what is wrong with my imac? HELP!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by namethisfile, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. namethisfile macrumors 6502a

    namethisfile

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #1
    i am stuck on disc os installation loop. let me explain. i wanna do a fresh install of os x tiger on a mid-2007 imac using the disc that came with the computer. disk utility says disk is repaired and it is verified. then i proceed to install os. a couple times got error during installation forcing me to retart. but i have gotten through the end of installation three times after that already where the computer restarts when it is complete. the problem is that when the computer restarts (long grey screen then computer goes to apple logo with process wheel)--when the computer restarts after a bit--the computer goes back to the installation process on the disc, asking me to install it all over again. when i look under disk utility, the installation looks as if it wrote files physically on the drive. but no operating system. i have done this 3 times as mentioned but i don't wanna keep doing it if the results are the same. does any one know the problem? when i eject the dvd install disc, i just get a flashing folder with a question mark.*

    *flashing question mark folder looks odd for my mid-2007 imac because it came with tiger and the icon reminds me more from a newer os or ios graphic like lion which is what the imac ran on before it encountered grey screen and forcing me to do fresh install which is not working three or four times as i've explained above.
     
  2. Hamilton1963 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    #2
    I would call Apple Tech Support to solve this problem. If your warrant expired ask the operator to speak with a manager and ask him to make an exception to help you out. It works, I've done a couple of times and they always help me.

     
  3. namethisfile thread starter macrumors 6502a

    namethisfile

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #3
    why? a manager is not even a tech guy? you mean apple genius, right. i am not doing that right now because they will probably say bring the machine in, which i can't at the moment since i need a car.

    i also am out of warranty and trying to do this DIY-style.
     
  4. Hamilton1963 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    #4
    The manager will give the OK for you to get tech support over the phone. First things first, call 800-MYAPPLE and hopefully they will solve your problem.

     
  5. namethisfile thread starter macrumors 6502a

    namethisfile

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #5
    not sure if i wanna call my-apple to convince them to get a manager and then convince the manager to get a tech support for me over the phone. i am hesitant for those reasons of having to do so many convincing, plus, the end result of how much over-phone-support can they really do?

    they will probably say bring my iMac to the nearest apple store and set up and appointment at the end of that conversation if it gets anywhere.

    in the meantime, i have erased my hard drive yet again doing 7-pass zero overnight. now running extended hardware test since regular hardware test passed. also did pram zap and smc reset or whatever.

    the tech guy will probably just cycle through all the to-do's i have found on the net of which i have done without success.

    i haven't found the exact symptom of my problem though. but, it could be a general problem with a unique symptom. meaning, my hard drive could be dying or my optical drive is a bit finicky. not sure. every time i install, the computer restarts to finish installation process but hangs on grey screen for a bit then apple logo finally shows up then back to the installation process. i have erased my drive prior but when i check disk utility, it shows that the installation did manage to copy files on the drive. my computer just doesn't seem to boot from the hard drive after the installer tells me to restart. instead, the iMac seems to boot from the install disc.

    hope that makes it clear. i don't know what to do since i don't know what is wrong.
     
  6. namethisfile thread starter macrumors 6502a

    namethisfile

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #6
    UPDATE: ran extended hardware test and passed.

    ummm... i am now in the process of installing os x (tiger) again. takes about an hour and half or more. this is my 3rd or 4th time. in previous attempts, after it finishes installing, it ask to be restarted either by user or automatically. imac then restarts with the usual chime restart sound, then grey screen for a bit then finally goes to apple logo (seems longish to me). but instead of booting to the hard drive, the computer seems to boot back to the install disc that is still inside the optical drive, prompting the installation setup window all over again.

    so, i am in a perpetual install loop for the past day and a half.

    anyone experienced this or have advice besides calling apple tech support?
     
  7. namethisfile thread starter macrumors 6502a

    namethisfile

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #7
    OMG! it worked. i am so relieved. i installed only the essentials without ilife, printers, languages, etc....

    the problem might be a finicky optical drive.
     
  8. zarathu macrumors regular

    zarathu

    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    #8
    I hate to say it but I've had finicky optical drives on everyone of my macs since they first got optical drives. So far the one on my new iMac is running great, but I'm not holding my breath.

    You do need to run a CD cleaning disk through it once in a while. its just like a cd player. The optical laser lens gets very very fine film on it.
     
