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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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This is a question for Mike McWhirter who worked with us before

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This is a question for Mike McWhirter who worked with us before re: problems with our iMac OS vesion 10.4.7 3A113 in January 2009. We were experiencing problems with our directories and had to reinstall the operating system. The computer ran for awhile but, again, started getting VERY slow. Now, when trying to reboot, the computer automatically shuts itself off before it boots up. Holding down the shift key or C key has not effect on this. Any other suggestions on how to get back to our desk top or to a point where we can again reinstall the OS if necessary?

Sorry to hear about this issue coming back.
Does the iMac turn off completely? ie; Powers off? or does the screen go black, but fans/drive still seem to be running?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi there, Mike. It tries to boot up for about 2 minues and then turns off completely (bad sigh, eh?). If/when I hold down the shift key while it is trying to boot up, it turns off even faster.

Boot from the Install disk with the Option key down and see if it still turns off.

If it does, then I want to reset the Power Manager. That means removing the power cord and then pressing the power button in for about 5-7 seconds. Then replace the power cord and try the install disk again.

Let me know,
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
It stays on with the Install disk in and gives me the option to select the disk or to go to the hard drive...which one should I do? Sorry, I'm slow on this, I only have one keyboard and am having to move it back and forth between computers (don't ask)
No worries on speed here. I am in all day.

Select the disk and then, when it gets to the Installer, answer the Language question.

Go to the Menu bar and choose Disk Utility from the menu. In there, choose First Aid tab and run Repair Permissions on the Hard Drive.

Let me know what you get.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I'm in Disk Utility - there is no First Aid tab - only a box on the left showing hard drive or the operating system - should I select the hard drive and then wil I get the first aid choice?
Yes, sorry about that.

When you click on the Drive, then you will get more tabs. Click on First Aid then run Permissions.

You can also run Repair Drive as well.

Also, these take some time to complete. Let them work.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
In first aid I have the option to verify the disk or repair the disk...the permissions options are not selectable
Hmmm. that's odd. you should be able to do Permissions unless the OS is trashed and it does not think there is one on the drive.

May have to do that Archive and Install method again.

Repair the drive and then see if it comes up with the Persmissions after it runs.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Just to verify, I have the hard drive selected (not he OS X istall disk), right?
Correct. Run it on the drive, not the disk
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Ran the repair disk option on the hard drive. Got invalid node structure messages and in the end it says the volume could not be reparied.

Error: the underlying task reported failure on exit

1 HFS volume checked - 1 volume could not be repaired because of an error
Repair attempted on 1 volume - 1 volume could not be reparied

First Aid failed - Disk Utility stopped repairing because the following error was encountered:
The underlying task reported failure on exit
Not good.

Do you have this drive backed up? Time Machine? External drive?

We will need to erase and install the OS because of the disk errors. It cannot be fixed unless you are willing to spend some money and get a disk repair application like Disk Warrior or Drive Genius to try to repair it.

Disk Utility is pretty limited so a 3rd party app is the way to go for repair attempts. If you have a backup, we could just erase it and then re-install , then restore from backup.

Let me know,
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
yes, I have the information backed up (on DVD's....lame, I know) let me know how to erase, re-install and restore...

Click on the drive again and this time choose Partition tab. Make sure to click on the Drive name, not the Volume name (volume is subset name of drive name, like Macintosh HD).

Under Partition, choose One partition from popup that most likely says Current now.
Click on Partition button and agree to allow it.

When it finishes, quit Disk Utility and you will be back in the Installer.

Continue the Installer and choose the drive in the selection window.

Keep answering questions and clicking next until you start the Install.

It will take some time, so let it work.

Then when it restarts, it should boot into the new OS X. Setup your Account name the exact same as before so you can easily remember previous passwords.
Make sure to run Software Update and keep running it until it says you are up to date.

Your done now. New OS X, files get restored and you will need to setup printers, network access etc... but you should be in good shape.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Before I do all of that...I think I had the volume name selected (it was called Mike, after you!) when I was doing the first aid, not the drive name (232.9gb WED WE2500....)...would that make a difference? Should I try the repair again with the drive name highlighted?

LOL Mike!

No, repair works either way. Permissions only work on the volume. Since it was a failure to repair, there is no reason to do it again.

Mike (the person, not the drive, heh)
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Mike, it is installing now. While I'm waiting I have one more question for you. I'm wondering if the problem keeps occurring from the software I am putting on the iMac. I have been intalling "X", then Offic:mac, then i-Life, then boot-camp, then Windows XP. This last time I did not install the i-Life (or do the boot-camp partitioning) because it seemed to always start slowing down when I put on the i-Life. Does this make any sense? Am I installing things in the right order? Any thoughts?
I don't see any issues with how you restore those apps. I personally do not use or recommend Boot Camp. You will get good results with Parallels or VMware and run XP as a second OS alongside OS X.

As far as iLife, just make sure to update from Software Update.

And, my advice only, do not add in any 3rd party stuff that 'enhances' the OS. They most of the time will cause issues.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
In order to run XP as a second OS do I have to do anything special before I install it?...that is, does the OS X Leopard, Parallels or VMware have to be installed first to make it all work?
Yes, OS X needs to be done, and then install Parallels or VMWare fusion and when you set them up, you will install XP into the virtual machine.

You can ignore any Boot Camp references.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for that.

The second install disc ha about 20 minutes we should be good to go after it finishes and I run all the software updates. Once through that I'll accept and hope to not have to "talk" to you again (don't take it personally, however). Maybe the "break down" issue has been with the Windows XP and my not having the Parallels or VMWare on there, first. So, just to be sure, this is my order of installation after installing the Ma OS X...
Mac OS X Leopard
Parallels or VMWare fusion
Windows XP


Being over here in Germany, can I buy Parallels or VMWare fusion at a Mac store or...?

14 minutes to go...
Here are the websites for both. Pretty sure you can download them and order disks to be shipped.

Your sequence is fine. Do Parallels or VMWare after you run all the updates though.

Then install and set the Virtual Machine up and run XP in. Then run the XP uppdates after authenticating with MS.

After all that you should be good to go.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Running software updates...

So, I have to ask one more question re: software compatibilty... (I definitely have too much time to think while I'm waiting for things to finish!)

I runs software updates today in April of 2009...then I go and install OS X Leopard 10.5, i-Life '08 and Office:mac 2008....does anything get messed up because the updates may be more current than what I am going to install afterwards? Maybe this caused previous directory problems...or is none of this a problem?

Do I run software updatesa again after I install leopard, i-Life and Office:mac???
Nope. The updates will be wiped out if they are not needed by the newer software.

So go ahead and install them:
Office 2008
In that order, then run Updates again and finish that out.

Make sure to run Office Updater as well to get that to the latest version. No need to run it now, do it after installing Office 2008.

Mike and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I seem to be all set to go, again. I will install the other software and get back with you if I continue to have any problems.

You are great to work with and I certainly appreciate your patience.

Just curious, has the downturn in the economy increased your workload? I would tend to think it may have.

Either way, best of luck to you and thanks for your help.

Hi Kathy,

Thanks and yes and no. Odd but it is not busier in Mac, but my son, who does Computers questions, has seen an increase over there.

I am glad I could help and appreicate the Accept and the Bonus.

Let me know f you have anything else re; this issue. Just reply back here.