11 Replies Latest reply: Apr 6, 2011 8:41 AM by mberardinelli
keeganxw Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hey guys, just got a iMac off of a friend that refuses to boot. Says that one day it hung, so he forced a restart, and the only thing that happens is the chime at boot, then a white screen. There IS a osx install disk in the mac, but nothing I try will get it to eject or boot. Ive cleared the rams (that key combo does work) but thats the only thing that shows any change.

Im at a total loss, so any input would be great!

iMac 24 inch, Imac g5, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • 1. Re: White Screen of Death?
    Jolly Giant Level 7 Level 7 (25,440 points)
    keeganxw wrote:
    There IS a osx install disk in the mac


    try holding down the option key as the computer boots up. this should bring up the [_*Boot Picker*_|http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1310]. if it works, select the install disk to boot from.

    failing that, try if you can get the Mac to boot to the _*Apple Hardware Test*_, then run an extended test.

    but nothing I try will get it to eject or boot.


    if still no joy, try Kappy's suggestions to eject the disk:

    Kappy wrote:
    Five ways to eject a stuck CD or DVD from the optical drive

    Ejecting the stuck disc can usually be done in one of the following ways:

    1. Restart the computer and after the chime press and hold down the left mouse button until the disc ejects.

    2. Press the Eject button on your keyboard.

    3. Click on the Eject button in the menubar.

    4. Press COMMAND-E.

    5. If none of the above work try this:
    Open the Terminal application in your Utilities folder. At the prompt enter or paste the following:
    /usr/bin/drutil eject.

    *If this fails then try this:*
    Boot the computer into single-user mode. At the prompt enter the same command as used above. To restart the computer enter "reboot" at the prompt without quotes.
  • 2. Re: White Screen of Death?
    iAnneke Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I had something like that to.
    My problem was that my iMac tried to boot from my USB.
  • 3. Re: White Screen of Death?
    keeganxw Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Ive tried holding down the option key, nothing. I thought it might be the wireless keyboard/mouse, but it still clears pram fine. I tried the mouse trick (with the bluetooth mouse and a standard usb mouse) neither worked. The CD spins up in the drive, and I actually managed to wiggle it out just enough with a card to make it eject itself. Still no key combos work except Command + option + p + r. The mac had a 2tb usb external HDD, but as of now the mac just has the wireless keyboard / mouse attached. Im willing to take a shot at opening it since it was from 07, and is well past any warranty options. I would like to run the hardware test, but nothing I do will make it boot from a disk. Tried C, D, command + c, command + d, x, command + x, etc etc.
  • 4. Re: White Screen of Death?
    mberardinelli Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Are you getting just a blank gray screen, or does it have the Apple logo?

    If it is just blank, that means it is getting stuck when the EFI tries to load the Boot Loader and the kernel has not yet been loaded.

    If it has the Apple logo, that means the kernel and kernel extensions have been loaded, but it has not found the root device.

    One thing I would check is the RAM. If your friend had installed any third-party RAM, it may cause this issue. Also disconnect any other peripherals (if you have any) and try booting with a standard USB keyboard.

    With a minimal system and standard keyboard, are you able to perform a Safe Boot by holding the Shift key?
  • 5. Re: White Screen of Death?
    keeganxw Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    It looks go just be the original stick of ram, there is only one, and it looks (referencing pictures only) that it is the original stick. It is just a white screen, not grey, but there is no apple logo, which makes me believe that it is hanging somewhere with the EFI. Ill have to go grab a standard USB wired keyboard, and Ill give that a shot in a bit. By removing the batteries from the mouse and keyboard, that should effectively disable them im assuming.
  • 6. Re: White Screen of Death?
    mberardinelli Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Yeah you could remove the batteries or just take them way to the other end of the house as the typical range of Bluetooth is pretty short.
  • 7. Re: White Screen of Death?
    keeganxw Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Found a dell keyboard in my closet, but sadly refuses to boot into safe mode (or do anything else for that matter). I managed to open up the imac, and pulled the HDD. Without any HDD it still just sits here, still no safe mode, and no blinking disc? icon. Swapped in an empty sata hdd that I have laying around, but still no response.
  • 8. Re: White Screen of Death?
    keeganxw Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    After more and more button mashing, now the moment you turn the mac on the fans run in hairdryer mode....
  • 9. Re: White Screen of Death?
    mberardinelli Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Hmm that sounds like you could be looking at a bad SATA cable or logic board... Have you tried an SMC reset yet? Worth a shot.

    The other thing you could check, since you've opened it, is the diagnostic LEDs on the logic board (provided your model is at least a Mid-2006 or later). They are in slightly different spots depending on which model you have, but there should be 3 or 4 of them (yours probably will have 3) - each labeled.

    - Mid 2006, Late 2006 CD and Late 2006 have 3 LEDs

    *LED #1*
    Indicates that the trickle voltage from the power supply has been detected by the main logic board. This LED will remain ON whenever the iMac (Mid 2006 17-inch) is connected to a working AC power source. The LED will remain on even when the computer has been shut down or put to sleep. The LED will turn off only if the AC power source is disconnected or the power supply is faulty.

    *LED #2*
    Indicates that the main logic board has detected proper power from the power supply when the computer is turned on. This LED will be ON when the computer is turned on and the power supply is working correctly.

    *LED #3*
    Indicates that the computer and the LCD display are communicating. This LED will be ON when the computer is turned on and video signal is being generated.
  • 10. Re: White Screen of Death?
    keeganxw Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    The SMC reset was tried and now the fans arent spinning up super fast anymore, but still in the same boat as before, just a solid white scren. The hard drive does click and whirr when it boots. I have 4 LEDs and they all light up when the imac is powered on.

    Could it be a faulty LCD connection? It seems like it "should" be working as intended, so I really have no idea.

    As far as I know, the mac has never been opened, but Im noticing there are 2 groups of cables that go to the LCD at the top and bottom of the computer. They seem to be the exact same size/shape, and it almost looks like they have no polarity markers. Could these be switched or mixed up?

    Message was edited by: keeganxw
  • 11. Re: White Screen of Death?
    mberardinelli Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Those cables should be fine - if your LCD was the problem, LED #3 or #4 would be off. (LED 3 shows communication between computer and video card, and #4 shows communication between the computer and the LCD itself).

    I think your LCD is fine, because otherwise you would have some wackier issues (lines, weird colors, no display at all, no backlight, etc.).

    Do you have another computer that you could try plugging that hard drive into with a SATA-to-USB adapter perhaps? That way you could see if the drive is mechanically failing (which might be the case) or if it is readable (at which point I would begin to suspect SATA cable, RAM or logic board).

    Unfortunately I'm beginning to lean towards a bad logic board because of the keyboard issues and the fact that it doesn't seem to detect the hard drive at all.