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DaniBigApple
DaniBigApple, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 102
Experience:  4+Years Apple Genius Experience Trainer in Apple core applications
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My iMac (2007) is not starting. Past the apple logo on start

Resolved Question:

My iMac (2007) is not starting. Past the apple logo on start up, I get a circle with a slash across it (like the no-parking road sig) and after few minutes, it switches to a folder with a question mark in the middle. never goes past that. i disconnected any device attached to it with no luck. I started the computer pressing the command-S, I get a black background and after few minutes, I get a message saying (Error loading kernel 'mach_kernel' (0x80000012) ). Any help??
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 1 year ago.

MacTechTrainer :

Hello and thank you for asking your question, with JustAnswer.com/Mac. I am Sr. Mac Tech Support Specialist, Terry, glad to assist you.

MacTechTrainer :

What you are experiencing is what is known as a "Kernel Panic", which in layterms in a temporary fatal error which causes your Mac not to boot up normally. This could be the result of a software issue or an internal hardware issue

MacTechTrainer :

to resolve this issue, you can try a few processes which should help get your iMac back to operating normally

MacTechTrainer :

First I recommend you try this process:

MacTechTrainer :


• First, hold in your power button for approximately 10 seconds to do a hard shutdown, if it is not already shutdown i.e. (turned off)

•You will need to perform what is called a PRAM reset (Parameter RAM)

• Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously .

• Turn on the computer.
• Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears.

• Now, hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the start-up sound for the second time.

• Release the keys and allow the Mac to start up.

Customer:

thank you in advance for all your help

MacTechTrainer :

The pleasure truly is all mine :)

MacTechTrainer :

I will work as diligently as I can to assist you with this issue

MacTechTrainer :

Update me how this first process turns out when you can

Customer:

It is not working. it gives me the sound for the 2 times but goes back to the same screen with the folder with the question mark.

MacTechTrainer :

Ok tell me if you would, what version of Mac OS X are you using on your iMac?

Customer:

mac osx 10.6.8

MacTechTrainer :

and if needed, would you have immediate access to your Mac OS X 10.6 installation disc upon request?

Customer:

no. but I have an external hard disk backing up (time machine)

MacTechTrainer :

that is good to know, as that would have been my next question

MacTechTrainer :

Ok I have another procedure I would like you to try:

MacTechTrainer :



-SMC RESET-
The System Management Controller is an integrated circuit (computer chip) that is usually on the logic board of your Mac computer.

It is responsible for power management of the computer. It controls backlighting, hard disk spin down, sleep and wake, some charging aspects, and some input/output as it relates to the computer sleeping.

• Shut down the computer.
• Unplug the computer's power cord.
• Press and hold the power button for 20 seconds.
• Release the power button.
• Attach the computers power cable.
• Press the power button to turn on the computer

MacTechTrainer :

Let me know if this process makes a difference

Customer:

unfortunately, same result

Customer:

shall i try it again

MacTechTrainer :

Thanks for confirming this for me. Just once more if you could

Customer:

same. One thing i wanted to mention (not sure if it is important). once i plug the power cord, the computer start automatically without me pressing the power button.

MacTechTrainer :

Make sure your power button is not stuck

MacTechTrainer :

that could be a factor if you find the button is depress already without you pressing it

Customer:

it is not stuck

MacTechTrainer :

Ok that is good

MacTechTrainer :

not sure why that is occurring, but for now I will just keep that in mind as we continue to troubleshoot here

MacTechTrainer :

Whenever you boot up and get a prohibitory sign like that

MacTechTrainer :

your iMac is telling you that it cannot locate the startup volume for Mac OS X 10.6.8

MacTechTrainer :

this is why the error would come up as it has each time you started up

MacTechTrainer :

just prior to you experiencing this issue

MacTechTrainer :

have you recently installed or removed any software or applications from your Mac?

Customer:

no

MacTechTrainer :

ok here's another process I want you to try-

MacTechTrainer :


**Please note: An "Answer" by me, or an"Accept" from you, does not mean the session has ended. So please remain patient with me and I will work
diligently, to resolve your technical question to your satisfaction.-Thanks!*
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am going to have you take your Mac into Safe Mode to see if we can't remove a possible folder(s) that may be affecting your Mac's start up function.

Try these steps:


-SAFE BOOT MODE-
• Reboot your Mac
• Upon restarting your Mac, press the Shift key.
• Hold the Shift key until you see a White Screen with Gray Apple icon and eventually a spinning gear.
• When you see the Spinning gear, release the Shift key.
• Allow the Mac to continue booting up. Also this may take a little while
(NOTE: this may take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to load to the Safe mode screen depending on the performance of your Mac, but if it exceeds this time, shutdown your Mac and try just once more. It may have just frozen up the first time around for you.)
• You are going to enter the Safe Mode (which looks like your main desktop enviroment the only difference is certain startup items are disabled.)

• Once within the Desktop in Safe Mode
• From the Finder Menu, click Go> Go to Folder
• Type in this line: /System/Library/StartupItems
• This path, is going to take you to the System Library folder which has all of your Mac OS X Startupitems.
• Remove all of those folders to the Trash.

*Reboot your Mac normally and see if you can access your normal User desktop environment.

MacTechTrainer :

I am still here, just to let you know- so take your time

MacTechTrainer :

I am watching for your updates :)

Customer:

I did as you asked. the spinning gear never showed up and the computer restarted by itself

MacTechTrainer :

so it got to the white screen grey Apple symbol, but no spinning gear, just an auto restart, am I correct?

