URGENT HELP NEEDED - 24" iMac Not Booting?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by skimitchell, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. skimitchell macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2010
    Hi and thanks for you input.

    My imac has just all of a sudden stopped working out of the blue. It was working fine yesterday and then just froze with the spinning wheel of death.
    After a long long time it still was frozen so i held power button for 4 secs to power down.

    PS: i am running snow leopard up to date on both macs.

    I tried to power up and it has random start up issues.

    1) It sometimes has the flashing folder with question mark and grey/white screen

    2) It sometimes has the plain blue screen

    3) It once out of the last 30 attempts to boot goes to the desktop and i noticed my wallpaper had been reset to default mac one. - Every move i made had the spinning wheel and i did not get past loading
    Firefox and it froze again.

    I have tried resetting the PRAM from boot disk but did not help. I ran Disk Utility from boot disk and repaired permissions and disk. No change in imac..

    I have also tried pulling out one o the 4gig rams and booting and still the same problem so im guessing the ram is ok??

    I have tried connecting imac to my macbook pro via 6 pin firewire cable and booing the imac into Target mode but the imac never appears on the macbook pro desktop to access files. The cd-rom appears showing the disk in the imac and i could eject it from the macbook pro. So looks like the target mode boot works, kind of..

    I am running out of options and found out today my imac is not under warranty anymore.. !!!!! $%#%$#%

    Any chance i have a virus of some sort?

    Hard drive gone ??

    Thanks in advance

  2. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    Sounds like hard drive if it boots from your install DVD and if you can't see the hard drive in target disk mode. You can install, or have someone install a new hard drive, reformat and re-install from your system DVD.

    Not a virus.
  3. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    I agree. The good news is that you now have an excuse to buy a bigger hard drive. :)
  4. skimitchell thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2010
    Thought it may be the hard drive.

    Do you think i will be able to recover some data from it if it still boots to desktop once in every like 20 reboots if i leave it for long enough or it actually decides to boot up? HOPE SO!!!

    Any good software to recover data?

    Though i may upgrade my hard drive and put the current one into an external case i have lying around to see if i can recover data..

    Oh boy...

    Tks again for your input...
  5. chandler99 macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2009
    York, UK
    i had something similar.. Disconnect all cables that plug into the imac, including power. Leave turned off for 20 - 30 mins.. then plug only the power back in and turn on..

    this fixed mine.. hope it helps
  6. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    Your ability to recover data is going to be problematic if the drive has a hardware problem - recovery software isn't going to be the answer. If you can't get the device visible on your desktop, you're pretty much done. Only thing that might help repair it enough for getting data off would be DiskWarrior.

    IMHO, the thing to do is get your iMac's hard drive replaced, then put the bad one in a USB enclosure and see if you can get access to it to drag files over.

    There a number of devices for that kind of thing. If you want a relatively cheap recovery device, get one of these - always handy to have around. If you want something that allows you to hot swap hard drives safely and static-protected for a variety of other SATA drives, get one of these.

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