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iMac (Mid 2007) only works in safe mode

659 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Nov 2, 2012 9:35 AM by BDAqua RSS
Alan Kidner Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 30, 2012 2:14 AM

Greetings, I have a 20-inch iMac (Mid 2007, MA876LL, 2.0GHz Intel) that I am trying to return to service.  The computer seems to work fine in safe mode / after a safe boot.  However, if I boot normally it freezes / locks up when the desktop wall paper is displayed and before the login dialog box comes up.

So far I have tried the following steps none of which have helped:
- Repaired the disk permissions
- Applied a fresh disk image to the hard drive (works okay on other iMacs)
- Reset PRAM and NVRAM
- Ran the extended Apple Hardware Test (no faults found)
- Installed and ran AppleJack
- Used remote terminal session to check running processes on 'frozen' computer (as far as I can tell none were stuck, none using too much CPU, none using too much memory)

How reliable is the Apple Hardware Test?  Can anyone suggest what to try next or the next diagnostic steps to take?  Thank you in anticipation of help!

Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,825 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 30, 2012 2:19 AM (in response to Alan Kidner)

    Hi alan, here's the skinny...

     

    One way to test is to Safe Boot from the HD, (holding Shift key down at bootup), run Disk Utility in Applications>Utilities, then highlight your drive, click on Repair Permissions, Test for problem in Safe Mode...

     

    PS. Safe boot may stay on the gray radian for a long time, let it go, it's trying to repair the Hard Drive

     

    Reboot, test again.

     

    If it only does it in Regular Boot, then it could be some hardware problem like Video card, (Quartz is turned off in Safe Mode), or Airport, or 3rd party add-on, Check System Preferences>Accounts>Login Items window to see if it or something relevant is listed.

     

    Check the System Preferences>Other Row, for 3rd party Pref Panes.

     

    Also look in these if they exist, some are invisible...

     

    /private/var/run/StartupItems

    /Library/StartupItems

    /System/Library/StartupItems

    /System/Library/LaunchDaemons

    /Library/LaunchDaemons

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,825 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 30, 2012 11:46 AM (in response to Alan Kidner)

    Hmmm, I think it uses a whole different driver in Safe Mode.

     

    Can you boot in to verbose mode...

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1492

     

    Does it happen if you make a new admin user & boot into that account?

     

    We could eliminate all the...

     

    /Users/YourUserName/Preferences/ByHost/com.apple.windowserver.<anything>.plist

     

    files as a problem.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,825 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 2, 2012 9:35 AM (in response to Alan Kidner)

    OK, good luck Alan.

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