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jstinehelfer
jstinehelfer, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 647
Experience:  A+ Comptia Certified computer repair
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I have an imac 2009. I rebooted it and it blue screened. I

Resolved Question:

I have an imac 2009. I rebooted it and it blue screened. I think it must have been an update that didn't agree with it. The iMac did not come with any system discs. I am an IT engineer and have some UNIX knowledge but I am stuck because I have no boot disc to try and boot the hard drive from. Is there anywhere I ca get one? I the minimum I want to retrieve my data. I would really appreciate some help. Thank you very much. Bronwen


 


p.s. bit confused about the charging structure. I don't want membership, I just need help with this question. Am I paying $33 just for the answer to this question? 

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  jstinehelfer replied 2 years ago.

jstinehelfer :

Hello, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am an expert with JustAnswer.com. Thank you so much for using our services. I am sorry your having trouble today and understand your frustration. Hopefully we can resolve your problem together.

jstinehelfer :

If you do not have the system disks with this then you will have to use a method called Single User Mode. If your a windows guy this is like Safe Mode with Command Prompt

jstinehelfer :

Lets try to do a Disk Repair in Single User Mode

jstinehelfer :

Start or restart your Mac. As soon as you hear the startup tone, press and hold Command-S on the keyboard. Keep holding down those keys until you see a black screen with white lettering. This is called “booting into Single User Mode.” As soon as you see the black screen with white lettering, you can release the keys.

jstinehelfer :

As the Mac boots in this mode, the screen reports each step of the process. Wait until the scrolling white text stops. The last line should end in root#.


Right after the root# prompt, enter the following:

jstinehelfer :

/sbin/fsck -fy


Press the Return key.

jstinehelfer :

It will take a few minutes. At the end, if your drive was OK, the screen will say “The volume (name of your hard drive) appears to be OK”. If any repair was made, you’ll see the prompt, “FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED”. Then, you’ll see the root# prompt again.


Right after the root# prompt, enter the following:


reboot


Press the Return key. Your Mac should restart normally.

jstinehelfer :

If this does not work then you need to follow the Support Article by Apple http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1411#symp1

jstinehelfer :

In the Article is asks you to go in safe mode which we already know it will not go. So skip to the sections for Single User Mode methods

Customer: Hi John
jstinehelfer :

Good Morning

Customer: Hi John, I successfully went into Single User mode and did as you said. I re-booted and the screen is still blue. Do you have any other ideas? For example, is there a way that I can get my files off the hard disc onto a terrastation?
Customer: Thank youo
jstinehelfer :

Did it say the disk was ok?

jstinehelfer :

I think the easiest way would be to get this mac up and running and get your files that way

jstinehelfer :

did you try the options given in http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1411#symp1

jstinehelfer :

If not the next method would be to take the hard drive out and either get a dock for it to plug in to another mac or add it as a slave drive to a mac to retrieve the files

jstinehelfer :

Basically you can turn this drive in to an external drive

jstinehelfer :

The hard drive dock is windows and mac compatible

jstinehelfer :

and is plug and play.

jstinehelfer :

fastest way I know to get files off a Sata drive

Customer:

Hey John, thank you. I am just trying the first article. Do you know how I can find out exactly what version of MAC OS I am running from the prompt? Thank you

jstinehelfer :

I never had anyone ask that question let me see if I can find out for you

jstinehelfer :

I am not seeing a way to get that info from FSCK

jstinehelfer :

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1758 maybe we can determine it by model. go to the link and see which one is yours. then we can find out what was installed on it

jstinehelfer :

If you are satisfied with my help please take the time and give me a good service rating. If your not satisfied please ask for more help if needed. I would be glad to answer any follow up questions you might have.

Customer:

Hi John, thank you. I think it is imac 10,1 from late 2009. I have tried the second section of single user mode in the first article you gave me. The MAC responded by saying that it could not find the Preferences3 file. I will continue with the next stage of the article. I still have a blue screen.

jstinehelfer :

Thank you for keeping me posted

Customer:

Hi John, when I do the UNIX move command as instructed in the first article I get the response that 'Caches old' and 'Preferences old' does not exist. I am still getting the blue screen. THe fsck says the disc is fine and I am not seeing anything to say that there is anything wrong with it. Any more ideas?

