1 2 Previous Next 17 Replies Latest reply: Oct 26, 2012 11:17 PM by baltwo
babowa Level 7 Level 7 (23,315 points)

My iMac (mid 2010 27" 2.93 GHz, 12 GB RAM) is on the hard drive recall list; I was going to wait until the floods abated a little, but a couple of very strange things happened yesterday:

 

1. Woke iMac; cursor/mouse (USB wired) would not respond. Frozen. Had to plug it into another USB port - then it worked.

 

2. Wanting to burn a test movie to a DVD to check for quality issues, I went into Sys Preferences and set to never sleep, etc (which is what I always do). Burned DVD.

 

3. Wanting to open Sys Prefs again to change back my settings - well...... bounced in dock, and the name showed up in the menu bar, but it would not open. No window at all. Tried to do a restart - no go. Every time I hit Restart, the Sys Prefs name would show up in the menu bar and there was no response. Trashed the ,plist. No difference. At this point, cannot restart or shutdown via menu or any other way. Even doing a hard shutdown needed three tries.

 

4. Tried to power up - no go.

 

5. Plugged in one of my bootable clones. Tried every key command possible - no response. Couldn't Safe boot either.

 

6. Finally unplugged the power cord for 15 seconds...... after that, it booted up and showed all my external partitions.

 

7. At this point, the hard drive was extremely noisy, grumbling, grinding..... so I immediately updated my bootable clone. Tested it and it works. Will do a second one later once I pick up a longer FW cable this afternoon.

 

So, should I call Apple right now - or am I safe waiting a while? The hard drive noise has abated somewhat this morning and so far no problems....


iMac (27-inch Mid 2010), (OS X ML, 10.7.4, 10.6.8), 2.93 GHz
  • 1. Re: Hard drive or logic board problem?
    mende1 Level 10 Level 10 (89,570 points)

    If your iMac has got one of the damaged Seagate disks and it's failing, take it to an Apple Store and they'll run a diagnostic to see if there's something wrong. It could be the hard disk, so open Disk Utility and verify the disk

  • 2. Re: Hard drive or logic board problem?
    rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (42,145 points)

    Also run Apple Hardware Test in Extended Mode. You should run the test a minimum of 3 times as it sometimes takes that many passes to locate an issue. It will provide error codes which you can take to your local Apple Store or AASP and they can advise where the issue is.

     

    To run AHT please CAREFULLY read:

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1509

  • 3. Re: Hard drive or logic board problem?
    babowa Level 7 Level 7 (23,315 points)

    Thanks - so I shouldn't use my SL install disk to run AHT, but start up holding D key instead?

  • 4. Re: Hard drive or logic board problem?
    mende1 Level 10 Level 10 (89,570 points)

    You will only be able to start AHT with D key if you haven't formatted your hard drive. If you formatted the hard disk, insert your Snow Leopard disc and press D key on boot

  • 5. Re: Hard drive or logic board problem?
    babowa Level 7 Level 7 (23,315 points)

    What exactly do you mean with "formatted"? Of course it's formatted (Mac OS extended (journaled) - or what am I missing? Both of my partitions are formatted - one containing the latest iteration of Lion, the other with ML 10.8.2.

  • 6. Re: Hard drive or logic board problem?
    mende1 Level 10 Level 10 (89,570 points)

    If you haven't erased the disk after you bought your computer. Apple Hardware Test is installed on your Mac by default, but it's deleted when you erase the disk

  • 7. Re: Hard drive or logic board problem?
    babowa Level 7 Level 7 (23,315 points)

    Ahh, thanks - the partitions have been erased multiple times during testing, so that option is obviously gone.... will do this later after I get my second clone updated.

  • 8. Re: Hard drive or logic board problem?
    baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (60,125 points)

    Jumping in and hopefully not stirring up things too much. Immediately, contact Apple's Express Lane and setup an onsite repair visit. Don't wait. Mine went south in April. First the boot volume failed, but others worked. Tried to restore the boot volume from a clone, still didn't work. Finally, without any of your symptoms, it flat died. With two ext FWHDs and multiple clones, they continued working. So, run the machine from an ext HD and minimize read and writes to the int HD. Stop sleeping the machine or its HDs.

     

    As for AHT, upgrading to Lion or ML mucks up using it from the installed OS. See my post at https://discussions.apple.com/message/20014699#20014699 for steps on restoring it.

  • 9. Re: Hard drive or logic board problem?
    baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (60,125 points)

    babowa wrote:

    Ahh, thanks - the partitions have been erased multiple times during testing, so that option is obviously gone.... will do this later after I get my second clone updated.

    Have a status report?

