Long System Loading

Discussion in 'iMac' started by NCMau, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. NCMau macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    NC
    #1
    IMac 2009 MacOS 10.6.8, 4GB.
    I am trying to get the computer going for a friend so that Yosemite can be installed. The system takes extremely long time to load. I reinstalled the system but it is still taking long (over 5 min) in the blue screen before the desktop appears. The system permissions and disk repair were done successfully several times. Also all tests of TechTool Deluxe passed.

    In the startup disk preference , I can not choose the volume to restart…msg appears… (The bless tool was unable to set the current boot disk). I tried to boot from an external hard drive… with same results. How do I get this blessed tool to bless? (The computer does restart with the option key)

    Once it comes up, the computer seems to be operating okay. I also realize that 4GB of Ram is the very minimum and it should be upgraded but it should work the way it is.

    Even though it passed all the test that I can do, I suspect hard drive issues… or could it be a logic board problem?

    I am stumped… could use some welcomed ideas!
     
  2. ZVH macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    #2
    It could be a lot of things:

    http://scsc-online.com/Bad Hard Drive Signs and Symptoms.html

    The article points at a lot of problems that can be either drive problems or act like drive problems. Drive and system problems often behave in the same way as experienced by the end user. That link has like five or six sub links that point at more detailed articles. Disk repair using disk utility does nothing for bad sectors, it corrects indexing problems on the drive.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. NCMau thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    NC
    #3

    Erased HD, reinstalled system, upgraded to 10.6.8 and the problem remained. It looks like at this point the software can be ruled out. I ran Apple Hardware Test 5 times in extended mode, no problems found. Ran Etrecheck… failed System Launch Daemons: com.apple.DumpPanic.plist, which I moved it to desktop but it didn’t fix problem.

    My question is, if problem occurs during the blue screen, it points out (?) to the HD. BUT, It does the same thing if it boots from an external HD or CD. When you boot from an external drive, isn’t the onboard drive totally out of the loop?

    The informative link above suggest vaguely that it could be logic board related. The fact remains that once the desktop comes up, the hard drive works just fine. I don’t mind suggest to my friend to buy a new drive if I was pretty sure a replacement would fix the problem, but at the moment I am not sure at all.

    What am I missing something?
     
  4. NCMau thread starter macrumors newbie

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  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #5
    You aren't missing anything, it is most likely a hard drive problem (and an SSD will make this mac feel like new) but no one can tell if thats really the case without trying a new one...
     
  6. NCMau thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Thanks!!!
     
  7. ZVH macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    #7
    If the problem exists on an external hard drive or a boot CD/DVD, it's likely related to either the logic board or the supply. The logic board often has a small backup battery that supplies power to the NVRAM. The NVRAM stores, among other things, boot drive selection. To me that's the most likely cause because the system is doing this regardless of which boot path is taken and apparently once it gets up and running it's OK. If the supply or logic board has some marginal components like capacitors in it then similar erratic results will continue, but they'll likely get worse with time.
     
  8. NCMau thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
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    NC
    #8
    BATTERY!!!...good idea. I didn't know that. I did associate the battery with video problems only. Thanks!!!
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Yes. If it is doing this even booted from a USB drive, that points to a logic board problem. When booted to an external, as you said, the internal drive is removed from the picture.
     
  10. ZVH macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    #10
    I suspect the battery for the following reasons:

    1. You tested the system with both TechTool Pro and Apple Hardware test, and it showed nothing. Personally I use Scannerz myself, but never the less if a problem with either the logic board or drive was present, I would think something would have shown up.

    2. Once booted, you report that the system works OK.

    3. The NVRAM stores boot information, and if none is present (as in the battery is losing power) then it has to go out, analyze the system, and reset everything….hence the delay.

    4. If a supply or logic board problem was present, it wouldn't just happen at start up. It would happen often at intermittent intervals.

    5. From a physics class I took a long time ago I learned that batteries, if being drained, eventually lose their capacity (sustained voltage output) but if the battery is "unloaded" it will work its way back up to a full voltage level, but once loaded it will fairly quickly go back to its unreliable state.

    6. You said it was Snow Leopard capable which already tells me the batteries pretty old.

    I've actually seen this problem before. On an old system, it would always need to be powered on and the NVRAM would need to be reset if it had been off for any period of time. If I shut the system down, turned it on again within a few minutes, it would be OK. Let it sit for about 40 minutes and try to restart it and it's back to the NVRAM (or PRAM…I don't remember) reset. As long as the system was on, the power to the NVRAM/PRAM would unload the battery and let it restore its output. Let the system rely on the battery by itself and within an hour or less, resets were needed.

    This is the only thing that makes sense to me. Hopefully, that's it. Unfortunately getting at the battery on some systems can be a PIA!
     

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