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

My dad's iMac troubles.


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ImageX

 
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My dad has an iMac that's the model before these current ones. For the past few months he said he's been experiencing the spinning colorwheel about 3/10 times he starts the machine up. This happens whenever he moves the mouse from the center of the screen after startup, not even having to click anything. He's using the Bluetooth trackpad, but I think this issue was happening even when he had his bluetooth mighty mouse that it came with. When the colorwheel pops up, he can't really do anything on the computer. Even pressing the key combo to bring up the Force Quit screen doesn't happen in a timely manner. When he presses cmd+opt+esc, it takes anywhere from 2-5 mins to pop up. I'm not sure of any specific apps he has on it, but he says he just uses it as a normal user and doesn't try to dilly dally with it. I've already had him reset the PRAM to no avail. Does anyone think they know what it could be? He's running the newest version of OS X 10.6.5 Thanks.

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get started with fixing permissions using disk utility in Applications/Utilities

Once done, try refreshing the system by downloading and running the 10.6.5 combo update

Mac OS X v10.6.5 Update (Combo)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImageX View Post
My dad has an iMac that's the model before these current ones. For the past few months he said he's been experiencing the spinning colorwheel about 3/10 times he starts the machine up.
When you say this happens "3/10 times he starts the machine up"...do you mean that the computer is "woken up" from "sleeping"...or from an actual "fresh booting" of the computer?

- 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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ImageX

 
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I will try refreshing the system and I'll check/repair permissions.

I'm referring to actually pressing the power button and having the computer boot up. Not being used from a sleep state.

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**UPDATE** We were eventually able to (after waiting multiple times for the spinning colorwheel to cease) verify and repair disk permissions, but when we tried to verify/repair disk, it said it was unable to be verified because of an "Invalid Node Structure" and told us to pop the install disk in and run Disk Utility from there and we got the same "Invalid Node Structure" issue. What does this mean? Any help? Thanks.

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It means the directory has become corrupted.

Since Disk Utility can't fix this, I'd recommend getting Disk Warrior, which will be able to fix this problem (but does cost around $100).

Alternatively, a corrupted directory is often the first sign of a failing hard drive, so maybe that money would be better spent on a replacement HD. As long as you can get a complete backup of the drive accomplished, that MAY be a better use of the money. PS. If you're not comfortable taking apart an iMac, have a tech do it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImageX View Post
**UPDATE** We were eventually able to (after waiting multiple times for the spinning colorwheel to cease) verify and repair disk permissions, but when we tried to verify/repair disk, it said it was unable to be verified because of an "Invalid Node Structure" and told us to pop the install disk in and run Disk Utility from there and we got the same "Invalid Node Structure" issue. What does this mean? Any help? Thanks.
Some similar ideas to what "Chas M." recommended:

1. Back up all important files, reformat the hard drive, and reinstall the OS. See if the hard drive is stable then...and see what Disk Utility reports for it's S.M.A.R.T. status.

2. Back up all important files...and simply replace the hard drive ($40-$60 if you can do it yourself)...since what you're experiencing very well could be a bad hard drive.

HTH,

- 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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Shortly after trying to use Disk Utility through the OS X dvd, his computer will not startup. When it is turned on, a loading bar appears at the grey screen now and doesn't load at all and his iMac eventually turns itself off. Is this a dead HD? If so, that's ridiculous because he got his iMac only a few weeks before I got my MBP and that was last August. So you're telling me a HD can die after only about 13-14 months? Any insight? Thanks.

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A hard drive is like a light bulb. It will PROBABLY last a long time, but COULD fail *at any moment.*

That's why we go on and on and on about backups around here.

If you could see what goes on inside a hard drive, you'd wonder why they work at all.

I had a hard drive die on me after three months. And I've had ones that were still readable after 14 years. You just never know.

So anyway, yeah seems like my hunch about the HD was right. Good news, replacements are cheap. Bad news, if he wasn't using Time Machine or some other backup, then everything's gone.

If the machine is still under warranty, Apple will replace the HD. They may TRY to help you get the data back but are not obligated to do so. If the machine is out of warranty, you can check with the HD manufacturer (once you get the drive out of the machine) about whether the drive is covered by a manufacturer warranty (which are usually longer than the computer's warranty) and thus get a free replacement drive that way. They also are not obligated to recover any data on the failed drive.

If there was data that is worth spending big bucks to recover, there are some professional drive-recovery companies that can help -- but they are EXPENSIVE.
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