  • 10. Re: Hard drive or logic board problem?
    babowa Level 7 Level 7 (23,315 points)

    not yet, been on the phone waiting for a senior advisor....... first, the recall isn't for mine, LOL, it's for the last one I sold! Anyway, we are troubleshooting - learned that neither the regular  "D" nor the "Option + D" work. I think he is now setting up an on site repair - am on hold now for a newly specially created division that takes care care of the on site stuff (because of the recall). Will update later. total so far 1 1/2 hrs.

  • 11. Re: Hard drive or logic board problem?
    baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (60,125 points)

    Thanks. Once you get that set up, peruse the AHT discussion. IIRC, your machine shipped w/SL, so you should be able to restore the CMD+D capability.

  • 12. Re: Hard drive or logic board problem?
    babowa Level 7 Level 7 (23,315 points)

    Okay, finally off the phone - on site hard drive replacement is set up.

     

    Well, aside from the D key, we also tried the DVD - it would not work. On the internet AHT (Option and D), I got the "this computer does not support AHT". Just D did not work - even with a newly resurrected USB keyboard. Neither did the install disk #2 which plainly states that it has AHT on it. Could not boot with C key or Option key and it did not show up in Startup Disk Prefs. She was stumped on that one - since I now have ML on it, I guess it will no longer boot with an SL disk. I might have had success booting into my external SL partition and then trying it, but she did not want that. I may try it IF I have time this weekend just for the heck of it.

     

    All in all , they weren't sure if it was "only" the hard drive or if there is logic board issue, but the decision was to start with the hard drive and see if that takes care of it. The tech is supposed to check it after the drive is replaced as well.

     

    During one of the many hold periods, I was actually able to find my sales receipt for the iMac that is part of the HD recall and also found their email address - shot off an email with a copy of the Apple email, so they can get it replaced; although, that hard drive always was the most quiet drive I've ever had - comparing it with this thing which sounded like it was having digestive problems from day one.

     

    Two current clones are done and I'll work on moving my current movie project to an external lock stock and barrel. After that, I'll wait for the phone call and then wipe the drive on the day of the appointment.

  • 13. Re: Hard drive or logic board problem?
    baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (60,125 points)

    babowa wrote:

    Okay, finally off the phone - on site hard drive replacement is set up.

    thumbsup.gif

    Well, aside from the D key, we also tried the DVD - it would not work. On the internet AHT (Option and D), I got the "this computer does not support AHT". Just D did not work - even with a newly resurrected USB keyboard. Neither did the install disk #2 which plainly states that it has AHT on it. Could not boot with C key or Option key and it did not show up in Startup Disk Prefs. She was stumped on that one - since I now have ML on it, I guess it will no longer boot with an SL disk. I might have had success booting into my external SL partition and then trying it, but she did not want that. I may try it IF I have time this weekend just for the heck of it.

    It should still boot with the SL disc. Mine does. You might want to Zap the PRAM and Reset the SMC, then booting with the disc again. In any case, you should still be able to copy the .diagnostics folder to the ML boot volume (do that on one of your clones).

    All in all , they weren't sure if it was "only" the hard drive or if there is logic board issue, but the decision was to start with the hard drive and see if that takes care of it. The tech is supposed to check it after the drive is replaced as well.

    The noises usually indicate an HD issue, not the logic board.

    During one of the many hold periods, I was actually able to find my sales receipt for the iMac that is part of the HD recall and also found their [new owner's] email address - shot off an email with a copy of the Apple email, so they can get it replaced; although, that hard drive always was the most quiet drive I've ever had—comparing it with this thing which sounded like it was having digestive problems from day one.

    Nice. They should appreciate that. Also, they should have reregistered it under their name. BTW, I never hear the old one or this new one.

    Two current clones are done and I'll work on moving my current movie project to an external lock stock and barrel. After that, I'll wait for the phone call and then wipe the drive on the day of the appointment.

    I'd start now and just run it from one of your clones and then update the other one. Zeroing out the HD could take awhile. No sense rushing.

     

    Pay attention when they open it up. There are a least four sets of connectors that need removal until they can get complete access to the innards. Also, ensure that the vents get vacuumed and the display and glass cover are completely wiped clean.

     

    Enjoy the venture. 

  • 14. Re: Hard drive or logic board problem?
    babowa Level 7 Level 7 (23,315 points)

    Thanks so much! FWIW, the new owners did not reregister it - it was/is still in my name (and the Applecare just ended in August, so this is a good thing for them). Since everything goes by the serial number, Apple said it made no difference who would call them.

     

    I'll go through the thing to get to the .diagnostics folder - scanned it quickly at some point today, but could not follow it completely (too many fat finger corrections, LOL), so I'll read it again slowly. Will do the PRAM/SMC as well. So much for my other weekend plans......

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