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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac - 24" iMac Aluminum not starting


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l33tloser

 
Member Since: Sep 16, 2009
Location: Southern DE
Posts: 3
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Hello everyone,

To preface this I am no iMac expert, as a matter of fact I have next to zero experience even using one. However, I have been working on PCs for about 11 years now and have in depth knowledge of how to repair them (mostly, windows). A customer of mine began talking to me about the problems he's experiencing with his iMac. Here are the details of the hardware

Model: A1225 24" iMac 2.33Ghz intel core duo
OS: OS X Leopard 10.5.7
Important: Out of warranty (Blegh)

According to him he updated to 10.5.7 a day before he went away on his honeymoon, he generally always leaves his computer on. A week passes by and he comes home from his honeymoon to find out that his iMac was turned off. He says that he turned it on immediately, started checking email and what not, and within about 20 minutes it randomly shut off. From there on out it would shut down randomly before 20 minutes, occasionally not even starting up (he'd have to pull the power cord out for about 2 minutes and plug it back in before he could get it to restart). He could never get it to turn on long enough to back up his information though. So a few weeks pass by and the problem continues, eventually he just stops using the iMac completely.

I finally had a chance to actually look at the iMac last night. To me (non experienced mac user) it sounded like it could be a HDD issue, since I'm not completely sure how an iMac would handle a bad drive. Before taking it apart I tried to turn the iMac on, it would get power but just stay at a black screen, no noises or anything. I took the iMac apart (suction cups, awesome) and removed the drive. I put a jumper on the drive to get it to act as a slave and slaved it into my PC. (I had previously installed HFS+ Explorer on my computer so I could back up his files) At first the PC recognized the drive and acted like it would work, I had to shut down the computer to set it up because I had add an extra sata connection to the mobo. As soon as I set the computer up again the drive was acting like it was no longer getting power. I did multiple things to troubleshoot the drive acting like it's not getting power and at one time the PC started up and said that the drive had a disk error. At this point I'm convinced the drive is bad.

I plugged the drive back into the iMac and it showed the same symptoms. I put in the OS X installation CD and it did boot to the live environment, and it did not recognize the HDD...I decided to leave it on to see if it would randomly shut off..lo and behold, 15 minutes later it shut down. I've yet to try to install OS X on another drive to see if it will work or not, but I'm starting to think that this may be more than just a HDD issue.

I also tried to reset the PRAM using apples' key sequences, but since the screen stays black and there's no sounds I'm not 100% sure if it's actually doing anything or not.

I'm pretty much at a complete loss with this situation. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!!
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pigoo3

 
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Member Since: May 20, 2008
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Mac Specs: 13" MB 2.4ghz, 2gig ram, OS 10.7.5

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Is it possible that this computer is still covered under warranty?

If you're pretty sure it's the hard drive...do you happen to have a 2nd one laying around to test it in the iMac?

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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l33tloser

 
Member Since: Sep 16, 2009
Location: Southern DE
Posts: 3
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Unfortunately I'm sure that it's not. I checked the SN# and Apple's warranty site says that it's expired..extra fail

Edit: I have placed a blank hard drive in the iMac (no OS X loaded) and it shows the same problems. I'm not 100% sure if the OS X live environment will detect the drive or not, I plan on trying that tonight..however I don't think that would explain why the iMac would randomly turn off, even if it is a bad hard drive. My worry is that it got hit during a power surge and ruined the hdd and the logic board at the same time..but I haven't found any burn marks on the board, so I'm torn about that.
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l33tloser

 
Member Since: Sep 16, 2009
Location: Southern DE
Posts: 3
l33tloser is on a distinguished road

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Update:

I replaced (what I think is called the PRAM battery)..and now the computer will stay on! The HDD is still quite dead though. Now I'm having problems getting OS X to install properly on the new HDD that I've installed into the iMac. I believe the owner gave me a set of disks from another computer that he owns..and it continually says that Mac OS X could not be installed on his computer. I asked him if he knew where the original disks where for this iMac and thinks he may have lost them. Is there anyway of getting a new copy of the discs from Apple if I'm able to provide a serial number and model..or is it failing because I'm installing a different model HDD into the iMac?

Thanks!!!
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manymanymacs

 
Member Since: Sep 13, 2009
Posts: 65
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Mac Specs: 2 GHz MacBook '07, 1.83 GHz Mac Mini '06, 700MHz Emac 2003, 400MHz Imac 2001

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If it's the HDD, the screen would slowly go grainy and fade away. You may be having problems with poorly soldered cables. If the power source of the HDD is corroded, you should get a new one.
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