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

Reinstall Snow Leopard Unsuccessful My Computer DOA


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kcsummer

 
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Despite the fact that it meant losing invaluable photos, I finally gave up my month-long effort to fix my Imac Desktop.





I've had all sorts of problems with my IMAC which is a mid-2011 model running Snow Leopard making it basically unusable, grey screen, script running errors, etc



Tried everything to get it going again without success.



So finally out of desperation and knowing I would loose invaluable photos and other files, I decided to just wipe it out and reinstall.



That process took at least 4 or 5 hours (how long is this supposed to take, I don't recall it being that lengthy and that is probably a conservative estimate.

Anyway finally it said it was successfully installed and needed to reboot so I said ok.



But when it did it was the same problem as before nothing but grey screen.



I am at a total loss as to why - if your hard drive is shot will it go ahead and install anyway?



I used disk repair and was successful before doing the install. I'm ready to throw this $1200 computer in the trash. I lost my files and gained nothing.
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McBie

 
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Hmmmmm ..... nicely formatted post .... looks like you want to make a statement.
Do you have any backups of your data / photo's ?
If not, then why did you take a decision to willingly destroy all your data?
Second, Did you use the original install media that came with the Mac ?
I have not checked your previous posts , but have you ever mentioned your problems on this forum below, so you could have been helped earlier. ( I may be mistaken on this one )
So let's go back to basics, the damage has been done anyway.
Do yo have the original install media for this type of Mac ?
What version of the OS are we talking about ?

Cheers ... McBie

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude towards the problem. You understand ?
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chscag

 
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First, did you reinstall Snow Leopard from your original DVD set that came with the machine?

You might want to boot the machine with your original Snow Leopard DVD and then enter Disk Utility from the top menu "Utilities". Run a verify and repair on the hard drive. Let's see what it says. Also, I'm assuming you did not buy Apple Care?
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kcsummer

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McBie View Post
Hmmmmm ..... nicely formatted post .... looks like you want to make a statement.
Do you have any backups of your data / photo's ?
If not, then why did you take a decision to willingly destroy all your data?
Second, Did you use the original install media that came with the Mac ?
I have not checked your previous posts , but have you ever mentioned your problems on this forum below, so you could have been helped earlier. ( I may be mistaken on this one )
So let's go back to basics, the damage has been done anyway.
Do yo have the original install media for this type of Mac ?
What version of the OS are we talking about ?

Cheers ... McBie
Thanks for responding. I have been trying to fix my computer for actually 2 months or more. It was unusable because IF i ever managed to get online with it I kept getting Script errors that a script was running and asked did I want to stop it - of course I said "yes" but the second you move the mouse the spinning wheel syndrome goes into overdrive. I tried resetting the pram if I did it right. So then i was going to use Terminal and try to use Applejack to try to fix it but my terminal prompt had to be wrong because everything came back something like "comand not found". The only thing that didn't come back that way on terminal was *"ls" and it would come back with library but that didn't seem to accomplish anything. Behind the 8-ball when you can do next to nothing and all efforts to reset PRAM, repair disk, verify disk, etc. (which came back repaired/valid) - then I was going to use my ms laptop where I had assembled some notes about what might help me in terminal but then my ms laptop went inoperable and it is in for repair for several weeks so I have no computer (I'm typing this from my sons) and I needed my Mac working again and after 2 months or more I just figured I was forestalling the inevitable loss. Some of my pics were on Dropbox but not all would fit and those are lost.

Anyway, as you say - done deal. But to lose them and still have a non-functional computer at the end of all that is frankly frustrating/depressing. When it rains it pours. Timing belt broken on my car among other things to add to the frustration, no car, no computer..

Excuse me if I sound WHINEY but I guess I am but I have more problems than I know what to do with. So I confess, I'm not much fun to deal with.

Yes, I have the original Snow Leopard Disk that came with my computer. My Mac was replaced after it was stolen in a home burglary and the insurance didn't get me the Applecare and I never did either.

I SHOULD HAVE backed everything up but the disks I was using never worked. Too late I got a 10 gig zip drive but anyway.

I think that answers your questions and says more than you wanna know. I am sorry to inflict my POOR ME state of mind on anyone but absent locking myself in my basement so i can't communicate my WHINING is about the only thing I still have that works.

