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

Hard drive failure? or something else.


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yourmatedave

 
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HI guys i hope some of you may be able to help me.

My aluminium imac 20" 2.4ghz a few days ago crashed, when i restarted all i could get was the apple symbol and the spinny loading thing. So i put in my Leopard disk, went into first aid mode, repaired the disk which was fine, tried restarting and got the same again stuck at the logo again... So i did some reading and decided to do an archive install, It crashed with 6 mins remaining.

i left it there for ages just in case it sprung back to life but sadly it didnt. So i powered off started up again and found myself with a blank screen without the apple logo. No key commands working at all, i tried holding C again and left it there a few hours later i came back and it had managed to boot of the leopard disk!

So this time i formatted the hard drive as i assumed the leopard installation crash had messed it up. Repair wasnt working so did a fresh leopard install. all went fine this time, but then about 40 mins later it started acting very strange and crashed in the same way it did the first time. Now i am back to square one blue screen apple spinny wheel, which sometimes now ends up being the folder with the question mark. I just really want to identify the problem, is it the hard drive going bye bye or is it something else. If its hard drive then i can get a replacement and fit it myself, but i just cant afford to pay labour costs and im well out of warranty.

please any info or help you could give would be fantastic.
Thanks.
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harryb2448

 
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G'day and welcome to the forums.

Pop in your original system disk and run Apple Hardware Test in the extended mode. Could be the hard drive but does sound like a logic board, alas. Also a little utility called SMARTReporter will help diagnose hard drive problems.



http://www.corecode.at/smartreporter/
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yourmatedave

 
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got disk one in, holding D and getting nothing just grey no commands seem to work Grrr....

However once i left it on the grey screen and its eventually got to the installation screen, went to disk utility and i have a invalid B-Tree node size and i cant repair...

Hmmm confused now. Dunno why i cant start the hardware test.
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MacDude121

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yourmatedave View Post
got disk one in, holding D and getting nothing just grey no commands seem to work Grrr....

However once i left it on the grey screen and its eventually got to the installation screen, went to disk utility and i have a invalid B-Tree node size and i cant repair...

Hmmm confused now. Dunno why i cant start the hardware test.
You said in your first post you were able to repair the disk, and it came back fine? To me it really sounds like a failing logic board. Which is going to cost a lot of $ to replace.
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yourmatedave

 
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Argh! I really hope its not the logic board

Yeah first time it didn't need repair, it was all good, just wouldn't boot. so formatted then reinstalled leopard and all was working for about an hour. just before it crashed again i had some strange graphical things happen, the desktop background disappeared, and windows were "ghosting" when i moved or resized them, like when you win at solitaire on windows 95 and the cards flood the screen. heh if that makes any sense to anyone.... Then it just froze music continued playing. Turned it off again and back on and i was back to the grey screen.

I'm a bit strapped for cash was really hoping it was just the HD as i could have spent 60 and fitted that myself no problem. Argh.

I cant get this hardware test to run at all, could that be that im using an external DVD drive?
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MacDude121

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yourmatedave View Post
Argh! I really hope its not the logic board

Yeah first time it didn't need repair, it was all good, just wouldn't boot. so formatted then reinstalled leopard and all was working for about an hour. just before it crashed again i had some strange graphical things happen, the desktop background disappeared, and windows were "ghosting" when i moved or resized them, like when you win at solitaire on windows 95 and the cards flood the screen. heh if that makes any sense to anyone.... Then it just froze music continued playing. Turned it off again and back on and i was back to the grey screen.

I'm a bit strapped for cash was really hoping it was just the HD as i could have spent 60 and fitted that myself no problem. Argh.

I cant get this hardware test to run at all, could that be that im using an external DVD drive?
What you described only supports the Logic Board theory. A bad hard drive usually results in failure to boot, or things slow to a crawl (Ex: Ten minutes to open safari, etc.) An external DVD drive shouldn't really cause any problems, as I'm pretty sure Intel macs can boot off of USB. But why are you using an external in the first place? Is your drive broken?
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chscag

 
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Let's do this test... Remove the hard drive from the machine. Make sure you follow the instructions given at iFixit: The free repair manual to remove the drive as it's a fairly involved task. You'll need several suction cups and a set of torx drivers.

After removing the drive, boot the machine with your Leopard disk. You can if you wish, run the hardware test with the drive removed. The reason for removing the drive is to ascertain if the logic board is the culprit or not.

I'm thinking you have a flaky hard drive, but I could be wrong. Post back results.
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yourmatedave

 
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Awesome! Thanks so much for that piece of advice!

I've removed the drive and it went straight to the test, it said everything was ok in the short test, does this mean everything is good with the logic board then?

Im running the extended testing now as we speak, so i guess fingers crossed!
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harryb2448

 
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Yes it sounds good as AHT does run a logic board test. Fingers crossed you are out of the woods with a new hard drive and that failed invalid B-Tree node sounds like the problem.
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yourmatedave

 
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Bit the bullet, got a new drive and put it in, Im pretty certain that it was the culprit.

Upgrading the drive was quite an easy process, i was expecting it to be much harder. It took about 30 minutes and cost me 50 instead of 180 which was the cheapest quote i got from local apple repair places, Id recommend it to anyone if you are out of warranty and are strapped for cash.

I've had it all back up and running for the last few hours, and everything seems to be normal, I'll just keep my fingers and toes crossed and hope it stays that way.

Thanks for all your help!
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MacDude121

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yourmatedave View Post
Bit the bullet, got a new drive and put it in, Im pretty certain that it was the culprit.

Upgrading the drive was quite an easy process, i was expecting it to be much harder. It took about 30 minutes and cost me 50 instead of 180 which was the cheapest quote i got from local apple repair places, Id recommend it to anyone if you are out of warranty and are strapped for cash.

I've had it all back up and running for the last few hours, and everything seems to be normal, I'll just keep my fingers and toes crossed and hope it stays that way.

Thanks for all your help!

That's great news! I bet you're really happy that it wasn't the logic board.
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chscag

 
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Glad to hear it was just the drive. Another bit of advice... don't toss that drive yet. You might want to mount it in an external carrier and see if you can access it via USB and perhaps salvage some of your data and programs.

Let us know.
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