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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jun 15, 2009
    Posts
    5
    imac fell off of desk, and won't start up
    hey all,

    in a rube-goldberg-esque series of events, my girlfriend's intel based imac (i forget the year but it's the first intel imac released) got pulled off of her desk and won't start up now. the apple sounds plays when it's powered on, but it only displays the white screen, no apple logo and such. there's a disc in the drive, and the computer emits a series of clicking sounds that sounds like a heartbeat mixed with a grandfather clock. the computer won't respond to any keyboard startup commands, and holding down the mouse buttons won't eject the disc when i start it up. my father and i opened it up and determined that nothing had come loose or disconnected. i reset the smc and reseated the ram to no avail. on occasion the white screen will change to a folder icon with a question mark in it, meaning it can't find a hdd to load, i believe?

    if i could get the disc out, i could put in a leopard disc and run the hardware diagnostic, but like i said, disc won't eject. is there anything i could do, such as remove the dvd drive and remove the disc by hand, or anything else that might work? my girlfriend has an external harddrive but it doesn't have OS X installed on it, as apparently you can do things that way, but would there be some way to connect my macbook pro to it to do the same things?

    the closest apple store to us is a 2 hour drive away, and the closes service center is an 18 hour drive away so we were hoping to avoid that.

  2. #2

    jamessmells's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 18, 2009
    Posts
    91
    Specs:
    15" MacBook Pro, 2.53GHz, 4GB, Snow Leopard + iPhone 3G
    Have you got an external disk drive to put leopard in?

    Best of Luck

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jun 15, 2009
    Posts
    5
    technically, yes, but i'm not sure if i can load leopard on it. my girlfriend doesn't have her install disc with her, she left it at home, and we're visiting with family, but i have mine from my macbook pro. i don't know if the eula will allow me to install it on anything except my macbook pro. also, would installing it on the external hard drive, how would i go about doing that? is there a tutorial online anywhere?

  4. #4

    vansmith's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 19, 2008
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    19,742
    Specs:
    2012 13" MBP (2.5 i5, 8GB)
    Quote Originally Posted by andrewfjordan View Post
    technically, yes, but i'm not sure if i can load leopard on it. my girlfriend doesn't have her install disc with her, she left it at home, and we're visiting with family, but i have mine from my macbook pro. i don't know if the eula will allow me to install it on anything except my macbook pro. also, would installing it on the external hard drive, how would i go about doing that? is there a tutorial online anywhere?
    Your restore disk won't work on her iMac as the grey machine discs are machine-specific.

    That ticking sound you hear sounds to me like a damaged HDD. My advice would be to take it out, back up what you want to keep from it (by putting it in a HDD enclosure) and put a new HDD in the iMac.
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  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jun 15, 2009
    Posts
    5
    hmmm..... that's what i figured. would i be able to load it onto an external harddrive, though? like, from my own macbook? it seems that since it's set up for time machine that it would be possible.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Jun 15, 2009
    Posts
    5
    okay, i've got mac os x 10.5 installed and running on the external hard drive, but i'm still with the problem of the computer not recognizing the keyboard on startup, the disc stuck in the drive, and the hanging of the white screen. is there any way to get the computer to start up and run off of the external HDD?
    that would suffice until we go home and buy a new hard drive. if the drives themselves are causing a critical error, would removing them (both the internal HDD and the dvd drive) resolve the problem until we get them fixed?

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Jun 16, 2009
    Posts
    2
    To get the IMAC to start up with the external hard drive, Hold down the Option key when you start up the Imac. It should show the two start up drives. Select the external drive and boot from there. Good luck.

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Jun 15, 2009
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by skidiver View Post
    To get the IMAC to start up with the external hard drive, Hold down the Option key when you start up the Imac. It should show the two start up drives. Select the external drive and boot from there. Good luck.
    well... yeah. but like i said, the computer isn't responding to the keyboard. i'm thinking a critical error coming from the internal hard drive is causing a problem at the beginning of the boot sequence, or the the disc being stuck in the dvd drive is doing the same. i'm wondering if i can start up the system with those two things removed, and if that would allow a straight boot from the external hard drive connected via firewire, since no other hdd exists in the system.

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Jun 21, 2009
    Posts
    4
    you can try to plug the keyboard into another port, other than that im sorry to say but at this point your best bet would be to ask apple by going to an apple store or calling them. Do you still have applecare, if you do they will give you a discount on major repairs and may even do them free.

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