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

2011 iMac Problem


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pigoo3

 
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Hey guys...I need some help. I have a 2011 27" iMac that I'm having some trouble with.

The computer up until today was ok. I wanted to upgrade the internal HD to 1 terabyte. After installing the drive...the computer doesn't seem to want to "see" the internal drive (won't boot from it).

I've tried:

- PRAM/NVRAM reset
- SMC reset
- Booting using command +r
- Booting from an external drive with an OS on it.
- Launching Disk Utility

I've tried multiple drives (including the original one)...and I cannot get the computer to boot from any internal drive (it's as if there's no internal drive installed). All drives have tested fine with other computers...so I know that the drives are good.

Anybody have any ideas? I'm pretty "frazzled" at the moment. Maybe I'm forgetting something in my frazzled state!

Thanks,

- Nick

p.s. Also...as far as I can tell...all plugs & wires are attached inside (didn't forget anything).
p.p.s. The computer does not have Applecare.

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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chscag

 
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About the only thing that comes to my mind Nick is the hard drive connector or cable. Any way to maybe swap them out? Also, doesn't the 2011 27" iMac have an extra connector for a second drive installation?
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Silly question Nick ~ memory modules replaced?

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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dtravis7

 
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I agree with Charlie, Check the SATA cable. Does the drive show at all in Disk Utility and just not boot or not even show?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
About the only thing that comes to my mind Nick is the hard drive connector or cable. Any way to maybe swap them out? Also, doesn't the 2011 27" iMac have an extra connector for a second drive installation?
Cables are good. I'll have to look into the cable/connector for a 2nd drive…I'm assuming the 2nd drive goes in the optical drive bay.

As I think you know…with 2011 iMac's…the HD is technically not upgradeable or replaceable by the end-user (but there are 2 way's around this). Both ways require me to purchase something…which I need to do (and test)…and of course won't get until next week.

I think that one of the problems is the original internal Apple HD is dead/dying (so I'm getting random issues). I'm also having one more "quirky" VERY frustrating issue that is probably unrelated to the internal HD…and I'm working on that at the moment.

Thanks for the cable suggestions.

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
Silly question Nick ~ memory modules replaced?
Thanks for mentioning that Harry. I did forget to mention ram in my original post. Ram is fine. I can boot the computer from an external HD just fine…and use the computer for hours. I REALLY wish the ram was the problem!!!

Thanks for the suggestion.

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
I agree with Charlie, Check the SATA cable. Does the drive show at all in Disk Utility and just not boot or not even show?
Great questions Dennis. The SATA cable is fine…and I'm glad you mentioned Disk Utility.

Sometimes the drive shows up in Disk Utility…and sometimes not. And when it does show up…I get errors with Verify Disk & Repair Disk. I also cannot reformat it, repartition it, or erase it. I think that the drive is dead or dying.

In case you didn't know...Apple has made these newer (2011) iMacs EXTREMELY difficult to work on (the internal HD). The end user is technically not able to replace the internal HD…but there are a couple of ways around this.

I need to get some parts & install them…to see if they solve the problem.

I've probably worked on this computer about 6-8 hours today (lots of hands-on learning)…which is good & bad! And I've been researching the past couple days why these 2011 iMac internal HD's are such a hassle to work on…and what Apple has done to make it so difficult.

Thanks for your help!

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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dtravis7

 
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Yes, I knew. you get the cable and stuff from OWC for that model. Let us know what happens. If you do not use the cable I am told it works but with Blasting FANS and fails AHT, but still works.

I hope your SATA controller is not dying. The one in my iSight iMac G5 died and would sometimes read and sometimes not. When it did show up I got errors like you are getting. Mine died due to the old Nichon Capacitors with Bad formula blowing and shorting and it took out that SATA controller chip.
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chscag

 
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Quote:
Yes, I knew. you get the cable and stuff from OWC for that model. Let us know what happens. If you do not use the cable I am told it works but with Blasting FANS and fails AHT, but still works.
Actually, there's even a better work around than that Dennis. Check this out: LINK It really works and is only $35.00!

@Nick: Take note of that also.....
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
Yes, I knew. you get the cable and stuff from OWC for that model. Let us know what happens. If you do not use the cable I am told it works but with Blasting FANS and fails AHT, but still works.
Sounds like you are familiar with the problem & the solution. The special cable from OWC is one of the solutions I'm considering. And like you said…the blasting fans and failing AHT are two of the issues that occur if an "off the shelf" non-Apple HD is used.