Customer:

Also, do I have to take the disc out of the computer to get the data off it? That seems pretty drastic. Are there no commands to get it to see the USB drive?

Customer:

THank you very much

jstinehelfer :

Yes if there is no way to get the OS running you would need to remove the hard drive and use alternative methods to retrieve the data

jstinehelfer :

I am looking to see if there is more to do

jstinehelfer :

Did this Mac have OS9 on it?

jstinehelfer :

Lets shutdown the computer

jstinehelfer :

Hold the option key down then turn it on

jstinehelfer :

this should invoke the bootmanager

jstinehelfer :

see what your choices are

Customer:

John Ive gone into Dev and it sees my USB drive. Will let you know if I can copy to it.

jstinehelfer :

ok

Customer:

Hi John, I take it back! It isn't there :-(

Customer:

John - what does the option key look like?

jstinehelfer :

it looks like the infinity symbol I believe or almost a four leaf clover

Customer:

is it the alt key - just looked at Wiki and it said it is next to Command key?

jstinehelfer :

I just did the same thing

Customer:

:-)

jstinehelfer :

command then option then apple key

Customer:

Ok, I have a piccie on the screen saying Macintosh HD and an arrow underneath it

Customer:

mouse arrow too

jstinehelfer :

so you only have the mac hd correct

Customer:

ues

Customer:

yes!

jstinehelfer :

then os 9 is not on there

Customer:

ok?

jstinehelfer :

I was hoping os 9 was there to boot to.

jstinehelfer :

but no luck

Customer:

arh, I see. Should I click on the arrow?

jstinehelfer :

You can select the mac hd but it sounds like it is already selected to boot to

Customer:

mouse not working anyway.

jstinehelfer :

use the enter key or just restart

Customer:

I just hit return and it is just booting. Blue screen - again.

jstinehelfer :

lets get back in to Single User Mode

Customer:

ROger that, will just do it now..

Customer:

interestingly, my Buffalo terra drive has a blue light on it on bootup. I am guessing it is power only getting to it - what do you reckon?

jstinehelfer :

Yes it probably only has power

Customer:

ok, am in single user mode.

Customer:

just running an fsck -fy

jstinehelfer :

type /sbin/fsck -y and do this repeatedly until you get two consecutive clean reports

Customer:

ok

jstinehelfer :

if you notice it mention a problem with a plist file make note of it

Customer:

it says i need to do a -f to force it

jstinehelfer :

ok then fsck -fy

Customer:

ok

jstinehelfer :

/sbin/fsck -fy

Customer:

what does the y do John?

jstinehelfer :

repair

jstinehelfer :

its like error check in windows

Customer:

I get the msg back saying 'The volume Macintosh HD appears to be OK'

jstinehelfer :

OK lets type this

jstinehelfer :

mount -uw /

jstinehelfer :

press enter/return

Customer:

ok,

jstinehelfer :

then type

jstinehelfer :

mv /Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist /Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist.dead

Customer:

ok

jstinehelfer :

there is a space between mv and /library

jstinehelfer :

and a space between GlobalPreferences.plist and /Library in the middle

jstinehelfer :

We are renaming the GlobalPreferences.plist to GlobalPreferences.plist.dead

Customer:

its come back with REad-only file system at the end of the rename command

jstinehelfer :

k hold on

Customer:

ok

jstinehelfer :

trying to find out how to make that not read only

Customer:

Thank you

Customer:

Just to let you know, I have a Preferences.old and a Preferences2.old

jstinehelfer :

more /Library/Preferences/GlobalPreferences.plist

jstinehelfer :

see if it says xml ok or if you see garbage

Customer:

ok

Customer:

it is saying 'no such file or directory' Ive checked my syntax and it is right

Customer:

gone into preferences directory

jstinehelfer :

its me

Customer:

no worries

jstinehelfer :

more /Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist

Customer:

ok

jstinehelfer :

forgot the .

