Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

JonnoLev

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 25, 2022
1
0
Hello all, My iMac (2011 i think) seems to have all but died.
A few seconds after switching on, the screen goes white and striped, and it keeps rebooting itself.
Too old to risk money on a repair, I feel.
I would like to dispose of it, or give it away if someone can make use of it, but need to erase my personal data first.
It has a 2.5TB hard drive, plus a 500GB SSD.
Can I do this using target mode with a new Macbook air? (The thunderbolt connectors are different generations.)

Help much appreciated!
 

Juicy Box

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2014
7,011
8,193
I am pretty sure your can. See if your iMac will boot in Target Disk Mode, hold "T" as soon as your press the power button to turn on. If you see the symbol, I don't see why it wouldn't work.

As for the right cable, Apple has made changes to this, and IIRC, it is not clear exactly what connector combination works and what doesn't on Apple's support page.

TB to TB should work, but it requires Apple's expensive bidirectional adapter and a TB1/2 cable.

Not sure if USB-C to USB-A will work. Make sure if you try this option, it is a data cable, and not one just for charging.
 

Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 68020
Jul 5, 2020
2,241
652
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Hello all, My iMac (2011 i think) seems to have all but died.
A few seconds after switching on, the screen goes white and striped, and it keeps rebooting itself.
Too old to risk money on a repair, I feel.
I would like to dispose of it, or give it away if someone can make use of it, but need to erase my personal data first.
It has a 2.5TB hard drive, plus a 500GB SSD.
Can I do this using target mode with a new Macbook air? (The thunderbolt connectors are different generations.)

Help much appreciated!

If Target Disk Mode doesn't work (because of the bootloop), you may try to open your iMac and remove both the HDD & SSD.
There are many videos guiding this (HDD replacement) on Youtube. Not very difficult.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
25,806
10,658
I'm thinking that with a failed GPU, the OP may not be able to "get to" target disk mode.

OP...
Does booting into "safe mode" work at all?
That is... press the power on button and IMMEDIATELY hold down the shift key and keep holding it down a while.
This may not help, but it's something to try.

With a bad GPU, the OP probably can't connect an external display, either.

SO...
As Nguyen mentions above, if you REALLY want to prevent anyone from getting at the data on the drive, the only way may be to open the iMac and remove the internal drive.

You could either destroy it, or "wipe it clean" and re-purpose for something else.
I would suggest a USB3/SATA docking station to access any data on it.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.