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David, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 1365
Experience:  BSc H.Dip Apple Certified Professional
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My iMac 24", 2.4 GHZ was locked up when I came to the office

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My iMac 24", 2.4 GHZ was locked up when I came to the office this AM. ESC didn't work. Unplugged, waited 5 minutes, plugged in, Apple logo screen with spinning icon for a long, long time- nothing else. Tried this twice. What should I do now?
Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do whatever I possibly can to help answer your questions.

The startup process is not working, so you should first start with Safe Mode.

Shut it down, and hold the Shift key when it is starting up.

Hold Shift until you see the spinning gear.

It will take longer than normal this way so give it a chance.

When it does get to the login window it should say Safe Mode in red letters.

Please get back to me for the follow up steps.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok, I'm in.

On Friday I had this message: no more space start up disk in a dialog box. How do I get more space or clean out old unnecessary stuff?

OS X v10.5.8 2GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I didn't notice "Safe Mode" in red letters.

Did you receive my question about allocating more space in the start up disk?



Sorry for the delay, that's a great start though.

Emptying the Trash is the most obvious way to free space, but the rest of the disk will have items that you don't want to lose, such as photo libraries, music, movies etc.

Unfortunately these types of files are the ones that take up the most space, so if you can find any that you can remove it will free up space.

Also, check your Downloads folder, you may have no use for anything in it any more.

When that's done, please restart normally, as this will be the test to see if the issue is resolved.

Please get back to me if not.

Kind regards,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK, I checked my downloads which had 190.3 MB, threw them in the trash, emptied the trash and so now on the hard drive I have 248.28 available and 49.49 used. I don't have any music or movies but do have 293 MB photos. It was real slow to restart and now it's just showing the spinning gear. I didn't hold the shift key down.

Should I unplug it again and try that now? Shift/start method? As I was typing this - my desk top came up. WHY IS IT SO SLOW?


It's going so slow because the operating system is damaged. You might need to reinstall, but there are some things you can try first.

Open Applications/Utilities and launch Disk Utility.

Select Macintosh HD on the left hand side, and click Repair Permissions.

When it complete, restart.

When it has restarted click the Apple menu in the top left, and click Software Update.

Install all updates, and then restart and test the issue again.

These things should resolve any problems with the operating system, but if not then you can easily reinstall it while leaving your user account intact.

Please let me know if it gives any more trouble.

Best regards,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Some of the Software Updates were rejected - unable to install.

Will try again. I should, shouldn't I?


Yes, you should try again. If it fails we can look in the install log.

Also make note of any error.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Can we continue this tomorrow?


I am in Ireland, and I had to go to sleep as it was very late. You can get back to me today no problem.

Best regards,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Oh, I didn't know you were in Ireland. I hope to visit there in the next year or two.

I took my computer to Apple authorized Dealer Repair shop this morning. I need to replace my hard drive. But I'm glad we tried everything you told me about yesterday.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX were very helpful.


I hope you have a lovely time in Ireland and you get good weather. Sample the Guinness, and find some of the legendary 'craic' :)

It didn't seem like the hard drive was failing, but a technician who is hands on can determine it a lot easier than I could through correspondence. I'm glad you got it sorted :)

Feel free to ask me any follow up questions.

Best regards,
David and 2 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you