Since you seem to be interested…the other quirky problem I was having (but fingers-crossed) not at the moment…is a display issue.

There are three cables that need to be disconnected before removing the display panel. One of them (of course) is the display cable. This is the cable with the "weird" U-shaped wire retainer that has the black piece of plastic tape on it (for easy removal).

Let me first say that I know that this computer has been "opened-up" a lot of times…and the display cable connector/plug & the socket on the logic board have gotten pretty "boogered-up"! And so I don't think that this cable & socket are mating up as properly as they should.

What I think is happening is…the display cable connector is being inserted too far into the logic board socket…and when I power-up the computer…I get no video (no backlight or anything). I was dealing with this problem all afternoon. Sometimes I would get video & sometimes not (VERY FRUSTRATING)!

Then earlier this evening I had an idea of tugging on the display cable (after it was connected to the logic board & the wire retainer was in place). When I did this…I could feel the display cable plug come out of the socket just a tiny bit (less than a millimeter). And ever since (about 4 hours now & a couple restarts)…I haven't lost video. So fingers-crossed.

So I've had two problems with this computer today (unrelated I think). The hard drive problem…and the display problem. So "knock on wood"…the display problem is under control. And hopefully the parts I need for the HD problem will solve it!

Let me know what you think.

Thanks for the help,

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
Actually, there's even a better work around than that Dennis. Check this out: LINK It really works and is only $35.00!

@Nick: Take note of that also.....
Charlie…I took a quick look at that. How is it different than using SMCfancontrol (which I've also seen as a sort-of solution to the fan problem)?

One of the issues I'm having is (if I'm using a non-Apple HD internally)…is the computer won't boot from the drive (with an OS installed on it of course). It would be great if the non-Apple internal HD would boot the computer…then I would only have to deal with the high rpm fan issue.

I know that you mentioned the SATA cable. Thing is the non-Apple internal HD works fine if I boot from an external HD (with an OS). And it will sometimes boot the computer if the computer has "warmed" up. But if I let the computer turned off for like 2 hours (gotten cold again)…then it won't boot from the non-Apple internal HD again. Very frustrating.

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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dtravis7

 
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Agreed Nick with your Video issue. I have never gotten a chance to work with that newer video connector. My 2007 and before use the small metal plug into a socket with 2 screws. That has always worked for me. Sounds like you figured that part out. I have seen videos of that plug and agree.

That does not sound good that the new HDD will not work while cold. Sounds like some issue on Logic board. I hope I am wrong. You did try a different SATA cable?
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Quote:
Charlie…I took a quick look at that. How is it different than using SMCfancontrol (which I've also seen as a sort-of solution to the fan problem)?
It uses the built in SMART sensing of the hard drive to control the fan rather than using one static setting or another like SMCfancontrol does. In other words, it acts just like the temperature sensor that Apple uses. The difference is, no proprietary cable is needed.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
That does not sound good that the new HDD will not work while cold. Sounds like some issue on Logic board. I hope I am wrong. You did try a different SATA cable?
Dennis and Charlie. Both of you mentioned the SATA cable. At first I didn't think it could be the cable...now I'm starting to think it could be a possibility. I've tried three HD's in the computer (the original Apple drive and two non-Apple drives)...and I can't boot from any of them. I know that I should be able to boot from the non-Apple drives...and worst case...just have to deal with the high fan issue. But I can't even get the computer to boot from them.

The Apple drive may be dying or maybe not...since I can boot the computer from it if I use it via USB (but I still gets errors from it with Disk Utility). The other two non-Apple drives are brand new so I know that they are good (and can boot the computer with them via USB as well).

The one thing I'm not 100% sure of is if the internal drive is even spinning up (hard to hear from the outside). So it could be the internal HD power cable or the SATA cable (they are separate cables).

I'm going to test more today. It's possible to have the iMac laying on it's "back" with the display "unbolted" and propped up at a 45° degree angle so I can see, hear, and feel. While in this position I will be able to hear or feel if the internal HD is spinning up...and be able to wiggle the internal HD power cable & SATA cable in case there is a loose connection of some sort...and see if that has any effect.

- Nick

p.s. Hopefully it is not the logic board. Everything seems to work fine if booting from an external HD. Display is great, airport & bluetooth work fine, sound is fine, display brightness & volume controls work fine, camera works fine, "Happy Mac" sound on start up, etc.

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Good going Nick! Keep us posted. You know me well enough to know I love troubleshooting so am on the edge of my seat waiting for more! Good luck my friend!
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