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  1. #1
    Vintage iMac A1221 crashing on boot
    I am mostly a PC tech but trying to get an handle on fixing an iMac A1221

    Here is what I have done so far:

    Removed hard drive and connected it to my working iMac (same vintage) via USB

    Booting into MY working iMac, did a disk verify and disk repair

    Using the Option key and choosing the USB connect HD, I was able to boot. I think this indicates hardware is OK.

    Ran Disk Repair again.

    Moved HD back to target iMac and attempted boot. No Joy. Boot progress goes to about 2/3 then crashes. Very slow boot progress.

    Also, booted into single user mode on troubled iMac and ran fsck -yf 2X then rebooted.

    I have a USB flash with Snow Leopard OS on it. How can I reinstall from Single User mode?

    Thanks in advance.
    Kentek newbie iMac user

  2. #2
    Vintage iMac A1221 crashing on boot
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, US
    Posts
    6,971
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS 15, iPhone 8+ iOS 13, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iPadOS 13,  Pencil 1
    Rep Power
    14
    Have you tried Safe mode, Use safe mode to isolate issues with your Mac - Apple Support

    Also, it could be the hard drive cable that is bad?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  3. #3
    Vintage iMac A1221 crashing on boot
    krs's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 16, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kentek View Post
    I am mostly a PC tech but trying to get an handle on fixing an iMac A1221

    Here is what I have done so far:

    Removed hard drive and connected it to my working iMac (same vintage) via USB

    Booting into MY working iMac, did a disk verify and disk repair

    Using the Option key and choosing the USB connect HD, I was able to boot. I think this indicates hardware is OK.

    Ran Disk Repair again.

    Moved HD back to target iMac and attempted boot. No Joy. Boot progress goes to about 2/3 then crashes. Very slow boot progress.

    Also, booted into single user mode on troubled iMac and ran fsck -yf 2X then rebooted.

    I have a USB flash with Snow Leopard OS on it. How can I reinstall from Single User mode?

    Thanks in advance.
    Kentek newbie iMac user
    Since you can successfully boot using the drive from the problem iMac with your working iMac via USB, I doubt reinstalling Snow Leopard will help.
    My guess is that the problem is related to the internal connectivity between the hard drive and the Mac motherboard, cable or connector as ferrarr suggested.

    Did you try booting with the drive connected externally via USB to the problem iMac?
    That would bypass the internal drive connection.
    If that works, then the issue is definitely with the internal connectivity.

    PS: Could also be a memory issue if the RAM was recently replaced or if it's not seated properly.
    Last edited by krs; 09-14-2019 at 02:00 PM.

  4. #4
    I will try the Ext connect to target imac.
    Good thinking on your part.
    I switched out the RAM with known good. No change.
    kaw

  5. #5
    safe mode
    Tried Safe. No Joy. Progress bar goes to about 80% and stops but does not crash.

    I was able to get into Single User mode and could execute commands. This is why I don't think it is a hardware issue. Something scrogged on OS.
    I just found a list of diff boot options that I will try.

    Thanks
    kaw

  6. #6
    If no hard drive in bay, nothing comes up and iMac becomes a hair dryier as fan at full tilt.

    one down...

  7. #7
    Vintage iMac A1221 crashing on boot
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, US
    Posts
    6,971
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS 15, iPhone 8+ iOS 13, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iPadOS 13,  Pencil 1
    Rep Power
    14
    Can you try your good iMac hard drive in the bad iMac internally?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  8. #8
    That's way too much work. Im a tech trying to make a $. I'm suggesting to owoner that we buy a pre-owned same vintage off ebay and move on.
    Buy, you are correct,that would help prove the hardware theory.
    kaw

  9. #9
    Vintage iMac A1221 crashing on boot
    krs's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 16, 2008
    Posts
    1,172
    Rep Power
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by Kentek View Post
    Tried Safe. No Joy. Progress bar goes to about 80% and stops but does not crash.

    I was able to get into Single User mode and could execute commands. This is why I don't think it is a hardware issue. Something scrogged on OS.
    If the drive from the problem iMac boots up fine when connected to your working iMac via USB, I would think both the drive and the OS on it are OK and not related to the problem.

    I don't have an iMac, but many of the newer Macs have a temperature sensor attached to the internal hard drive which then controls the fans in the Mac.
    That would explain the fans running at full tilt with that sensor not being connected.

    If you have another external you can use for testing, I would put the hard drive back into the iMac and connect the external to the USB port to see if you can boot up on that.
    And if you have an external for testing that is not a macOS clone you can always install macOS on it and then use it to see if the problem iMac will boot up on it.
    You should be able to boot up from the USB Flash drive with SnowLeopard on it as well be holding down some keys/key combination - don't remember which one right now but a google search should bring that up...or input from another member here.

    Having a working iMac available really helps to figure out what the problem is with the defective one.

  10. #10
    I think I proved it is a MOBO or controller problem:
    If I attach to known good iMac, mine, HD boots fine all is good.
    It wont boot from its own USB even when i put a blank HD in the SATA slot. Goes to the same place and drops.
    I am going to recommend to client that we buy a good used off eBay for around $250 and swap out the hard drive and go to lunch.
    Thanks guys for all the help.

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