Shall I pronounce it dead?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by hikeNM, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. hikeNM macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
    Location:
    Somewhere close to a dairy in East Texas
    #1
    My late 2007 iMac, running Mavericks, locked up on me this morning and I had to do a hard restart. When it restarted, it gave me the screen that said I could either reinstall OS X, reinstall from a Time Machine backup or used Disk Utility to repair the disk.

    I tried to repair the disk but it failed, saying I need to backup my files and reinstall the OS.

    When I went to backup from Time Machine, it couldn't find the disk to backup to.

    So, is my HD done for?
     
  2. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #2
    Could be. As long as you have all your data backed up (or can afford to lose what's presently on the HD), I'd reformat the drive from the Disk Utility app while booted from the recovery partition. Then restore everything from your Time Machine backup.

    And good for you for having a backup!

    If it still is unable to complete (or fails again afterward), then the HD may be failing.

    They can be replaced - either by yourself at home (but it's major surgery, so be prepared) or by an authorized service center or Apple themselves. If you do it yourself, research carefully the various videos on the internet. But you'll have the opportunity to consider plopping even an inexpensive SSD instead of a mechanical HD.

    However, even the cheapest new iMac will vastly outperform the one you have now, so consider upgrading if it's a financially viable option.
     
  3. Twimfy macrumors 6502a

    Twimfy

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    #3
     
  4. hikeNM thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
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    Somewhere close to a dairy in East Texas
    #4
    Yeah, I have plenty of backups. So, I'm not worried.

    I know the newer iMacs will outperform this one. But cash isn't at its most readily available at the moment.

    I tried booting from the recovery partition, but it would never boot while holding down Cmd-R.

    Interestingly, I've messed around with it and it's finally found the HD to reinstall from a Time Machine backup. Currently, it's at 40%. We'll see how it goes.

    Hopefully, all will go well, but it doesn't give me a lot of confidence in the machine overall though.


     
  5. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #5
    It's a late-2007 model, and now it's 2014. Your hard disk has taken one dump; expect it to take more.

    Hard disks are cheap and you have backups, so I'd say just go get a new disk drive (I recommend the Seagate Momentus XT hybrid drives if you're using Mountain Lion or Mavericks). Start the machine up in Internet Recovery. You'll soon have a fresh disk with a fresh OS X installation, and you can proceed to recover everything from your Time Machine backups. Painless.
     
  6. biohead macrumors 6502

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    Jun 18, 2010
    Location:
    West Drayton, UK
    #6
    OP has a 2007 iMac - internet recovery isn't an option and Recovery partition may be unreliable. You'll have to create a bootable USB installer of Mavericks. You'll be able to do fresh installs this way, and also restore from TM and access disk utility.

    Definitely worthwhile investing in a new HD though - they're much cheaper than a whole new iMac.
     
  7. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #7
    if you have a clone backup (bootable like you get from CCC or Superduper) just try running from an external HDD..

    A firewire external might keep it going for a bit.
     
  8. hikeNM thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Somewhere close to a dairy in East Texas
    #8
    Point definitely taken.





     
  9. CandyRedNinja macrumors member

    CandyRedNinja

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    Mar 25, 2013
    Location:
    Austin
    #9
    I just went threw the same thing with the same 07 machine. I formatted the drive hoping to start fresh, but s.m.a.r.t status was failing so i had to replace the drive. Bestbuy currently has a Western Digital 1tb for 69.99. Taking the machine apart is not difficult, but takes about an hour.

    If you decide to replace yourself you can find a torx kit and suction cups for under $10 at walmart.

    I used this guide: http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+20-Inch+EMC+2133+and+2210+Hard+Drive+Replacement/1008
     
  10. wazgilbert macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Location:
    UK South
    #10
    I have done exactly this to my machine 2 years ago - the HDD failed unrecoverable so I replaced the 320gb HDD with a 2Tb one. very simple to get back to my set-up using Time machine backups. Used ifixit's guides and a cheap set of Torx screwdrivers 6pc set size T5-T10. (can't remember how many of this I needed sorry)

    Last week - the symptoms the OP described exactly happened to me, the reformat and re-install from TM saved me again. I'm now thinking a new machine could be the way forward before it dumps again... I like to play at games, rather than being a proper gamer, but Wow, Borderlands and so on - do I want a BTO 780? decisions decisions.

    Have fun and I hope it works out ok!

    edit to add;
    internet recovery was possible for me with the Mavericks installed - but my BBand is slow - 8hrs to download the OS? blow that - I took the system from TM and will be making a recovery stick with InstallESD.dmg for future risks.
     
  11. hikeNM thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Somewhere close to a dairy in East Texas
    #11
    I'm definitely going to make a recovery stick!



     
  12. hikeNM thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 29, 2004
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    Somewhere close to a dairy in East Texas
  13. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    #13
    Congratulations. Glad it's back in service.
     
  14. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #14
    You don't really need one. A local Time Machine backup with Mavs like you have can do a full restore to a new, blank hard drive for you. Just connect the TM disk and option key boot to it. That will bring up a recovery screen where you can use Disk Util to format a new disk then restore the OS and all your data.

    This feature was added starting with Lion 10.7.2.

    If you just want to make a recovery key for other reasons, that's fine... but you don't need one to recover from a bad drive if you have a local TM backup.
     
  15. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    Mar 26, 2008
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    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #15
    but now is a good time to make a bootable clone in case the HDD breaks..
     
  16. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

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    Oct 30, 2008
    #16
    Thanks, excellent point.

    Internet Recovery is just sooooo cool...
     
  17. ventuss macrumors 6502

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  18. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #18
    I'd suggest that in the future, you also use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to create a bootable clone backup as well.

    Then, in a "moment of extreme need", you just connect the cloned backup and "switch boot" to it. You'll be up and running again in a couple of minutes.

    Much easier to work on problems when you're literally "in the finder", instead of the recovery partition!
     
  19. magilla macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    #19
    Don't really have a solution for your "problem" but if you decide it's trash, I'd consider taking the carcass off your hands for an art project I'm doing so don't "toss it out". Thanks.
     

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