Upgraded '07 iMac w/SSD, now it won't start. Help!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MK25toLife, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. MK25toLife macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2007
    I just did a DYI SSD upgrade and it was fairly straight forward. I did everything by the book.

    Once I plugged everything back in, it doesn't start. I don't hear that Apple chime and the screen stays black.

    I got the SSD drive below based off the feedback I got from the forum on an earlier post. I have no clue what to do at this point. I was planning to restore from a Time Machine back I have on external but can't do that if I can't get anything to show on my screen. Please help!


    Computer details below

  2. CoastalOR macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
    Plug in your Time Machine drive and boot from it (option key at startup - assuming the OS on the Time Machine backup is newer than 10.7.2) then launch Disk Utility to Erase (format) the new SSD for Mac Extended (Journaled), Quit Disk Utility, and then Restore.
  3. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    That era of iMac, when it won't boot, and screen stays black, may be a problem with the RAM.
    Try a simple reseat of both sticks. Swap the sticks between the slots.
    Seating the sticks takes a fairly firm push, and you should feel something almost like a click when the RAM is seated correctly.
  4. MK25toLife thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2007
    Sounded like a good idea but just did it amd nothing changed.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 31, 2016 ---
    How do I do that if my iMac screen is black? It won't boot...
  5. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Do you get ANY signs of power?
    Do you hear the fans begin to spin?
    Do you hear anything at all after you press and release the power button?

    If you hear nothing, and there's no indication of any power
    Check that both ends of your power cord are securely plugged in (it happens!)
    Try an SMC reset (Unplug ALL cords from the back, and wait 15 seconds, then plug back in, Try to boot.
    If you get nothing, you will need to remove the front bezel, so you can see the diagnostic LEDs.
    They are on the logic board, to the right of the memory slots. There's 4 LEDs.
    #1 should be on when the computer is OFF, and the power cord is plugged in.
    #2 should come on when you press and release the power button.
    #3 comes on with the video card.
    #4 comes on when the video card is communicating to the display panel (and the screen should be lighted.)

    If you get no lights at all, the power supply has failed - or, you need to take it all apart, and check ALL your internal connections - again! :D
  6. MK25toLife thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2007
    Yes, I can hear it starting up but it dies right before the Apple chime typically comes on. I don't think I have the heart to look at the four LED's. I might have to take it in.

    I am so disappointed because from everything I read this was a straight forward project that would be hugely benificial for my iMac. Didn't think I'd have to deal with this.
  7. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Yes, it is a nice upgrade, and as you note, relatively simple.
    The power supply is right next to the hard drive location. There's several connectors along the logic board, not far from both the power supply and the hard drive.
    Look carefully for connectors that might still be disconnected.
    Likely too old for a Apple retail store, as they don't ordinarily do any service on systems that Apple considers obsolete. So you would need to find an Apple Specialist, if you have one local. Or a PC shop, if you can find one that actually cares if you have a working Mac :D

    But, your symptoms sound like a failed power supply. Not too unusual on those model iMacs. And, likely nothing that you did, just an unhappy coincidence.
  8. mmomega macrumors demi-god


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    I'd take the front bezel back off again and then apple power. There are a set of 4 diagnostic LED's under the "chin" portion of the bezel.
    • To observe the LED's you need to apply power to the iMac with the front bezel off. Please ensure you don't touch any part of the iMac or the exposed circuit boards while you have power connected.

    • Locate the Diagnostic LED's between the RAM slots and the SATA connector.

    • The LED's are numbered 1-4 from left to right. You may need to move the SATA cable to get a clear view of the LED's.

    • If you are using this guide for iMac Intel 20" EMC 2210 and 2133 the LED's are located above the SATA connector and not as visible.

    • LED 1 - Indicates that the trickle voltage from the power supply is detected by the main logic board. This LED will remain ON while the iMac is connected to the AC power. The LED will remain on even when the computer has been shut down or put to sleep. The LED will turn off only if the AC power is disconnected or the power supply is faulty.

    • LED 2 - Indicates that the main logic board has detected proper power from the power supply when the computer is turned on. This LED will be ON when the computer is turned on and the power supply is working correctly.

    • LED 3 - Indicates that the computer and the video card are communicating. This LED will be ON when the computer is communicating properly with the video card. If LEDs 1 and 2 are ON and you heard the startup sound, but LED 3 is OFF, then the video card might be installed incorrectly or need replacement.

    • LED 4 - Indicates that the computer and the LCD display panel are communicating. This LED will be ON when the computer is turned on and video signal is being generated. If the LED is ON and there is no image on the LCD display panel, the LCD display panel or inverter might be installed incorrectly or need replacement.

    Hopefully your iMac isn't dead and that maybe you missed reconnecting a connector somewhere.
    I'd also take the display back out and do a once over with all the connectors.
  9. MK25toLife thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2007
    Thanks for everyone's help so far. I went in and talk to a local Mac repair shop and detailed my situation he said it was pretty sure it was video card failure.

    I came back home and did the LED diagnostic and the fourth LED is off. I believe this means video card failure. Would love to get your thoughts on next steps and what I should do. Buy a new iMac or try to preserve this. Is video card removal/installation as straight forward as the hard drive?

  10. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    I think if you can get 5 years from a computer you're doing well. So this is 3+ years beyond that. What is your budget for a new computer? You'd just be throwing in time+money after a machine that is beyond a usual lifespan. (perhaps for some reason it would power an external monitor?)
  11. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    I am pretty sure if it is a bad graphics card, that is soldered to the logic board and you will have a more expensive repair on your hands. I would take that SSD and keep it for a newer computer.
  12. MK25toLife thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2007
    Looks like there is one last twist to this story. I was resigned to my fate and went back and took out the SSD drive and reinstalled the original hard drive.

    To my surprise, the computer screen lit up after I reinstalled the old,drive (it hadn't with the SSD drive). I then tried to boot Mavericks from a USB but got the screen below.

    I feel like I am back at square one. I had known my hard drive was caput but how come the SSD I was recommend didn't work and caused the computer to not turn on. I'm more confused than when I started!

  13. ElCani macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Try formatting and installing OS X on the SSD first, using an enclosure or a SATA to USB cable. You can then try booting from it when it's connected via USB. If that works you can try fitting it internally. This process fixed my problems with an SSD install on the same iMac as you. Good luck! :)
  14. MK25toLife thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2007
    Hopefully this is my last update...

    So I installed Mavericks on the SSD and installed it into my iMac, still had the same issues with no screen persist. I really thought it would work.

    However, I did find a resolution and am now using my SSD externally (with a Time Machine back up on it) and it seems to be working. Let's see how much longer this method enables me to preserve this computer.
  15. eRondeau macrumors 65816


    Mar 3, 2004
    Canada's South Coast
    I get so upset when everytime a Mac doesn't work exactly right some idiot pronounces it to be a "video card failure". It's not a video card failure. I did this exact same SSD upgrade a few months ago. Did you preinstall OS X on the SSD outboard of the iMac? Plug it into a Firewire or USB External drive and then install from a new download of Mavericks? If you got Mavericks "install disks" with a different Mac they won't work, you need to download it on a working Mac and then install it on the external SSD via FW/USB. And as another poster proffered, check the RAM and for heaven's sake check for loose screws or cables you may have forgotten to attach. (I had a loose screw in a Macbook Pro once that gave me all sorts of weird problems until I gave it a shake and heard it rattling around inside.) Good luck!

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