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

Help my iMac Intel HD issues!


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MWithersIT

 
Member Since: Dec 29, 2011
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Here is the feedback im giving during/after my repair at the local apple store US:

******************************

Title: Repair Feedback
Model: iMac (20-INCH MID 2007)

Overview: Replaced HD - Cannot keep original - Apple unable to test outside of iMac - LCD damage from previous replacement - HD failure caused by bootcamp utility twice now, not the user

Feedback: I require Windows for many tasks, and have used parallels/virtuals and boot partitions alike on PC’s and Mac. I purchased the iMac Intel for the ability of being able to run both Windows and OSX on 2 separate partitions, and was told by the representative that this is an advertised feature of OSX/intel iMacs.

I will continue to explain my experience with my iMac Intel and its HD Bootcamp Utility. I had this same issue with the previous HD (factory) shortly after purchasing the iMac in late 2007. The Bootcamp partition utility was named the cause of the hard drive damage (corruption), I lost all personal data and was given another hard drive under warranty. I did not check the computer screen and trusted the genius who told me it was fine. After taking it home and turning it on, I noticed the dim/discolored bottom left corner, obviously caused by the repair made that day.

I live far from your store and did not take it back to complain/get LCD replaced under 90 day warranty of HD repair. The corner LCD slowly got worse/dimmer over time. After researching how to replace the hard drive on an iMac, I noticed others had similar damage in size/location/texture on their screen after prying off the last corner during removal. I have to believe this is what happened to mine.

I did not use Bootcamp utility / partitions after that. To this day, I still feel if I had the ability/confidence to get the hard drive out myself, or keep it after you take out; and format/partition it, I would not have needed a new hard drive, and probably have a fully functional screen.

After updating to Lion ($40 later) this last month, I wanted/needed to RE-install Windows because my Windows partition would no longer boot (a common issue with people who updated). Sure enough, after using Bootcamp Utility to restore/re-partition, my HD failed, and could no longer boot to either partition / CD / start(up) manager. According the genius I spoke with, the reason I'm unable to get to the start manager (option) or boot to a disk (c) is because my hard drive was in such a state, that it was overloading the start manager, stopping it from responding to any boot commands. Even though, I was able to get to target disk mode at my house before I left with it (didn't have another Mac to use), but after powering on in Mac store, it would no longer respond to any boot commands, including target disk mode.

I am familiar with Bios/Firmware boot management utilities on PC and Mac Intel EFI, and I guarantee I can boot to disk on any PC model bios regardless of the hard drive's state (plugged in or not). For an Intel iMac to rely on a working HD to boot to a disk or manager is ridiculous and I find hard to believe. The genius assured me there was no way for them (repair team) to test / format / partition the hard drive outside of the iMac once it was removed. He did not have access to an external HD enclosure OR another computer that it could be put into (G4 or desktop Mac) so as to partition/test/re-install.

The genius then removed the hard drive and was able to hold option and get to start manager / boot to disk. This proved his theory of it being the hard drive which is stopping the start manager. I then asked if I may keep the hard drive out so that I can format / partition / test (because apparently apple doesn't have the ability to format/test/install hard drives outside of its original computer), and he informed me, the only way I can get/keep/test my hard drive, is to pay $50 for labor to remove, and then another $50 to put back in (after I format it). I was also told that if I wanted it replaced, I would not be able to keep it. Even though I'm sure they can put in hard drives to empty iMacs, so why can't I keep mine?

The genius also mentioned if I didn't want them to fix it, and I wanted to keep my HD, I can take it to a third party. But if apple can damage my screen during repair, I definitely don't want to go to a third party for this type of thing. So I assumed they would be careful and make sure it was a new hard drive (and not just a format) that was needed.

So if I wanted my iMac to work at all, I have to lose my data AND my HD and pay $230 for a new hard drive that we are not even sure is required. And I can't prove I didn't need it because I'm unable to keep HD and you are a unable to format outside of iMac.

This happened right before the holidays (dropped off on Friday) and I needed my computer working to keep in touch with family and make Christmas cards. I was told it would only take 1 business day to fix, which I thought would have been Monday.

It is now Thursday and I am looking for a little credit. I am asking as a dedicated Mac consumer, you hear my plea, and discount the hard drive / labor, or let me keep my hard drive (free of an additional cost), or replace the screen, which I hope was not additionally damaged due to the removal of over 4 times now.

I have limited expenses for my second repair. I know this issue was caused by Bootcamp utility, not the user. Please understand my situation and help me in any way possible.

****************************

How can a hard drive stop EFI firmware/BIOS from loading start manager (option) or booting to a disk (c)?? come on?

I'm Hoping for the best, any thoughts or recommendations? It cant just be the HD...

NOTE: Do not recommend to take the thing apart myself... i seen youtube breakdowns and that stuff don't look like fun.
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harryb2448

 
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G'day and welcome to the forums.

You are certainly having a rough spin however this forum is nothing to do with the company. Yet to see Bootcamp kill a hard drive and you have two failed is that the gist of your rant?

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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MWithersIT

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
G'day and welcome to the forums.

You are certainly having a rough spin however this forum is nothing to do with the company. Yet to see Bootcamp kill a hard drive and you have two failed is that the gist of your rant?
I am aware of this forums / community the reason I posted that letter is because I am lazy and didn't want to retype my situation / symptoms XD

I am less concerned as to what currupted my HD, and more interested in finding out if a simple format externally would fix it. For a bad HD to stop manager and cd booting... It must be partially the iMac?!