  9. namethisfile thread starter macrumors 6502a

    namethisfile

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #9
    do those things really work? i guess i will get one next time i am in a store or something.

    maybe an external optical drive while i am at it.

    i sometimes wonder why it's called superdrive when it's not so super in some instances. but, i digress.

    just to update... i did manage to install the remaining bundled software afterwards. it asked me to insert disc 2, which the original install of the os never did ask. i guess skipping the bundled software and just installing the essentials was the key to getting mac os x freshly installed in my case. i guess a lesson for those with finicky "super" drives. now, i have to hold my breath for the imminent snow leopard upgrade which also comes on a dvd..... (SIGH)
     
  10. namethisfile, Aug 20, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011

    namethisfile thread starter macrumors 6502a

    namethisfile

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #10
    UPDATE: so the imminent snow leopard came and my iMac failed the upgrade-install causing the computer to flash ?-folder icon. this started another day-1/2 lost doing the perpetual install-dance of installing os x tiger to the iMac. installation would cause error in the middle of it and sometimes it would come through all the way up to the welcome video and once past the welcome video up to the desktop. but, inevitably, the iMac would keep freezing. i spent an entire day doing this dance because i didn't know what was wrong. at first i thought it was a finicky iMac superdrive, so, i used my mbp in target disk mode to install tiger to no avail. disk utility shows the iMac's hard drive and after erasing it--it would pass all verifications. sometimes, disc utility would show iMac's hdd as "media" and googling it showed results of this as a sign of a dying hard drive. this made me realize that the iMac's hdd is also dying. and the reason that the iMac let me install tiger and even install all the updates the first time was because i did a 7-pass erase the previous night. i didn't wanna do this again just to work for a bit and then die. so, i came to the conclusion that even though disc utility repaired my hdd and verified it after erasing prior failed installations--the iMac's hdd was indeed going under. it is corrupt or full of bad sectors and the 7-pass erase only delayed the inevitable. my only solution then was to sleep the night off and then buy a new hdd the following day.

    the next day, i grabbed a new hdd from the nearest store. i also realized that this would mean that i would have to open up the iMac myself. thankfully, the ifixit guide showed me that this would not be so bad. and, it wasn't. opening up the iMac is straightforward. lots of screws and some untaping and unplugging of connectors but straightforward and fairly easy. this is on a mid-2007 iMac by the way that is out of warranty so this was my only solution if i wanted to save money. it's even possible not to unplug the lcd temp from the lcd panel itself and one could work on the hdd with the lcd panel still attached but has enough give to let it be out of the way, safely. so, i took out the old hdd and put in a new one and this was also straightforward and easy. so, after this i put back the iMac and held my breath. then turned on the iMac. i didn't hear the chime sound but could hear the dvd spinning as i inserted the install disc. the iMac's screen was still blank. "uh-oh," i thought. and then i realized that i might not have put the inverter cables correctly. there are four of them and i might not have put them back in the correct order. so, i had to open up the iMac again to switch the inverter connectors. I switched the first two connectors then turned on the iMac without putting everything back in just to see if it worked. luckily, it did. so, for future reference when opening up a mid-2007 20" iMac, the four inverter cables underneath the lcd panel can get easily mixed if you don't label which connector goes which way. i then decided to let the iMac run and install tiger with the guts still showing before putting everything back on. then, tiger did install and i breathed a sigh of relief. i put everything back on the iMac and is now doing ok--having been upgraded to snow leopard even.

    so, the problem with the iMac wasn't a finicky superdrive. in fact, the superdrive is fine, although a bit loud. the problem was a dying hard drive. a corrupted hard drive. whatever you call it. it needed a new hdd. i just wished i had known it earlier because a dying hard drive is not so obvious. just thought i'd report back here.
     
  11. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
  12. namethisfile, Aug 20, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011

    namethisfile thread starter macrumors 6502a

    namethisfile

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #12
    thanks. me, too.

    here's a photo showing the four inverter cables that aren't color-coordinated or labeled so knowing which connector goes to which cable can be tricky if one hadn't mentally or physical self-labeled them:

    [​IMG]

    Here's a photo of frankenmac in the midst installing tiger:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #13
    Yeah, on my older imac I did not remove the screen completely, just leaned it against something sturdy so it wouldn't fall. I managed to get the drive out and replaced with minimal cable disconnects. Looks like you had fun. Lesson learned and may you never have to do it again.

    Cheers,
     

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