Hi, and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am excited to get started with you.So I can better assist you with your issue, I will need additional information. Do you know what version of OSX you are running?
Thank you for that additional information. From what you are describing, there may be an issue with your hard drive or your operating system may need re-installation. Lion comes with a built in recovery partition so lets check your hard drive first. Go ahead and shut down your computer. Then power it back on again an immediately press and hold both Command+R key until the apple logo appears
Now it should then boot into an install screen asking you to choose a language
Ok go ahead and choose english. Next you will see a series of options. Choose disk utility
In the left column do you see where it says macintosh HD?
Select Macintosh HD and then choose verify disk at the bototm
Let me know if it says "Macintosh HD is OK' Or if there is an error
Looks like it is going to take a little while.
It should take about 5 mins
depending on if there are errors
Our goal is to see green and no red text
Says to repair disk
We failed in that regard
Ok go ahead and hit repair
Lets see if disk utility can correct the issues
Invalid node structure
Says it cannot repair disk
I need to back up files
From past experience, invalid node structures is not repairable via disk utility and the hard drive itself will actually need replacement. Re-formatting the hard drive may fix your issue. It does wipe everything off. Do you have a backup?
I have not backed up some of the files
Maybe on iCloud. . . .
iCloud will backup pages documents, contacts, calendar. Not photos or pictures. When was your last backup?
Not sure. . .
Any chance I could get to files through networked computers?
At this point I am afraid it is too late.. You will not be able via network since it required the machine to boot. However, you can connect your imac to another mac using target disk mode. You may have issues copying files over since the drive is bad. Issues such as freezing
during file transfers
You will need a firewire cable to do so
Or thunderbolt depending on your computer's port
Do you have a thunderbolt or firewire cable?
no, but I can get them
So, this is a hardware issue?
Yes and No. Normally you can re-format the drive. But if that fails, it is hardware related and the hard drive will need to be replaced. Since your files are not backup, we can not re-format to see if that will resolve your issue. I would still recommend replacing the hard drive any ways. Since it is apparent that early signs of failure has occurred
So, what do I need to do once I get Firewire or Thunderbolt
Ok first lets check which port you have. On your iMac, check to see if you have a thunderbolt. You will have a firewire 800 port already but do you see a port with a lightening bolt icon?
No lightning bolt
But firewire 800? (its is a square port)
Ok now what about the port on the other mac that you plan to connect it to. Does it also have a firewire port
Well - I have 2 options - an older MacBook with older style Firewire port and a brand new Air with Thunderbolt
You will need to use the macbook. Since your iMac does not have thunderbolt. So you will need a firewire 800-400 cable (400 is what your macbook has) http://store.apple.com/us/product/HA833ZM/A/belkin-firewire-800400-9-pin6-pin-cable-2-m66-ft?fnode=51
I am sure you can find it much cheaper than that on ebay or amazon but that is what it looks like
Any chance I can find that at Radio Shack or Walmart? Closest Apple store is long way away.
Guess I could call them - if not, order online.
They certainly have it.
So, once I retrieve information, I need to take computer to Apple Store for repair of hard drive. . .
After I reset the OSX
You have two options. To transfer info from one computer to the next, You will need to connect the two first. Then on you imac, boot up while pressing and holding the T key until a firewire logo appears
Then on your Macbook, you imac as if an external drive was connected. Then connect an external drive to your macbook and transfer files there. Or if you have room on your Macbook, you can transfer files to your macbook
Once the transfer is complete and you have verified your data is backed up. Boot back into the recovery partition again on your Mac. (command+ R) go back to disk utility. Select your entire hard drive in the left column (the one above macintosh HD) and then choose Erase. Volume format should be mac os extended journaled
Don't worry I will give you links with detailed instructions
Will this conversation be saved for me somewhere?
Nevermind - I see the Save & Exit button
Yes. Once our chat is over, you can bookmark it and get back to it
Now if re-formatting your drive fails then you will need to take the trip to that apple store
Well, I think I know what I will be doing for the remainder of the afternoon
Let me give you the links with detailed instructions
Michelle - thank you very much - you have been fantastic
You are very welcome, would you like me to give you the links incase you get stuck?
1. Transfer files using target disk mode:http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1661Once that is complete.. 2. Re-format drivehttp://guides.macrumors.com/Formatting_an_External_DeviceIf it re-formate without an issue, then you can move on and re-install Mac os x3. Quit Disk utility and choose Re-install Mac OS X and follow the onscreen instructions If the re-partition fails, you will need to haul you iMac in for service :(
Thanks again - you have been one of the most helpful Mac experts I have ever encountered. . .
For step 2 and beyond you you are booting back into the recovery partition (Command+R)
Awww than you for your kind words you are very welcome. Best of luck
Thank you.. You too :)
What if - even with the 800/400 cable - I cannot see the "dead" iMac. . . ?
yes - it is