Mea culpa.

Oh I forget the exact number but it is Snow Leopard is all. I have plenty of space on my hard drive btw. I don't have all the specs on my Imac if there is something you need I can get an exact list.

CHEERS- (lol) back at you.
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McBie

 
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No worries mate.
Have a look at the post from Chscag and perform the steps that he suggests.
Let us know how you get on.

Cheers ... McBie

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude towards the problem. You understand ?
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kcsummer

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
First, did you reinstall Snow Leopard from your original DVD set that came with the machine?

You might want to boot the machine with your original Snow Leopard DVD and then enter Disk Utility from the top menu "Utilities". Run a verify and repair on the hard drive. Let's see what it says. Also, I'm assuming you did not buy Apple Care?
Thanks, yes, my original DVD that came with computer. I have done the verify/repair hard drive probably 4 or 5 times. At first it came back as a problem recommended I backup and reinstall but subsequently I was able to get on more than one occasion that the verify/repair was successfully performed.

Not sure why it took like 16 hours or so to do.

My latest intallation attempt took approximately 7 hours or so (not sure as I finally fell asleep).
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kcsummer

 
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I seem to know JUST ENOUGH to get myself in trouble - and not quite enough to fix it.
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OK, just a few things.

First and foremost, OS X very rarely needs to be installed clean. There's not much a normal user can modify outside of the home folder, so at worst, if you want a clean slate, you can just create a new account and delete the old one.

Given the circumstances, it sounds very likely that your hard disk is in a failing state. Hard disk failures can manifest themselves in a variety of different ways. It can just go out and stop working, but more often, a portion of the disk becomes damaged - so the installer won't know that it's writing to a partially bad drive - and this is likely the cause of the extremely long install time. Typically an OS X install should take no longer than 30-45 minutes - that was your first clue that there's a hardware problem of some kind.

At this point, I would recommend running the Apple Hardware Test:

Intel-based Macs: Using Apple Hardware Test

This will help you to isolate the problem. If it is indeed the hard disk, your next step will be to replace it - then it's time to reinstall OS X and then finally, work to recover your lost data (if possible).

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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kcsummer

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
OK, just a few things.

First and foremost, OS X very rarely needs to be installed clean. There's not much a normal user can modify outside of the home folder, so at worst, if you want a clean slate, you can just create a new account and delete the old one.

Given the circumstances, it sounds very likely that your hard disk is in a failing state. Hard disk failures can manifest themselves in a variety of different ways. It can just go out and stop working, but more often, a portion of the disk becomes damaged - so the installer won't know that it's writing to a partially bad drive - and this is likely the cause of the extremely long install time. Typically an OS X install should take no longer than 30-45 minutes - that was your first clue that there's a hardware problem of some kind.

At this point, I would recommend running the Apple Hardware Test:

Intel-based Macs: Using Apple Hardware Test

This will help you to isolate the problem. If it is indeed the hard disk, your next step will be to replace it - then it's time to reinstall OS X and then finally, work to recover your lost data (if possible).

Thanks for your info/suggestions. I guess I'm confused about your suggestion about don't need to install SnowLeopard just create a new account. How would creating a new account fix a corrupted / damaged operating system? Thank you for the tip about the hardware test. I shall certainly do so and report whatever the results are..

I'm curious what makes a hard disk fail? This is my second mac. The first one I used extensively and it never gave me any trouble until it was stolen but that's another issue.

anyway, this newer one I have not used so much, not nearly as much as the previous running Tiger. What circumstances would contribute to a disk failure?
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kcsummer

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McBie View Post
No worries mate.
Have a look at the post from Chscag and perform the steps that he suggests.
Let us know how you get on.

Cheers ... McBie

Thanks - I guess I may not have explained very well. Prior to my installation attempt last evening, i did do the Disk Verify and Repair with apparent success, if I can believe the system. Also, I am using the original disk that I got with the computer.

I suppose that if it were possible to detect the bad sector that if you partitioned the drive that you might be able to get by with it for a while that way.

Is it difficult to install a new hard drive for the average individual of reasonable intelligence. I'm pretty sure I have reasonable intelligence, just short on patience i guess.

