White Screen of Death

Discussion in 'iMac' started by richifie, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. richifie macrumors newbie

    Oct 4, 2009
    Our family iMac has the white screen of death. Half the time it stays white. Half the time it'll show a small folder icon with a question mark.

    Resetting by powering off and holding key combinations hasn't worked. It won't boot to disc to allow a reset, or even show the boot menu. Leaving it unpowered without peripherals for 3 hours had no effect.

    Even when booting into target mode, other computers can't find it through a firewire.

    Any ideas on getting it to work again, or even recovering our files?

    Thanks, any help is appreciated :)

    iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 24-Inch (Al) 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo (T7700)

    Intro Date: August 7, 2007 Disc Date: April 28, 2008
    Order No: MA878LL Model No: A1225 (EMC 2134)
    Subfamily: Mid-2007 - 24" Model ID: iMac7,1
    Std RAM: 1 GB Std VRAM: 256 MB
    Std Storage: 320 GB (7200 RPM) Std Optical: 8X DL "SuperDrive"
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    That is typically a sign of a dead hard drive.
  3. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
  4. richifie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 4, 2009
    USB Install

    So it turns out the boot menu was working, but there was nothing showing because there's nothing to show; the internal hard drive is obviously gone.

    Tried setting up a USB OSX Install, and that shows in the boot menu, but it won't boot to it. It still won't accept the install disc. Does this mean anything?
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I think you are wasting your time trying to reinstall. Drives don't just disappear like that on their own unless they are bad.
  6. tampasteve macrumors 6502

    I agree with dead HDD. Have you tried, or can you, use Target Disk to see if you can access the HDD from another Mac? It may be worth trying. Also zap the PRAM. Turn on the Mac while holding Command + Option + P + R before the gray screen and until (if) you hear the startup sound twice.
  7. mmomega macrumors demi-god


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    Again I'd agree with the HDD being on it's last legs.

    Back up everything and replace with a newer HDD or SSD and then reinstall.

    This should make it trouble free for another couple years with minimal investment.

    I installed an SSD in my 2007 iMac and it made a world of difference in speed.
  8. ericstjohn macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2010
    --- Post Merged, Oct 3, 2016 ---
    Please forgive me for resurrecting and hijacking this topic.
    I'm having similar boot issues as described in my thread in the Mac Pro Desktops forum: "old issue new symptoms". It's unclear if richifie has resolved this or not, but I'm looking at an empty MP 1,1 white screening with my original install disc in the tray!
  9. komatsu macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2010
    Of course it could be the HDD.

    BUT, it could also be the GPU chip failing.

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