[Q] iMac 20" A1174 Firmware Failure

Discussion in 'iMac' started by gundrted, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. gundrted macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #1
    Hello

    I have an iMac 20" A1174 (early-mid 2006). Its running OSX 10.6.x (latest version) Server. After the last round of updates it will not boot past the gray start screen with darker gray status bar.

    I have Googled the dickens out of it. I have tried all the different keyboard short cuts and nothing happens. I tried booting from a USB stick with an install image and it wouldn't even recognize it. I have tried to insert a firmware restore cd and now that is stuck in the drive.

    The only thing it does is boot to the gray screen with apple logo and swirly circle, flash the darker gray status bar twice and shutdown.

    I have not tried taking it apart yet.

    Is there anything I can do to save it ... new hard drive maybe???

    Thanks
     
  2. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #2
    Did you install any firmware update last time? If so, you should follow this procedure to complete installation:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1557
     
  3. gundrted thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #3
    Thank you for the link. I'm unable to restore the firmware. The iMac won't boot off the firmware restore and it is currently stuck in the drive.
     
  4. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #4
  5. gundrted thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #5
    so what i getting is that nothing can be done until the firmware is successfully updated.
     
  6. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #6
    Man, one more time...:rolleyes:

    Did you try what I wrote in my first post:

    1. Hold down the power button until the power indicator light flashes, then release it.
    2. A long tone will be heard, then a gray screen with an Apple logo appears.

    If there was a firmware update among other updates you've downloaded, it's stored on EFI partition. #1 invokes EFI update process. If it failed for the first time, it should start again.
     
  7. gundrted thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #7
    I have done step 1 about 12 times.

    The status bar comes up and moves about 1/16th then resets and move about 1/8th. After that the computer just shuts down.
     
  8. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #8
    Try reset SMC (and PRAM) and remove Firmware restoration disc (by holding left mouse button after pressing power btn). If it won't help, then sorry, I'm out of ideas :(
     
  9. gundrted thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #9
    Fixed

    I was able to fix the firmware issue but it was not pretty.

    • I had to remove the hard drive.
    • Boot to a USB key with OSX 10.6 Server.
    • Eject the Firmware Restore disk.
    • Install a new hard drive.
    • Reinstall, patch and configure OSX 10.6 Server.
    • Setup Time Machine.

    Something was very wrong with the old drive but it still ran. Just for giggles I attached the old drive to a USB port and tried to boot. The issue came back straight away. I wiped the old drive and it is now my Time Machine backup.

    Its been two weeks now and my almost 6 year old iMac is still humming along. At some point I'll get a Mini Server, but right now its hard to justify the price to just serve up Time Machine backup drives and some storage.
     

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