Well, funny thing is that Erasing doesn't really mean Erasing, that just rewrites the Directory structure, which is a very small part of the disk.
First, in Disk Utility, highlight the whole drive & look below to see if it says...
S.M.A.R.T. Status : Verified
If it does say that...
1. Insert the Mac OS X Install disc that came with your computer, then restart the computer while holding the C key.
2. When your computer finishes starting up from the disc, choose Disk Utility from the Installer menu. (In Mac OS X 10.4 or later, you must select your language first.)
*Important: Do not click Continue in the first screen of the Installer. If you do, you must restart from the disc again to access Disk Utility.*
3. Click the Erase 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. Highlight the drive, select Partition Tab, then Format type... MacOS Extended Journalled, select the Security Options button, choose Zero Out Data, Erase... after completion do a new install.
Thanks once again, BD.
I did that Zero Out Data Erase on Suday evening. The Mac was off from lunchtime yesterday and when I turned it on today it wouldn't start up.
I did the erase again and this time istalled Snow Leopard.
If it fails again I'll just work from the the external drive until I bring it to an iMac Hopikcal.
Sorry, fir not answering. I hadn't noticed your post.
No, I tried ths at the time and it didn't work.
I think the drive is completely dead now.
I am going to order a new hard drive today and have a go at installing it myself.
That is easier for me to do than to get to an Apple Service Provider.
I have found a very daunting 25 step guide to remove an internal drive from an iMac (50 steps if you include putting the new drive in).