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  1. #1
    IMac 27" 2011 won't boot up after installing new HD
    I have a friends I-Mac 27" 2011 that I am trying to get running after the HD died.

    I installed a new one. new drive is a 4TB SATA 6Gb/s 3.5-inch. I installed it with an "In-line digital thermal sensor for IMac 2011" When I try to start it up it seems to be going normally and when the startup is complete the screen goes black for a second then to a blank white/grey screen. I have tried starting it from a bootable flash drive, and using internet recovery. Both yield the same results, ends up in the blank white/grey screen. I have an original Snow Leopard instal disc that I tried, but it reads the disk for a while and then ejects it. I connected it to my computer using target disk mode and formatted the HD. The HD seems to be operating normally when I have it in target disk mode connected to my computer.

    I have an external HD with a good Time Machine backup of his old HD. I also have another external HD with a clone of his bad HD that I made while it was still working, but I'm not sure it's any good. The old HD had bad sectors on it.

  2. #2
    IMac 27" 2011 won't boot up after installing new HD
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, US
    Posts
    5,332
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS Mojave, iPhone 8+ iOS 12, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iOS 12, Pencil 1
    The 2011 iMac, with a new internal drive, does not have Internet Recovery.

    Do you know what Mac OS X/OS X/macOS version was installed on the old drive?

    When you start it up, with any of the bootable drives connected, hold the option key down. The Time Machine will be bootable if Mac OS X Lion (10.7.3) or later was installed. The bootable installer should also work.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    The 2011 iMac, with a new internal drive, does not have Internet Recovery.
    It acts like it does. It ask me for the WiFi password. I enter it. The globe spins, the progress bar moves and at the end it then goes to that blank screen.

    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    Do you know what Mac OS X/OS X/macOS version was installed on the old drive?
    I'm not sure, but I think it had Sierra

    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    When you start it up, with any of the bootable drives connected, hold the option key down. The Time Machine will be bootable if Mac OS X Lion (10.7.3) or later was installed. The bootable installer should also work.
    Oh yea, I tried booting from the Time Machine drive to. I also tried booting from the Clone I made of his old HD. All seem to be starting up, apple logo, progress bar, then that blank screen. The only thing that doesn't do that is the installer disk. With that I don't get that far, it won't keep it in the drive, keeps ejecting it.

    Is it possible I didn't get everyting connected up right when I installed the drive? I don't thiink so because the monitor works, I see the apple logo when it's trying to start up. The HD I installed seems to be working OK when I connect to it via my computer through target disk mode.

  4. #4
    IMac 27" 2011 won't boot up after installing new HD
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, US
    Posts
    5,332
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS Mojave, iPhone 8+ iOS 12, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iOS 12, Pencil 1
    Since you can connect to your Mac using TDM, why not plug the installer into your Mac, and install onto the iMac with the issue? Or will your Mac not run that installer?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  5. #5
    I can't use the install disk on mine because I don't have a drive. My computer is a iMac (27-inch, Late 2012) running Mojave.
    I do have the flash drive with Sierra on it. So can I put that flash drive in my computer, have his connected to mine via target disk mode, start up my computer from the flash drive and then install Sierra on his drive? Will it install it right since we have different computers? I guess it wouldn't hurt to try.

  6. #6
    IMac 27" 2011 won't boot up after installing new HD
    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Posts
    25,005
    Your Mac's Specs
    iMac, i7 4GHz, 32GB memory, 1TB Blade, OS X.14.1 Mojave,
    The flash drive has to an operating system on it and be bootable. Pop it in, reboot and hold down C after the chime and see if it boots.

    You do need to know precisely what model you have as you told us two different models with two different operating systems.

    How did you format this new hard drive?
    Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
    The flash drive has to an operating system on it and be bootable. Pop it in, reboot and hold down C after the chime and see if it boots.
    Did all that, didn't work. Wouldn't boot up.

    Quote Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
    You do need to know precisely what model you have as you told us two different models with two different operating systems.
    Two computers. The broken one belongs to a friend (IMac 27" 2011) and mine (iMac 27-inch, Late 2012) that is working fine. I listed my computer's model becaues I was using it to connect to my firends computer via Target Disk Mode.