Customer:

correct

Customer:

one more info if it helps. i always get the white screen with the grey apple before it goes to the wierd signs

MacTechTrainer :

Ok in that case, let's check your hard drive's integrity using the command line process called "fsck" (File System Check) mode

MacTechTrainer :

- USING FSCK COMMAND TO VERIFY AND REPAIR DISK-
Start up your computer in Single-User Mode to reach the command line by doing this:
•Make sure your Mac is shutdown.
• Reboot your Mac
• When Mac starts up, try once again to go into Single User mode by pressing the Apple Command key+ S Key
- If successful a black screen, with white text appears
• At the command-line prompt, type /sbin/fsck -fy
• Press Return.
--fsck will run through a series of tests and will return information about your disk's use and fragmentation. When completed, it will display this message if no issue is found:

The volume (name_of_your_Mac OS X_volume) appears to be OK

If fsck found issues and has altered, repaired, or fixed anything, it will display this message: --FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED--


Important: If this message appears, repeat the fsck command you typed at the beginning, until fsck tells you that your volume appears to be OK (first-pass repairs may uncover additional issues, so this is a normal thing to do).

• When fsck reports that your volume is OK, type reboot at the prompt and then press Return.
• This last command after completing the fsck process, is going to attempt to boot your Mac to the main desktop.

Keep me posted I will be watching for your update. Thanks!

Customer:

i got to the black screen but it is not allowing me to type

MacTechTrainer :

That is just what I needed to know in that regards

MacTechTrainer :

so what I am beginning to see here is a pattern

MacTechTrainer :

and that pattern is leading to all symptoms pointing to the hard drive

MacTechTrainer :

because if you cannot use Single User mode outside of your Mac OS X volume in order to perform specific diagnostic and repair functions

MacTechTrainer :

that can only indicate that the hard drive may either be failing or heading toward eminent failure

MacTechTrainer :

I am not saying that this is exactly what this is yet

MacTechTrainer :

I am only referencing as an experienced Mac tech what signs become apparent to me after some key troubleshooting steps have been attempted

MacTechTrainer :

what would be the deciding factor for me here for me, is if you had your Mac OS X installation disc for Snow Leopard 10.6

MacTechTrainer :

because it has the Disk Utility repair tool installed on that disk

MacTechTrainer :

and we could attempt to boot to that installation disk, access Disk Utility and then attempt to repair your hard drive

MacTechTrainer :

Oh and just to update you- Error loading kernel 'mach_kernel' (0x80000012)

MacTechTrainer :

means there is a K'ernel Panic (or temporary fatal error) with your hard drive

MacTechTrainer :

I knew that error message you posted in your question, looked familiar to me

Customer:

When you asked about the disc that came with the compter, i called a friend to bring me the snow leoperd disk and he just arrived with it.

Customer:

what shall I do with it

MacTechTrainer :

Great

MacTechTrainer :

all you need to do- (and this will tell me immediately if this is an issue with your hard drive or not) is

MacTechTrainer :

insert the disc in your Superdrive

MacTechTrainer :

let it initialize for a moment

MacTechTrainer :

then turn off your iMac and restart it

MacTechTrainer :

holding down the C key

MacTechTrainer :

let's see if you can get to the white screen, Apple symbol and eventually the spinning gear

MacTechTrainer :

if you DO see the spinning gear, that is great, because then you can stop pressing the C key and allow the Mac to boot to the Leopard disc

MacTechTrainer :

then you should be able to get to the Installer environment where you can then access Disk Utility

MacTechTrainer :

now if you CANNOT get past the start up screen and to (and through) the spinning gear

MacTechTrainer :

then this is an issue with your hard drive and therefore this Kernel Panic is definitely hardware related to your hard drive and is not software related

Customer:

i got the white screen with the unusal apple logo and a spinning gear.

Customer:

it has been spinning for a while now

MacTechTrainer :

and you have released the C key already correct?

Customer:

long ago

Customer:

how long does this spinning take usually

MacTechTrainer :

depending on the system, should be no more than 30-45 seconds but no more than 1 1/2 minutes at the longest duration

MacTechTrainer :

if it has passed that

MacTechTrainer :

then go ahead and shut down

MacTechTrainer :

there is an issue with your hard drive

MacTechTrainer :

if you are not able to perform any Safeboots, Single User boot ups or even get results with core -level troubleshooting steps like an SMC Reset and PRAM reset

MacTechTrainer :

I know this is a hardware issue and the culprit more than like is with the functionality of your hard drive

MacTechTrainer :

when you see an error code with "mach" listed, that is more often than not, an indication of a machine error or hardware problem

Customer:

I took longer than the 2 minutes. i am trying the step again hoping to get lucky

MacTechTrainer :

going further with this error message, it looks like that error thread is also translating into a mounting issue with your hard drive, which also gives me a strong insight that this is a hardware problem

MacTechTrainer :

and sure, you are welcome to try again

MacTechTrainer :

anything to work around this issue-- if those steps will help

MacTechTrainer :

I will standby, keep me posted

Customer:

ok, it is installing a fresh version of 10.6

Customer:

installation failed.

Customer:

what can i do

MacTechTrainer :

Sorry about that

MacTechTrainer :

I got kicked out of the chat

MacTechTrainer :

but I am back now

Customer:

Sorry for the delay. you disconnected and i waited 5 minutes and you did not come back.

Customer:

I went out of town that night and just came back.

Customer:

all i want to know the conclusion of the process we did that day.

Expert:  DaniBigApple replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I see your expert is not available. I had reviewed your question and it appears that your Hard Drive needs replacement. There is no software fix for this issue, When it displays the prohibitory symbol or flashing folder with question mark that means that the HD is bad. SOMETIMES when the folder is flashing , the OS needs to be reinstalled but based on your situation the Hard Drive needs replacement.
DaniBigApple, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 102
Experience: 4+Years Apple Genius Experience Trainer in Apple core applications
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