Start up Problem

Discussion in 'iMac' started by wgsdkaos, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. wgsdkaos macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2011
    For no obvious reason that I can figure out, my trusty iMac is having start up issues. It hasn't missed a beat since I bought it in March 2004, but suddenly when I turn it on I get a gray screen with a tiny file folder with a flashing question mark.

    I've tried a few recommendations. One was to restart holding down the command key. I got a blue screen with a small curved arrow on the left and an arrow pointing right on the right. Nothing at all happened when I clicked the right arrow. Clocking the curved arrow resulted in the spinning timer for about 30 seconds, followed by a whole lot of nothing.

    I inserted the original start up/install disc and restarted. This brought me to the Installer screen. I thought I might be able to try first aid in the Disk Utility, but it only see's the disc in the disc drive. My hard drive doesn't show up.

    Now I'm stuck. I'd really like to be able to save/protect what's on this one if possible. Any other idea's before I turn it over to the experts at the store?

  2. Stan Mikulenka macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2009
    Calgary, Canada
    Hi wgsd,
    looks like that your HD is dead...
    If you want to save something from that HD (if it's possible):
    1. if you have access to another Mac ➔ plug them together (possible thru FireWire only) & start from the other Mac and see if the sick HD is accessible.
    2. If you don't have the 2nd Mac ➔ (you have to have external HD in enclosure) and you can install a macOS on that HD and start from there thereafter (and try to access the internal HD then).
    This install should take about 30 ~ 45min & you're not loosing anything by doing so...
    You can use this set-up afterwards & always use this external for starting-up and running your iMac that way but I'd recommend changing the internal HD.
    It seems that your iMac is pretty old (the 'lamp shade' perhaps) it's not worth to spend more than necessary to get it running & preparing to buy a new Mac...
  3. wgsdkaos thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2011
    Yes, it is the "lamp shade" iMac. It was my first Mac, and it's been great. Until now!
    I do have a Mac Book, so I'll try to connect with FireWire. There are just some photo's and recipe's trapped in the old HD that I'd love to salvage, but the really important stuff is all saved on Mobile Me.

    Thanks for the advice. I appreciate the help -

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