6783 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Jan 2, 2010 9:57 AM by Cara
Tried that several times with the install disk in the drive (after unsuccessfully mounting the HD through disk utility) and didn't work - stuck on the apple gray screen with the circle of dashes going around and around and then it eventually just shut itself off. Tried it without the disk in and waited for a miracle to happen but just turned off again
When you start up from the Mac OS X installation disc and run Disk Utility, does the internal drive appear in the sidebar in any form. If it appears, does it have a volume under the drive with the +Macintosh HD+ name?
If it is there, you may want to get external drive to attempt recovery. If the volume is still there, it may not be bootable for some reason, but it may be accessible if another drive is used as the startup disk.
If you do this, you should get a drive that is large enough to be used as your Time Machine backup drive, so that you will have a good backup in the future. Hard drive can fail or have data corruption at any time; having a good backup is the only protection. And Apple provides a great tool to do it.
What you want to do first with that external drive is to use your Mac OS X installation disc to install a system on it. Then set it as the Startup Disk and start up from it. Hopefully, your internal drive will be accessible. You can then copy off all of your data to the external drive.
Once your data is safe, you have a few options. One is to run Disk Utility and erase the internal drive completely. Then, use the Mac OS X installation disc to install a fresh system. If you are able to erase and then reinstall, the drive is probably OK and you just had data corruption on the drive. You can test run it that way for a while, and if all is well, restore your data from the external drive. However, if there are problems during the erase and reinstall, there may be a hardware fault on the internal hard drive. You should have it looked at by an Apple-certified tech.
Note: If your iMac is a PowerPC G5 (or earlier) iMac, the external drive should be FireWire. My Time Machine comments only apply if you are using Leopard (or higher). Tiger (10.4.11) does not have Time Machine, but there are other ways to do backups.
It's there, just grayed out. There's definitely something wrong with this HD, just didn't realize ahead of time that it would make it unbootable after running disk utility. Hmmm...maybe this is what my mom needed to justify dumping it. She already has a new macbook pro but loved this imac even though it's gotten painfully slow.
And of course I'm leaving town tomorrow...
I don't think Disk Utility actually caused the problem. If there was an existing problem, it is possible that an attempt to repair it made the drive unable to boot the iMac. Or there may be a hardware problem (with the hard drive) that is getting worse, and it happenned to fail when you ran the +Repair Disk+. But my comments above still apply. If you can start up the iMac from a different system (on a different drive), the internal drive may still be accessible, even if it not bootable due to this problem.
Edit: Actually, if your mom has a MacBook Pro, try starting up the iMac in FireWire Target Disk Mode.
Connect it to the MacBook Pro (you may need to get a cable of the right type) and see if the iMac's internal drive is accessible that way.
If the new MacBook Pro has FireWire 800 only, this is the type of cable that is needed.
Thanks! My mom feels that there's nothing on there she needs...I think she just doesn't remember what's on there (she saves so many things from online and her memory isn't the greatest). I think we'll try to get what we can from it and see if the apple store folks can resurrect it so the grandkids have a computer to play games on.
My dad thinks it's great it failed since now we have a reason to get rid of one more thing