jstinehelfer :

the earlier told us it was read only so we know its there lol

Customer:

ah, now I have bah blah may be a binary file. See it anyway? msg

jstinehelfer :

it should of said XML ok

jstinehelfer :

So it sounds like it is garbage correct

Customer:

it doesn't! any ideas?

jstinehelfer :

this Plist seems to be our problem

Customer:

yes

Customer:

what is plist?

jstinehelfer :

we need to rename this sucker and I think it will reboot

jstinehelfer :

plist is preference files that mac osx uses

Customer:

eek!! now getting excited!

jstinehelfer :

plist could be considered the same thing as registry entries in windows

Customer:

I see, Ive learned something here thank you

jstinehelfer :

The difference is when you remove or rename a plist file then on restart Mac OSX will recreate a new one thus repairing or self healing itself

jstinehelfer :

every program has a plist file on a mac

Customer:

ok

jstinehelfer :

so we need to get in read write mode

Customer:

Reckon you could be right on this one being the cause! Lets do it!

jstinehelfer :

mount -o update /

Customer:

Need your help to do this for sure!

jstinehelfer :

try that

Customer:

ok

Customer:

it says 'Removed 1 orphaned / unliked files and 0 directories

jstinehelfer :

mv /Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist /Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist.dead

Customer:

ok

Customer:

its back at root now

jstinehelfer :

awesome so it took this time with no error correct?

Customer:

yes

jstinehelfer :

type

jstinehelfer :

reboot

Customer:

looking good!!

Customer:

just done it!

jstinehelfer :

crossing my fingers

Customer:

cross your fingers!

Customer:

Just typed same thing!!

jstinehelfer :

great minds think alike lol

Customer:

:-)

Customer:

apple has appeared...

Customer:

its thinking...

jstinehelfer :

did it do that before?

Customer:

NOOOO blue screen :-(

jstinehelfer :

awe

Customer:

back to single user mode?

jstinehelfer :

is it still thinking though

jstinehelfer :

it might be creating the new file

Customer:

oh crumbs, I just switched it off and back on again

Customer:

was that bad?

Customer:

back to white screen again.

Customer:

sorry

jstinehelfer :

no problem

Customer:

apple has appeared agian

jstinehelfer :

Sometimes they can normally hang at the blue screen before going to the log in or desktop

Customer:

blue screen is back - shall I leave it a while?

jstinehelfer :

so let it boot for a few minutes and see if it fixes itself

jstinehelfer :

yes lets wait a few minutes

Customer:

ok chief

Customer:

screen still blue :-(

Customer:

Hey John, any more ideas?

jstinehelfer :

Well I am looking here

Customer:

me here too

jstinehelfer :

lets go back in to Single User Mode

Customer:

ok just doing it now

jstinehelfer :

/usr/sbin/diskutil repairPermissions /

Customer:

ok

Customer:

it says 'unable to run because unable to use the Diskmgt ramework

Customer:

continues to say..

Customer:

common reasons include but are not limited to, the Diskarbitration framework being unavailable due to being booted in single user mode

Customer:

'

jstinehelfer :

/sbin/mount -uw /
cd /private/var/db
rm .AppleSetupDone
halt

Customer:

ok

jstinehelfer :

The mac should shut off. Now power on - you will get played the normal welcome screen. Make a new user (try not to re-use one of the old names - "rescue account" might be a good choice). You can then go to the preference pane and see what happened to the users.

Customer:

done this and the screen has gone black...

jstinehelfer :

did it power off?

Customer:

ok just switching on

jstinehelfer :

what I am hoping to do is create a another user

Customer:

should I start in single user mode?

jstinehelfer :

no

Customer:

ok

Customer:

apple is on screen

jstinehelfer :

let it boot up normally and see if you can create a new user account

Customer:

blue screen again

Customer:

now a grey screen has appeard with the mouse arrow in the corner

jstinehelfer :

cross fingers

Customer:

and toes!

