My iMac wouldn't start up. Please help

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by yani2k8, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. yani2k8 macrumors member

    yani2k8

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hello.

    I am new to this forum, so please excuse me if I posted this thread in the wrong section.

    I have a bit of a problem with my iMac. I shut it down last night when I went to sleep, everything was fine.

    When I tried to turn it on this morning, it didn't work. It only goes up to the stage with the white screen, the apple logo in the middle and a small loading circle below it.

    This has never happened to me before and I have no idea what to do.

    I tried restarting it several times but no luck. I also tried unplugging it from the mains and unplugging all the usbs but nothing worked.


    Any suggestions?

    Thank you in advance.

    yani
     
  2. gusious macrumors 65816

    gusious

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Location:
    Greece
    #2
    Open your iMac and then insert they grey disk that came with your iMac. Then try restarting holding " d ". In that way you'll do some hardware test to see what's wrong!
     
  3. aross99 macrumors 68000

    aross99

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Location:
    East Lansing, MI
    #3
    You don't have to "open your iMac" to boot form the hardware test disk...

    Another thing to try is to hold down the shift key while it is booting. This will boot into Safe mode, and see if you can get to the desktop.

    It sounds like you may have a software issue on your disk. These things are usually resolvable, but may require reloading all or part of the operating system.

    You can read more about Safe mode here:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1564

    Here are the instructions on how you get into safe mode:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1455?viewlocale=en_US
     
  4. yani2k8 thread starter macrumors member

    yani2k8

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    gesious and arros99, thank you for replying.

    However, there is another problem. I can't insert the grey CD because there already is a disc in the drive and I can't take it out because I can't start the computer.

    I tried holding down the shift button when booting but it didn't work..same outcome as before.

    Any other suggestions?

    Thank you.

    Yani
     
  5. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

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    Location:
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    #5
    Turn the computer on, press and hold the mouse button imac should eject the disk
     
  6. aross99 macrumors 68000

    aross99

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Location:
    East Lansing, MI
    #6
    That may be what is causing your problem - you need to get that disk out. Toolbox is right - boot and hold down the mouse button until the disk pops out - it may take a bit, but keep on holding the mouse button down.

    This should work, unless the disk is physically stuck in the drive...
     
  7. yani2k8 thread starter macrumors member

    yani2k8

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Hello again.
    Thank you all for replying.

    I've taken the disc out the way you told me to. I tried starting the computer again. The outcome is similar to the one before. I actually recorder it with my phone and uploaded it here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=g8WdcjinvX4

    I inserted the grey CD and did the hardware test. The feedback was something like "No trouble was found".

    I read all the instructions on starting Mac in Safe Mode. I tried to do it but it did not work..the result was the same ( http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=g8WdcjinvX4 ).


    Any more suggestions?


    Thank you!

    p.s. how much would it cost to get an apple technician to come and fix it (I love in the UK)?
     
  8. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #8
    Providing you have all your valuable data backed up, a reinstall might be your best option. If you do decide on this action, here's what to do:

    Put your Leopard disk in and restart the computer while holding down the C key (A wired keyboard is required)
    When the disk as finished booting the machine just follow the on-screen instructions.

    regarding a computer engineer, here in Northern Ireland it costs £35 per hour. Where are you located?
     
  9. yani2k8 thread starter macrumors member

    yani2k8

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    Hi, thanks for the reply.

    I haven't got any of my data backed up so a reinstall probably isn't the best idea for me. I hope that there are other ways to do it.

    I'm located in North-West London. Btw, if my warranty hasn't ran out yet, shouldn't I be entitled for an apple technician to come and fix it for free?

    Thanks!

    Yani
     
  10. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #10
    No, don't reinstall. You're nowhere close to requiring such a drastic measure. Try this next:

    Restart with the cmd-s keys held down, until you see a black screen with white characters. After the text stops scrolling, at the command prompt, type:

    fsck -f [including the space, return]

    If any repairs are reported, run fsck again until none are reported. Then, at the command prompt, type:

    reboot [return]
     
  11. aross99 macrumors 68000

    aross99

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Location:
    East Lansing, MI
    #11
    That video is very strange... I have never seen flashing icons where the apple is supposed to be. MOst importantly, you are not getting the normal spinner underneath the apple.

    As I recall, the Apple shows up when your system finds a bootable volume, and passes control to BootX.

    I know this is more detail than you want to know, but it may be helpful to others who can help...

    Since you are not getting the spinner, I would guess that you have a boot/kernel issue, or some problem with the bootfile. See this reference I found the net:

    http://hayne.net/MacDev/Notes/boot_sequence.html

    You seem to be stuck between steps 2.4 and 2.7. I don't think your system is booting far enough to even detect any of the special startup key strokes.

    I am not aware of any way to address this, unless you have another machine available that can access the disk on this machine in firewire-disk mode, to attempt repair. Even that won't help if you don't know what to repair.

    Seems like you have some disk corruption, or missing files that are disrupting the boot process very early on - to early to be able to resolve with out additional tools (like another machine).

    Anyone have any other thoughts besides the restore?
     
  12. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
  13. yani2k8 thread starter macrumors member

    yani2k8

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    Thanks IJ Reilly and arros99.

    I tried holding down the two command keys but it didn't work. I got the same screen as before.

    Could the reason be because I'm using a wireless Apple keyboard..maybe it takes time to connect to the mac so it isn't fast enough to respond?


    It looks like I got a really big problem. The way I see it is I got 3 options.
    1. to buy a corded apple keyboard and try again
    2. to reinstall the OS and loose all my data =[
    3. try to get an apple technician to fix it.

