Is my iMac hard drive dead?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jmac049, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. jmac049 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Georgia
    #1
    I have a mid-2011 iMac with Sierra. I tried to login this morning and it looked like it was going to work but then the graphics got all jumbled and it rebooted...then kept rebooting. Powered it down and restarted and it just got stuck on the rebooting cycle. I tried recovery mode but it would not go through. Just got stuck on a white screen. Tried booting to my Time Machine backup. Stuck on a white screen. Tried to wipe and rebuild to High Sierra using a bootable USB stick. Stuck on a white screen. Is it time to start shopping for a new mac? I have everything backed up. Just wondering if it is my hard drive, like I think it is. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
    Location:
    Tanagra
    #2
    You could try resetting the SMC:
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201295
     
  3. jmac049 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Georgia
    #3
  4. chscag macrumors 68030

    chscag

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    #4
    If you have an external bootable source (external hard drive), boot from that and use Disk Utility to do a First Aid on the iMac hard drive. That will tell you if the drive is bad. I had a 2011 iMac that the hard drive failed but I could still boot to recovery with it. A totally failed hard drive will not boot to recovery. It's always best to have a bootable clone on hand - one that you made with Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper. Time Machine is fine for recovering files and being able to boot from it provided the internal hard drive is working.
     
  5. jmac049 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Georgia
    #5
    I guess it is dead then. I can't boot from any external drive, the recovery drive, time machine, or a bootable USB. It just goes to a blank white screen every time and eventually reboots over and over again.
     
  6. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
    Location:
    Tanagra
    #6
    It’s a long shot, but you could try booting with just one memory stick. Also, if you feel like you are able, perhaps removing the internal hard drive entirely might help. If the drive is failing but not completely dead, maybe it is interfering with the boot process.
     
  7. jmac049 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Georgia
    #7
    Tried the memory stick and it didn't work. Not sure about my ability to remove the hard drive. I might depending on what Apple says. I made a genius bar appointment. If its too much, I may try it since I have a back-up macbook. Thanks for all the advice. I appreciate it.
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    "I tried to login this morning and it looked like it was going to work but then the graphics got all jumbled and it rebooted...then kept rebooting. Powered it down and restarted and it just got stuck on the rebooting cycle. I tried recovery mode but it would not go through."

    This sounds more like a graphics card or logic board failure to me.

    At 7 years old, it's probably not worth the cost of a repair (wouldn't hurt to inquire, anyway).

    I'd start looking for a replacement.
     
  9. chscag macrumors 68030

    chscag

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    #10
    That's usually the sign of something major has failed, not the hard drive. Even with a failed hard drive you should be able to boot from an external source. Could be a bad logic board or GPU. Make sure you take it to an Apple Store and not an authorized Apple repair service. The genius bar will run diagnostics for free, an authorized Apple repair service will charge for that.
     
  10. jmac049 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Georgia
    #11
    Thanks. I'm taking it to an Apple Store near me on Thursday. Here's hoping.
     
  11. chevelleguy3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Location:
    Mckinney, TX
    #12
    Definitely sounds like a failing graphics card or logic board. I have had a fair amount of luck reseating the graphics card on the logic boards on these but I'd say it's probably a hardware failure. You can pick up a replacement graphics card pretty cheap now.
     
  12. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #13
    Be prepared for an Apple Store to decline service as it is considered 'obsolete'. An Apple Reseller may be better if you have one near.
     
  13. Razzerman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    #14
    Hello OP,

    Like Fishrrman said, it sounds like it could be the graphics card.

    Have a read of this thread, and good luck.

    Cheers,

    Razzerman
     

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