Thanks for the suggestions - someone else suggested I do a hardware test which I shall do later on and post results.
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cwa107

 
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Originally Posted by kcsummer View Post

Thanks for your info/suggestions. I guess I'm confused about your suggestion about don't need to install SnowLeopard just create a new account. How would creating a new account fix a corrupted / damaged operating system? Thank you for the tip about the hardware test. I shall certainly do so and report whatever the results are..


It was just a comment on the propensity for users to think that an OS reinstall is necessary as a troubleshooting step. It rarely is. Your symptoms were more likely a result of the bad hard disk, and not necessarily a corrupted OS install. In essence, my recommendation is to start troubleshooting in small steps - for example, if your car won't start, it's usually a good idea to check to see if there's gas in the tank before you start rebuilding the engine

Quote:
I'm curious what makes a hard disk fail? This is my second mac. The first one I used extensively and it never gave me any trouble until it was stolen but that's another issue.
Hard disks, being mechanical in nature, are subject to mechanical failure. It's also possible for the surface of the platters to become desensitized. Some are more reliable than others. This is why backups are so crucial. It's not a question of "if" your hard disk will fail, but "when".

Quote:
anyway, this newer one I have not used so much, not nearly as much as the previous running Tiger. What circumstances would contribute to a disk failure?
Anything from the quality of the mechanism, how warm it runs, to whether it was ever exposed to vibration or dropping. I've seen hard drives that lasted for decades, while others failed within months. It's just the nature of the beast.

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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kcsummer

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
It was just a comment on the propensity for users to think that an OS reinstall is necessary as a troubleshooting step. It rarely is. Your symptoms were more likely a result of the bad hard disk, and not necessarily a corrupted OS install. In essence, my recommendation is to start troubleshooting in small steps - for example, if your car won't start, it's usually a good idea to check to see if there's gas in the tank before you start rebuilding the engine



Hard disks, being mechanical in nature, are subject to mechanical failure. It's also possible for the surface of the platters to become desensitized. Some are more reliable than others. This is why backups are so crucial. It's not a question of "if" your hard disk will fail, but "when".



Anything from the quality of the mechanism, how warm it runs, to whether it was ever exposed to vibration or dropping. I've seen hard drives that lasted for decades, while others failed within months. It's just the nature of the beast.
Thanks - I would not have done something as drastic as wiping out my entire drive as a first step. I have been visiting several forums trying to figure this out for several months, at least two. I did not have much luck - I was trying to acquaint myself with Terminal but failed out of the starting gate as there was something wrong with my prompt because it was always something along the lines of "not valid or not found".

i had contemplated getting an external hard drive but I was going over my own personal financial cliff and had to make some hard choices.

Anyway - I did see one suggestion that erasing PRAM might help. I doubt it because i have done so before (several months ago). But anything is worth a try
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kcsummer

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
OK, just a few things.

First and foremost, OS X very rarely needs to be installed clean. There's not much a normal user can modify outside of the home folder, so at worst, if you want a clean slate, you can just create a new account and delete the old one.

Given the circumstances, it sounds very likely that your hard disk is in a failing state. Hard disk failures can manifest themselves in a variety of different ways. It can just go out and stop working, but more often, a portion of the disk becomes damaged - so the installer won't know that it's writing to a partially bad drive - and this is likely the cause of the extremely long install time. Typically an OS X install should take no longer than 30-45 minutes - that was your first clue that there's a hardware problem of some kind.

At this point, I would recommend running the Apple Hardware Test:

Intel-based Macs: Using Apple Hardware Test

This will help you to isolate the problem. If it is indeed the hard disk, your next step will be to replace it - then it's time to reinstall OS X and then finally, work to recover your lost data (if possible).
I could never get the Hardware Test to start even though I tried everything suggested. But that doesn't surprise me because that is the way this whole thing has been.
Other suggestions have been made such as Safe Boot and I can't even do that.

I think its time to donate this thing to the scrap heap. It looks brand new but that's the only positive.

Months of trying getting nowhere . I'm in whining mode again. Sorry but I'm just fed up (and broke). No more Apples for me. Thanks though for trying to help.
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