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Mike, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 2186
Experience:  Apple trained Technician, A+ Certified, 20+ years of Mac support, repairs, training, and consulting
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Hello - maybe you have a simple answer for a frustrating problem.

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Hello - maybe you have a simple answer for a frustrating problem. I have an iMAC 24" with dual core purcahsed in 2006 and have never had a real problem until now. When I turn on my iMac the system never seems to boot up all the way.. It begins to start up and then I get errors (slowly over time) 1st that my Inserted disk is not readable, then blue screen and then the icons on botton appear, but you cannot access any thing. the little circular ball "thinking" is on and firefox bounces up and down but you cannot open it

What version of Mac OS X do you have on this iMac?

Do you have your Installer disks for it?

Let me know and I can help you figure this out.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Mike - nice to meet you...


This is my wifes computer and I do not know where she keeps the information on her computer. She will be back in about one hour.


I do know that the iMAC was purchasd new in September 2006. Since then she added software so the system could run in either MAC or PC platform. This was installed about 6 months ago (not used in PC though).


I will have to wait for her return to find out if she has an installer disk. (probably does)



Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Mike - I have two install disc


Mac OS X Install Disc1 and Disc 2


On the disc it says Mac OS version 10.4.7 amt version 3A113 , disc version 1.0

No problem.

Get back to me when you want to.

The information can be found by going to the Apple menu and choosing About this Mac... and then clicking on the More Info button.

However, if it does not start far enough for you to get there, let's try something first and then see if it goes to the Finder.

Turn off the Mac and then turn it on and hold down the SHIFT key at the same time. Keep the key down until it looks like it is booting up.

Release the key and wait for it to finish or give you a log in screen. This can take some time so be patient with it.

Log in and then restart again. See if this helps any.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Mike - this does not help. Normally we need to hold down the Option Key when we turn it on to go into MAC mode... I tried the shift key as you suggested and I also tried the shift key and Option Key.. no luck.


Holding the Option Key when turning on is normal since the software was installed to run PC / or MAC...this has not been a problem.


Any other ideas?


Hold down Option and then when you click on the Mac HD to boot into the Mac, then hold down the shift immediately after you hit the arrow or continue button. This should bring you to Safe Boot.

The option key brings up the Startup Manager which is Open Firmware, not OS X, so the above should still work. Just hold down shift after you choose the drive.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.



This does not help , I tried several times with no luck.

After a few minutes the error ! Disk Insertion ... "the disk you inserted was not readable by this computer"... The eject button is blue for defailt, however nothing happens other than the colored "wating ball" indicator. eventually this errors goes off the screen but the "waiting ball" is still going and we can still not open any icons on the bottom (they are all there).. desktop never shows up though.


Any other ideas??





We need to boot from the CD Install disk 1. Hold down the C key after your turn on the Mac.

When it boots up, it will go into the Installer. Answer the Language question and then go to the Menu Bar and choose Disk Utility from the menus.

In Disk Utility, click on the Hard Drive on the Left side and then click on Repair Disk on the right side. When it finishes, if any error were reported, then run it again until it says all is well.

Next click on Repair Permissions and let it finish.

When done, click on Quit from File Menu and then Quit from the Installer to restart.

When it restarts, try holding down the X key. When (if) it starts into OS X, release it and then hold down the Shift key.

Let's see if that works. If we get into OS X and you can use it, go to your System Preferences and click on Startup Disk preference. Click on your Hard Drive/OS X to make it the default. This will stop it from having you choose everytime you reboot or start up.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Mike -


I get this error while running... "First Aid failed"

Disk Utility Stopped repairing "Mcintosh HD" because the following error was encountered


The underlying task reported failure on exit


then in red in the dialog box


"Invalid Sibling link"

Volume check failed"


Error: The underlying task reported failure on exit


1 HFS volume checked

1 Volume could not be repaired because of error...


The first time I got her I hit OK on the First Aid Failed and nothing happened after that?


Not sure what to do next?




That means something has happened to the Hard Drive directories and it is not able to fix it.

2 things are options here...

