IMac won't load, I've tried several things, advise please

Sep 28, 2011
Reaction score
I have a 3 year old iMac, running snow leopard and I can't get it to load past the screen saver. I made a generic white screensaver a few weeks ago, when I was having ghosting issues and have just left it on the machine. Last night i put it to sleep, this morning I saw my white screen saver, with a spinning disk. I shut it off, now I have no spinning disk on reboot, just a chime when I start it and the screen saver appears. I tried several things, holding down the S key to start in safe mode, hoping to repair it by putting in the installation disk, holding down the C when it starts, nothing works. I can briefly hear the installation disk spin and then it stops. I tried holding down option, starting it while holding down my left mouse button, I tried starting it holding down the T key, I unplugged all peripherals except the mouse and keyboard, but it's hanging on that screensaver. I do still hear the chime, but thats it, no spinning wheel, nothing. Thanks for for any help you can offer.


Well-known member
Staff member
Jan 23, 2008
Reaction score
Keller, Texas
Your Mac's Specs
2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, Numerous iPods, Monterey
You can not get into Safe Mode by holding down the "S" key. Instead, try holding down the Shift key as soon as you hear the chime. If you can get into safe mode, shut off the screen saver and then try to reboot normally.

If safe mode won't work, try booting the machine with your install DVD, and run Disk Utility verify and repair.

Shop Amazon

Shop for your Apple, Mac, iPhone and other computer products on Amazon.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.