    I tried the solution ferrarr suggested where I have the broken computer connected to mine via target disk mode. I then booted my computer (the one that's not broken) from the flash drive with Sierra install on it. That worked. I installed the operating system on the broken comuter's HD. I also did a Time Maching recovery on it. I even booted my computer from the broken one's HD via a connection using target disk mode. It booted up fine, and all his files and stuff was there. I then tried to boot the broken computer up from this HD and it won't. It shows the Apple logo with the progress bar. When the progress bar gets to the end, the screen goes blank white/grey for a few minutes and then it chimes and tries to restart all over again, and again. If I try to start in safe mode It shows the Apple logo with the progress bar. When the progress bar gets to the end, the screen goes blank white/grey and stays there.

    I think I have made progress. I have the new HD formatted and a working operating system on it. It works to boot my 27-inch, late 2012 iMac when connected to it via Target Disk Mode.
    I can't get my frinds computer, iMac 27" 2011 to boot from any drive.
    I opened it up and checked all the connections I had to take apart when I installed the new HD and all seem to be tight.

    Any suggestions on what to try next?

  8. #8
    IMac 27" 2011 won't boot up after installing new HD
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    56,761
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 7+, Numerous iPods, Mojave
    I can't get my frinds computer, iMac 27" 2011 to boot from any drive.
    I opened it up and checked all the connections I had to take apart when I installed the new HD and all seem to be tight.

    Any suggestions on what to try next?
    Not too long ago our Administrator had a very complexing problem with an iMac he was working on. He tried many things and wound up taking the machine apart a number of times. Long story short... he found that the SATA cable was defective. After replacing it, the machine booted normally.

    Check the SATA cable on that machine and replace it even if it looks like nothing is wrong with it.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    Not too long ago our Administrator had a very complexing problem with an iMac he was working on. He tried many things and wound up taking the machine apart a number of times. Long story short... he found that the SATA cable was defective. After replacing it, the machine booted normally.

    Check the SATA cable on that machine and replace it even if it looks like nothing is wrong with it.
    I installed the HD with one of these https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DIDIMACHDD11/
    Maybe I should try taking it out and see if it works?

  10. #10
    IMac 27" 2011 won't boot up after installing new HD
    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Posts
    25,005
    Your Mac's Specs
    iMac, i7 4GHz, 32GB memory, 1TB Blade, OS X.14.1 Mojave,
    That is not the SATA cable but the heat sensor kit. Where did you download the operating system from and did you use Diskmaker X prior to the download?
    Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
    Where did you download the operating system from
    The App Store

    Quote Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
    did you use Diskmaker X prior to the download?
    No. I used the Termanal utility and followed instructions found here https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372 to make the bootable flash drive.

  12. #12
    IMac 27" 2011 won't boot up after installing new HD
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, US
    Posts
    5,332
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS Mojave, iPhone 8+ iOS 12, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iOS 12, Pencil 1
    Instead of holding "C", try holding "option", during startup?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  13. #13
    IMac 27" 2011 won't boot up after installing new HD
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    56,761
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 7+, Numerous iPods, Mojave
    You need to go to iFixit: The Free Repair Manual and locate the SATA cable for your iMac. A defective cable may be the problem - worth checking. Note... that is not the same cable as the thermal sensor cable.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    You need to go to iFixit: The Free Repair Manual and locate the SATA cable for your iMac. A defective cable may be the problem - worth checking. Note... that is not the same cable as the thermal sensor cable.
    Yes, I'm awair that the thermal sensor cable is a different cable, but it connects between the HD and the SATA cable. Figured since it's in the chain it could be causing the problem. Also figured it would be fairly easy to remove it and try booting it up. I don't have a problem throwing parts at it, especially if it's a fairly cheep one like an SATA would probably be, so that will be my next step if removing the thermal sensor cable doesn't change anything.

    Thanks for the help everyone. If anyone else has any suggestions I'm all ears.

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