6 Replies Latest reply: Dec 31, 2012 3:07 AM by roam
WayUpNorthInAlaska Level 1 Level 1

I have an older eMac (probably about 7-9 years old, I bought it used). It was working fine this morning, but when I shut it down to take a nap and restartd it this afternoon I got a plain white screen and no action. I got the usual welcome sound, but the white screen never made its way to the usual desktop art. Is there any way I can get the computer restarted? I do have some of my startup disks, but I'd upgraded to OS 10.5 and added memory chips to the machine several years ago. I do have a newer MacBook Pro, but I like using the eMac at home since it has a bigger screen (I added an external screen when the monitor in my eMac unit died) and a better keyboard. I'd also like to reclaim the data on the hard drive, if possible. I live in a remote part of Alaska, so I can't walk down to a Mac store to get this fixed. Luckily, I have been backing up most of my stuff on an external hard drive. Does anybody have any suggestions (by the way, I haven't been able to get the disc drive slot to open since the white screen appeared).

eMac (PowerPC), Mac OS X (10.5.3)
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10



    To open the tray try holding Mouse button down while starting, also, you can open the door at the top, look for a tiny hole to stick a straightened out paper clip in to open the tray manually.


    If 10.5 be sure not to use a 10.4 or less Install Disc to repair the drive.


    Could be many things, we should start with this...


    "Try Disk Utility


    1. Insert the Mac OS X Install disc, 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 at top of the screen. (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 First Aid tab.

    4. Select your Mac OS X volume.

    5. Click Repair Disk, (not Repair Permissions). Disk Utility checks and repairs the disk."




    Then try a Safe Boot, (holding Shift key down at bootup), run Disk Utility in Applications>Utilities, then highlight your drive, click on Repair Permissions, reboot when it completes.


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


    If perchance you can't find your install Disc, at least try it from the Safe Boot part onward.


    Tough without the Install disc, but some things to try...


    Does it boot to Single User Mode, CMD+s keys at bootup, if so try...


    /sbin/fsck -fy


    Repeat until it shows no errors fixed.


    (Space between fsck AND -fy important).


    Resolve startup issues and perform disk maintenance with Disk Utility and fsck...




    Does holding alt key at bootup show any boot options?

  • WayUpNorthInAlaska Level 1 Level 1

    BDAqua, Thanks for the suggestions. I was able to get my disc drive open so I could insert the Apple Hardware Test disc (note, my disc is for OS 10.3, but I have OS 10.5.4). When I followed your reboot commands all I got was a black screen instead of a white screen. I waited for several minutes to see if the black screen would clear so I could run the diagnostics, but after several minutes it remained a black screen.


    Later I tried the safe boot (Shift-S) and single-user boot (Command-S), but still got the blank white screen. I tried holding down the alt key at boot-up and just got a dark, black screen (no light in the brackground).


    I will try these solutions again later when I have more time, just to see if I get any different results. But for now I haven't seen anything other than blank screens. I do get the boot-up sound when I first turn the computer on, but nothing happens after I get the screen.



  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10

    Yeah, see if you get any further when it's cooled off.


    Have you blown the dust out lately? Not easy on an eMac.

  • WayUpNorthInAlaska Level 1 Level 1

    Unfortunately, still no progress. I haven't been able to get beyond the blank screen.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10

    Might be time to replace the PRAM Battery, 4 years is close to their lifespan, far less if ever without AC power, & can cause strange startup problems...




    Do you have another Mac around with Firewire, & does this one boot in Target mode...



  • roam Level 6 Level 6

    A startup chime is a good sign. If you have no video, try resetting the PRAM.

    About NVRAM and PRAM


    If still no go, can you attach the monitor to the MacBook Pro, to test that the screen works. Also try and determine if the cable is good.