1. you can back up your Mac and then reformat the hard drive and reinstall the OS and your backups,


2. You can get a copy of Disk Warrior and see if it will fix the disk by repairing the directories. Another app to try would be Drive Genius.

Both are paid apps and are essential to a tech like myself, but may be a little pricey for a one time (hopefully) use.

Disk Warrior is a great app and I would recommend that before scrapping the drive and losing everything/starting over.

If you have a good backup system in place, then option one is a better choice. Just make sure your backup can be restored. If you want to try to repair it first, get Disk Warrior.

Let me know,
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

The computer is apparently stuck in repairing permissions for the last 5 minutes.. not sure anything else is going to happen.


Is it possible to back up the drive when it is in this condition?

Let it finish. This can take some tjime to complete.

If after about 20 minutes or more, then it may be hung because of the directory errors.

Do you have access to another Mac with FireWire ports?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Mike - we decided to go with Option 1 . it still stops and will not repair...


We do have another Mac (same system) but we do not have a fire wire itself. Both system have ports..


Do you recommend that I get the fire wire and try something before resetting the system?


How do I go about resetting?







You will need the Firewire cable and then we put the bad Mac into Target Disk Mode and connect it to the good Mac with a cable.

You will need a Firewire 400 to 400 cable, or depending on the Mac(s) Firewire 400 to 800 or 800 to 800.

Once connected you can run Backup (if you have it) or use a free program called Carbon Copy Cloner to make a clone.

Or, at the least, you will be able to copy the files you need, music, picutres, documents, etc... and then we can reinstall the OS and start over.

Reinstalling is simply going through the Installer and then choosing Options and telling the installer to erase and install the OS. This will put a new OS X on and then you can connect via Firewire again to copy your data back.
Keep in mind that you will need to reinstall your applications and will need serial numbers, etc... to get back to work. If you only used Apple software, Mail, Safari, etc... then you will only need to set them back up.

I am going out for a while and will check back in later to see how you are making out with your backup.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Mike - good morning..


We made DVD back ups of the critical informaiton a couple a months ago so we decided to go ahead and re-install the OS X system.


So, we get stuck once again.


1. I installed the disc 1, get to the Welcome to the Mac OSx Installer

a) Introduction -- OK


2. License Agrrement -- agreed OK


3. The system goes to Select a Destination ( and stops here)

.... no destination options are created?


What should I try?




Do any drives show up?
If so, is there a triangle in the HD icon?

If there is, then click on it and then click on the Options button below it and choose Erase & Install. Then close that window and you will now see you can choose that drive as a destination.

If the Hard Drive does ot show up, then we have a different problem now.

Let me know,
Customer: replied 8 years ago.



No drives show up when I select OS Installer.. it stops as noted in the previous message. (two options show up when I was in the repair mode)




Go to the Menu bar again and choose Disk Utility.

Check to make sure the drive shows up in there. We will use that to set the drive up and then go back to the installer.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

OK -- Under disk utility I see the HArd Drive..




Click once on the drive icon and then click on the Partition tab. In here, click on the pop-up menu for partitions (it probably says current) and choose 1 partition. You can also highlight the name of the drive (it will change to Untitled) and name it what you want.

Then click on Partition button at bottom.

Let it finish and then quit the Disk Utility.

Now you should see the Hard Drive as a choice and you can continue the installer.

When the Installer finishes, let it reboot and then make sure to run Software Update from the Apple Menu again and again until it tells you your software is up to date.

Now you can copy your backed up files back onto the drive.

Let me know if you need anything as you proceed.

If this Answer has helped you, please click Accept so I can be
paid for assisting. Positive Feedback is also appreciated!
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

OK - so far so good, it is currently going thru "checking your installation DVD" and is 6% complete... changing about 1% each 30 seconds or so....


I will continue and let you know how it ends up.






Checking the DVD is probably not needed, but let it continue.

Let me know how it proceeds.

Mike and 5 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Mike - thanks very much.


The computer is back to its "new self"


I will Accept now...


Have a great 2009!



You do the same and thanks!


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