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Question: Mac failure upon Sierra Update

Ok so As suggested by the title i'm in a panic because for the past week i've been trying to revive my mac following the High Sierra update.

Before the update my late 2009 imac was working fine. Last year was tested for something and the hard drive didnt show signs of any trouble.


Upon update the mac prompted a reboot when I rebooted the mac was very slow to respond and I got a white screen.

I sought help online such as PRAM SMC Recovery mode safe start up etc but to no avail

I unplugged externals etc.

when i try issue commands upon start up the mac doesnt respond immediately.

As I have said prior to the High Sierra update I had no trouble with lagging etc

when I try boot into recovery I cannot seem to see disk utility screen but a disk that says recovery and when i click on that the apple loading screen starts and i cannot get past that and after a few hours I switch off because the mac gets a bit too warm for comfort.

I tried plugging in my time machine back up and the external drive isnt showing up. I also have a bootable drive with El Capitan but that isnt showing up either

At this point I dont even care about my pictures etc because they are all saved anyway.

I tried checking the single user mode for issues but it tells me everything is fine so I really dont know what else to try.

If anyone can help me restore the mac back to health and maybe back to el capitan I would be very grateful.

Thank you in advance

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Apr 21, 2018 10:13 AM in response to DipDab In response to DipDab

A Troubleshooting Procedure that may Fix Problems with macOS El Capitan or Later

You should try each, one at a time, then test to see if the problem is fixed before going on to the next.


Be sure to backup your files before proceeding if possible.


  1. Shutdown the computer, wait 30 seconds, restart the computer.
  2. Disconnect all third-party peripherals.
  3. Resetting your Mac’s PRAM and NVRAM
  4. Reset the System Management Controller (SMC)
  5. Reset your Startup Disk and Sound preferences.
  6. Start the computer in Safe Mode. Test in safe mode to see if the problem persists, then restart normally.
  7. Use Apple Hardware Test to see if there is any hardware malfunction.
  8. Repair the disk by booting from the Recovery HD. Immediately after the chime hold down the Command and R keys until the Utility Menu appears. Choose Disk Utility and click on the Continue button. Select the indented (usually, Macintosh HD) volume entry from the side list. Click on the First Aid button in the toolbar. Wait for the Done button to appear. Quit Disk Utility and return to the Utility Menu. Restart the computer from the Apple Menu.
  9. Repair permissions on the Home folder: Resolve issues caused by changing the permissions of items in your home folder.
  10. Create a New User Account Open Users & Groups preferences. Click on the lock icon and enter your Admin password when prompted. On the left under Current User click on the Add [+] button under Login Options. Setup a new Admin user account. Upon completion log out of your current account then log into the new account. If your problems cease, then consider switching to the new account and transferring your files to it - Transferring files from one User Account to another.
  11. Download and install the OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 Combo Update or 10.12.6 Combo Update or Download macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 Combo Update as needed.
  12. Reinstall OS X by booting from the Recovery HD using the Command and R keys. When the Utility Menu appears select Reinstall OS X then click on the Continue button.
  13. Erase and Install OS X Restart the computer. Immediately after the chime hold down the Command and R keys until the Apple logo appears. When the Utility Menu appears:
  1. Select Disk Utility from the Utility Menu and click on Continue button.
  2. When Disk Utility loads select the drive (out-dented entry) from the Device list.
  3. Click on the Erase icon in Disk Utility's toolbar. A panel will drop down.
  4. Set the Format type to APFS (for SSDs only) or Mac OS Extended (Journaled.)
  5. Click on the Apply button, then wait for the Done button to activate and click on it.
  6. Quit Disk Utility and return to the Utility Menu.
  7. Select Reinstall OS X and click on the Continue button.

14. If none of the above helps then see How to Downgrade macOS High Sierra and macOS Reversion- How to Downgrade from High Sierra.

15. If you get here without success then it's time to make an appointment at the Apple Genius Bar for service. If you need to find an Apple Store - Find a Store - Apple.

Apr 21, 2018 10:13 AM

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Apr 21, 2018 12:48 PM in response to Kappy In response to Kappy

I have already tried steps 1-13 but each bring about different problems. I cannot reach disk utility i can only get to a grey screen with recovery HD 10.13.3 after the combination despite having bootable software on usb so i click on recovery hd hoping thats the answer and the mac freezes and goes to the apple screen with the loading bar

Apr 21, 2018 12:48 PM

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Apr 21, 2018 1:09 PM in response to DipDab In response to DipDab

So you say that you have done an Erase and Install but still it does not work? I think you should consider Step 15. Make an appointment at the Apple Genius Bar for service. If you need to find an Apple Store - Find a Store - Apple.

Apr 21, 2018 1:09 PM

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Apr 25, 2018 2:46 PM in response to Kappy In response to Kappy

I bought mountain lion on disc to see whether anything different would happen.


Now when I press option or c on startup I see the disc of the OSX but when I click the computer tenses/ freezes. Then shortly later I see the Apple with a circular loading thing beneath the Apple then I get blue screen and can't get past it

Apr 25, 2018 2:46 PM

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Question: Mac failure upon Sierra Update