10 Replies Latest reply: Sep 25, 2006 9:01 AM by Don Archibald
Kevin OzZy Level 1 (0 points)
So, I've owned a lot of Apple Products in my day, from the iPod mini, to two iPod Nano's to the iPod Video. I've never used an iMac, however, and decided I'd try to learn. I picked up an old iMac 350 MHz with OS 9 and got it home and can't get it to work. When it turns on, it comes up with a folder in the middle flashing the Mac logo and a question mark. I've tried using the Restore disk and Install disk but I can't really figure them out because it's NOTHING like Windows, which is what I'm used to. The support is obviously over with the product as it's more than 5 years old. I'd still like to resolve the issue on my own if possible because I can't really afford to take it in

iMac, Mac OS 9.0.x, 350 MHz
  • Kevin OzZy Level 1 (0 points)
    Wow sometimes I can't stand Apple...
    My e-mail address is wrong in my apple profile and it says to go the settings page to change it, but there is ABSOLUTELY NO OPTION IN THE SETTINGS PAGE TO CHANGE IT!!!
    I go in and the only thing to do with the e-mail is to show or hide it...
    check the screenshot and help me out...
    I'd like to fix it so I can subscribe to my topics rather than just checking back constantly...
    Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
    The correct e-mail is @gmail.com not @netscape.net

    Custom Build Windows XP 6GB OS HD, 250GB SATA HD
  • Texas Mac Man Level 8 (46,560 points)
    A few days ago, someone asked how to change their Apple Discussions "name". The short answer is, you can't, since that's the name you used to sign up. Same for your email address.

    Since you have only 5 post, suggest you re-sign up with Apple Discussions. You may have to change your name slightly & enter the correct email address.

    Cheers, Tom
  • Texas Mac Man Level 8 (46,560 points)
    This link describes your problem.

    A flashing question mark appears when you start your Mac

    There are several things that may cause/correct the blinking ?.

    1. Try zapping PRAM.

    2. There may not be a System installed on the hard drive or it has corruption.

    3. The hard drive has failed.

    If the iMac has not been plugged in to AC power for a while, the internal memory battery may have failed or is week, and needs replacement. Check this site for battery part numbers and sources. Mac PRAM, NVRAM, CUDA/PMU & Battery Tutorial

    Will the iMac boot up using the Install or Restore CDs if you insert the CD & depress the "C" key at startup?

    Cheers, Tom
  • Texas Mac Man Level 8 (46,560 points)
    Kevin, download the iMac's User Manuals from this link. The manuals will explain a lot of what you need to know. Overall, the Mac is much easier to set up/use than PCs/Windows.

    Cheers, Tom
  • Don Archibald Level 10 (101,295 points)
    Hi, Kevin -

    You can correct (change) the email address associated with your Mac Support and Discussions account even though you can not alter the name on that account. Since it is a global for Apple Support, there is no item in Discussions Preferences to do that (though the forum masters really ought to have added a link to where it can be changed).

    To change the email address, click the Support tab at the top of this page; on that page scroll down to the section in the RH sidebar "For Your Information", and click the link "I need to update my contact info"; in the new page, above the "Continue" button look for and click the "change" link.

    You can get to that last page directly with this link - http://myinfo.apple.com/
  • Kevin OzZy Level 1 (0 points)
    sorry my pc double posted

    Message was edited by: Kevin OzZy
  • Kevin OzZy Level 1 (0 points)
    The e-mail issue is corrected, thank you very much.

    And as for the iMac, one of the steps says to open the hard disk. I thought on Macs the icon was right on the desktop for the hard disk but on this computer it is not. I'm not sure how to locat the hard disk in that case. I'm booting from the restore CD and all that is shown on the desktop is "iMac Restore CD". Where do I access the hard drive?
  • Baby Boomer (USofA) Level 9 (57,115 points)
    Keven the Restore CD will wipe everything off the system. What are you trying to do?

    To troubleshoot, boot from the System INSTALL CD while holding down the "c" key.

    When you boot from a Mac "System CD" the CD becomes your HD.

    Put the *Restore CD* up in a safe place so you will not lose it.
  • Kevin OzZy Level 1 (0 points)
    Yea I've booted from that but that's the only drive showing. It doesn't even show the hard drive anywhere. I've looked everywhere I could think of. Nothing is even showing the hard drive, not the restore, not the disk repair, nothing...

    It boots from the CD as long as the CD is in, I don't have to hold C or anything. Even if I boot with nothing in the cdrom and get to the screen with the flashing ? I can put the cd in and it will boot right up from that without pushing any keys.

    It's very frustrating but I can't afford to have a tech touch it.

    And I don't care if I lose everything on the hard drive.
  • Don Archibald Level 10 (101,295 points)
    Hi, Kevin -

    When you boot to the CD, run Drive Setup from the Utilities folder on the CD. Does the drive appear in the list in Drive Setup's initial window? It should appear, either with the name given to it previously, or as "not itialized" or something similar to that.

    • If it does appear, select it by clicking on it once, then select zero-all-data from the Initialization Options item in the Functions menu, and then click the Initialize button - choose Mac OS Extended as the format when asked. Once that's done the disk should be mounted on the desktop, and you can then run the installer to get a working OS back on the drive. Note that zero-all-data can take a while, about one hour per each 10GB of drive size.
    Using Drive Setup

    • If the drive does not appear in Drive Setup's list, then the cabling to the drive has loosened or is not secure in some way; or, the jumpers to the drive have become dislodged (doubtful); or, the drive is toast and needs to be replaced.


    If you do need to replace the drive, note the information in this Apple KBase article -
    Article #25249 - Gray or White Screen After Hard Drive Upgrade

    IMac models 350MHz and slower are subject to an 8GB restriction - all OS's must be installed within the first 8 GB of the drive. This means partitioning an 8GB or larger drive such that the first partition does not exceed 8GB - 7.7GB is a safe partition size.

    OSX installers will check for that on models subject to the restriction; stand-alone OS 9 installers will not.