PC's can boot to disk/bios regaurdless of the hard drive state.
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MWithersIT

 
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STILL NO ONE??

no one on this forum can explain why/how a rouge HD could stop an iMac from booting to disk/bios/boot mngr??

come on folks BUMP
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MWithersIT

 
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HELP!!

here is my other post reguarding the details of my experience...

Help my iMac Intel HD issues!

Question:

How can a HD plugged into an iMac stop it from being able to boot to disk (C) or load start manager (ALT/OPT)??

How can an iMac require a functional HD (when plugged in) to boot to firmware (start manager) or disk?

ANSWER ME! cause the apple guys statement was:

***********************************************
According the genius I spoke with, the reason I'm unable to get to the start manager (option) or boot to a disk (c) is because my hard drive was in such a state, that it was overloading the start manager, stopping it from responding to any boot commands. Even though, I was able to get to target disk mode at my house before I left with it (didn't have another Mac to use), but after powering on in Mac store, it would no longer respond to any boot commands, including target disk mode.
************************************************

Final thoughts:

I am familiar with Bios/Firmware boot management utilities on PC and Mac Intel EFI, and I guarantee I can boot to disk on any PC model bios regardless of the hard drive's state (plugged in or not). For an Intel iMac to rely on a working HD to boot to a disk or manager is ridiculous and I find hard to believe. The genius assured me there was no way for them (repair team) to test / format / partition the hard drive outside of the iMac once it was removed. He did not have access to an external HD enclosure OR another computer that it could be put into (G4 or desktop Mac) so as to partition/test/re-install.

HELP ME UNDERSTAND THIS, I could care less what caused my hd to fail, and more so what caused my firmware to fail with a HD plugged in.

EDIT: oh ya, and if u want to keep your original HD at apple, u have to pay 50 for removal, and 50 for re-install... now if u buy a new one, they keep the orig unless u complain... but im not sure if u have to pay another 50... because they have to be able to add HD to an empty imac...
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cwa107

 
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Although I've yet to experience this issue with the Mac's EFI, working in IT for the better part of 15 years now professionally, I have run into a number of occasions where BIOS wouldn't complete POST with a severely screwed up HD on the IDE/SATA bus. If I'm not mistaken, many modern BIOS will run a scan of the bus during POST as well as SMART tests (if enabled) and can hang if the drive's own firmware doesn't respond to the query as expected.

I suspect that's what's going on here. EFI is probably querying for status on the SATA bus and hanging when not getting the expected feedback. I'll bet if you pull that drive off the chain, it will go right through and allow you to access the boot manager.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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MWithersIT

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
Although I've yet to experience this issue with the Mac's EFI, working in IT for the better part of 15 years now professionally, I have run into a number of occasions where BIOS wouldn't complete POST with a severely screwed up HD on the IDE/SATA bus. If I'm not mistaken, many modern BIOS will run a scan of the bus during POST as well as SMART tests (if enabled) and can hang if the drive's own firmware doesn't respond to the query as expected.

I suspect that's what's going on here. EFI is probably querying for status on the SATA bus and hanging when not getting the expected feedback. I'll bet if you pull that drive off the chain, it will go right through and allow you to access the boot manager.
modern BIOS should be able to get past POST SMART hangs... regardless of the state the HD is in.

thank you for ur response... it has been most helpful yet, i wish i could get a log of this at boot... well anyway, they replaced the HD, but do u think had it been formatted externally or through TDM it would still work? or do u think ANY HD that hangs on scan smart is DONE?
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MWithersIT View Post
modern BIOS should be able to get past POST SMART hangs... regardless of the state the HD is in.
"Should" be able to, yes - but I have seen situations where it can not. I suspect some of this has to do with the fact that they're using writeable flash chips instead of ROMs on modern drive mechs. So, the drive is susceptible to having its own firmware corrupted - my guess is it's probably heat related.

Quote:
thank you for ur response... it has been most helpful yet, i wish i could get a log of this at boot... well anyway, they replaced the HD, but do u think had it been formatted externally or through TDM it would still work? or do u think ANY HD that hangs on scan smart is DONE?
If the firmware can't do a handshake on the bus, I don't believe any amount of coaxing would get the drive to actually talk to the controller (any controller, even an external one). With that said, there's a chance that if you could find an identical mech, you could pull the circuit board off the bottom of the drive and swap it with a known good one and have access to the data on the platters. But that would be very difficult to do because there are often many revisions to a drive model.

But to sum up, I don't think this case is unprecedented - I have seen it MANY times throughout my career. I can certainly relate to your concern though, particularly with an iMac, where getting access to the internal drive is difficult.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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cwa107

 
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Oh, and by the way - I went ahead and merged these two threads since the topic is virtually the same.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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braincramp

 
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I came into work today to find my 20" intel iMac (also with bootcamp and windows partition) dead. All signs pointing to the HD (single user mode fsck failing, no startup disk manager, no target disk, no CD boot…). I did eventually get it to boot from the cd though and here is what worked for me. Try to boot from the cd, and wait, like 15 minutes. At this point it spit the disk out, then wait some more, it then gave me a ? folder icon. Push that disk back in and wait. I finally booted from the disk, from there I could specify an external boot drive. YAY! Hopefully this will work for you as well.
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