available.
    - Select your backup with the mouse or tab keys, then hit return
    - The Mac should boot from the external backup drive -- it may take a little longer than booting from the internal drive
    - When you get to the Finder, it should look exactly like the internal drive. This is what a "clone" is all about
    - Do this, and you KNOW you have a bootable backup, if the computer ever fails to boot from the internal drive again, you can connect your backup and get running from that. Everything will "be there", just as it was on the internal drive.

    This sounds like a lot, but it's EASY.
    Work through it the first time, and it gets even easier and faster.
    I can backup my "main files volume" in about 30 seconds.
  6. Hirakata macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2011
    Burbank, CA
    Does it usually start up with a black screen and white text?
  7. rambo47 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 3, 2010
    Denville, NJ
    When it's running, try repairing permissions several times in a row. You can do it through the Disk Utility app or via the Terminal. I prefer the Terminal. You can copy/paste this into a Terminal window:

    diskutil repairPermissions /

    It appears the system is attempting a repair of some sort by the line that includes "fsck." That's a file system check. Perhaps just letting it run its course was what you needed.
  8. ChrisJN thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2013
    Thanks for all of the support, guys

    keysofanxiety >> I tried what you told me, and my iMac comes out of it flawless. Perhaps indeed it was just a software issue. Either way, it seems fixed now. :)

    Fishrrman >> Very detailed info, thanks a lot. I'll look into asap.

    Hirakata >> Yes, it has always done so since I got it 4 years ago. Doesn't bother me, I think it looks cool.

    rambo47 >> Thanks. Guess that also was what user keysofanxiety asked from me (Disk utility). It comes out clean.
  9. OSX-iOS macrumors newbie


    May 22, 2014
    Fsck stands for file system check. If it is dying right after it invokes that command, that doesn't bode well for your drive. Back up and replace your drive ASAP.
  10. Neryus macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2013
    Where did you buy your iMac?
  11. ChrisJN thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2013
    I bought it from Apple here in Denmark.


    Yes, that's what another guy in here also told me. For some reason I should buy a 2.5" driver instead of a 3.5" drive.

    My iMac is a: 24 inch, EMC no 2134. 2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3. OS X 10.9.2 Maverick
  12. Crichton333 macrumors 6502


    May 4, 2014
    Maybe he just meant you should buy an SSD.

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