Late 2009 Corei7 iMac unbootable - gray screen and nothing...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by aliensporebomb, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000

    aliensporebomb

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth
    #1
    Went to the health club tonight. I leave my iMac running most of the time since I host a webserver off of it.

    I came home from my workout to find the iMac was sitting at a completely grey featureless screen and just sitting there doing nothing.

    I rebooted the machine after waiting a few minutes and it chimes once and goes to "grey screen of perpetual waiting".

    Tried zapping the pram on boot and the cpu chimes once and goes to the "grey screen of perpetual waiting".

    At this point I've just unplugged it for the night as I'm out of options.

    Ideas? I baby this machine. I even have it on two pretty heavy duty surge suppressors (one APC, one Monster) since my last Mac (my G5 2.5) got destroyed by an electrical transformer in our neighborhood two summers ago.

    Yes I have Applecare. I will likely have to bring it into the Apple store tomorrow but I really didn't want to have to lug that thing into a store in the middle of December in Minnesota.

    Yes, I have a headache too.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    #2
    If you have AppleCare then use the phone support first, if they determine it needs to go in for service then request in-home service. AppleCare offers in-home service if you are located within 50 miles of a service center. This is the case in the US but you need to request it. Also take some time to read your AppleCare coverage you uncover more useful information.
     
  3. lotones, Dec 8, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011

    lotones macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    #3
    Same thing happened to my refurb 2009 i7 iMac earlier this year. I'd had it a little less than a year. Watched a flash vid in Safari, closed a tab, then... nothing. No response at all except cursor movement. So I rebooted and that's when I got the grey screen of death. Called Applecare, did the pram zap... still nothing.

    Took it into the Apple store, and the "genius" couldn't get it to boot from his external drive. Was told it was probably the hard drive, then probably the graphics card. Two weeks, two graphics cards, and a new logic board later they still couldn't find the problem. So they gave me a new 2011 i7. Yay Applecare!

    Fortunately I had backed up the night before, so all I lost was two weeks without my i7. But going back to my G4 for 2 weeks was s l o w t o r t u r e.

    So don't fret; you have Applecare so things will work out. Good luck!
     
  4. aliensporebomb thread starter macrumors 68000

    aliensporebomb

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth
    #4
    Update

    Last August 15 I took this machine into the Apple Store due to what I perceived to be a hard drive problem that was increasing boot times and increasing times to launch apps. Disk utility failed to repair the drive so they simply wiped everything and put Snow Leopard back on it. Once home I installed Lion and copied my data back from my backup.

    Today they worked on it for quite a while and managed to get it to boot. The thing finally came to the finder where they quickly checked the console dayfile and the thing was riddled with I/O errors indicating the drive was probably very quickly on its way out.

    After that they ran a self-test on another drive partition and it appeared the motherboard, processor, fans, ram and power supply were all ok.

    So it's likely the drive which they are replacing. When the applecare warranty is up I'll probably swap out a larger drive internally (I know about the fan silliness but I have a way around that).

    So it will be gone between 1-3 days at this point.
     
  5. aliensporebomb thread starter macrumors 68000

    aliensporebomb

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth
    #5
    Latest

    This morning they called me and said the machine was ready.

    I got it and strangely, it wouldn't boot again! It booted into a white screen with a rotating planet earth on it. After a certain period of time (15 minutes of planet earth) it was pretty obvious that nothing was going on.

    After rebooting, blank white screen, no rotating planet. Hmmmm.

    Did a force boot to my Firewire 800 array with my backup partition on it and that booted.

    Did Disk Utility and that said that the internal drive was OK and formatted but it doesn't look like any OS was copied on it - isn't it supposed to at least "try" to download Snow Leopard from Apple at that point if the drive isn't loaded with a functioning OS?

    So instead of doing that I've been using Superduper for over 5 hours and 15 minutes copying my backup to the internal drive. I sure hope it boots once it's all done copying.
     
  6. Puevlo macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #6
    They probably replaced the hard drive without installing the OS onto it. Snow Leopard isn't designed to be downloaded. It has to be installed from the DVD.
     
  7. aliensporebomb thread starter macrumors 68000

    aliensporebomb

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth
    #7
    Sorry!

    I meant Lion.

    I am back up and running but it took 7 hours and 48 minutes to transfer all of the data. Then a while longer to get some of the other bits sorted.
     
  8. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #8
    That spinning world means it is looking for a netboot server. Only the newer macs support the option to be able to boot if the hdd is blank, it is encoded into the EFI which then allows the OS to be restore (Lion) the older macs can not do this hence the recovery partition
     
  9. aliensporebomb thread starter macrumors 68000

    aliensporebomb

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth
    #9
    Hmmm...

    That came up once; option to download a new copy of Lion, restore a time machine backup, run disk utility and a few others but honestly I was just trying to get to a bootable partition on my FW array so I could run SuperDuper to copy my last Lion backup over to the internal drive.

    I was able to do it but if it was Joe user rather than someone who has been around the block a few times with Mac setups you'd have an awfully confused/upset user.
     

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