    Which option you think is best?

    And do you reckon I could get a technician to come for free as my warranty is still valid?


    Thanks alot for the help so far everyone.

    Yani
     
  14. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #14
    The technician will fix the machine if it's hardware related for free. If it's software they will charge you. If you want your data backed up they will also charge you.

    U don't need to go and buy a apple branded keyboard, any usb keyboard and mouse will work just fine.
     
  15. ebel3003 macrumors 6502a

    ebel3003

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    "The Google"
    #15
    Before going out and buying anything, try holding Command(Apple) and S while the computer starts up. This will start the computer up in single user mode, but will provide error messages as it starts up. Post any messages.

    Other cases involving the question mark, Apple, and prohibition symbol flashing at once suggest that it's just a broken installation (most likely a kernel problem).

    You may see something similar to this:
    Code:
    Looking for kernel cache file 'System\Library\Caches\com.apple.kernelcaches\kernelcache.CC0C2863'
    Loading 'mach_kernel'...
    Could not open file 'mach_kernel'
    Error loading kernel 'mach_kernel'
     
  16. aross99 macrumors 68000

    aross99

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Location:
    East Lansing, MI
    #16
    The wireless keyboard could be making this more difficult. You mentioned that you were in London - what about taking your machine to the Apple store? This might be the easiest thing for you to do.

    Don't know how it works in the UK, but here in the USA, I see people bringing their machines all the time, to have an APple Genius take a look at it. You can make an appointment for the Genius bar online, so you don't have to wait when you get there.

    I think they will look at it while you wait...

    ebal3003 and IJ Reilly - will boot keyboard shortcuts work when the failure is that early in the boot process? I thought you had to get further in the boot process before the system would even recognize those keystrokes - but I could be wrong...

    Of course the issue with a wireless keyboard is we don't know if the system is even seeing the keystrokes yet...
     
  17. aross99 macrumors 68000

    aross99

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Location:
    East Lansing, MI
    #17
    After a little more searching, I found these two links:

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=7864953

    http://forums.macosxhints.com/showthread.php?t=80379

    Both seems to have found additional info by booting with a Command-V (for Verbose mode), and seemed to end with a missing mach_kernel. Obviously a significant problem.

    I suspect an issue with the wireless keyboard keystrokes not being received by the iMac, so until we get past that, I suspect you are stuck...

    It would appear that some of these keystrokes should work at even this early stage. Since you aren't getting a response to any of them, it would follow that the wireless keyboard isn't being recognized yet...
     
  18. yani2k8 thread starter macrumors member

    yani2k8

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    Thanks for the reply everyone.

    toolbox - After I have tried everything, I will just call Apple to send a technician even if I have to pay for it.

    ebel3003 - I pressed Command and S and the following screen came up.
    [​IMG]

    aross99 - if nothing works, then I will call up my local Apple store and ask if I can just take it there and get it fixed by an Apple genius or if they could send someone over. And it looks like the wireless keyboard is recognized because it responded when I held down Command and S.


    Thanks!

    Yani
     
  19. ebel3003 macrumors 6502a

    ebel3003

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    "The Google"
    #19
    As I had thought, it seems like you have a problem with your kernel. I would suggest performing an 'Archive and Install' with your Mac OS X DVD, if possible. What this will do is reinstall the operating system, but migrate all of your data to the new installation [assuming you select preserve users and network settings]. If you aren't comfortable with this, then I suggest making an appointment with a Genius and have him archive and install or perform whatever measures they do with this type of case. Just have him know it's an error loading the kernel.
     
  20. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Palookaville
    #20
    If this is attempted, it should be done only after a complete backup of the Mac. If the problem is hardware-related (a substantially better than even bet), then the install could fail midway through, which could make the situation even worse.
     
  21. yani2k8 thread starter macrumors member

    yani2k8

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #21
    Hello.

    I already tried performing an 'Archive and Install' with my Mac OS X DVD before I even posted this thread and as IJ Reilly said, it did fail half way through.

    When I tried doing it again, I got the following:
    [​IMG]


    I guess I got no other choice but to go to the Apple Store and have it checked out by an Apple Genius. I will do that first thing tomorrow. I'll let you guys know what happened =]

    Thank you very much for the help everybody!

    Yani
     
  22. yani2k8 thread starter macrumors member

    yani2k8

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    Sep 13, 2008
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    UK
    #22
    I just booked an appointment with an Apple Genius on Saturday at 13:20 :)
     
  23. nc7r macrumors member

    nc7r

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    #23
    Do give an update on what the resolution was!
     
  24. yani2k8 thread starter macrumors member

    yani2k8

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #24
    Hey guys.

    My iMac is finally working :D

    I went to the Apple Store today and had it checked out by an Apple Genius.

    I told him that there is a problem with the kernel.
    All he did was, he plugged an external hard drive into my computer and booted from it. All the information on my hard drive was fine so what he did was, he made me buy an external drive of my own. He plugged that into the computer as well, transfered all my data and then installed a clean copy of Mac OS Leopard.

    All this took about 3 hours and I was freezing cold because of their air con but all of it is 100% worth it :D oh, and they didn't charge me for the repair. Obviously I had to pay £90 for the 500GB external hard drive but atleast I can use TimeMachine now.
     
  25. ebel3003 macrumors 6502a

    ebel3003

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    "The Google"
    #25
    Great to hear you got that resolved. Time Machine is a good thing to have, too.
     

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