9 Replies Latest reply: Apr 9, 2012 2:43 AM by abcvic
joolzm Level 1 Level 1

After deleting some files to clear up memory yesterday (no operating systems, just photos), my rather elderly (about five years old) iMac froze so I force rebooted. The white screen comes up (with the usual start 'chime')  then about five minutes later the apple logo appears. Five minutes later, it spontaneously restarts, and so the loop continues. I have tried starting with the shift key held down, but nothing changes. Any advice on what to do?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7

    After you deleted the files, did you empty the trash?


    If not, then you did not free up any space and are probably using more space than before.


    If you did, then try starting up from your OS X Install DVD and repairing the Macintosh HD.


    see > About Disk Utility's Repair Disk Permissions feature


    and then maybe > About disk optimization with Mac OS X

  • joolzm Level 1 Level 1

    Yes, I emptied the trash, so there should have been some room (I had received a 'start up disk almost full' message, that's why I was deleting some photo files. If I reinstall from the original CD, does that wipe out everything that hasn't been backed up? That's if I can find the original CD, I'm sure it's somewhere but as I said, this is quite an old computer!

  • joolzm Level 1 Level 1

    Just tried starting from the install disc (found it!) but it still stayed on the grey screen, then eventually spat the disc out. A few minutes later the apple logo appeared, then another few minutes the cycle started again - system closes, spontaneously restarts but doesn't get beyond that logo.

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7

    Dissconnect everything except for a wired Keyboard & Mouse and startup holding the Option Key.


    see > Startup Manager: How to select a startup volume


    If you see your Macintosh HD, try starting up from it.


    If it still does not startup:


    1. Startup from your Mac OS X Install disc:

    2. When your computer finishes starting up from the disc, choose Disk Utility from the Installer menu.

    3. Click the First Aid tab.

    4. Click the disclosure triangle to the left of the hard drive icon to display the names of your hard disk volumes and partitions.

    5. Select your Mac OS X volume.

    6. Click Repair.


    If in step 4 there is no Macintosh HD in the Drive List, then your HDD has probably bit the dust.


    In that case, you will need to contact your local Apple Store or AASP and have the iMac serviced.


    see > Apple - Support - iMac - Service FAQ

  • joolzm Level 1 Level 1

    It spits out the Install Disc after about a minute.

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7

    Your not answering the more important question, what happened when you tried the Startup Manager?

  • joolzm Level 1 Level 1

    Nothing, just the white screen.

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7

    As mentioned above, take it in to your local Apple Store or AASP and have it checked out.


    If indeed it is DOA, then that is the best time to weight your options.

  • abcvic Level 1 Level 1

    Hi there.  I have the same problem and found your thread.  I could get to the start up disc screen (holfing down option key - only thing that has worked all day - in southern hemisphere so almost 8pm.  However, after selecting the relevant startup drive, nothing happens.  Any ideas?


    I had the same outcomes as joolzm when trying to boot up with the original instal disc or the snow leopard I upgraded to last year.