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

Startup disk full? iMac won't fully boot!


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Ronald S. Jr.

 
Member Since: Nov 30, 2007
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So I've got a 24" Intel iMac, and recently, it was running a bit sluggish. I hadn't powered it down in a couple weeks probably, so I thought what the ****, and restarted it. Well when it came back, it had the default snow leopard desktop picture, and wouldn't show the dock or menu bar. Just said "startup disk full" and said I'd have to delete files. Well that's great, but I can't get the finder open to do so.


Any suggestions?
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chscag

 
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I've never heard of a hard drive being so full that OS X wouldn't start up. Just how full is your hard drive?

If you don't have a bootable backup on an external drive, the best way to access your hard drive is by using another Mac and boot your machine by using "Target Disk Mode". You can delete files off your hard drive by using that method. Removing the hard drive from an iMac is not easy or I would suggest doing it that way.

Regards.
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Ronald S. Jr.

 
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I'll have to borrow mom's macbook...I just have the iMac now.

Last I looked, I had about 150GB free, so I don't get where this is coming from. I can get it booted up to the blank screen, and I can get the system preferences folder open, but it just refuses to open Finder so I can delete stuff. I don't know...it's upsetting. This is really the only major problem I've had with my Mac. Grrr.
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Slydude

 
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Let us know what you find out. If you still have that much free space I wouldn't expect the kind of problems you are describing. Typically you won't start seeing those kinds of issues until the amount of free space gets much lower.

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chscag

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald S. Jr. View Post
I'll have to borrow mom's macbook...I just have the iMac now.

Last I looked, I had about 150GB free, so I don't get where this is coming from. I can get it booted up to the blank screen, and I can get the system preferences folder open, but it just refuses to open Finder so I can delete stuff. I don't know...it's upsetting. This is really the only major problem I've had with my Mac. Grrr.
With the additional info you posted above, instead of using Target Disk Mode for now, try booting your machine with the original install media. Hold down the "C" key when you hear the POST chime, or you can press OPTION and select the DVD to boot from.

Once booted up with the DVD, select Utilities from the top menu and then select Disk Utilities. Click the First Aid tab, and do a verify and repair. Keep doing it until all errors are gone. When that's finished, select repair permissions. The repair permissions will take awhile.

Once all that's done, reboot the machine from the hard drive. Let us know.

Regards.
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Ronald S. Jr.

 
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Well, the Apple Experts and Advisors told me that there was no fix to it, other than to erase the hard drive and reinstall snow leopard. Too bad I didn't have a backup.

So anyway, I'm on my "new" Mac here, and I can't help but be kinda upset that I don't have my iLife, iWork, etc. I'm especially peeved because I don't have my CS3 Master Collection, which was like $2k. Maybe Adobe will work with me there.

So I'm wondering...I'm probably screwed on iWork, but can I download iLife anywhere, since it's free on every Mac anyway?
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You can reinstall the software from your install discs. iLife can be reinstalled from the original restore media that came with your computer.

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Ronald S. Jr.

 
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That's just it...I can't find the disk. I've had this iMac 2 years, and I've moved twice. I have to assume they're gone.
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harryb2448

 
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Well that is bad news as you urgently need to do as chscag advised. Looks like you will have to purchase new discs.
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Ronald S. Jr.

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
Well that is bad news as you urgently need to do as chscag advised. Looks like you will have to purchase new discs.
I did. It didn't work. It said the drive was corrupted and could not be repaired. Nothing worked.


I found a fairly good deal on amazon for iWork, so I jumped on it. iLife 09 looked like it had some decent improvements too, so I got that, too. Now I just have to wait for my discs from Adobe.

I THINK that was everything!
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adityashah1989

 
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I have the exact same issue. Is there a fix? Please help urgently! I cannot afford to lose my data! I am on a Mac Book Pro as suggested in my info, and not an iMac.
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McYukon

 
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This is why one should always have a backup.

Have you tried all of the above?
If you have and it hasn't worked, I would do this.

Take out the MacBook Pro's HD Mac - iFixit
Then use another Mac and use something like (this) to access the HD and copy all the important files to a separate clean HD.
Reinstall the buggy HD into the MacBook Pro, use the install disk to wipe it and reinstall the OS. Then copy the files back to where they belong.

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adityashah1989

 
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So there is no free solution to this?
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McYukon

 
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If the HD is unbootable and your aren't able to start the Mac in target mode, no.

If you can start it in target mode, you also need another Mac.
Hook up the unbootable Mac to the other Mac and copy the important files over.
The reinstall the system on the unbootable one and put the files back.

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IWT

 
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I've come in to this very late and my meagre suggestion is, if at all, more likely to help adityashah1989 who has also, apparently, a full disc; but not yet gone as far as Ronald S jr.

I had a similar problem of a "disk full" statement when I knew it couldn't be true. By going into Utilities, Disc Utility, Erase and the choosing "Erase Free Space", it solved my problem. This was Apple's idea, not mine. They argued that something had corrupted or otherwise messed up the Free Space.

That's my meagre offering.

Good luck.

Ian
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