Customer:

still grey screen with mouse arrow. Arrow does move when i move mouse

jstinehelfer :

Its an older computer might take a little bit of time

Customer:

ok

jstinehelfer :

I wished you knew where your osx disk was

jstinehelfer :

we could do an archive and install

Customer:

If you can believe it, it did not come with any. I would have done this otherwise.

Customer:

I thought it so bizarre that I checked with the store and they said it didn't come with any. How bad is that?

Customer:

My MacBook did and I had to rebuild that 3 years ago, it is still running fine.

jstinehelfer :

They have always came with disks until the last version

Customer:

I don't have them and never did - I know, hard to belive but true. I didn't thin to ask at the time.

jstinehelfer :

Still not doing anything

Customer:

no

Customer:

still grey

jstinehelfer :

You said you had 10.1 correct?

Customer:

This is what I am not sure about - I think it must be as we bought it late 2009

jstinehelfer :

Lets boot back in single user mode

Customer:

ok

jstinehelfer :

system_profiler SPSoftwareDataType

jstinehelfer :

returns operating system info

Customer:

Ive typed it in and it has gone back to root

jstinehelfer :

I wonder if we need to mount the drive first

Customer:

good thought

jstinehelfer :

mount -uw /

Customer:

done this

jstinehelfer :

system_profiler SPSoftwareDataType

Customer:

says removed 1 orphaned /ilinked files and 0 directories

jstinehelfer :

did you do the system_profiler command

Customer:

ah no, sorry didn't see that will do now

Customer:

and finally... MAC OS X 10.6.8

Customer:

Darwin 10.8.0

jstinehelfer :

So we know it is 10.6 then

jstinehelfer :

much newer then you thought

Customer:

yes

jstinehelfer :

Here is my botXXXXX XXXXXne on this.

jstinehelfer :

two options which I would do the first option myself

jstinehelfer :

Find a 10.6 disk and do an archive install which will preserver your data

Customer:

Out of interest, I just checked and I have the same version on my MAC book

jstinehelfer :

really

Customer:

I have those discs too

jstinehelfer :

Where is your 10.6 disk for that?

Customer:

I tried them the other night and couldn't get it to work but that may have been my ineptitude!

Customer:

I have them right here!

jstinehelfer :

Try putting in the 10.6 os disk which should be disk 1 not 2

jstinehelfer :

Then shutdown the computer

Customer:

ok!

jstinehelfer :

hold your C key down and turn it on

Customer:

just the C?

jstinehelfer :

actually once your hear the bong then hold the C key down

jstinehelfer :

this will force to boot to CD

Customer:

ok!

Customer:

doing that now

Customer:

good to know that - thx

jstinehelfer :

no problem

jstinehelfer :

I have been a PC Tech since early 90's but I had the honor to work for apple for 1.5 years

Customer:

cd whirring, blue screen came up, now grey screen, cd stopped whirring mouse arrow top left of screen.

Customer:

arrow doesn't move when I move mouse

jstinehelfer :

hmmm I wonder if it did not boot to cd then

jstinehelfer :

if you think it did not boot to cd then lets try the boot manager which you would hold the option key down after the bong on startup

Customer:

I wish we had the windows F12 function!

Customer:

ok will try the alt key

jstinehelfer :

I am curious to see if the CD shows up in boot manager

Customer:

no, but it is whirring

Customer:

yes!! just appeared!!!!

