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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jan 29, 2010
    Posts
    3
    Dead iMac - anyone recognise symptoms
    Hi,

    This is a duplicate of a thread I posted over on the MacFormat forum. I wouldn't normally do that, but I can't stand being offline for long and might do something rash like buy a Windows 7 laptop or something...

    Anyway, basically my iMac is dead. I'm tempted to try and dig out the hard drive, but though I might see if anyone recognised the symtoms before doing anything too extreme. Basically my iMac had a kernel panic, I shut it down and now when I try to start it up, it gives the startup "bong" (sorry to be so technical) and then I'm just left looking at a light blue/grey screen. Nothing else happens.

    It is a 20" iMac, with 2GHz intel core2 duo processor, bought in Jan 2008. I was browsing some photos using the slide show viewer, when I noticed some glitches and one of the photos I wanted to look at didn't show. I went back to the finder to try and bring it up and next thing I know I'm looking at the kernel panic screen telling me to reboot.

    Rebooting just left me at the blue/grey screen (not the deeper blue one just before you log in), so I pulled out all the peripherals and tried rebooting again - nothing. I've tried rebooting with the shift key and the D key - nothing. Oddly, rebooting with command, option, P & R does cause it to reboot again, but it still doesn't get any further.

    I then tried reseating the memory chip because it's the only user accessible part. Predictably it didn't help.

    I then popped in an old Knoppix live linux CD and tried to boot of that (tried holding C key) - still nothing and now I can't get the CD out. I've tried rebooting holding down the mouse button and rebooting holding the eject key.

    Anyone know what's like to be causing this problem? All help gratefully received!

    I'm posting this at work and don't have a working computer at home, so obviously I'm not going to be too responsive, but I will be watching

  2. #2

    clayneal's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location
    Lincoln Nebraska
    Posts
    2,146
    Specs:
    late 08 macbook 2.0 4gig 320hdd10.7.3 32 gig iPhone 4s
    sure sounds like your hdd is gone.
    MY ADVICE COMES WITH A DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!

  3. #3

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    47,067
    Specs:
    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    I agree with clayneal, your HDD is more than likely at fault. When you get home, try rebooting your iMac and hold the mouse button down at the same time to see if you can eject the Knoppix CD that's stuck. Unless you remove that CD you will not be able to trouble shoot your machine any further.

    I really don't understand why you tried booting from a Linux CD? Did you try booting from your original install DVD by holding down the "Option" key? (not the C key)

    Regards.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Jan 29, 2010
    Posts
    3
    OK - thanks to everyone for the replies

    I went with the majority decision and decided it was probably my hard drive, so replaced it, more or less following the instructions here.

    Thought I would replace the drive with a decent brand name, so went for Seagate Barracuda. When I got in and pulled out the old drive, guess what it was - Seagate Barracuda! Oh well, I hope the new one lasts longer than the old one. It looks a bit different anyway.

    Once the HD was replaced, I still had problems doing anything because I still couldn't get the old Knoppix CD out. I'm not going to tell you what I did do the drive to get it out, but anyway it's out and I don't think I did too much damage.

    I've now reinstalled the OS and everything, but I'm probably going to re-re-install to get it how I want it. I want to start dabbling with Ubuntu to see how I get along. I've installed rEFIt, which I really like. I've also booted successfully from a new Knoppix CD. That old one is never ever going near the drive again.

    It's quite a testament to the sturdiness of iMacs that my one seems to have survived my attentions intact, but why oh why is it so hard to replace a drive or get a CD out? Most PCs, it's reasonably easy to get at the hard drive and you can stick a paperclip into the drive to pop a CD. If I ever meet Steve Jobs, I'm going to have words.

    This is a really good (but long) set of YouTube videos on data recovery from hard drives (yes, I do have some unbacked up data on my old drive and no, I'm not expecting sympathy! ) Probably going to a little bit of time before I see what I can get off my old hard drive as I'm probably going to try and do it using linux.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jan 29, 2010
    Posts
    3
    Oh yeah and the hardware test checked out OK. I couldn't be bothered waiting for the extended hardware check.

  6. #6

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    47,067
    Specs:
    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    Glad you got things working again. The Mac slot drive is one "feature" I personally wish would go the way of the Dodo bird! When asked about that in the past Mr. Jobs has indicated that the standard tray drives just don't look as nice.

    Have fun.

    Regards.

  7. #7

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Posts
    21,179
    Specs:
    27" 5K iMac, 3.3GHz, 256GB Flash Storge, 16GB memory and OS X.11.3.
    Tray drives may not look as nice to Mr Jobs but they sure are much, much less trouble. Towers rule!

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