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MacTechTrainer, Sr. Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 1700
Experience:  Apple Certified Desktop & Portables Technician, A+, Cross-Platform (Mac/PC) Tech - for over 14 Years
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I have an iMAC that has crashed...I think. When you turn it

Resolved Question:

I have an iMAC that has crashed...I think. When you turn it on it was just showing the apple with the spinning thing, I just restarted it and now it is flashing a file folder with a question mark on it. What now?!
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 7 years ago.
Hello, and thank you for asking your question,
I am Sr. Mac Tech Support Specialist, Terry, glad to assist you.

Could you provide me with the following information, so I can better assist you with your technical question:
• What version of Mac OS X are you using on your Mac?
(i.e. "Mac OS X 10.5.8 or Mac OS X 10.4.11, etc" -)

• In regards XXXXX XXXXX Mac OS X installation disc, is it the same version of Mac OS X that you currently have installed on your Mac's hard drive? Or is the version on your Mac an upgrade (i.e. Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard upgraded to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, etc.)

• Have you recently had any kernel panics (temporary fatal internal errors) where your Mac has frozen up and you have had to reboot it?

Your answers to the questions I have submitted, will allow me to work with more detailed information, in order to effectively answer your question.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX be looking forward to your reply. Thank you!


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I hate to sound stupid but I have no idea! All the box that it came in (2 years ago) says is MAC OS X - I think it's Leopard if that means anything. The disk I have is the same disk that it came with and we haven't had any upgrades. I finally got it to recognize the install disk but I'm scared to do anything past that. My main concern is to salvage the pics I have on there. I have had the computer freeze up a few times in the past and rebooted but nothing like this.
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for voicing with candor your concernCustomer It will be my pleasure to assist you on this issue. No need to fear with the install disc in your Mac. I will show you how to make full, effective use of it.

As long as you have not upgraded (not updated) to a newer version of Mac OS X, then the install discs that you have, should be sufficient.

All you need is the Installation disc that which is disc 1. That is the only disc you will ever need to use in regards XXXXX XXXXX discs that did come with your Mac, when it comes to troubleshooting start and boot issues with your Mac.


Insert your Mac OS X Startup disk
•Reboot your Mac
•At the Apple Chime, press the C key and hold it until you see a White screen, gray Apple and eventually a Spinning gear.
• Release the C key only after you see the Spinning gear.
•Mac will boot from the startup disk to the Installer environment
• From the Installer Menu bar, click Utilities > Disk Utility and open up Disk Utility application.
• Click on on the hard drive at the top of the window in the left sidebar and
• Select "Repair Disk"
**Let Disk Utility run this repair the disk until completion
• At the end of this process, reboot your Mac

Let me know if your Mac boots up to the desktop normally.

I will be watching for your update.



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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
OK - so nothing happened - now we have a blue screen. No apple, no spinner, no disc starting and I can't eject the disk.
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for that update as well.

Ok at this point, let's see if we can get your Mac to boot up normally. If we can do that, then you will be able to eject your disc normally. If you cannot boot up to your desktop after this next procedure I am going to have you try- I still have other processes in place to help you with that. But again, try this next:

Now, 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.

• 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 environment - 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.

Keep me posted.