Grey Screen with Question Mark

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I have an early Intel I-Mac running a pre-installed OS 10.4.11 operating system.
Lately, I've had a lot of trouble getting it to boot up.
When I start it up I hear a clicking sound for several minutes then I get a grey screen with a question mark. If, after several re-starts, I leave it off for a few minutes a new start will usually boot up and I can get to work. This is very annoying and I'm afraid the whole system will crash.
Can anyone give me some help?
 

vansmith

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Too many devices to list
I edited the title for clarity - your username doesn't tell us much ;).
 

dtravis7


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Your hard drive is dying. Back it up ASAP. You can install a new hard drive but on those old white iMacs it's not the easiest thing, but can be done. The clicking is a dead give away for me the drive is failing.
 

pigoo3

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I have an early Intel I-Mac running a pre-installed OS 10.4.11 operating system.
Lately, I've had a lot of trouble getting it to boot up.
When I start it up I hear a clicking sound for several minutes then I get a grey screen with a question mark. If, after several re-starts, I leave it off for a few minutes a new start will usually boot up and I can get to work. This is very annoying and I'm afraid the whole system will crash.
Can anyone give me some help?

From what you describe...there's a 99.9% chance that your hard drive is dead...or about to die completely. I would suggest EXTREMELY...the next time you are able to successfully boot with this hard drive...back up your important files ASAP...I cannot stress this enough!!!

You will then need to purchase & install a new hard drive (and install the OS on the drive).

- Nick
 
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Thank you to Nick and the others who answered. I've taken the steps to protect myself from the inevitable crash.
Rolland
 

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