Intel iMac booting problems

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Jamsen, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. Jamsen macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2010
    #1
    As of late I have been having problems with my 2008 iMac not booting or being very temperamental.

    This started about 2-3 weeks ago and i though I had fixed the issue. Basically my mac became very unstable and forced me to hard reset it quite a lot. After a little bit of this abuse it booted up to a grey folder with a question mark on it. This is where all my problems started, at first I got round the issue by booting wit the install DVD and repairing the disk. After doing this a few times the disk was no longer visible in disk utility. Only unplugging the machine for 10 minutes enabled the disk show itself. With these 'tricks' I unplugged my machine for 10 minutes then booted with the install DVD and reinstalled OS X (while the disk was visible). This worked (Amazing) but only lasted for about 2 weeks.

    Last night was my first folder and question mark for 2 weeks and it's a real pain after I though everything was fixed. I'm going to try a fresh install of OS X tonight (formatting the disk first). However what are the chances that this is a hardware issue and it needs a new HDD? I thought it was bizarre that it worked for 2 weeks with just a change in software.

    I am out of my Apple warranty and basically skint, so dishing out £100s isn't really what I want to do right now.

    What can I try next, what are my options, have any of you seen this before?

    Thank you for reading and your support.

    Andrew
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #2
    Your HDD is dieing. Get an external, make a backup and replace the HDD. There is really no alternative to spending a little money now.
     
  3. Jamsen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2010
    #3
    By reading the forums this is quite common on macs this age. Should I replace it myself with the same type/make of HDD? Can you suggest a good alternative?

    Cheers for your quick reply.
     
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #4
    Really, ANY 3.5" HDD will work. www.ifixit.com has instructions on how to do it as does youtube.

    This is a chance to put in a bigger drive so get as big a drive as you can afford. Look to online dealers in the UK for the best price. Your current drive is 7200RPM so another 7200RPM is probably what you want to avoid slowing your Mac down.
     
  5. Jamsen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2010
    #5
    Thank you. By how I've described it is it likely only to be the HDD which is at fault?

    I have already checked out the ifixit.com website and indeed, it is very handy. Thanks again.
     
  6. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #6
    Pretty much. You can buy a separate drive and a drive docking station. Use Carbon Copy Cloner or Superduper! to clone over your current drive if its still readable. Then you can simply take the new drive and replace your old one with it.

    Amazon sells the docking station http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B001FB6W...ive=7966&creativeASIN=B001FB6WPK&linkCode=asn

    You can use something like pricegrabber.co.uk to find the hard drive. Make sure its a SATA drive.
     
  7. Jamsen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2010
    #7
    I'm backing up everything now onto one of my old reliable HDD from my machine before my mac. I'll order a new SATA drive tomorrow and aim to get it installed at the weekend! For now the iMac seems ok! But I don't want to risk anything!

    A local apple authorized repair shop wanted £60 just to look at it so I suppose it's worth spending that on a drive and installing it myself!

    Thank again!
     
  8. Jamsen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2010
    #8
    I formatted my disk last night but it was too late by the time the disk had finished zeroing the drive to begin installing OSX. Out of curiosity, how long should a 1 parse zero take on a 500GB drive? I'm sure I was waiting 2-3 hours, maybe more.

    Anyway I was thinking about ordering a Samsung spinpoint F3 1TB. Have you ever used one of these, or am I better sticking with WD?
     
  9. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #9
    Never used a spinpoint. It takes a loooong time to zero a big drive.
     
  10. Jamsen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2010
    #10
    I performed a disk check (verify & repair) with no errors last night, I then reinstalled Snow Leopard and everything is ticking over as new (for now). I'm going to see how long it lasts this time while maintaining a time capsule backup. fingers crossed.
     
  11. Jamsen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2010
    #11
    It failed again last night after almost a month without problems. I'm going to buy a new drive and install it next week, lets hope this is the end of it :(
     
  12. Jamsen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2010
    #12
    I replaced the HDD myself last night and installed OS X without problems. I managed to plug my old HDD into an external reader and copied all of my data off then the drive became unreadable so it kind of confirms there is a problem with it.

    Brilliant and thanks for all your help!
     

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