Customer:

Shall I arrow to it and hit return?

jstinehelfer :

yes

Customer:

ok

Customer:

same again, blue screen then grey with mouse arrow top left hand corner. CD has stopped whirring

jstinehelfer :

hmm you have the correct disk in right

Customer:

yeh, Disc 1 Macbook

Customer:

it actually says MAC os X on it

jstinehelfer :

I wonder if that disk is designed just for the Macbook so it knows it

Customer:

maybe

jstinehelfer :

Big diff in hardware etc

Customer:

yeh

Customer:

that makes sense

Customer:

reckon i need to get the right cd for imac as you say

jstinehelfer :

Yes you do I am researching that now

Customer:

how do I get the cd out?!

jstinehelfer :

we did say 10.6 correct

Customer:

yeh

jstinehelfer :

The only thing that concerns me is you would need the applicaiton disk also I believe but I do not see it

jstinehelfer :

That installs the applications back but you might be able to use your second disk from your macbook

Customer:

ok, maybe a daft question but what does that have on it?

Customer:

ok

Customer:

will I be able to retain my data? it wont do a reformat and load?

jstinehelfer :

No you want to do what they call archive and install

jstinehelfer :

which in the PC world is the same as Repair Install

Customer:

ok, assume it gives me the choice on boot up?

jstinehelfer :

yes

jstinehelfer :

I can give you the article for that

jstinehelfer :

one sec

Customer:

thank you

jstinehelfer :

do you have another Mac onsite?

Customer:

yes, I've my Macbook

jstinehelfer :

after I asked that I slapped myself lol

Customer:

no worries at all. You have been fantastic!

jstinehelfer :

Well here is what I am reading about 10.6. There is no archive install like in prev version but it is suppose to auto detect and preserve the previous files

jstinehelfer :

But as in the Tech world you do not take chances

jstinehelfer :

You can use a Firewire cable and connect the two computers together

jstinehelfer :

Then put the Imac in Target Disk Mode

jstinehelfer :

Then the good Mac can see it as a drive

jstinehelfer :

Then you can copy your files over to be safe before you do the install with the new 10.6 disk

Customer:

ok John, that sounds really sensible. You have been absolutely fantastic. Thank you so much for your help and patience.

Customer:

Quick question, Do I automatically get monthly subscription as I didn't select it

jstinehelfer :

http://support.apple.com/kb/PH10725 explains the Target Disk Mode

jstinehelfer :

I am not sure about the subscription stuff. If you did not select it I would not think it would happen. But I can get a phone number for JA customer support to make sure you only get charged for this session if you like

Customer:

JUst thinking, I could probably do a disc image from utilities and that should give me a full back up shouldnt it?

Customer:

yes please

Customer:

i am in the UK

jstinehelfer :

United Kingdom 0808-189-0970

jstinehelfer :

Customer service will be able to look at your account and tell you exactly what you chose.

jstinehelfer :

I just get paid to answer questions when the customer gives me a good service rating

jstinehelfer :

If the customer does not give a good rating then I dont get paid for that question

jstinehelfer :

I joke because it can be like a waitress some tip and some dont lol

jstinehelfer :

So the game plan is get your Disk coming to you from apple

jstinehelfer :

in the mean time connect the two computers via firewire and use the article I gave you to put it in Target Disk Mode and transfer your data over to the good computer to be safe

jstinehelfer :

Once the disk comes then do an Install and get the Imac back and running.

jstinehelfer :

2009 is not that old so I would get it back up and running

Customer:

Hey John. Thank you so much again. I will make sure you get paid. It is tough in IT, I am in IT myself - an Ops mgr and we only get abuse we never get told 'good job' when things work!! Just about to say your excellent, you couldn't have helped me more than you have. All best to you :-) Bronwen from Guernsey in the channel isles.

jstinehelfer :

you have a great holiday coming up and I wish the best for you and your family

jstinehelfer :

If you are satisfied with my help please take the time and give me a good service rating. If your not satisfied please ask for more help if needed. I would be glad to answer any follow up questions you might have.

jstinehelfer :

If you need my help on future problems you can find me by going to http://www.justanswer.com/computer/expert-john-stinehelfer/ please save this link for future use.

Customer:

Thanks JOhn, have a great Christmas too. I will deffo keep your details. All best

jstinehelfer, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 647
Experience: A+ Comptia Certified computer repair
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jstinehelfer
jstinehelfer
Mac Support Specialist
647 Satisfied Customers
A+ Comptia Certified computer repair