NEED HELP! My iMac won't see it's internal Hard Drive.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Balli, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. Balli macrumors 6502

    Last night I was watching a trailer on the Apple site, when I got a spinning beachball, my system became none-responsive, so I turned off my iMac from the power on the back of the system, but now my system won't allow me to log in.

    Everytime I start up the computer, I just get a folder icon with a flashing question mark.

    I have tried the following to solve the problems, but nothing has help.

    1. I have tried holding down the alt key and turning on the computer, (so I can select the start up disk, but it won't see any start up disks).

    2. I have run an extended Hardware test off the Apple CD that came with the computer, and it has found no faults.

    3. I have run system profiler off the CD and my HardDrive is not showing up.

    4. I have zapped the P RAM, by holding down Alt, Apple, P and R when starting up the computer.

    Does anyone have anymore suggestions? I would be VERY grateful.
  2. joeops57 macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2006
    In a cardboard box outside McDonalds
    If it's at all possible, try getting another mac and booting you iMac in Target Disk Mode, hold down T while booting. If that works you can archive and install the operating system or even repair the disk.

  3. Balli thread starter macrumors 6502

    Thank you for your reply. As I don't own another Mac, I will have to take it to my local Apple Store. Hopefully they can fix it on the spot.

    As the iMac is not in warrenty, do you know if Apple will charge for an on the spot fix, (if no extra parts are needed)?

    You have given me at least some hope that my harddrive (along with my data) can be saved.
  4. funkychunkz macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    I think they will charge you, as they do for an out-of-warranty inspection (even when nothing is wrong). Either the drive failed completely (but the disk may still be intact) or it became unplugged.
  5. Balli thread starter macrumors 6502

    If the drive has failed completely, can Apple just 'dump' all the information off of the old harddrive onto the new one on the spot, or will it be more difficult than that?
  6. dpclark macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2004
    Sunny Yorkshire - UK
    All you need to do is to either

    1) boot up from your install CD rom (press C on startup) and run disk utility from there

    or if that does not help you

    2) get hold of a copy of DiskWarrior - and repair the disk this way - use this regually at work (support an office of over 500 mac users) and this nearly always brings machines back off their knees with the symptoms you give - it just sounds like your mac has forgotten which disk id the start up drive.

  7. zac4mac macrumors 6502


    Jun 18, 2002
    near Boulder, CO. USA
    Doesn't sound promising, I've had HDDs die without warning or recoverability. Lost hundreds of my photos that way once - they were the only thing not backed up...

    Definitely get a copy of Disk Warrior, boot from the CD and see if your drive is repairable. I just ran a barrage of tests and repairs on my G5 yesterday with DW and TechTool Pro 4.xx as it "greyscreened" me early in the morning.

    good luck

  8. Balli thread starter macrumors 6502

    Thank you for the replies. But do you think Disk Warrior will help, even if I have already tried to boot from the Apple CD? I tried installing Mac OS X again this morning, but the computer can't see any volumes to install it on.

    Any ideas as to how much it would cost for a new HardDrive (preferably in £'s) for my iMac G5 2.0Ghz?

    ...And are there any websites which shows you how to install it yourself?
  9. Balli thread starter macrumors 6502

    Btw, what hard drive does the iMac G5 2.0Ghz use? And does anybody know of any good places to buy them online, in the UK?
  10. joeops57 macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2006
    In a cardboard box outside McDonalds
    Might find this useful.

    Looks like it uses a 3.5" SATA drive, pretty standard. Any major electronics retailer will most likely have them.

  11. motherduce macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I had the exact same thing happen to me this weekend on my 17" iMac G5.

    Impossible to use disk utility or disk warrior as it's as if there is no hard drive installed at all.

    Could it have somehow come unplugged internally? I'd be surprised, as neither the desk or the iMac was bumped or moved.

    For it to all of the sudden just lock up and lose my hard drive is scary.

    Any other ideas?
  12. Balli thread starter macrumors 6502

    That is scary... We both have the same computer, 17" iMac G5. Mine is the 2.0Ghz model (without iSight), what about yours?
  13. motherduce macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2005
    Houston, TX
    1.8Ghz, no iSight.

    Based on everything I've read over the last couple of days, I've either got a dead HD, or it has a loose connection, so tonight I will be opening up my iMac to inspect my HD. I will keep you posted.
  14. Balli thread starter macrumors 6502

    I did the same thing. I disconnected and re-connectted my Hard Drive, but it made no difference. So now I have to buy a new Hard Drive.

  15. motherduce macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Opened up my iMac last night - messed with the HD some, and tried again.

    Didn't work.

    So now I just hope that the last time I backed up I remembered everything that was vital to me...or that I can somehow pull some data off the now dead HD.

    Bah, so disappointing. I've never had a HD fail on me before, and I've been using computers for 17 years.

    Guess it has to happen to everyone at some point.

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